Bluestone Leasing Announce Steppingstones to Success in 2021

Hayley Mackenzie joined Bluestone Leasing’s marketing team in May 2021. During the interview process, we decided to turn the tables by asking her to interview our managing director and marketing manager about the business and its future plans. We then asked her to turn her first impressions into an article. This is what she wrote.

With so many businesses reeling from the financial hardship and uncertainty of 2020, Bluestone Leasing’s asset finance services and expertise are needed now more than ever. After so much societal change, general distrust of the financial industry, and the undeniable impact that the internet has had on buyer habits, the team at Bluestone have decided to make some changes.

To find out what 2021 and beyond looks like for Bluestone Leasing, I met with managing director, Vineesh Madaan, and marketing manager, Charlie Brook. 

Who are Bluestone Leasing?

Starting and running a business can feel like stepping into a fast-moving river. You are using all your energy just to stay upright but, with sinking sand under your feet, standing still is not an option. Now and again an unexpected branch or a strange-looking creature comes downstream, threatening to throw you off balance. You can see the other side of the river and what you need to do to reach it, but every step you take increases the risk of falling beneath the surface.

What you need is a sturdy steppingstone to stand on, followed by another, and another, so you can continue to move forward for as long as it takes to reach the stability of the opposite bank. For 25 years, the team at Bluestone Leasing have been providing those steppingstones for thousands of UK businesses through asset finance.

Bluestone Leasing is a finance broker for businesses looking to develop or expand without parting with a big chunk of money all at once. In the beginning, the company focused on financing technology for businesses, but has since opened its doors to just about every type of business asset you can think of.

Bluestone can provide finance for a wide range of projects valued between £1,000 to £2.5 million, from office technology, furniture, and software to complete office renovations. Whether a family-run chippie needs a new fryer, or a digital marketing agency is embarking on a million pounds worth of office upgrades, Bluestone Leasing can help businesses to spread to cost and keep cash in the business where it is needed.

Why are Bluestone Leasing making changes?

Historically, Bluestone Leasing has grown organically, and their success has been largely due to the team’s ability to create and sustain long-term relationships by providing expert and honest advice. Bluestone are committed to ethical and transparent lending and will never advise a customer to take out asset finance if it is not right for their business. They are not interested in anything other than mutually financially beneficial arrangements.

“For us, a finance arrangement is only a success if it is a win-win for us and our customer,” says Vineesh, the company’s managing director, “but the same cannot be said of all finance brokers.”

Vineesh Madaan

Unfortunately, in the world of business asset finance, many brokers will prioritise their own profit over what is best for their customer. Due to well-publicised unscrupulous conduct and the numerous scandals that haunt the financial industry, many people are apprehensive or sceptical about dealing with finance brokers. Bluestone want to challenge the way finance brokers are perceived, and to show people that they can be trusted.

How are they going to do it?

To date, the company have not invested much time or money into outbound marketing, but in late 2020 Bluestone Leasing brought on their first marketing manager, Charlie Brook. Charlie has big ambitions for the company, to be delivered through a more proactive marketing strategy.

“Modern buyers want transparency and honesty. Thanks to the internet, a business owner who is considering asset finance can do their own research. A lot of the time, they have almost made up their mind about what they are going to do before they pick up the phone to speak to an advisor.”

Charlie Brook

With greater investment in marketing that showcases the company’s expertise and transparent approach, Bluestone Leasing aim to become the go-to source of knowledge and support for UK businesses looking for asset finance. Whether someone is looking for honest advice about the pros and cons of asset finance, or they have already done their own research and are ready to set up a finance arrangement, Bluestone want to help.

“Buyers take longer to trust companies, so we need to put more power in the customer’s hands by providing them with the knowledge they need to make the best decision for their business.”

Charlie Brook

The company is investing in their website to bring multiple software programs, knowledge, advice, and customers relationships together. Bluestone Leasing will offer one integrated, transparent, and accessible online platform to be used by staff, partners, and customers. Bluestone are also passionate about investing in their staff as individuals and giving them the support they need to succeed.

“We need to put a human face on the business, so we are empowering staff members to build their own personal brand and to have the confidence to give open and honest advice to their clients. The happier and more fulfilled staff are in their role and the more opportunities they have to grow, the better they perform, and the better service they will provide.”

Vineesh Madaan

The company’s customer facing team used to be structured according to the type of asset being financed, i.e., technology or furniture, but Bluestone will now have regional account managers. This means that customers and partners will be assigned a particular team member depending on where they are in the UK, so they will deal with the same person no matter what it is that they need.

Why Bluestone?

At the end of my meeting with Vineesh and Charlie, I leave with one question still on my mind. Why did they call the company Bluestone?

I asked if the name has any special significance, or metaphorical meaning, and was told that it was originally called Wise Leasing before being renamed Bluestone Leasing in 2007. At the time, management asked the staff to lead the change by putting forward their own name suggestions. Bluestone was one of many on the table, but Vineesh tells me that it was the most popular and, quite simply, felt like a good fit.

Leaving their offices, I also like the name Bluestone, but I am not sure why. When I arrived home, I looked up the literal definition of bluestone, and it seems to me that there is more of a connection between Bluestone Leasing and its geological namesake than even they realise.

Bluestone is not a specific geological term but is used to describe over 20 different types of rock. What all bluestone rocks have in common is that they are made up of lots of diverse sediments, formed organically over time, and only made possible by the movement of water.

The company stands out against an otherwise dull background. Bluestone Leasing are not afraid to do things a little differently and to stand out in what is often deemed a complex and dry industry. Bluestone know that they are not like other finance brokers, and that is fine by them.

A bluestone rock remains strong despite the fast-moving water around it and can even become stronger because of it. The metaphor only got stronger when Vineesh said, “We want to create a legacy, and to become a firmly rooted company that is not going to be swept away”. Bluestone Leasing have also formed organically over time, and the company is made up of lots of diverse individuals with unique talents. They recognise that, just like bluestone, they grow stronger when they value and nurture the diversity and strength of each person in the team. And, finally, continued success will only be possible through movement, not of water, but of openness, learning, and innovation.

In 2022, Bluestone Leasing want to help more businesses than ever before by financing the steppingstones they need to travel across the river. Through proactive marketing, a more personalised approach to customer relationship management, continued commitment to transparency, and a genuine desire to empower staff, partners, and customers to achieve all that they can, I am convinced that they will succeed.

