Fleet Finance

Friday 16th February | 9 minute read

Fleet finance is a finance facility that enables businesses to acquire, manage, and finance vehicle fleets.

We offer a comprehensive range of vehicle fleet finance solutions for new or used vehicles, including cars, motorcycles, and light and heavy commercial vehicles for business.

The financing options include asset finance, hire purchase (business contract hire), operating lease, finance lease and leasing. Whether you prefer to manage your fleet independently with fleet software or fully outsource fleet management, we have the flexibility and financing solutions to meet every business need.

Our Fleet Finance service

We arrange finance leasing for vehicle assets across various businesses and organisations.

  • Market-leading rates.
  • Fleet finance from £250,000 to £250,000,000.
  • Yellow plant, crane finance, excavator finance, forklift finance, dumper finance, loader finance, telehandler finance.
  • Commercial vehicles, vans, pickup truck finance, refrigerated trucks, trailers, HGV finance.
  • Company cars, from pool cars to executive car fleets and C-suite level.
  • Emergency service and specially adapted vans, cars, boats and aircraft.
  • Available to companies in & England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Examples of Fleet Finance

Finance is available for many passenger vehicles, enabling businesses to spread the acquisition cost over time. Typical examples include:

  • Cars: Sales cars, Sedans, Estates, Luxury cars, Convertibles,  Coupes, Hatchbacks, MPVs, rental fleets and 4x4s.
  • Bus: Buses, minibuses and coaches.
  • Light Commercial: Trucks, Vans, Pick-ups, Taxis and Limousines.
  • Emergency Services: Ambulances, Police cars and vans, Fire engines, Police watercraft and Coastguard boats.
  • Motorcycles: Motorcycles, trikes, quads and ATVs.
  • Aircraft: Light aircraft, Private jets, commercial planes and helicopters.
  • Boats: Bowriders, Catamarans, Cruisers, Deck boats, Dinghies, Ferries, RORO Ferries, Rigid inflatables, Sailboats, Ships, Tankers, Trawlers and Yachts.

Our Fleet Finance Options

The Benefits of Fleet Finance for Your Business

Fleet Finance can bring tangible benefits to any business that needs to access a new asset but doesn't want to use its cash reserves. Here are the top 7 reasons why companies use it.

  • Maintain cash flow
  • Access to tax relief
  • Acquire assets quickly 
  • Gain flexibility to upgrade or replace assets
  • Risk protection against fluctuations in asset prices
  • Affordable payment terms
  • Protect lines of credit and cash reserves

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Why is it called a fleet?
The word fleet comes from the Old English fleot, meaning “ship,” “raft,” or “floating vessel.” Today, we use Fleet to describe a group of vehicles (ships, aeroplanes, lorries, trucks, vans, cars, motorcycles or any other vehicle) belonging to one entity or engaged in the same activity.

What is Fleet Finance?

Fleet finance allows businesses to acquire, manage, and finance vehicle fleets.

This can include cars, vans, trucks, and other vehicles used for business operations. Fleet finance offers flexible, cost-effective solutions to companies, enabling them to optimise their vehicle investments without significant upfront capital expenditure.

There are several types of fleet finance options available, including:

Vehicle Leasing

Businesses can lease vehicles for a set period, paying a monthly fee without owning the vehicles. Vehicle leasing can be done through operating leases (where the business doesn't take on the risks and rewards of ownership) or finance leases (which offer an option to purchase at the end of the lease term).

Vehicle Hire Purchase

Companies can purchase vehicles over time, making regular payments until the full price is covered, known as Vehicle Hire Purchase. At this point, ownership transfers from the financier to the business.

Vehicle Contract Hire

Similar to leasing, Vehicle Contract Hire involves renting the vehicles for a fixed period and returning them at the end of the contract, often with options to include maintenance and servicing within the contract.

Fleet Management

Beyond financing, fleet management offers comprehensive management solutions, including maintenance, fuel management, and disposal of vehicles, helping businesses reduce costs and administrative burdens.

Fleet finance benefits businesses that require multiple vehicles but want to avoid the depreciation costs, maintenance concerns, and capital outlay associated with outright purchase. It provides flexibility to update the fleet regularly, maintain cash flow, and tailor the financing agreement to the business's specific needs.

What types of fleets can be financed?

Any fleet qualifies for finance. We cater to the diverse vehicle needs of businesses across different industries. The flexibility of fleet finance solutions allows for acquiring and managing a wide range of vehicles.

Fleet finance is typically provided to buy/manage the following vehicles.

Passenger Vehicle Finance

Cars for corporate use, sales teams, or employee benefits. 

  • 4x4s
  • City car
  • Convertible
  • Coupe
  • Crossover
  • Electric car
  • Estate
  • Hatchback
  • Luxury car
  • Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV)
  • People carrier
  • Saloon
  • Sedan
  • Sports car
  • Supermini
  • Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV)
  • Truck
  • Wagon

Commercial Vehicle Finance

Vans, pickup trucks, and other light commercial vehicles for deliveries, trades, and services.

