Office Coffee Machine Rental Explained

Posted by Andrew Steen on

Office Coffee Machine Rental Explained

Coffee Machine Rental: Insider Guide

If you’re thinking about renting or leasing a office coffee machine, please read my insider’s guide first.

I’ll explain:

  • The difference between office coffee machine RENTAL and LEASE deals.
  • How pricing works when renting a hot drinks machine
  • Why you should think twice before renting a hot drinks machine for your office.

    Our family has been in the vending machine business in the UK for over 40 years, so I do have insider knowledge of the office coffee machine market.

    I often get asked for rental options on our leading brands of coffee machines. It can be confusing for small companies and organizations - who are looking to spread the cost of their hot drinks machine purchase -  to work out if rental is a viable option.

    The advice I give to my customers is always honest and up-front. Whilst there are benefits of renting a hot drinks machine – particularly for a small organization with limited spare capital to outlay upfront - there are also pitfalls.

    To make your decision between renting, leasing or outright purchasing an office coffee machine, you need you need to understand the lifetime costs of each option. Make sure you are totally clear on how much of the cost for each machine model is fixed or committed, and how much can be flexible as your business develops and grows.

    Coffee machine LEASE deals versus RENTAL deals explained

    The simple difference between a coffee and tea machine lease and a coffee machine rental is that at the end of your lease term you own the machine, whereas with rental you do not. Leasing spreads the cost over a set number of months (depending on your deal), and at the end of this period the coffee machine is owned by your company or organization. This means it retains value for your business – it could be refurbished and sold on, or you could continue to use it without having to make monthly payments any more. 

    Renting a coffee machine simply means it is on loan to your business. It is maintained and serviced by the office coffee machine provider and the ‘title’ (ownership) of the machine remains with them. People wanting new cars often pay for them on a rental basis, trading them in every three years. The MOT and breakdown cover is paid for by the rental company to make it a hassle-free way to have access to a car. Renting a hot drinks machine can work in much the same way.

    For providers, leasing machines is favourable. Once a competitive purchase price is set the provider can simply pass that price over to a leasing company, who will pay that price to the provider and enter into a deal with the customer to recover their money. This means that the coffee machine provider will recover the purchase price of the machine immediately. Renting out machines however, is much riskier. The provider has to pay for the machine upfront and then only slowly recover the cost - this will be reflected in the price you pay to rent the equipment.

    How coffee machine rental pricing works

    The simple answer to this is that coffee machine rental prices have to be set on an individual basis. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits all pricing structure. Providers have to take into account the distance your company is from their offices, and the stability of your company finances. If you have a relationship with the provider, or they know or understand your business or organization, and this will work in your favour. Essentially, providers of office coffee machines want to ensure that the machine will be looked after during the rental term and that they won’t have to chase up rental payments in arrears. We at Office Barista are happy to rent machines if your company is the right fit – we do so because we want our customers to feel they have all the options in front of them.

    Renting office hot drinks equipment means that the machine is serviced and owned by the provider, so you needn’t worry about it. But bear in mind that providers like us here at Office Barista can only really rent machines locally. When people purchase a coffee machine from us, we provide extended warranties and 48 hour repair or replacement, anywhere in the UK or Ireland. We are happy to do this because we are so confident in the quality of our machines - the costs associated with the rare occasion when we have to pay one of our partner organisations to repair the machine, or a courier to pick-up a faulty machine and deliver a replacement are acceptable because they are spread across all the machines we have sold. 

    Rental is different in that we know that we will definitely incur pick-up costs on every machine (at the end of the rental term), plus the costs of servicing the machine should it be required.  And as the machine remains our property, we may want to check on its condition during the rental term. As such it is simply not financially viable to rent a machine to a company 500 miles away. In particular, we are happy to rent coffee machines out to companies in and around Glasgow, Belfast and across Northern Ireland. We will consider other locations on a case by case basis.  

    Why you should think twice before renting a hot drinks machine for your office

    Overall Value - As with any rental, you will pay more over time than simply buying the machine outright, and you will usually also pay more than if you lease a machine. Unlike a lease, at the end of your rental period you will not own a coffee machine.  

    Flexibility - You need to be sure that the terms of your contract are sufficiently flexible, should your business change or develop over time. If you move premises 300 miles away, the provider may no longer be happy to service the machine in your new location. If your machine is no longer right for your company (due to company expansion or reduction in staff) you may have to pay an exit fee to end your rental term early. Make sure your accounts team understands what the terms of the rental are, and what you are liable for.  

    Drinks Pricing - Watch out for rental deals that ask you to purchase a minimum or set number of drinks. I try to advise my customers to purchase their drinks as and when they need them – this is nearly always more cost effective. Committing to a set number of drinks or other consumables at the start of a rental term can mean paying more. It can be difficult to predict what quantity or mixture of drinks you will require for your office, and you will have committed to a price per drink, meaning you can’t take advantage of future price drops or special offers.  The last thing you need is a box of 200 peppermint teas that no-one in your office wants to drink – it’s simply money down the drain.


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    How to rent an office coffee machine

    If you’re looking for a coffee machine for business purposes, but are unsure about committing to the up-front cost, renting a hot drinks machine can offer a great way to budget your finances on a month by month basis - provided you are comfortable with the downsides I’ve outlined above, and still get the coffee cup you deserve.

    If you think renting an office hot drinks machine could be right for your business, please get in touch with me (Andrew) or Jamie now. We will be happy to give you honest expert advice and pricing terms for renting.  Call today on  028 90 826 111 or email


    Andrew Steen
    MD Office Barista

    "I always say to anyone looking for a coffee machine rental or lease – “Why would you do anything that takes you away from understanding the capital cost of the equipment (the coffee machine itself) and the products required for that equipment (your drinks packages). Sometimes renting the machine can muddy the waters somewhat."