Why is debt a dirty word in the UK?

If you had to choose one adjective to describe how you are feeling about your business’ future right now, what would it be?





If so, that’s music to our ears, but for many business owners, the unknowns of a post-pandemic future make them feel, at best, anxious, and at worst, terrified.

Of course, fear affects everyone differently. For some it is a catalyst, a reason to take action and fight back, but for others it is a paralyzer. Taking no action and treading water might feel like a safer option, but that is not how businesses grow. Upwardly mobile businesses need assets, the latest technology, functional workspaces, a motivated and productive team, and, of course, cash in the bank.

When used by the right businesses in the right way, finance leasing is a great way to fund those assets and instigate growth, while simultaneously keeping hold of their precious cash.

Why, then, are some business owners scared of finance leasing?

Debt is a dirty word in the UK

One of the best parts of being an asset finance broker is seeing the positive impact that the funding we secure for a customer has on their business, their aspirations and their growth. Whether it is spreading the cost of that new IT system (or even software license renewals), financing the fit out of an office space or refinancing existing plant and machinery, ultimately the outcome is always positive.

Plus, many companies get to unlock significant tax benefits when choosing finance above cash whilst others are able to avoid normal budget restraints, deliver the project they want and start returning benefit to all their stakeholders.

However, despite the positive outcomes, some business owners are still apprehensive about using asset finance.

A survey by The British Bank found that over 42% of UK SMEs they surveyed do not currently use finance and are unwilling to do so whilst 68% agreed that “their aim was to pay down debt and remain free if possible”. We want to be able to puff our chests out and, like a badge of honour, declare we are debt free. We are proud not to use finance.

Culturally, that puts us somewhat at odds with many other developed countries. Take, for example, our near European neighbours in France and Germany. No one really considers buying property there until retirement (possibly) whereas, here in the UK, home ownership is seen as one of the key indicators of a “successful” life. Australians are too busy spending their money enjoying life rather than sinking it into ‘stuff’ whilst our cousins in the USA would raise a Vulcan eyebrow at our determination to pay cash for everything.


The finance industry has failed to educate or empower

Wrapped up in our cultural insecurities around finance is also a great deal of ignorance and misinformation which prevents businesses from doing anything other than paying for assets in cash.

Partly this is the fault of the wider finance industry. For too many years, too many supposed experts have cloaked the relatively simple concept of leasing in a mantle of techno-babble and confusing small print. Hardly surprising then that those responsible for making financial decisions in a business, self-confessed non-experts in this dark art of leasing, at best approach it warily or, perhaps, not at all.

We’ve worked hard at Bluestone Leasing to over the years to do the exact opposite – to demystify the mechanics, to present the offer in a clear and easily understood manner and to employ ethical and transparent paperwork throughout. There is clearly much more for us and others in our sector committed to these principles to do.

Awareness of alternative finance products, and indeed providers, is another factor. Survey data has consistently shown that, outside of standard overdrafts, bank loans and credit cards, most businesses are simply not aware of other financial products.

We see this every day at Bluestone. Our Interiors division specialise in financing the interior fit out for companies looking to relocate or refurbish their existing building. They are almost always surprised to learn that they can pay for their workspace much like they do their building, on a lease and spread over time. When they go on to learn that they can often also include all their costs (including labour and fees) and save significant amounts of tax too, they are amazed.

Thinking of investing in assets for your business? Want to make the most of the super-deduction tax benefit but not sure where to start? We can help. Click here to get in touch.

Finance leasing is surrounded by myths and misconceptions

Fear and ignorance are not exactly great motivators for changing behaviour but how real are those fears?

Myth 1. Leasing is complicated

It can appear that way but it really is quite straightforward. Choose a professional advisor, not just one that specialises in asset finance, but one that gives you confidence that they know their onions and is able to articulate the concept clearly and comprehensively. If you come away from that call or meeting still scratching your head, choose again.

Myth 2: Leasing is expensive

Too often clients are fixated on a rate, APR or cost in isolation. Although what you will be paying back is important, try to look at the bigger picture and factor in all the benefits that you are getting that you might not get with either cash or, let’s say, a bank loan. Tax savings, the ability to spread costs and the VAT and the opportunity cost of using cash to name just a few.

Myth 3: We are cash-rich, we don’t need to lease

You’ve got plenty of cash? Now how about making that cash work for you instead of sinking it into depreciating assets that only return value over time? Take a look at the list of clients on our website and you’ll see there’s a reason why 97% of FTSE top 250 companies use leasing. Ultimately it is less about how much cash you have and much more about how well you use it.

Myth 4: I should use my own bank when I want to finance

Asset finance is a specialist area and, put bluntly, not a forte for most high street banks. An established asset finance business of reasonable size should be able to provide access to a myriad of alternative funders for you all focused on this arena – just make sure that they are truly independent so that they take a whole of market approach and don’t just offer their own, in-house funding.

In our case, the panel is now in excess of 50 and over two thirds of our funders are not accessible to you directly. At the very least, you should compare what your bank can offer against these alternatives.

Finally think carefully whether or not using one bank exclusively for all your finance needs is sensible for you. Consider the idea of spreading your risk and retaining those credit lines with your existing funder(s) for when you need them.

In reality, finance leasing is everywhere

The reality is that it is actually quite rare to find someone who doesn’t use some form of finance in their daily life. Aside from the usual suspects (property and cars), we are all surrounded by finance agreements. From the ubiquitous mobile phone contract, through to digital media subscriptions (Sky, BT, Netflix, Spotify, Amazon, Apple etc.) and even home insurance, all are rental agreements where an element of the amount we pay covers the cost of funds, or interest to you and me.

Suppliers work hard to hide these fact from us (that £2,500 interest-free sofa is really a £2,150 sofa with the interest built in) because they too recognise our cultural hang ups. In business, look at how many things are now being offered on a subscription or “as a service” model.

Admittedly, slowly and generationally, attitudes are changing. As already mentioned, the principle of subscribing to all manner of services is increasing popular and demand driven, which is a good indication that attitudes are shifting.

