Asset finance is an umbrella term that covers a variety of options for businesses that need to protect cash flow or find ways to buy new equipment and machinery without the high initial costs. So what are the options for businesses and which one is most likely to suit you?

HP or lease purchase
If your aim is to buy equipment for your business and eventually own it outright, then HP or lease purchase is a good option. You will be able to pay off the cost either in lump sums or structure repayments to suit your cash flow.

Finance lease
If ownership of equipment or machinery is less of a concern then finance leasing gives you the option to rent it for an agreed period. With this option you can offset your rental payments against your tax liability and less of your money will be committed up front protecting your vital cash flow.

Sale and leaseback
This option allows you to release money tied up in assets. This cash can then be put back into the business.

Operating lease
You may require specialist equipment only for a short period to satisfy the needs of a short term contract for example. In this case an operating lease offers flexibility and you can rent equipment for the period where your business needs it.

Contract hire
This is one way to avoid the costs of owning depreciating assets.

Contract purchase
This works in a similar way to hire purchase but you won’t be required to take the option of ownership at the end of the agreement.