Laptop Rentals - Renting is it the right computer choice for me?
An overview of laptop rentals
Laptop rentals are short to long term rentals of laptop computers. They have pros and cons and you need to access those to decide whether this is the right choice for you. In this article we'll look at the the different types of laptop rental available and then look at a couple of case studies to see if they could be of use to you.
laptop rentals may look expensive option when you compare it to a long term lease, however would you really want to be tied into a lease for three years and have to keep the same equipment which is slow and out of date. IT equipment moves so quickly that your laptop can very quickly become well below industry standard. Rental allows you to have high spec laptops for an affordable price without the capital investment.
Mac Book Pro
Short term laptop rentals
Short term laptop computer rental is usually between 1 day to a month. It is the most expensive per day option however, if you are hiring freelancers to work for you and need to supply them equipment for 1 month then this is most likely to be the best possible option. Depending upon the contract you sign, you will often be charged by the day and if you are late by 3 days on a monthly contract you will likely be charged 3/30 of your monthly contract price this gives you flexibility without the fear of being charged a whole month if you need it for a couple of extra days. However always check your contract to be sure, but there are lots of companies out there who operate this policy so it is well worth looking out for them, check out some of the ads to see if this if they offer this service.
Long term laptop rental
Long term laptop rental is normally a 6 to 12 month contract. It is normally more reasonable than the short term option per day. You should try to avoid signing a contract more than 12 months because technology in the IT market moves so quick that in renewing in 12 months will mean you get a much lower price on current equipment, often 50% less or you can upgrade to the latest higher spec equipment for the same money. This is the best option if you need equipment for a long stint but don't have the capital to buy outright.
Laptop Rental vs Lease
Long term laptop rentals with option to buy
This is a very useful option it is exactly the same as the long term laptop rental option, but after 12 months it gives you the opportunity to buy it. This benefits both you and the rental firm. Rental firms only want latest equipment and so they would rather sell on the products, even better is to sell it to the current rental as this prevents paperwork and re-selling. From your point of view you can buy your equipment which you have got comfortable with over the last year and you can buy it at a much lower price. Many Laptop rental firms will sell you the IT equipment at 25% of cost. It's always nice to get a Mac Book Pro for £450, but remember to factor in what you have spent over the year.
Starting a business - Are laptop rentals for me?
Starting up a business is an expensive time, you have so many costs and things to think about and IT infrastructure and systems is just one of those. You know that you are likely to be travelling a lot and you will need a laptop. So why would you rent?
Budget and Capital Issues - Large and especially small companies are restricted by available cashflow and budgets. Spending your available capital on computers that depreciate so fast isn't always the best business decision. Renting can be faster, simpler and more cost effective
Balance Sheet – It keeps the it off the balance sheet making it easier to apply for additional finance
Tax deductible – You should be able to claim this as a business expense and so get tax benefits associated with this. (I'm not a financial advisor so check with yours)
It is a bit like try before you buy in that you can try a product, OS, software before committing to buy it, can be useful if you are thinking of changing an entire company, say from PC to Mac.
Support – If your product breaks dies or isn't working as you expect the company should replace it without fuss and very quickly
As you can see there are numerous benefits do they outweigh the cons which are
continuous outgoing rather than one off payment.
Smaller choice of products
Locked into whatever contract you sign
It is purely your decision and one which very often a financial one, if you are a startup business or a short term project it is often very hard to justify the capital expense so laptop rentals make a good way of making the monthly cost justifiable.
High Spec IT Equipment
Having a laptop rental as a student
It is very true that a laptop is almost a necessity at College and University as a student. The benefits of renting a Laptop as opposed to buying one are not really financial, there are firms that do very cheap laptop rentals for students. It also means that parents or the students themselves have a fixed cost each month as opposed to a large outlay early on. It is my opinion that the key benefits are in the spec of the equipment you can get, if you are on an art/photography course, film studies or a course which requires complex modelling if you want to use the software outside of the university then you are going to need a high spec PC or Mac to do it and the capital cost of these as a student is prohibitive. It also means that if your laptop breaks you should get a replacement very quickly.
If you have the money there and earmarked then by all means buy it, but remember IT equipment depreciated extremely quickly. If you don't then laptop rentals might be the way to go, they are often shorter term than leases and prevent equipment going out of date. They are very useful for small businesses and short term projects and should be considered as a serious option.