Using finance should never be scary

The truth is that you cannot decide whether finance leasing is the right choice for your business until you understand it, and this is something Bluestone Leasing can help you with. We can analyse whether or not the numbers stack up, match commercial requirements to available funders and terms, and even do detailed tax comparisons of using capital versus choosing to lease.

Most of the time finance leasing makes complete sense but, there are occasions when it doesn’t. However, you can rest assured that if finance leasing is not right for your business, we will be honest and transparent about it. We have no interest in arranging finance deals that will not benefit businesses both in the short and long term.

Like many things that, on face-value, look sinister, once you take a proper look and understand how they work, you realise there is nothing to be scared of. When you work with a finance broker who not only helps you to understand finance leasing, but also empowers you to make the best possible choice for your business, finance leasing holds no real monsters.

If you are a business owner wanting to invest in assets while keeping cash in your business, get in touch with Bluestone Leasing. We can help you to decide if it is the right financial move for your business, and if it is, we will help you understand how taking out a finance lease could benefit your business both in the short and long term.

Want to find out more about investing in assets using a finance lease? Click here to get in touch.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s the Super-deduction

When Rishi Sunak stepped forward to deliver the March budget, he must have felt the eyes of every business owner in the UK on him. More than 12 months into the COVID-19 pandemic that has devastated our economy, how was the government going to stimulate investment and growth? How would Mr Sunak inject some much-needed hope? Would he be wearing a red cape, waving a magic wand, or brandishing a giant mythical hammer?

No such luck, but he did come out armed with a metaphorical tax hammer and some almost magical words for UK businesses: “Today I can announce the ‘Super Deduction’.”

PLEASE NOTE: The super-deduction is only available to companies paying corporation tax, not to individuals, sole traders, or partnerships paying income tax.

What is the super-deduction?

After one of the worst periods in recent economic history, the government’s message to both consumers and businesses is the same: Spend, spend, and then spend a little more. Please.

Unfortunately, with so many businesses focusing on trying to keep their heads above water, investing in new assets is unlikely to be top of their to-do list.

To ease – or kick – businesses into action, the government has announced the super-deduction. By knocking up to 25p off their tax bills for every £1 spent on qualifying plant and machinery between April 2021 and March 2023, the plan is to encourage companies to invest, and therefore grow, sooner rather than later.

What’s so super about the super-deduction?

Prior to the super-deduction, under the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA), companies could deduct 100% (up to £1 million) of the cost of assets from their taxable profits. As of April 2021, companies paying corporation tax can deduct up to 130% of the cost of new assets from their taxable profits.

To illustrate the potential savings on offer for UK companies that pay corporation tax, here are a couple of examples.

Company A – spending £100,000 on qualifying assetsCompany B – spending £500,000 on qualifying assets
Before super-deductionVia the AIA, the company deducts £100,000 (100% of the cost of the assets) from their taxable profits.

When corporation tax is applied to taxable profits at 19%, they receive a £19,000 reduction on their corporation tax bill.
Via the AIA, the company deducts £500,000 (100% of the cost of the assets) from their taxable profits.

When corporation tax is applied to taxable profits at 19%, they receive a £95,000 reduction on their corporation tax bill.
After super-deductionVia the super-deduction, the company deducts £130,000 (130%) from their taxable profits.

When corporation tax is applied to the remaining taxable profits at 19%, Company A receive a £24,700 reduction on their corporation tax bill.
Via the super-deduction, the company deducts £650,000 (130%) from their taxable profits.

When corporation tax is applied to the remaining taxable profits at 19%, Company B receive a £123,500 reduction on their corporation tax bill.
Additional tax savings due to the super-deduction£5,700£28,500

Is it really that simple?

When are taxes simple? These examples have been included for illustrative purposes only, as every business’ financial situation and investment will be different. For example, restrictions may apply if an accounting period straddles the dates of the schemes, and not all assets are eligible for the super-deduction. There are also ‘clawback rules’ on super-deduction investments which might mean that businesses could be charged significantly if they sell the items at a later date. The super-deduction is a final tax relief which means it will be applied after all other tax deductions in that tax year. The super-deduction cannot create a taxable loss.

Thinking of investing in assets for your business? Want to make the most of the super-deduction tax benefit but not sure where to start? We can help. Click here to get in touch.

What will happen when the super-deduction ends?

Shockingly, the government is not offering the super-deduction out of the kindness of their hearts. The super-deduction is a temporary incentive intended to get the economy moving as soon as possible.

From 1st April 2023, corporation tax will increase from 19% to 25% for companies with over £250,000 in taxable profits, and without careful planning, those businesses will find that their super-deduction benefits will be nullified once they are paying the higher tax rate. For companies with less than £50,000 in taxable profits corporation tax will remain at 19%.  Businesses with taxable profits between £50,000-£250,000 will pay the main rate reduced by marginal relief.

The AIA’s upper threshold of up to £1 million will only be available until 31st December 2021 when it will reduce to £200,000.

It is important to seek professional and bespoke financial advice for your business to ensure that you make the most of the super-deduction scheme while it is available and that you have planned for future rises in corporation tax.

Which companies are entitled to claim the super-deduction?

The super-deduction is available to companies of all sizes, as long as they pay corporation tax, and the assets they are investing in are eligible.

The super-deduction is not available to individuals, sole traders or partnerships.

In addition to the super-deduction, the government has also announced that within Freeport tax sites, companies can access Enhanced Capital Allowances (ECA+), and that companies, individuals, and partnerships can access an increased level of Structures & Building Allowances (SBA+) until 30th September 2026.

Which assets are eligible for the super-deduction?  

According to HMRC, “Most tangible capital assets used in the course of a business are considered plant and machinery for the purposes of claiming capital allowances.”

To qualify for the super-deduction, the assets must be new and unused, so second-hand equipment will not be eligible. 

Examples of eligible plant and machinery assets include, but are not limited to:

  • Solar panels
  • IT equipment and servers
  • Office desks and chairs
  • Tractors, lorries and vans (not cars)
  • Refrigeration units
  • Electric vehicle charge points
  • Foundry equipment
  • Compressors
  • Drills, ladders, cranes
  • Tools
  • Business mobile phones
  • Air conditioning.

The super-deduction first year allowance of 130% will apply on qualifying main rate plant and machinery like those listed above, but special rate and long life assets will only qualify for 50% first year allowance (FYA).

