Cost Per Click (CPC) Printing Explained

What is Cost Per Click Printing?

Cost per click (CPC) printing is a pricing model where you pay your printer supplier based on the number of pages you print rather than paying for toner or ink upfront. With CPC printing, you essentially "rent" the printer and pay a fee each time you print a page.

This is usually for office or business machines and includes all the support and consumables except paper although more consumer cost per click models are coming out.

How Does CPC Printing Work?

  • The print provider installs a printer in your office that tracks how many pages are printed.
  • You pay a flat rate per page printed, often between £0.002 to £0.01p mono per page and £0.02 to £0.10p colour depending on volume and coverage.
  • The print provider handles all supplies and maintenance on the printer.
  • You receive regular invoices based on your page counts.

What are the Benefits of CPC Printing?

  • Predictable budgeting - You know exactly what printing will cost per month based on use.
  • No upfront costs - There is no need to purchase a printer or stock up on toner.
  • Worry-free maintenance - The print provider handles all supplies, repairs, and maintenance.
  • Scales with use - You only pay for what you print, so costs scale up and down with your printing needs.

What to Look for in a CPC Contract

When evaluating CPC contracts, here are some key considerations:

  • Cost per page - Compare rates across providers. Consider volume discounts.
  • Page limits - Some contracts have monthly page allotments. Excess pages may cost more.
  • Length of contract - Contracts are typically 3-5 years offer more flexibility. But the longer the better as it will be at the end of a contract you will need it more
  • Agreement - It should be inline with your lease
  • Excess prints - Having to pay prints after the contract has ended
  • Printer models - Contract should specify printer(s) provided and replacement schedules.
  • Service and support - Look for providers with fast response times for repairs.
  • Billing terms - Understand payment schedules and overage fees if applicable.
  • Other costs - Look out for scanning, IT support costs, machine return, delivery etc.

Is CPC Printing Right for Your Business?

CPC printing is best suited for businesses with variable and unpredictable printing needs. It helps avoid wasting money on excess toner or ink. With modern advancement it is usually the most economical option for large print volumes.

Consider your unique printing requirements when evaluating CPC. Be aware of the total cost of ownership, the running costs of a machine can be significantly more than the actual machine itself.

Estimated Printing Costs in the UK

Here are approximate usual costs for black and white and colour printing in the UK on a cost per click contract:

  • A4 page: £0.003 mono and £0.03 colour per page
  • A3 page: £0.006 mono and £0.06 colour per page

Actual costs vary by monthly volume, printer models, coverage and provider. Request quotes to compare pricing.

Key Takeaways on CPC Printing

  • Only pay only for pages printed
  • You should only need to worry about supplying the paper
  • If what you print has a lot of coverage you could be responsible for ink and toner over 5% coverage
  • The service provider is responsible for all the ink, toner, parts, engineer call outs and repairs
  • They may install software to monitor the machine for consumables, errors, meter readings and to make adjustments to the machines
  • It unpredictable budgeting based on usage, so if you print alot one month you will be in for a big bill.
  • Some machines can be configured to click more than once per copy (Watch out for this especially on Ricoh machines)
  • Look out for month/quarterly additional charges for scanning, IT, ink and toner delivery that many copier supplier companies don't charge
  • The best rule of thumb is do not let them put prints in to the lease
  • Becareful of minimum billing
  • Read the contract, it could have other surprises
  • Ideal for variable print volumes
  • Compare contract terms and per page costs
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