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Operating lease explained

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What is an operating lease?

An operating lease is a type of lease which companies use to rent an asset for a fraction of the item’s useful life. An operating lease provides the use of an asset over an agreed contractual period with monthly rental payments.

The operating lease meaning is very easy to understand, it is an equipment lease where a lessee rents an asset for a fraction of its useable life. So, what is an operational lease and how can my business benefit?

This type of lease will normally involve a set time period of 24, 36 or 48 months, depending on your individual requirements. The lessee does not take on any of the rewards or risks relating to the equipment ownership. Instead, the lease is simply a way for a business to rent equipment for a set timeframe.

The monthly payment costs of a business operating lease are based on a variety of factors, including:

  • The cost for the finance company to purchase the equipment.
  • The price of the equipment at the start of the operating lease.
  • In business lease arrangements which involve vehicles, the mileage allowance will be considered.
  • The estimated residual value of the equipment.
  • The interest rates attached to the operating lease agreement.

With so many factors impacts the total cost your business could pay, it is advisable to compare business operating lease options.

If you have not heard of this term, you may be familiar with the term ‘business contract hire’. This term is often used in relation to commercial vehicle leases and is a common type of operating lease example.

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