The government has provided the following table as a guide to which investments are eligible for which tax benefits. This table was correct as of 28th April 2021, but the most recent information can be found here: Super-deduction – GOV.UK (

Bought newBought 2nd-handAssets held for leasingMain rate assetsSpecial rate assetsNew disposal rules
Super-deduction (130% FYA)XXX
Special Rate (50% FYA)XX
Annual Investment Allowance (100% up to £1 million)XXXXX
Writing Down Allowances (18%)XXXX
Writing Down Allowances (6%) XXXX
Freeports (100% ECA, uncapped)XXX

Are assets purchased on finance eligible for the super-deduction?

There are some additional conditions to be aware of if you are using finance to buy your assets. Specifically, the super-deduction only applies to “the person to whom [the equipment] is bailed or hired is the person who incurs the expense”. To ensure this, the following conditions need to be met in order for a financed asset to qualify for the super-deduction:

  • You are paying a periodical sum and in return plant and machinery assets are “bailed” (hired) to you.
  • Eventually you can end up owning those assets (such as by exercising an option to purchase or paying a fee).
  • The person hiring/receiving the goods is the one paying for it (to ensure that the business rather than the finance lender benefits).

How to take advantage of the super-deduction

If you are running a company that pays corporation tax and want to take advantage of the super-deduction while it is available, get in touch with Bluestone Leasing. We can help you to understand how the super-deduction could benefit your business as well as how asset finance could fit into your future growth strategy.

Thinking of investing in assets for your business? Want to make the most of the super-deduction tax benefit? Click here to get in touch.

What’s The Best Finance Option For Me?

We sat down with Bluestone Leasing’s Managing Director, Vineesh Madaan, to go through all the facts and options when it comes to finance to make sure you can make the right decision when it comes to financing your next project. Here’s all you need to know on Finance Leases, Hire Purchase, Operating Leases, Business Loans & Cash.

Finance Lease: 

How Does Leasing Work?

When businesses want to acquire assets, they have several options, they can pay cash or look to finance these via leasing. Leasing works where the finance company pays the supplier for the equipment and in turn then becomes legal owners of the equipment, they then lease/hire the equipment back to the end user, the payments are charged plus VAT, which can be reclaimed as normal.  

What Are The Benefits of Leasing?

There are several benefits to leasing, naturally a big one is retaining cash, why pay out for something upfront when you can pay over time for it. Another significant advantage are the tax savings, Leasing is highly tax efficient method of acquiring equipment whilst spreading the cost of paying for it. 

What Type of Assets Are Best Leased?

Any assets can be financed but the majority must be tangible, some funders only require a minimum of 50% tangible others need it to be 80% plus. The benefit is that a lot of intangible items can be incorporated into the finance. This form of finance tends to suit assets that depreciate in value so can be refreshed at the end of the finance agreement. 

What rates Am I Likely to Pay when I Lease?

This depends on the credit rating of your organisation along with the amount being financed, the better the credit rating and bigger the lend the better the rate. 

What’s the Tax Treatment of Leasing?

100% of the repayments are allowable against taxable income, for example if your taxable profit is £100,000 and the tax rate is 19% you will pay £19,000 in tax, if you were to make £20,000 in lease payments then you would pay 19% of £80,000 i.e. £15,200 in tax, saving you £3,800 in tax. 

What Are the Negatives of Leasing?

You do not or will never legally own the asset, so if asset ownership is your thing then this will not be the product for you. 

What Happens at the End of Leasing Term?

At the end of the agreement, you must cancel the agreement with the funder once this happens rather than to continue to pay rents you can pay a one-off infinite rental to retain uninterrupted continued use of the asset, allowing you to do what you want with the assets. 

Hire Purchase: 

How Does Hire Purchase Work?

The asset is paid for by the finance company, they will want the VAT to be paid up front on the cost of the equipment, this can be claimed back as normal. The finance company then charge a regular payment to the end user, the last payment has an additional option to purchase fee which transfers legal title to the customer. 

What Are The Benefits of Hire Purchase?

You have the legal right over the asset allowing you to claim capital allowances including any enhanced capital allowances that maybe available. Also subject to you making all the payments you will become the legal owner of the asset. 

What type of assets are best bought with Hire Purchase?

Assets that retain their value are generally financed under this method, because at the end of the finance ownership will be retained. Also should the end user want to utilise enhanced tax allowances then they would use this method. 

What rates Am I Likely to Pay with Hire Purchase?

This depends on the credit rating of your organisation along with the amount being financed, the better the credit rating and bigger the lend the better the rate. 

What’s the Tax Treatment of Hire Purchase?

The asset is classed as owned by the company so the end user will claim capital allowances as it would normally do for any other asset it owns, the end user can also claim the interest paid on the finance against taxable income. 

What Are the Negatives of Hire Purchase?

If you do not have any enhanced capital allowances gaining full tax deduction for the purchase of the asset can take an exceptionally long time, also the VAT needs to be paid upfront so needs to be factored into cash flows. 

What Happens at the End of Payment Term?

Once all the payments are made including the fee then the agreement ends and ownership of the asset is transferred to the end user. 

Operating Lease: 

How Does an Operating Lease Work?

The finance company pays the supplier for the equipment and in turn then becomes legal owners of the equipment, they then lease/hire the equipment back to the end user, the payments are charged plus VAT, which can be reclaimed as normal. 

What Are The Benefits of an Operating Lease?

The best use of this type of finance is for assets that have a residual value and where the asset needs refreshing on a regular basis. As the funder has taken a residual value, payments are lower and the asset is handed back at the end of the finance term and a new assets are financed again and so on. 

What Type of Assets Are Best Bought With an Operating Lease?

They have to have a value so the finance company can recover their residual value with a profit. It works well for IT equipment. 

What Rates Am I Likely to Pay With an Operating Lease?

This depends on the credit rating of your organisation along with the amount being financed, the better the credit rating and bigger the lend the better the rate. 

What’s the Tax Treatment of an Operating Lease?

100% of the repayments are allowable against taxable income, for example if your taxable profit is £100,000 and the tax rate is 19% you will pay £19,000 in tax, if you were to make £20,000 in lease payments then you would pay 19% of £80,000 i.e. £15,200 in tax, saving you £3,800 in tax 

What Are the Negatives of an Operating Lease?

