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Is Leasing equipment cheaper than hire purchase

Many businesses contact us assuming obtaining leasing facilities for new equipment will be a) easier to obtain and b) cheaper than a traditional hire purchase facility. The answer is monthly repayments and ease of obtaining credit is exactly the same. The only difference being slightly different tax treatment. Which finance facility is best for your business depends on your own requirements and preferences.

In both cases the supplier will expect full payout of their invoice and therefore the hirer will be repaying the full cost of the equipment plus interest wheher it is hire purchase or finance lease.  The differing tax treatment is as follows.

With hire purchase all the VAT is paid up front and at the end of the final payment legal title passes to the customer. The equipment is shown in the customers balance sheet as an asset with a corresponding liability for the hire purchase element. The asset or equipment  is written down on a reducing balance basis and as  much as 50% of the capital cost of the equipment can be claimed  in the first year. Therefore  hire purchase may be more tax efficient in the first year especially if the business is making large profits.

With finance lease the vat is spread over the term of the lease agreement therefore from a cash flow point of view it can help businesses that are short of cash. Instead of claiming writing down allowances the monthly payment is offset in the profit and loss account and as such the full taxable benefit is obtained in exactly the same number of years of the term of the agreement. The big disadvantage of a finance lease facility is that the hirer cannot get direct title at the end of the agreement. A finance lease agreement will kick into secondary or peppercorn rentals usually the equivalent of one months payment on an annual basis. Title is usually obtained by selling the goods to a third party and retaining 90-95% of the sale proceeds.

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XL Business Finance Ltd is a privately owned and independent business financing company with established links to many of the UK's leading finance houses. XL Business Finance provides a viable alternative to high street banks that lack the flexibility and imagination to provide a solution to most business users requirements. XL Business Finance can provide a full range of business financing solutions and we ensure a high level of customer service and pride ourselves on quick decisions. Our independent status will ensure any offer of funding and asset finance leasing is best suited to our customer’s needs.

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