Heavy Goods Vehicles
Heavy Goods Vehicles

Transport and haulage finance


The size of the UK’s road haulage industry is staggering.

Road haulage has become a key pillar of the nation’s economy and is essential for the movement of goods around the country. If you’re a transport and haulage business owner or a fleet manager, you’ll be keen to maintain your place in this booming industry and perhaps also to on-develop it.

The challenge

A new tractor unit in 2023 can cost £120,000. Add to that the cost of the trailer and related items and you might easily be facing a large six-figure sum.

Multiply those costs across even a modestly-sized fleet and suddenly the sums become very significant.

For many haulage business owners, their fleet managers and accountants, a key attribute required for survival and success is the efficient use of finance across that fleet. That is not an easy task.

Things such as where and how to source haulage finance and the cost/flexibility of doing so are critically important. That’s where we at ACF Direct can help.

Your options

Given the size of the required capital investment, comparatively few haulage companies have sufficient cash in the bank to make such purchases outright.

It’s also possible that the company accountant would advise against it anyway because there may be more tax-efficient ways of progressing.

If you’re looking for haulage finance, you will typically have one of two generic options:

  • you can enter into an agreement to purchase the vehicle over time from a finance provider. They will have bought the vehicle to begin with and will be the legal owner until such time as you’ve made the final monthly repayment at the end of the repayment period. In the meantime, you’ll be able to use the vehicle as its registered keeper.

This is the simple-to-use and tried and tested Hire Purchase (HP) approach;

  • you can lease the vehicle from the owning company. Broadly speaking, this is comparable to renting a vehicle and you are not and never will be the vehicle’s owner (though some schemes may offer you a final purchase option).

This often involves choosing between Finance and Operational leasing models. This largely affects how you would account for your monthly lease payments, treating them as either a P&L expense or as an item on your balance sheet.

So, if you’re say looking to increase the book valuation of your company, a financing approach that adds the asset to your balance sheet might be more advantageous to one that does not. It could, of course, be exactly the opposite if you were looking to minimise your P&L taxable profits by taking as much expense as possible against those.

How we can help

We are expert providers of haulage finance solutions with a long track record of helping companies find cost-effective solutions.

It’s impossible to say which financing solution might be suited to your business needs until such time as we’ve had an initial scoping discussion with you and possibly your accountant. For example, the accounting treatment of say an operational lease product might be advantageous to companies who have certain objectives but less so for others.

In order for us to assist you with appropriate haulage finance, you will typically require:

  • some form of financial contribution towards the cost of purchase (often referred to as “the deposit”) in the case of HP;
  • the business may need to pass some financial background checks.

We’d welcome your contact for further information and are standing by waiting to help you find haulage finance that’s suitable.