You will never own the asset, whist your payments are lower, you will need to re-invest on a regular basis and if you want to retain the assets the costs would be higher than a standard finance lease. 

What Happens at the End of Payment Term?

The assets are returned to the finance company where fair wear and tear is allowed, if there is any more damage the cost will need to be covered, alternatively the finance company can be paid out of their residual for continued use, this will be an expensive option. 

Business Loan: 

How Does a Business Loan Work?

A loan as it sounds is where a company is financially assessed and if they qualify a funder provides them a loan in return the company make regular repayments to cover the loan and interest. 

What Are The Benefits of a Business Loan?

A loan allows the business to use the funds for anything so does provide greater flexibility. 

What type of assets are best bought with a Business Loan?

Any as the loan is paid to the business for them to use as they wish. 

What rates Am I Likely to Pay with a Business Loan?

This depends on the credit rating of your organisation along with the amount being financed, the better the credit rating and bigger the lend the better the rate. 

What’s the Tax Treatment of a Business Loan?

For the loan itself the interest on the repayments is deductible against taxable income. Should the loan be used to purchase an asset then capital allowances can be claimed as normal. 

What Are the Negatives of a Business Loan?

Loans may require additional security. It can also tie up main bank lines of credit reducing the ability for future growth. 

What happens at the end of payment term?

Once all the repayments are made then the loan just ends. 


What Are The Benefits of using Cash?

Saves paying any interest or taking out any debt. 

What Are the Negatives of using Cash?

Cash is key for any business to survive so retaining cash is key, utilising all your cash when things could be financed is not safeguarding the future of the business. 

Get in touch to speak about the best way to finance your next project.

Why Should I Consider An Electric Vehicle For My Company Car?

There are so many positives to choosing an electric vehicle as your company car and an increasing number of them are financial.

The major cost of a company car to the employee is the fact that the car attracts benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax. As this tax is based on CO2 emissions, traditional fuelled vehicles have seen significant increases in taxation as successive governments have sought to penalise the most polluting cars with the highest emissions. At the same time however, the government is constantly looking to incentivise businesses and employees to adopt greener, cleaner vehicles which is why choosing an alternative fuel vehicle, especially an electric vehicle, is so attractive right now.

Let’s take a look at the numbers.


For the tax year 2020/21 the BIK tax for electric vehicles is zero – that’s right, nothing, so no tax liability at all!  In 2021/22 it will only be 1% and by 2022/23 only 2%. Compare that to the maximum that some traditional fuelled vehicles can cost their drivers which is a whopping 37%!!

Electric vehicles are also exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), or road tax to most of us, other than the element linked to the value of the vehicle.

Below is a typical illustration that demonstrates the level of tax savings that can be made:

  E-Golf Golf 1.6 Tdi Match
Fuel type Electric Diesel
VED Road Tax (Year 1) £0 £150
VED Road Tax (Year 2) £0 £150
VED Road Tax (Year 3) £0 £150
BIK Company Car Tax 20/21 £0 £2,870
BIK Company Car Tax 21/22 £124 £2,870
BIK Company Car Tax 22/23 £248 £2,870
Total £372 £9,060

So, if you are a 40% income taxpayer, by choosing an electric car you could save £8,688 in tax alone over 3 years.

Obviously, as electric vehicles are not running on petrol or diesel, there is also no fuel duty or fuel benefit charge and the overall running costs of the electric vehicle are significantly lower.

Take a look at the Go Ultra Low website which allows you to calculate the cost savings that can be made by making a journey in an electric vehicle rather than a petrol or diesel equivalent.

For the company, they also have to pay National Insurance contributions which are based on the vehicle’s BIK tax band and its value, so they stand to gain too.

Due to the fact that electric vehicles have fewer moving parts than their petrol or diesel equivalents, servicing costs also tend to be lower, estimates are the savings that are available, depending on the model, are 20-30% compared to equivalent petrol or diesel vehicles.


Also from a business perspective, the government also allows electric vehicles to qualify for first year allowance with regards to enhanced capital allowances, meaning that the full cost of the vehicle can be deducted from profits before tax, subject to funding method, please contact us for more details.

What about charging?


There are more than 15,000 public car charging points across the UK and this number is increasing on an almost daily basis.  There are also apps available, such as Zap-Map, that allow you to see at a glance your nearest point and to plan your journey.

The Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) provides grant funding of up to 75% (capped at £500 including VAT) towards the cost of installing a domestic charging station in your home.

The Workplace Charging Scheme also enables businesses to claim a grant of up to £500 per charging socket (up to 20 sockets) towards the cost of installing EV charge points for their employees at work.

What else?


Some local authorities have either already introduced or are considering introducing Clean Air Zones. Some of these, including London and Birmingham, will charge private cars that do not meet strict emissions levels.  The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London charges traditional fuel vehicles £12.50 per day for vehicles entering the zone at any time.

Obviously environmental factors are a huge element to take into account when considering an electric vehicle. With zero tailpipe emissions, so no CO2 and no nitrogen oxides, electric car owners can genuinely point to the positive impact that they are making to clean up the air for everyone.

One final big benefit that electric car drivers talk a lot about is the improved driving experience, thanks to the fact that the vehicles are so much quieter and have instant torque.

If you are considering an electric vehicle, talk to the experts at Bluestone Vehicles.

01924 790 660

Bluestone Vehicles is a trading style of Bluestone Leasing Limited (registered in England & Wales no. 02519389 and registered office at Lakeside House, Navigation Court, Wakefield WF2 7BJ) is authorised & regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority FRN no. 663701.  Bluestone Leasing Limited are a credit broker not a lender.  ICO Data Protection Registration no is Z6897676 © copyright Bluestone Leasing Ltd.  Figures shown are based on a representative example and are not guaranteed.  The product quoted for is only one of a number of products which may be available and which may be more or less suitable, depending on your needs and circumstances.  Finance is arranged subject to status and terms and conditions.  Figures shown are for illustrative purposes only using information available at the time of writing.  BIK Company Car Tax is based on vehicle type, the P11D £ value and official NEDC vehicle CO2 emissions. This figure is obtained from official EU test data, intended for comparisons between vehicles and may not reflect real driving results. *Tax payable is shown for each financial year from 2019


In times as challenging as these, and with circumstances changing sometimes by the hour, we are extremely aware of the role we can play in helping all our valued customers and partners navigate the choppy waters we all find ourselves in. Fortunately, we are well placed to support you and, in many instances, as indeed many of you who have already been in touch have found, we can help. Here are some important updates for you and reminders of services that may benefit you right now.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme (CBILS)
A number of our funders are partnering with British Business Bank to support this new government scheme and we can assist those of you looking to access the funds available. We have received complaints that some of the High Street banks are proving difficult to work with around CBILS and you may benefit from the agility that our panel can demonstrate. Details of the scheme can be found here but in summary, CBILS can provide facilities of up to £5M for SMEs (up to £45M turnover) across the UK for terms of up to six years with the government covering interest and any fees for the first 12 months.
Get in touch with your Bluestone account manager for more information on how we can help.

