Franking machine rental guide – Hire and lease how-to and FAQ

If you run a business in the UK that involves sending out a large volume of mail, you’ve probably heard about franking machines. Renting a franking machine can be a cost-effective way to manage your postal requirements, but what should you expect in terms of prices and what factors should you consider before making a rental decision?

This guide aims to offer some valuable insights.

Video: Common questions about buying or renting a franking machine

Franking machine rental price list

Model CategoryModel NameEstimated Monthly CostNotable Features
BasicMailstart Plus£20User-friendly, moderate volume
BasicPitney Bowes DM60£25Integrated weighing scales, low volume
BasicFP Mailing PostBase Qi4£28Colour touchscreen, customisable adverts
Mid-rangeFP Mailing PostBase Mini£40Colour touchscreen, higher speed
Mid-rangeQuadient IS-350£45Automated date setting, logo printing
Mid-rangePitney Bowes DM220i£50Speedy processing, cost accounting
AdvancedPitney Bowes SendPro P3000£370Fully automated, multiple feeding stations
AdvancedFP Mailing PostBase Vision£285Dynamic touchscreen, system integration
AdvancedQuadient IS-6000£495Power conveyor stacker, cost control
Franking machine rental price list

These costs are approximate and additional expenses such as maintenance and ink may apply. Don’t forget to inquire about discounts and promotional rates, particularly for longer-term commitments.

What is a franking machine?

A franking machine is a device that prints a postage mark directly onto envelopes or adhesive labels, thereby eliminating the need for traditional stamps. This method is not only quicker and more efficient, but it can also offer significant cost savings compared to using regular stamps.

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How much does it cost to rent a franking machine?

The rental cost for franking machines can vary widely depending on the machine’s capabilities, the supplier and the length of the rental agreement. Here are some general price ranges:

  • Basic Models: £15 to £30 per month
  • Mid-range Models: £30 to £50 per month
  • Advanced Models: £100 to £500 per month

These are only estimates, and it’s worth noting that additional costs like maintenance fees or ink cartridges may apply.

Basic models

  1. Mailstart Plus: Approximately £20 per month
    Ideal for small businesses, this user-friendly model manages a moderate volume of mail.
  2. Pitney Bowes DM60: Around £25 per month
    Geared towards low-volume mailers, this model offers integrated weighing scales and reasonable processing speed.
  3. FP Mailing PostBase Qi4: About £28 per month
    This is another good option for smaller businesses. It offers a colour touchscreen interface and some additional features like customisable adverts.

Mid-range models

  1. FP Mailing PostBase Mini: Approximately £40 per month
    Designed for moderate mailing needs, this model offers a colour touchscreen and higher processing speed compared to basic models.
  2. Quadient IS-350: Around £45 per month
    With features like automated date setting and logo printing, this model is suited for businesses that require extra functionalities.
  3. Pitney Bowes DM220i: Approximately £50 per month
    Offering a mix of speed and additional features like cost accounting, this model is well-suited for businesses with more extensive mailing requirements but not in need of an advanced machine.

Advanced models

  1. Pitney Bowes SendPro P3000: Approximately £370 per month
    This high-speed, fully automated model is designed for businesses with large-scale mailing needs and offers features like multiple feeding stations and advanced tracking.
  2. FP Mailing PostBase Vision: Around £285 per month
    Offering advanced technology, this model has a dynamic touchscreen and the ability to integrate with your internal systems.
  3. Quadient IS-6000: Approximately £495 per month
    This model is at the higher end of the advanced category, designed for very high-volume mailing. It comes with features like a power conveyor stacker and cost control capabilities.

Remember, these prices are just estimates and might not include additional costs such as maintenance fees and ink cartridges. Also, discounts and promotional rates may be available for long-term rentals, so be sure to ask your supplier about these options.

Discounts and promotions

Many suppliers offer promotional rates or discounts for longer rental terms, so be sure to ask about these opportunities. Also, some vendors offer a free trial period, which can be a useful way to test whether a franking machine is right for your business.

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Things to consider before renting a franking machine

Volume of mail

The volume of mail your business sends out is a significant factor in deciding what kind of machine to rent. Basic models might suffice for low-volume needs, whereas businesses sending out hundreds or thousands of pieces of mail each month may require advanced models with faster processing speeds and additional features.