Heavy-Duty Vehicle Finance

Trucks, tractor units, and trailers for logistics, transportation, and freight hauling.

Specialised Vehicle Finance

Refrigerated trucks, tow trucks, construction vehicles, and other specialised equipment tailored to specific industry needs.

Public Transport Finance

Buses, minibuses, and coaches for schools, public transport, and private hire.

Utility Fleet Finance

Vehicles equipped for utility services, including electricity, plumbing, cable, and telecommunications.

Emergency ServiceS Fleet Finance

Ambulances, fire engines, and police vehicles are designed for emergency response and public service.

Agricultural Vehicle Finance

Tractors, harvesters, and other agricultural machinery for farming operations.

Recreational Vehicle Finance

Campers, motorhomes, and travel trailers for rental businesses or promotional use.

By financing fleets, businesses can leverage the benefits of having the necessary vehicles for their operations without the upfront costs and depreciation concerns associated with outright purchasing. Fleet finance providers typically offer a range of financing solutions to accommodate the acquisition and management of these diverse vehicle types, ensuring businesses can maintain an efficient, cost-effective fleet.

Why do businesses use fleet finance?

For users of fleet finance, several factors stand out as most important when choosing the right financing solution for their business needs.


The overall affordability of the financing option, including monthly payments, interest rates, and any additional fees or charges.


The ability to tailor the finance agreement to the business's specific needs, including flexible payment terms and the option to adjust the fleet size as required.

Vehicle Selection

Access to a wide range of vehicles that suit the specific operational needs of the business, whether it's cars, vans, or specialised vehicles.

Maintenance and Servicing

Options for including maintenance and servicing within the finance package, reducing the administrative burden and ensuring vehicles are kept in good condition.

Upgrade Opportunities

Fleet vehicles can be upgraded regularly to benefit from the latest technology, safety features, and fuel efficiency without significant financial penalties.

Cash Flow Management

Solutions that help preserve working capital and maintain healthy cash flow by avoiding large upfront costs associated with vehicle purchases.

Risk Management

Minimising the risks associated with vehicle depreciation and the disposal of old vehicles is often handled by the finance provider in leasing arrangements.

Tax and Accounting Benefits

Understanding how financing options affect taxes and accounting, including potential tax advantages or liabilities.

Contractual Terms

Clear, straightforward contractual terms, including clear explanations of what happens at the end of the finance term, such as options to buy the vehicles, return them, or extend the lease.

Reputation and Reliability of the Finance Provider

Working with a reputable and reliable finance provider that offers good customer service and support throughout the agreement term.

These factors ensure that businesses can manage their fleet efficiently and cost-effectively, aligning with their operational requirements and financial objectives.

Are there any disadvantages to fleet finance?

Yes, fleet financing has potential disadvantages, such as the term commitment, cost over time, mileage limits and limited customisation.

Let's take a look at the disadvantages in more detail.

Long-term Commitment

Many fleet finance agreements require a long-term commitment, which might not be ideal for businesses with fluctuating vehicle needs or those uncertain about their long-term requirements.

Cost Over Time

Financing a fleet can be more expensive in the long run than outright purchasing, especially when considering interest rates and finance charges over the lease or loan term.

Mileage Restrictions

Lease agreements often come with mileage limits. Exceeding these limits can result in substantial additional charges, affecting businesses with high-usage needs.

Wear and Tear Charges

At the end of a lease term, businesses may face extra costs for any damage beyond normal wear and tear. This can lead to unexpected expenses if vehicles are not maintained meticulously.

Limited Customisation

Leased or financed vehicles may have limitations on modifications or customisations, which could be a drawback for businesses requiring specific operational adaptations.

Depreciation Risks

The business bears the risk of vehicle depreciation in certain finance agreements, like hire purchases. This can impact the financial return when it comes time to sell or upgrade the fleet.

Ownership and Equity

With leasing options, businesses never build vehicle equity since they do not own them outright. This means there's no asset to sell or leverage at the end of the finance term.

Complexity and Paperwork

Setting up and managing fleet finance agreements can be complex and time-consuming, requiring careful management of contracts, payments, and administrative paperwork.

Early Termination Costs

Exiting a lease or finance agreement early can incur significant penalties, making it costly if the business needs to change unexpectedly.

Approval and Credit Impact

Fleet finance may require a strong credit history, impacting a business’s credit rating. Additionally, using credit for fleet financing may limit the capacity for other loans or lines of credit.

Businesses should weigh these potential disadvantages against the benefits of fleet finance, considering their specific operational needs, financial situation, and long-term goals to make the right decision for fleet finance.

How Does Fleet Finance Work?

