Purchasing or leasing computer hardware – pros and cons

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  • #4492
    UK Sentinel
    • Posts 3644
    • Skipper

    An interesting subject given in the UK we as consumers and business, lease hire accounts for over 30% of all car sales (2018), should we (consumers and business) also consider these models for IT hardware and equipment supplies.

    Or do we already !

    Purchasing or leasing computer hardware – pros and cons:

    When it comes to acquiring new hardware for you or your business , finance is one of the key things you will have to consider. Typically, your options will be: buying outright, hire purchase or leasing.

    Pros and cons of buying computer hardware outright
    If you want to own the equipment outright, you can buy it in full with your own money or use a bank loan or overdraft to purchase it.

    The advantages of buying outright include:

    having full ownership of the assets, which you can add to your balance sheet
    the ability to deduct or write off the value of the assets for tax purposes (in some cases)
    the ability to use or alter the equipment as you wish, since you’re not tied into a contract or a leasing agreement

    On the other hand, disadvantages to buying outright include:

    paying the full costs up front, which can cause cashflow pressures
    possibly having to source a loan to cover the costs
    having to maintain or repair the equipment yourself, which can be costly or impractical
    losing value over time – hardware depreciates quickly and may become obsolete after a few years, requiring a further investment

    Pros and cons of leasing:
    Leasing allows you to rent computer equipment for a monthly fee. You enter a contract with a leasing provider and, at the end of the agreed term, you typically either:

    give the equipment back
    extend the lease if you wish to keep using it
    Depending on the leasing company, you may also agree to buy the assets at the end of the lease. Leasing has several distinct benefits. For example:

    it allows you to use assets without actually owning them
    it doesn’t tie up your funds in an outright purchase
    it minimises maintenance costs, as the lender is typically responsible for any upkeep
    it is more flexible and makes it easier to upgrade your equipment
    it is considered an operating cost, so you can write it off against profits
    Leasing may be worth considering if the equipment you need is likely to date quickly or if you are looking for a short-term commitment. However, leasing over long-term may not be cost-effective, as you may end up paying more than the equipment is worth.

    Pros and cons of hire purchase
    Hire purchase allows you to buy IT equipment on finance, using monthly payments rather than a lump sum. Typically, the payments cover the purchase price, as well as a fee for the lender. At the end of the agreed hire purchase term, you own the asset in full.

    The advantages of hire purchase agreements include flexibility and scalability. They allow you to:

    spread fixed costs over time, which is easier on your cashflow than an upfront payment
    maximise your tax relief via capital allowances – seek accountant’s advice
    have maintenance, repairs and servicing as a part of the deal
    enter into a new contract at the end of the original term to upgrade or replace equipment
    As with other options, there are disadvantages to hire purchase. For example:

    the equipment’s overall cost may be greater than if you’d purchased it outright
    there can also be more administration involved
    the equipment remains the property of the supplier until the final payment is settled
    by the time you pay off the equipment, it may be obsolete


    In a completely sane world, madness is the only freedom (J.G.Ballard).

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