Business & Personal Finance

Business finance comes in many different forms, but which one will be right for you? ACF Direct is a trading style of Associated Commercial Finance Ltd, Regulated by the FCA – Reg No: 680716

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ACF Direct offer the following solutions for your business.

You might be looking for a simple business loan to help your business grow or be looking to make a capital purchase on a new piece of machinery.

Please contact us here at ACF Direct on 01529 675021 or to discover how we can help finance your next HGV.

Short Term Finance

Short term finance allows you to spread the repayments over a 3-12 month period, giving you control of your cashflow and helping you to invest in your business. You might be looking for finance for tax or VAT payments or even short term purchases.

If you need short term finance then we have solutions for you. Our team are ready to help you and you will deal with a human being to help you through every step of your application.

Medium to Long Term Finance

Funding arrangements usually covers a period of 12 months to 5 years and typically will be used for clients developing and growing their business. Examples of this could be business acquisition, increased staff, moving to new offices or renovations to an existing site.

If you are growing your business then speak to the team at ACF where we can take you through each step of raising finance when you need it.

Asset Finance

Asset finance is a very common form of finance for businesses of all sizes. The finance is secured on the asset, such as purchasing a piece of equipment. The equipment can be financed as a lease, hire purchase or loan, there are actually many different ways to purchase assets.

Our team have worked in all industries and can give you comprehensive help and support in raising the finance that you need.

Logistics and Haulage Finance

The wheels of the logistics and haulage industry keep the motors of the UK economy turning. 89% of all goods transported by land in this country are carried by road and even the remaining 11% travels to shipping ports, rail heads or airports by road freight, according to statistics produced by the Road Haulage Association (RHA).

There are nearly half a million heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) over 3.5 tonnes already registered in the UK, and the industry employs around 2.5 million people.

Despite the logistics and haulage industry being highly competitive, the profit margins are low. Inflationary pressures in the domestic economy add to the commercial challenges and Brexit has cast a degree of uncertainty over the operations of many companies involved in the industry.

Nevertheless, 2018 was a generally successful year for the industry, according to the Freight Transport Association (FTA) in its annual Logistics Report. According to the FTA, concerns about the nature and scope of Britain’s trading relationships with Europe post-Brexit may have some impact. In an industry which relies on EU workers, an estimated 35% of FTA members are also worried about recruitment at a time when freedom of movement is significantly restricted. But the greater worry is the effect that domestic inflation may have on investment. Apparently, 14% of its members have delayed investing in essential haulage vehicles as consumer spending faces a decline.

Invest in your Industry

Instead of holding back on essential investments and seeing your heavy goods vehicles age, delivering less reliable performance and increased running costs, you might choose to stay ahead of the game and gain an edge over the competition. We offer several logistics and haulage finance options here at ACF Direct that allow you to choose the funding method that best suits you and your business.

Hire Purchase

You may wish to opt for buying new rolling stock under a hire purchase agreement.

After putting down an initial deposit (typically around 10% of the purchase price), you are required to make equal monthly repayments on your chosen HGV or other vehicles. By the end of the agreement, when the final instalment has been paid, you take full ownership of valuable new rolling stock.

From the start of the hire purchase agreement your acquisition is capitalised for your business, with the asset appearing on your balance sheet.

Finance Lease

If you do not wish to own the vehicle but need continuous, exclusive use of it, an alternative option is to enter a finance lease. A finance lease typically extends for the whole of the useful working life of the HGV, during which time you are renting rather than buying.

At the end of the lease you are usually presented with two main options:

  • Agree to pay a token, peppercorn rent to continue using the vehicle – usually amounting to no more than an annual payment of what you had paid each month; or
  • Sell the vehicle on behalf of the finance company and retain the lion’s share of the sale proceeds (typically as much as 95%).

Operating Lease

Another alternative option is an operating lease, which typically extends for a much shorter period (e.g. three to five years).

The residual value of the HGV is agreed at the start of the lease. When the contract ends, you have the option of paying that sum to retain the vehicle as your own, or you can simply hand it back to the finance company.

A further operating lease agreement then provides you with another new HGV to utilise.

What is Cashflow Finance?

What is Cashflow?

Good cashflow management is the key to business health and success. To put it simply, cashflow is the difference between an organisation’s current assets and current debts. If there is a greater sum of earnings than current expenditures, this denotes a positive cashflow. However, if cash outgoings are greater than incomings, this signifies a negative cashflow. Possible earnings include payments from customers for goods/services provided or dividends from investments. Cash outgoings include the settlement of outstanding invoices, daily running costs of the business and employee wages, to name but a few.