If you have used capital to purchase assets over the last few months, you may wish to consider your options in light of these changed circumstances. We can help you refinance the goods freeing up capital to help ease pressure on cash flow over the coming months.

Asset Finance
We have seen a large spike over recent weeks particularly around technology financing in the wake of the mass movement to home working. Remember that, in addition to the actual equipment, we can assist you to finance associated costs and especially software licenses and renewals.

Funder Update
The good news is that almost all of our panel remain firmly open for business and are keen to support you and your business to get through the crisis. Naturally there will be more scrutiny across the board and a particular emphasis, when reviewing proposals, on how CV-19 is affecting your organisation but we continue to receive approvals every day for new facilities for our customers. Also, please note that most funders have moved to reduce the length of their credit acceptances from the usual 90/60 days down to 30 days.

As regards any existing facility you may have, it is important that you contact the funder directly in the event that you wish to request payment extensions or any other accommodation on your agreement. We can provide correct contact details if you need them, but our advice is to be prepared with updated business plans and cashflow forecasts in light of the current situation and be reasonable with your requests. Not every funder is able to support such requests but the better presented the case, the more chance you will have. Again, our team are on hand to assist should you need it.

Bluestone Update
We have successfully migrated 95% of our team to home working over the last few days although technically the office remains open too. You can use the existing landlines which are all being redirected to the right person. We are concentrating as much of our resources as possible on supporting existing clients and facilitating new clients who need to move quickly to secure vital funding to keep their businesses going. Please bear in mind that not all the financial services sector has been able to move quite so quickly and inevitably we may experience delays when we require input from the banks themselves so do bear with us.

It will be 25 years that we have been in business next year and our longevity has, in no small part, been down to the incredible dedication and commitment of our team and the support our valued partners and customers have shown us over the years. Some of you will remember going through the challenges faced post the financial recession in 2008 together and, just like then, you can guarantee that we will be here to support you every step of the way now.

Let’s get through this together and look to a brighter future for all on the other side.

Phillip, Vineesh, Steve and Mark
The Bluestone Board

How to check you’re getting best value

best value

So, you’ve made the decision to look at using asset finance for your latest project. This might be the first time you’ve used asset finance, or you might use it regularly to spread costs, perhaps to retain capital, save tax or simply match costs to your return on investment.

The big question is – How can you be sure you’re getting the best deal possible?

It’s easy right? Whichever gives me the cheapest repayments is obviously the best option.



A rate versus rate comparison should never be relied on in isolation as there are simply so many variables which you need to factor in to truly understand the relative merits of the raw numbers.

What variables?

There are many but they include the type of facility (e.g. finance lease, hire purchase, operating/residual value lease), the term (or length) of the agreement, any deposit requirements, the profile of the payments, additional fees and benefits such as tax savings.

Pointing the Way


Undoubtedly trying to get to grips with your finance quote can be a daunting process, even for those who have some experience but, luckily, we’ve been doing just that for over 23 years and are happy to share some of our knowledge. Here are just a few tips and pointers to help you get a true comparison.

Using Your Own Bank


Naturally many businesses rely on their primary bank and understandably turn to them for help with other funding requirements. Recent surveys suggest that more than 80% of SMEs rely exclusively on their main bank for all their financing needs and most cite either lack of awareness of alternative finance products, or access to them, as the main reasons for doing so.

In fairness, High Street banks are generally not experts in asset finance and often rely on specialist and centralised divisions. The most common complaint we hear from our customers about the performance of their banks when they do enquire about asset finance, or other alternative products, is the sheer amount of time it takes to get any form of answer. This might be fine if you’re under no time constraints, but most businesses aren’t that fortunate, and delays can be very costly.

The main points to consider should you seek the help of your bank are:


Check that you know what you are being offered. Very often a loan or hire purchase (HP) product are the default which might not provide you with the optimum outcome, especially with regards to tax benefits.


Often the facility will be limited to just the assets alone and will exclude any additional intangible costs such as labour and fees. Using a specialist, such as Bluestone Leasing, you can often achieve 100% project cost funding.


Often bank facilities require security, typically in the form of guarantees or otherwise. It is noteworthy that over 80% of the facilities that we arrange are on a totally unsecured basis even for relatively ‘weak’ (i.e. those will little or no residual value) assets.


Bank facilities are very typically offered on a rescindable basis with a foreclosure clause as standard. That means that you are at risk should the bank ever decide to call in the debt at any point which they are entitled to do without explanation or notice. In practice this would mean having to pay the full outstanding balance on demand. By comparison, all our facilities are free of this encumbrance – as long as you make the regular repayments, the agreements are never rescindable.


General Checklist

There are many providers out there, not just your own bank, who can help you with asset finance and other alternative products. Please take a look at our post which looks at this in more detail and gives some great advice on choosing a partner to work with.

Once you’ve chosen a partner, and especially if you are looking at more than one offer, you will still need to make sure that you are getting best value. There is no standard way that businesses in the sector present their finance quotations – some might provide a wealth of information and others are little more than the headline rate. There are a few basic elements to make sure you are clear on if you want to fully understand any offer of asset finance and be able to compare it to another.



Although it is normal to pay 1-3 payments upfront, larger deposits can artificially make the repayments look low. An easy way to avoid this is to calculate the total cost of any facility by adding together the standard repayments along with any deposit and indeed any other fees.

