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Compare asset finance for your business

Compare asset finance with our finance division at Think Business Loans to help spread the cost of buying business equipment, machinery and more.

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What is asset finance?

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.

How does asset finance work?

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:

Hire purchase

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.

Refinancing

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.

Finance lease

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.

Operating lease

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.

How to finance an asset

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.

Asset finance

What is asset finance?
How does asset finance work?
How to finance an asset

Compare asset finance with our finance division Think business loans

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Asset finance FAQs

To help you understand more about asset finance, here are the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

How asset finance comparison works with Bionic and Think

How Bionic Works

You tell us how much
you need to borrow

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.

How Bionic Works

We compare secured business
loans and lenders

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.

How Bionic Works

We’ll take care of your
application

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.

Your Think comparison is free.

If you take out a loan, we'll be paid a commission by the lender that is included in the rates we quote.