Fleet finance streamlines acquiring and managing a fleet of vehicles for business use, offering various financing options tailored to different needs.

Here's an outline of how our fleet finance process works, broken down into steps:

Assessment of Needs

The business assesses its vehicle requirements, including the number, type, and use of vehicles needed for its operations.

Selection of a Fleet Finance Provider

The business researches and selects a fleet finance provider based on terms, costs, services offered, and reputation.

Finance Option Evaluation

The business and the finance provider discuss the available fleet finance options (leasing, hire purchase, contract hire, etc.) and evaluate which best suits the business’s needs and financial situation.

Quotation and Agreement

The finance provider offers a quote detailing the monthly payments, contract length, and any included services (maintenance, insurance, etc.). Upon agreement, both parties sign a finance contract.

Vehicle Selection and Acquisition

Based on the agreed terms, the business selects the vehicles from the options available through the finance provider. The provider then acquires these vehicles on behalf of the business.

Fleet Implementation

The acquired vehicles are delivered to the business, ready for use in operations.

Ongoing Management and Maintenance

The provider may offer maintenance, roadside assistance, and fleet management services depending on the finance agreement. The business utilises these services to keep the fleet operational and efficient.

End-of-Term Options

As the finance agreement nears its end, the business reviews its options, including renewing the lease, purchasing the vehicles, returning them, or upgrading to a new fleet.

Contract Completion or Renewal

The business decides whether to conclude the agreement (returning or buying the vehicles) or enter a new agreement for continued or updated fleet needs.

This process allows businesses to maintain a modern, efficient fleet with predictable costs and minimal capital expenditure, aligning with their operational requirements and financial strategies.

What are the alternatives to fleet finance?

Several options exist for businesses considering alternatives to fleet finance for acquiring and managing their vehicle needs, each with advantages and considerations.

Here are the main alternatives to fleet finance.

Outright Purchase

Using available capital to buy vehicles outright avoids interest payments and finance charges, offering complete ownership and control over the fleet. This option suits businesses with sufficient cash reserves to avoid long-term financial commitments.

Operating Lease

This is similar to fleet finance, but typically without the option to purchase the vehicles at the end of the lease term. An operating Lease is a good choice for businesses looking for short-term use without the responsibility of owning the vehicles.

Business Loan

A loan tailored for commercial entities, a business loan can cover the cost of assets, and the business owns the asset from the outset. Other loans, like a bridging loan, could be used to finance vehicle fleets.

Corporate Car-sharing Services

Subscribing to a corporate car-sharing or vehicle rental service provides flexibility to access vehicles only when needed, reducing costs associated with maintaining a permanent fleet.

Employee Car Allowances

Providing employees with a car allowance to use their vehicles for business can eliminate the need to manage a company fleet. This approach can simplify operations but requires clear policies on usage and reimbursement.

Peer-to-Peer Vehicle Rental

Utilising peer-to-peer rental services for short-term vehicle needs can offer flexibility and cost savings, particularly for businesses with occasional or seasonal requirements.

Vehicle Pooling

Implementing a vehicle pooling system within the organisation can maximise the utilisation of a smaller fleet, reducing the total number of vehicles required and associated costs.

Public Transport

Encouraging public transport through subsidised passes for businesses in urban areas can be an efficient and environmentally friendly alternative to maintaining a fleet.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Subscription Services

Some providers offer EV subscription services, including electric vehicles, charging and maintenance, for a single monthly fee. This can be a cost-effective way to access the latest EV technology without a long-term commitment.

mileage allowance relief

Reimbursing employees for the business use of their personal vehicles based on mileage is another way to avoid the complexities of fleet management. This requires a system to track and verify business-related vehicle use. The mileage allowance relief claim is based on HMRC's approved mileage rates. The 2023 rates are 45p for cars and vans for the first 10,000 miles. After 10,000 miles, the rate changes to 25p per mile.

Each of these alternatives has benefits and challenges, and the best choice will depend on the business's specific needs, financial situation, and operational considerations. 

Is Fleet Financing for me?

From leasing to hire purchase and beyond, this comprehensive guide underscores the strategic advantages of fleet finance, including cash flow management, access to the latest models, and flexibility in fleet management.

With options ranging from cars and motorcycles to heavy-duty vehicles and specialised equipment, Fleet Finance caters to extensive commercial vehicle needs, ensuring businesses can efficiently manage their fleets without compromising their financial health. As businesses navigate the complexities of fleet acquisition and management, embracing Fleet Finance offers a path to enhanced operational efficiency and financial agility, ultimately supporting growth and sustainability in the competitive business landscape.

We're financial experts who arrange Fleet finance (asset finance) for business owners, securing you the best rates and terms from over 200 UK lenders, including private equity firms, investors and family offices.

Get expert assistance today, we're on hand to answer any questions about asset finance.

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Call our friendly team on 01202 612934we're ready to help.

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