For example, one quote (quote A) gives you a monthly repayment of £100 over three years whilst an alternative provider (quote B) offers you £120/month over the same period. On face value quote A is the best value until you discover that quote A requires a £1,000 deposit whereas quote B has no deposit requirement. Total repayments for quote A is actually £4,600 (£100 x 36 + £1,000) whereas quote B is only £4,320 (£120 x 36).


Again, although arrangement fees and documentation fees are the norm, make sure you know what they are beforehand and see how they compare to any other offer you may have. Add them into your calculation for the total cost. You can also usually expect a small (£20-50/year) administration fee charged by the funder to cover customer support costs (e.g. replacement/copy documentation) during the term of the agreement.


The profile is normally expressed as the first payment followed by the normal payments thereafter. For example, a five year agreement paid monthly could be offered as a 1+59 (one payment followed by 59 further monthly payments) or 3+57 (three payments upfront followed by 57 monthly payments) profile. Our advice is to be suspicious of unusual profiles, especially ones which artificially look to be better than they are. For instance, if you are offered, on paper, a five-year agreement but the profile is 3+59, you are actually paying the equivalent of five years and two months. The monthly amount may look lower a result but will not be so attractive when you compare the total amount paid to an equivalent true 60-month agreement.


There is a world of difference between a quote for finance and an actual approval with funds secured. Make sure that you know what you have been presented with and get confirmation in writing. Professional providers will generally send you a formal confirmation when finance is approved and you don’t want to find that the figures have changed only when the documents arrive for signature.


Sometimes finance approvals are subject to conditions from the funder who has underwritten the facility – this might include anything from simple provision of regular management information through to personal guarantees and other security. Ensure that you have been advised of these conditions upfront before you commit.


Depending on the type of agreement that you’ve entered into, you might have a range of options at the end of the agreement. If your agreement is fixed term, it will come to an end at the end of agreed period, known as the primary term, whereas a minimum term agreement will continue after the primary term unless you instruct the funder otherwise, giving them suitable notice as set out in your agreement. You might want to give the assets back to the funder or pay a final fee to keep them thereafter forever. If you know what you will want to do at the beginning of the agreement, you can even get that put into writing with the funder upfront to prevent any confusion at the end.

Clear Ahead


Hopefully you’ve found this guide useful and I’d certainly encourage you to keep a copy on file for when you next consider using asset finance. We have always looked to support our clients with clear, simple advice but we know that’s not always the case in our industry so feel free to get in touch to discuss any project you are thinking of financing or, indeed, any offer you have on the table. Hopefully we can save you a headache!

Steve Russell – Sales Director, Bluestone Leasing

Choosing the right finance for you

Choose right finance

If you are about to undertake a project of any size and want to consider finance, as an alternative to paying capital upfront, then let’s take a look at some of your options.

To simplify matters we will exclude property and vehicle finance from our review. Both are specialist areas, worthy of a standalone discussion in their own right, so we will concentrate on just about everything else that a business or organisation like yours might wish to invest in.

If it is vehicles that you are interested in, please visit our specialist division, Bluestone Vehicles, here.

Let’s take a look at the most popular forms of finance available to you, what they can be used for, their benefits and key considerations.

Finance Lease

Probably the most popular form of asset finance, a finance lease, sometimes referred to as lease rental, allows you to make small, regular repayments over an agreed term (usually 3-5 years) typically determined by the useful life of the asset. As the bank technically own the goods during the agreement, a finance lease is fully tax deductible (both the capital and the interest) which makes this product attractive to profitable, private businesses in particular and even more so for partnerships and sole traders who typically pay higher rates of tax.

The VAT is also spread throughout the agreement which is helpful for cashflow (depending on timings in relation to your VAT returns) and can be really useful for those who cannot reclaim VAT at all.

At the end of the agreement you will have options including returning the assets to the funder, carry on renting or paying a final fee to keep the goods thereafter.

Flexible and tax efficient, a finance lease suits a broad range of assets and can be used across all manner of projects from IT, through to furniture and fit out.

Click below to see our short video on finance leases.


Hire Purchase

Probably the most recognised asset finance product given its popularity in personal finance, hire purchase (HP), sometimes referred to as lease purchase, is best thought of as just like using capital but with the costs spread over time. Unlike a finance lease, you take automatic ownership of the goods at the end of the agreement, subject to having made all your payments on time and a small Option to Purchase (OTP) fee.

Tax treatment is very similar to using cash whilst the VAT is also payable in full upfront, again, just like using capital.

HP is suited to assets that hold strong residual values and ones that you know you will want to retain and use well beyond the term of the finance. Plant and machinery are good examples of assets suited to HP.

Click below to see our short video on Hire Purchase.


Operating Lease

Operating leases see the funder, or lessor, take “risk and reward” by setting a residual value “RV” against the assets which represents the value they would expect the goods to be worth at the end of the agreement. The risk is if they don’t achieve the RV, the reward is if they achieve more.

Repayments can be considerably lower than an equivalent finance lease as repayments are based on the total value of the asset less the RV and the VAT is spread, just like a finance lease. A key difference between a finance lease and an operating lease is that you cannot enter into an operating lease if there is an intention for you to retain the assets at the end of the agreement.

Strict accountancy rules govern what constitutes a ‘true’ operating lease as operating leases used to be the only form of asset finance that could be treated “off balance sheet” and handled purely through the profit and loss account. Being able to keep a lease off the balance sheet meant being able to reduce debt, increase net worth and was extremely popular amongst large, listed companies sensitive to share price and investor relations.

Things changed in January this year when one of the biggest international accountancy standards bodies, the International Accountancy Standards Board (IASB), revised its guidelines under IFRS16 to essentially make the accountancy treatment of operating leases the same as finance leases.

Operating leases are still used by businesses that subscribe to different standards (such as UK GAAP) where the rules haven’t changed, by all state funded primary and secondary schools (who, constitutionally, can only enter into operating leases) or by those who see the benefit of lowering their repayments.

Due to the need for the lessor to be able to set a residual value, typically operating leases are much more restricted with regards to the type of assets that can be funded (they have to support the RV), the term of the agreement (shorter to protect the RV) and inclusion of any non-asset costs in the agreement (which would weaken the RV).

Click below to see our short video on operating leases.


Commercial Loans

Some projects have little or no actual assets involved at all and, as such, are not suitable for leasing. Take for example a business looking to set up a bespoke e-commerce platform where the costs are exclusively fee-based for programming, design, development, training and implementation. Although the platform will no doubt be of great value to the business when complete, it has no realisable value to any lessor, offers no security and cannot be defined as an asset for financing purposes.