It is fairly common for businesses to enter a period of negative cashflow. Sales may be seasonal, or the corporation may experience peaks and troughs in trade. However, various difficulties can arise from a negative working capital. After all, you are still required to pay outstanding bills and ensure that the day-to-day operation of your business is unaffected. It may be that you wish to make a large investment or fund a new asset, and so need access to emergency funds. In the long-term, a negative working capital could generate serious financial problems for your company.

Cashflow Finance

Cashflow finance is a quick injection of cash to help you manage your working capital and budget. This is a short-term solution, allowing you to fund any daily expenses and continue to pay suppliers and employees.

There are various methods of cashflow finance available, which will be further explained below. These solutions all involve repaying the loans with added interest over a short period of time. It is important that you understand the finance provider’s terms and conditions, fees and interest rates before entering into an agreement.

Invoice Factoring

This method involves selling your outstanding invoices (which become an “asset”) to a Factor. In return, you will receive a large portion of the cash upfront – typically, this is around 85% of the total value. You will then acquire the remainder of the balance once the outstanding invoices have been settled by the customer.

Factoring is particularly suitable for rapidly growing companies, although businesses of any sizes are eligible. Factoring provides instant relief from debt and quick access to funds – much quicker than waiting for customers to pay their outstanding invoices. The Factor will charge a fee for their services and will assume full responsibility for collecting any debts, meaning the intervention will be visible to your clients.

Invoice Discounting

Invoice discounting is similar to factoring in the respect that it involves borrowing money to cover the costs of any outstanding invoices. However, you continue to oversee the debt collection process, and consequently your customers usually remain unaware of any financial intervention.

The finance provider will charge a monthly fee for their services, as well as interest on the sum borrowed. You will gain access to cash within just 24 hours, allowing you to promptly pay suppliers or employees, and ensure your business continues to function smoothly.

Credit Control

Hiring credit control experts to handle any debt collection takes the pressure off you and your business. A third-party organisation will act on your behalf and approach your customers to ensure that any outstanding invoices are settled, allowing you to focus on running your business.

Credit control is a favoured method of cashflow finance as it reduces time, effort and stress for the business owner. However, this third-party invention will be clearly visible to your customers – and again, charges will apply.

Trade Insurance

Trade insurance is certainly considered to be a sound investment. Insurance will protect your business’ working capital against customers who may fail to pay for services. Extensive cover will be provided for a variety of situations in which customers may find themselves unable to pay, including bankruptcy, ensuring that your business does not become majorly affected by any late repayments.

If you require short-term cashflow finance, then please get in touch with us here at ACF Direct on 01529 675 021. Our team consists of experienced financial specialists, who will work with you to choose the best option for your business.


The success of a business is not simply measured by supplying great quality products or services and/or delivering the best in customer service. Maintaining a positive cashflow is crucial to company performance, particularly during testing times of growth and expansion. There are many finance options available to your enterprise, many of which now look beyond traditional business banking options.

An increasing number of business owners now seek refinancing in order to boost cashflow, especially when funds are tight. Refinancing allows you to consolidate your loans or debt into one location. Once funding is secured, you can then begin to consider different repayment options. If you have previously received cashflow or asset finance, you may find yourself with multiple loans at different repayment rates and payment dates; you need to stay on top of any repayments, in order to avoid debts getting out of control and ending up with CCJs for defaulting on loans. Therefore, refinancing is a very sensible option.

In some cases, refinancing can help you secure a better rate on interest payments, drastically reducing your monthly debt payments. Budgeting also becomes easier, as refinancing only requires you make one single payment per month. When managing your budget, you will be able to secure one rate for one loan with a sole lender, providing you with a single contact for ongoing payments. Refinancing also allows you to spread repayments over a longer period, giving you more time to focus on what really matters – growing your business.

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Following the recent general election results, there is potential for new growth in UK business. Therefore, this is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of renewed optimism within competitive markets and consider your finance options. Here at ACF Direct, we have access to over 40 UK lenders, and can offer a variety of funding solutions.

When your enterprise is under financial strain, especially with mounting multiple debts, refinancing could be the ideal solution for you – speak to us today to discover how refinancing can help move your company forwards.

ACF Direct are pleased to help you with your personal finance needs. Over the last 15 years we have helped our clients to arrange finance for many different personal needs.

Our clients have raised finance typically for a purchase such as a motorhome, boat or even a plane; but we have also helped clients to raise money for starting or buying a business. The motorhome and caravan sector has grown significantly in the last few years and ACF Direct have been at the forefront of funding for motorhome and caravans. If you want to look at the different options for motorhome and caravan finance then speak to one of our team.

Whatever your needs for a larger personal purchase then ACF Direct have over 15 years experience and have helped personal clients raise over £25M of finance.