Total asset finance new business (primarily leasing and hire purchase) grew in January 2023 by 8% compared with the same month in 2022. In the twelve months to January 2023, new business was 6% higher than in the same period in 2022, according to new figures released by the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA).

The commercial vehicle finance and business new car finance sectors reported new business up in January by 9% and 57% respectively, compared with the same month in 2022.  The plant and machinery finance sector reported new business 3% lower over the same period.

Commenting on the figures, Geraldine Kilkelly, director of research and chief economist at the FLA, said:

“The asset finance industry made a positive start to 2023, recording its ninth consecutive month of growth. The strong performance of the vehicle finance sectors reflected an easing of supply shortages.  The latest figures suggest that demand for asset finance from SMEs remained robust, increasing by 13% compared with January 2022.

“The asset finance industry funds as much as 40% of investment in machinery, equipment and vehicles by businesses across the UK.  We urge the Chancellor to recognize the importance of the industry in supporting business investment and improving productivity by ensuring that any new capital allowances regime includes leased assets or those acquired via short-term rental.”

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