This is a good example of where a commercial loan might work. The loan would be over an agreed term and would be on either a secured or unsecured basis. Secured loans would typically be against a range of assets such as property, plant and machinery, vehicles or even stock. Unsecured loans will not have such physical security but will often require personal guarantees where good personal net worth and UK home ownership are key.

Click below to see our short video on commercial loans.


What About Rates?


There are a number of variables which will influence just how much you are likely to pay. Here are just a few of the regular ones.

  1. First and foremost, will be the covenant of your business or organisation. If you are well established, have healthy financials (profitable, positive trends, strong balance sheet) and are in a performing sector, you will attract the broadest interest and the best terms.
  2. Secondly will be the asset itself. Some assets offer greater security to the lessor than others and that is reflected in the rates that they will offer. For instance, finance for a forklift truck (strong residuals and easy to resell) will always be secured on better rates than, for instance, office furniture. The asset will also affect the term the finance is offered over.
  3. The capital value of the project will affect the pricing offered. Setting to one side the ease (or not) of underwriting the requirement, the larger the project, typically the better the rates on offer. Surprisingly to some, we can fund from as little as £500 upwards, but rates reduce as values increase.
  4. Supplier covenants mustn’t be forgotten. If the lessor is concerned about the financial or service quality of a supplier, they may reflect that in their pricing or choose not to offer the finance at all. In some cases, the lessee will have to sign a supplier waiver form taking liability for their choice of supplier should anything go wrong.

What are my chances of securing finance?

Actually, very good. We handle thousands of new finance agreements each year for nearly 10,000 customers just like you. Our success rate is over 92% which is partly to do with our extensive funding panel (over 60 specialist funders) and partly to do with our approach. No “computer says no” response here – we get to know you and your organisation and make it our business to secure you the best terms possible.

Ready to go?

Although we hope this overview and our explainer videos have been helpful for you, whether you are new to asset finance or a regular user, we do realise you probably have more questions and ones more specific to your own needs. The Bluestone Leasing team are ready and willing to assist so feel free to get in touch and we will be delighted to help.

01924 248800

Fit Out Finance: A User Guide

Annotation 2019-05-08 142329

There comes a point in the life of most businesses or organisations that it is time to move to new premises, take on new space or even overhaul the space that you have. There may be a myriad of reasons for this, from organic growth (you simply don’t have room for that new marketing team), acquisition, opening up a new location or possibly downsizing to a site more suitable for your needs.

The workplace is changing

The last decade in particular has seen huge changes in fundamentally how we all work – the rise of flexible and remote working, hot desking and a concentration on effective use of space with collaboration, productivity and employee wellbeing at the heart of the experience.  If you want to attract key talent, best think again about those dingy isolated workstations and drab colour schemes and, even if you find the concept of workplace happiness a little too intangible for your liking, the wealth of evidence supporting the positive impact on productivity, staff retention and, ultimately, the bottom line that engaging workspaces has, should convince even the most curmudgeonly of you that it is a good thing to invest in.

Mind the gap


…But that’s the point. These projects are inevitably an investment, and generally a big one, regardless of the size of your organisation. Even if you have been prudent enough to budget and plan ahead for a move or refurbishment, you can probably think of many more ways you could use that capital to grow your business that doesn’t involve partition walls and new furniture. You might try to squeeze your aspirations for a fantastic new workspace into a budget that simply doesn’t fit and, at best, have to live with a compromise or, worse still, you are paralysed into inaction and try to carry on with what you have.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way.


A new world

Asset finance for fit out projects is something that specialists like Bluestone Leasing provide organisations like yours with every day. What we have learnt over the last twenty years or so though is that, for most of our new clients, they have never used leasing for such projects ever before. There are notable exceptions when it comes to the knowledge of asset finance in business. Vehicle finance is both extremely popular and well understood as is, to a lesser degree, technology and IT finance. Most of us wouldn’t blink an eye at the photocopier (technically a multifunctional device, I know) that we are renting sat in the corner of the office but the concept that we can do the same with the cabling, lighting, furniture, ceiling grid, indeed all of the building fit out, raises at least a Vulcan eyebrow.

The lightbulb moment


It is a great feeling for our team to see the reaction when we sit with a new client, go through the concept and explain all the benefits. Often we experience a “lightbulb moment” as the customer grasps the idea and starts to race ahead with their own thoughts as to how they can employ our solution for their project.

That all said, we are realistic enough to accept that not everyone planning a fit out project gets an introduction to Bluestone Leasing and even those that do will need help and assistance in making an informed choice.

The Guide

Annotation 2019-05-01 151822

That’s why we have introduced our Fit Out Finance: A User Guide. Inspired by a determination to offer an independent, comprehensive and informative overview of everything to consider when thinking about using finance for any fit out project.

We wanted to demystify the terminology, explain just how tax benefits works from a lay person perspective, cover all the different finance options available and the pros and cons of each. Mindful that the vast majority would be considering finance for fit out for the first time, and would not necessarily have the right contacts, we set out what to look for in a provider and, just as importantly, what to avoid.

In a sector rightly criticised for lacking transparency, we provide guidance on how to check a finance quotation is accurate, how to meaningfully compare one against another and the pitfalls to watch out for.

Although this guide is no substitute to the dedicated time our team spend with each and every client to understand fully their organisation, their needs and the dynamic of the project, it does supplement that work and provide answers to so many of the questions we have come across over the years.

Initial feedback since the recent launch of the guide has been tremendous. Clients express how simple the language of the guide is to understand, how much they like the “warts and all” approach and how much it has helped them make an informed choice.


You’re welcome

Typically, we provide the guide to those clients we have already been introduced to through our partners (their potential suppliers or advisors) in the fit out sector or if they are one of our existing Bluestone Leasing customers.

So emphatic has the feedback been that we would like to extend access to the guide to any organisation, private or public sector, that is considering a fit out project and would like to learn more about using finance as an alternative to capital upfront.

Simply use the contact form here to request a copy of the guide and we will be delighted to help.

We’ve helped thousands of businesses make similar investments over the years and are proud of the quality of the service we provide. We would welcome the opportunity to do the same for you.