Different models come with varying features, such as the ability to frank parcel labels, integrated scales for accurate pricing, and even touch-screen controls. Consider what features are essential for your operations.

Supplier reputation

It’s crucial to rent from a reputable supplier who offers reliable customer service and technical support. Check reviews and ask for recommendations to find a supplier you can trust.

Rental agreement terms

Examine the rental agreement carefully. Make sure you understand the terms, including the length of the contract and what happens if you want to terminate it early.

Postage rates

Franking machines come with the benefit of discounted postage rates. However, these rates can differ from one machine to another. Ensure the machine you’re considering offers competitive rates for the types of mail you’ll be sending.

Rental vs purchase

When it comes to acquiring a franking machine, businesses are often faced with the decision between renting and purchasing. Both options have their pros and cons, and the best choice for your business will depend on various factors like cash flow, volume of mail, and long-term needs.

Advantages of renting

  1. Flexibility: Renting allows you to easily upgrade or downgrade your machine based on your business needs. This can be particularly useful for companies experiencing growth or those that have fluctuating mailing requirements.
  2. Lower upfront costs: Renting eliminates the need for a large initial investment, freeing up capital for other areas of the business.
  3. Maintenance and support: Rental agreements often include servicing and maintenance, ensuring that your machine remains in optimal condition.
  4. Trial and error: If you’re new to franking, renting allows you to try out different machines and features without the commitment of a purchase.

Advantages of purchasing

  1. Ownership: When you purchase a machine, it’s yours to keep. This can be more cost-effective in the long run if you have consistent, high-volume mailing needs.
  2. No ongoing fees: Once you’ve purchased a franking machine, you won’t have to worry about monthly rental fees. However, you will be responsible for maintenance and repair costs.
  3. Tax benefits: Owning a franking machine could offer tax advantages, like the ability to write off the purchase as a business expense.
  4. Customisation: Ownership might give you more freedom to customise the machine to better fit your specific business requirements.

Things to consider

  • Cash flow: If preserving cash flow is a priority, renting may be the more sensible option.
  • Technological obsolescence: Franking technology is continually evolving. Owning a machine may mean you’re stuck with outdated technology, unless you’re willing to invest in a new model.
  • Commitment: Renting requires less commitment than purchasing, making it a safer bet for businesses that are not sure of their long-term mailing needs.

Both renting and purchasing a franking machine have their merits. Renting offers flexibility and lower upfront costs but may be more expensive over time. Purchasing requires a higher initial investment but can be more cost-effective in the long run for businesses with consistent, high-volume mailing needs. Carefully weigh the pros and cons in the context of your business’s specific requirements to make the most informed decision.

FAQ for franking machine rental

What are the advantages of a franking machine rental over purchasing one?

Renting a franking machine provides greater flexibility, lower upfront costs, and often includes maintenance and support. It’s a good option for businesses with fluctuating mailing needs or those who want to try out a machine before committing to a purchase.

How does a franking machine rental agreement typically work?

A franking machine rental agreement usually specifies the monthly rental fee, the length of the rental term, and what is included in the fee, such as maintenance and customer support. The agreement will also outline the conditions for terminating the contract early.

Can I switch models during my franking machine rental period?

The ability to switch models during your franking machine rental period depends on the terms of your rental agreement. Some suppliers offer the flexibility to upgrade or downgrade based on your evolving business needs.

Is maintenance included in my franking machine rental fee?

Maintenance inclusion in the franking machine rental fee can vary by supplier. Some providers include regular maintenance as part of the rental package, while others may charge extra for this service. Always check the rental agreement for specifics.

What should I consider when choosing a franking machine rental supplier?

When selecting a franking machine rental supplier, consider factors like their reputation, customer reviews, the variety of models offered, and the terms of the rental agreement. Make sure to also compare the features of different franking machines to determine which suits your needs best.

Are there any hidden costs in franking machine rental?

While franking machine rental fees are usually straightforward, there may be additional costs like installation charges, maintenance fees, or costs for additional features. Make sure to read the rental agreement carefully to understand all potential costs.

How do I calculate the ROI of a franking machine rental?

To calculate the return on investment (ROI) of a franking machine rental, compare the rental costs against the savings made from discounted postage rates and increased operational efficiency. Also, factor in any additional costs like maintenance or consumables.

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