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Home » Finance » Sources of Finance » Leasing

Leasing

Leasing is a contract between the leasing company, the lessor, and the customer (the lessee). The leasing company buys and owns the asset that the lessee requires. The customer hires the asset from the leasing company and pays rental over a pre-determined period for the use of the asset. There are two types of leases:

Finance Leases

Under a finance lease the rental covers virtually all of the costs of the asset therefore the value of the rental is equal to or greater than 90% of the cost of the asset. The leasing company claims writing down allowances, whilst the customer can claim both tax relief and VAT on rentals paid.

Operating Leases

The lease will not run for the full life of the asset and the lessee will not be liable for its full value. The lessor or the original manufacturer or supplier will assume the residual risk. This type of lease is normally only used when the asset has a probable resale value, for instance, aircraft or vehicles.

The most common form of operating lease is known as contract hire. Essentially, this gains the customer the use of the asset together with added services. A very common example of an asset on contract hire would be a fleet of vehicles.

Residual Values

A residual value is the value of the asset at the end of the lease term. Residual values play an important role in an operating lease that is used in conjunction with equipment that retains value at the end of the contract period. The residual value will be left out of the rental calculation. Either the leasing company or a third party will take the risk that the asset will not be worth the amount of the residual value at the end of the lease.

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