Compare asset finance with our finance division at Think Business Loans to help spread the cost of buying business equipment, machinery and more.
Asset finance is a type of lending that can help your business spread the cost of buying any assets you can put on the balance sheet. This includes big-ticket items like plant machinery and vehicles, but also office equipment, fixtures and fittings, and software.
Some types of asset finance, such as hire purchase, finance leases, and operating leases, let you rent this equipment over a specified period. Others allow you to buy the asset and make payments in installments. You can also use asset financing to release cash from any equipment you already own.
There are different types of asset finance, each of which work in slightly different ways. Here are some of the options available to your business:
Commercial hire purchase allows you to buy an asset and spread the cost over time by paying in installments. But you won’t own the asset until you’ve paid your lender back in full.
Instead, your lender will buy a piece of equipment on your behalf and keep ownership of it. Even though you don’t own the asset while you’re repaying the lender, the full value will appear on your balance sheet and you’ll be responsible for any maintenance and insurance.
Business hire purchase often comes with higher monthly fees than other types of asset financing, but you do ultimately own the equipment at the end of the agreement. This type of business finance is often used for higher value items, such as vehicles and machinery, that will still have a resale value when the hire purchase agreement ends.
If you’ve got assets but your business needs a cash injection, refinancing lets you release capital tied up in any equipment you already own. In this situation, the lender buys your asset and leases it back to you.
Lenders usually base their offer on the equity your business holds, which means you might not need to own the asset you’re refinancing (for instance, you might be able to refinance an asset you’re still paying for using hire purchase).
If you refinance an item, you get a cash sum and keep the asset, paying the lender back in a series of fixed monthly repayments. This can be a quick way to free up working capital if you’re prepared to give up ownership of the asset in question.
A finance lease is one of two main types of agreement available for equipment leasing in the UK. Finance leases offer the same benefits as a hire purchase agreement - minus the asset showing on your balance sheet.
This means you can spread the cost of VAT over monthly repayments rather than settling the bill up front - this can be an attractive arrangement for any small business leasing equipment. Finance leases tend to be long-term arrangements that last for most of an asset’s life, but you won’t own the asset at the end of the agreement. Once the lease expires, you can either sell the asset and take a share of the proceeds, return the asset to the lender, or agree a further lease period.
The second of the two main types of equipment finance is an operating lease. This short-term asset finance is a bit like a typical rental agreement in that it offers all the benefits of leasing equipment without the need to commit to a long-term agreement.
An operating lease usually offers more flexibility than you get with some other asset finance solutions and, as with a finance lease, the equipment won’t appear on your balance sheet. This means you can use an asset for however long you need without making a long-term investment.
Every business is unique, so once we know how much you need to borrow and what for, we’ll jump on a quick phone call to discuss your requirements. Our tech-enabled team use smart technology to dig through your asset financing options to find the right solution.
Lenders will need supporting documents that show evidence of company turnover. You can upload these to your account or via an Open Banking connection. Once that’s done, you can check on your application in real-time.
Our iFunds platform allows you to compare a range of business fianance options before applying. This means you can find the best rates from the Think Business Loans panel before making a decision.
Finally, when your application is approved, the team at Think Business Loans will handle all the documents and help make sure you get your funds as soon as possible.
+£450 million funded to UK businesses
5000+ businesses helped
100’s of trusted UK lenders
To help you understand more about asset finance, here are the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.
Asset finance can be used by any business with assets on its balance sheet, whether a limited company, public limited company, partnership or sole trader.
Although you can go directly to a lender to sort an asset finance arrangement, using a broker means you can quickly compare what’s on offer from a range of finance providers to find the solution that’s best for your business.
Asset finance can be used for almost anything. If it’s considered an asset on a balance sheet, it can used as part of an asset finance agreement.
You can use asset financing to get hold of both new equipment or second-hand assets and to release capital from items you already own.
The length of your asset finance agreement depends upon several factors, including the shelf life of the asset and how quickly the lender wants the money back. Agreements usually last for between one and seven years, and you’ll need to provide evidence that your business will be able to keep up with repayments.
Firstly, it allows you to protect your cash flow, as you can avoid paying out large lump sums and split capital investments into a series of payments spread over time.
Also, asset finance agreements tend to be quite flexible. They can be adapted to suit your company’s cash flow and any seasonal shifts in income. Another bonus is their predictability - this means you’ll know how much you’ll be spending in the months ahead.
Because you pay interest to a lender, this can be more expensive than buying equipment outright. And while you won’t technically own the asset, you may still be responsible for maintenance and insurance costs.
If you find you can’t make your monthly payments under an asset finance agreement, the lender will then be able to take the asset away.
Let the team at Think know how much you need to borrow and what you’ll use the finance for. They’ll use smart data to find out more about your business.
The team at Think will compare asset finance from a panel of providers – including high street banks and alternative lenders - to find the right finance for your business.
You then choose the loan you want. Think’s tech-enabled team will answer any questions you have and help with the application to improve your chances of approval.
If you take out a loan, we'll be paid a commission by the lender that is included in the rates we quote.