Financial Accounting Concepts

Differences between Lease and Hire Purchase

Lease and hire purchases are two different methods of acquiring assets, such as vehicles or equipment. But both are different.

Hire Purchase vs Lease Agreement Comparison

Following are some of the key differences between both terms:

Ownership: In a lease agreement, the ownership of the asset remains with the lessor (the owner), whereas in a hire purchase agreement, the ownership is transferred to the hirer (the buyer) after the payment of all instalments.

Payment Structure: In a lease, regular rental payments are made by the lessee (the renter) to use the asset for a fixed period. On the other hand, in a hire purchase, the buyer pays regular instalments over a fixed term until full ownership is attained.

Duration: Lease agreements typically have shorter terms compared to hire purchase agreements. Leases can range from months to a few years, while hire purchase terms can extend up to several years.

Flexibility: Lease agreements offer more flexibility as they allow for periodic upgrades or changes of assets at the end of each lease term. Hire purchase agreements are generally more rigid, with limited options to modify or exchange assets during the contract period.

Maintenance and Repairs: With a lease agreement, maintenance and repair responsibilities often lie with the lessor. However, in hire purchase agreements, these responsibilities usually fall on the hirer once they assume ownership.

Residual Value: Leases often include provisions for determining resale value at the end of the term (residual value). The lessee may be required to make an additional payment if there is higher depreciation than expected. This feature is not present in hire purchase agreements.

Tax Considerations: Depending on local tax laws and regulations, there may be differences in how leasing and hire purchases are treated for taxation purposes. It’s advisable to consult with an accountant or tax expert for specific details related to your jurisdiction.

Termination: Terminating a lease agreement before its completion can involve penalties or additional fees, as it is a contract for a fixed period. Terminating a hire purchase agreement may also come with financial penalties, but the buyer has the option to sell the asset and settle the outstanding balance.


Both lease and hire purchase have their own advantages and disadvantages, depending on individual circumstances. It’s important to consider factors such as cash flow requirements, asset utilization, and long-term goals when deciding between these options. Consulting with financial professionals can help you determine which method is best suited for your specific needs.

Show More