Difference between Lease Financing Vs. Hire Purchase

Lease finance and hire purchase are the options of financing the assets. These options vary from each other in many aspects viz. ownership of the asset, depreciation, rental payments, duration, tax impact, repairs and maintenance of the asset and the extent of finance.

Starting any business involves a lot of financial planning for acquisition of fixed assets like land, plant and machinery etc. Most entrepreneurs are scared of capital intensive projects due to huge financial commitments. When large capital is involved in the business, an entrepreneur wishes to spread his cost of acquisition of fixed assets over a longer period. A longer period would reduce per year commitment towards the cost of an asset.

The intention is to match the commitment with the revenue generated per year so that the payments are easily manageable without any cash flow mismatch.

Lease and Hire purchase is an exact solution to that kind of financial arrangement where the cash commitment is spread over the life of the asset and on the top, lease financing does not even require any initial capital outflow also. Hence under lease, the entrepreneur can use his capital for other working capital requirements.

Difference between Lease Financing Vs. Hire PurchaseLease:
In simple words, Lease is a financial contract between the business customer (user) and the equipment supplier (normally owner) for using a particular asset/equipment over a period of time against the periodic payments called “Lease rentals”.

The lease generally involves two parties i.e. the lessor (owner) and the lessee (user). Under this arrangement, the lessor transfers the right to use to the lessee in return of the lease rentals agreed upon. A lease agreement can be made flexible enough to meet the financial requirements of both the parties.

Hire Purchase:

Hire Purchase is a kind of instalment purchase where the businessman (hirer) agrees to pay the cost of the equipment in different instalments over a period of time. This instalment covers the principal amount and the interest cost towards the purchase of an asset for the period the asset is utilized. The hirer gets the possession of the asset as soon as the hire purchase agreement is signed. The hirer becomes the owner of the equipment after the last payment is made. The hirer has the right to terminate the agreement anytime before taking the title or the ownership of the asset.

Difference between Lease and Hire Purchase:

  • Ownership of the Asset: In a lease, ownership lies with the lessor. The lessee has the right to use the equipment and does not have the option to purchase. Whereas in hire purchase, the hirer has the option to purchase. The hirer becomes the owner of the asset/equipment immediately after the last installment is paid.
  • Depreciation: In lease financing, the depreciation is claimed as an expense in the books of the lessor. On the other hand, the depreciation claim is allowed to the hirer in the case of hire purchase transaction.
  • Rental Payments: The lease rentals cover the cost of using an asset. Normally, it is derived with the cost of an asset over the asset life. In the case of hire purchase, installment is inclusive of the principal amount and the interest for the time period the asset is utilized.
  • Duration: Generally lease agreements are done for longer duration and for bigger assets like land, property etc. Hire Purchase agreements are done mostly for shorter duration and cheaper assets like hiring a car, machinery etc.
  • Tax Impact: In the lease agreement, the total lease rentals are shown as expenditure by the lessee. In hire purchase, the hirer claims the depreciation of asset as an expense.
  • Repairs and Maintenance: Repairs and maintenance of the asset in the financial lease are the responsibility of the lessee but in operating lease, it is the responsibility of the lessor. In hire purchase, the responsibility lies with the hirer.
  • The extent of Finance: Lease financing can be called the complete financing option in which no down payments are required but in the case of hire purchase, the normally 20 to 25 % margin money is required to be paid upfront by the hirer. Therefore, we call it a partial finance like loans etc.

Businessmen can opt option of lease finance or the hire purchase but they should be analyzed properly as to how much the option suits to the business requirement and situations.

What’s your view on this? Share it in comments below.


  1. Mr Smith   |  Sunday, 08 March 2015 at 1:14 am

    Thanks for explaining in a lucid way.

  2. shams   |  Thursday, 07 May 2015 at 10:18 pm

    Thanks a lot for your effort..
    Q. Under hire purchase of aircraft is hirer demanded to submit bank guarsntees.or any collateral
    Shsms mr.

  3. Seema Adnani   |  Thursday, 25 June 2015 at 10:28 pm

    Hello Shams,

    Not always!

    You would find this article useful http://www.airfinancejournal.com/resources/what-is-aviation-finance.html

  4. mercy elizabeth   |  Saturday, 07 November 2015 at 1:16 am

    Thaxss for de good explanation…on finance lease and hire purchase

  5. tejas   |  Friday, 04 December 2015 at 12:43 am

    Great, it did help me in my exams thanks :)

  6. Lucky chidi   |  Friday, 19 February 2016 at 8:13 pm

    What’s a good example for hire purchase agreement that could also be used as an example for lease financing?

  7. HAMIDU   |  Saturday, 04 June 2016 at 7:21 pm

    can’t i pay big properties like land,house using a hir purchase method?

  8. KUNAL   |  Tuesday, 06 September 2016 at 4:18 pm

    very useful website.

  9. Tirimidh   |  Tuesday, 13 September 2016 at 11:46 pm

    Thanks for the highly educative tutorial

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