Essential information for end of life vehicle dismantling, depollution and recycling

AutoDrain L

How much can I borrow to buy my own vehicle recycling premises, and what will it cost me?

Are you looking at buying your own vehicle recycling premises but need further advice on the financial implications? In part two of this financial series, Martin Cook, Director at Exel Finance, tells us more about lenders’ criteria, including how much can be borrowed and the costs involved.


How much can I borrow to buy my own vehicle recycling premises, and what will it cost me? p
Martin Cook

The last article discussed the question of buying your own premises and the particular challenges of finding lenders that are comfortable with the vehicle recycling industry. It covered lenders’ basic commercial lending criteria. This article will look at lenders’ criteria as it relates to affordability and how that is assessed after which the questions – ‘how much can I borrow?’ and ‘how much will it cost me?’ will be considered.

Commercial lenders work out how much you can borrow by assessing the company’s profits. However, that is not just the net profit figure that appears on the bottom line of your profit and loss accounts. It is an adjusted profit figure by assessing the company’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA).  So the net profit figure that appears in your accounts can have these items added back in to produce an adjusted profit figure to assess how much you can afford to borrow.

How much can I borrow to buy my own vehicle recycling premises, and what will it cost me? p three

In addition to these adjustments – what about the rent you might currently be paying your landlord? If you are buying your own premises, you are no longer paying rent, and so that figure is also available and can be added back into your adjusted profits. This adjusted earnings figure is then used to assess how much you can borrow.

Different lenders have different approaches to calculating what you can afford to borrow. All lenders are inherently risk-averse and are required to take a cautious approach in order to be responsible lenders. So in order to ensure your business can afford the payments, they will assume a notional interest rate as opposed to the actual interest rate currently available. That notional interest rate will be much higher than current rates. They will then work out what your repayments could be and then add a percentage to be sure you will be able to cover much higher future payments. That additional percentage could be as high as 175%.

For example, for a commercial loan of £350,000, an interest rate of 6% might be assumed, and repayments over a 20 year period. This would result in monthly payments of £2,507.51 or £30,090.12 per year. They may then increase that figure by 175% to arrive at a figure of £52,658. If your adjusted annual profit figure is at least £52,658, then you could potentially borrow £350,000.

The amount commercial mortgage providers will lend is also constrained by a loan to value ratio. The most you can hope for is 75% depending on the merits of the case. But most lenders will lend up to 70% of the value of the property. It is also important to bear in mind that a lender will lend 70% of the purchase price or the valuation, whichever is the lower.

Now using this same example, let’s look at the sale price of a property being purchased. If the agreed purchase price was £500,000 and we found a lender willing to lend 70% – then £350,000 is the most you could borrow, leaving you to find a deposit of £150,000 plus all the fees.

If you are purchasing a property for £350,000, and even though you could qualify for a £350,000 loan, no lender will do a 100% loan, so the loan would be constrained by the maximum loan to value (LTV) available. At 70%, you could borrow £245,000, leaving you to raise £105,000 plus fees.

The examples above assume your credit rating is acceptable and that your business is viable. If you or your business have a poor credit rating, it may still be possible to obtain a mortgage, but it will be at a higher interest rate and probably only at a lower loan to value.

How much will a commercial mortgage cost me?

High street banks offer the most competitive interest rates but have stricter criteria. A £350,000 commercial mortgage with a high street bank lender may attract an interest rate of 3.5% over Bank of England base rate (currently 0.75%), so a rate payable of 4.25%. If we assume capital and interest repayments over 20 years, then the initial payments will be £2,167.32 per month. I say “initial payments” because the Bank of England base rate will likely go up to 1.25% by the end of the year and even higher the following year. It is possible, therefore, to obtain a fixed rate.

How much can I borrow to buy my own vehicle recycling premises, and what will it cost me? p twoTo keep the initial servicing costs down, you could obtain an interest-only mortgage. Most high street lenders will not allow interest-only payments. So you could expect to pay a much higher interest rate of around 5.75% from other lenders. Using the same loan amount of £350,000 and an initial interest rate of 5.75% then, the monthly interest-only payments would be £1,677.08.

There are many factors and variables that affect loan amounts and interest rates; therefore, it is in your interest to speak to a qualified commercial mortgage broker in order to address your specific requirements based on your circumstances.

Keep an eye out for part three of the series, which will concern how to set up the purchase of your commercial property.

If you would like further advice on this topic, please contact Martin at or call him on 0161 327 1837.


More News


ATF Professional is produced by ARW- Group LTD, which is registered in England and Wales with Company Number 14914439

The views and opinions expressed on ATF Professional are solely those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the editor, publisher or staff of ATF Professional.


01432 355099

© All rights reserved

Owain Griffiths

Owain Griffiths

Head of Circular Economy at Volvo Cars

Owain joined Volvo Cars in June 2021 to lead Circular Economy in the Global Sustainability Team. The company has committed to being a circular business by 2040 and has financial, recycled content and CO2 based targets for 2025, all of which Owain is working across the company to make happen. Owain previously worked for circular economy consultancy Oakdene Hollins where he advised businesses on evidence led circular economy implementation. 

Turning into a circular business and the importance of vehicle reuse and recycling.

The presentation will cover the work Volvo Cars is doing to achieve 2025 but mainly focus on the transformational work towards 2040 and the business and value chain changes being considered. Attention will be paid to the way vehicles are being dealt with at the end of life and the complexities of closing material and component loops. Opportunities and challenges which Volvo Cars is facing will be presented including engagement with 3rd parties and increasing pressure from stakeholders.

e2e awards logo

e2e Total Loss Vehicle Management [e2e] is the UK’s only salvage and automotive recycling network with nationwide, environmentally compliant sites delivering performance resilience and service reliability to the insurance and fleet markets.  The network’s online salvage auction drives strong salvage resale values and faster sales.  e2e’s salvage clients have access to the network’s stocks of over 5 million quality graded, warranty assured reclaimed parts. 

The power of the network model means e2e has the ability to influence industry standards and is committed to continually raising the bar whilst redefining the role and perceived value of the salvage operator.  Network members adhere to robust service level agreements, against which they are audited, in order to ensure performance consistency and a market leading customer experience.  

The salvage and recycling operating environment is evolving rapidly, and e2e is anticipating, listening and responding to changing market needs.  Regulatory compliance, ESG, reclaimed parts, customer experience, EVs, new vehicle technologies, data and reputation risk are just some of many considerations linked to the procurement of salvage services.  e2e will drive further added value to clients and members through the adoption and application of emerging technologies, continuing to differentiate its proposition and position salvage services as a professional partnership. 

New Client Special Offer

20% Off

Aenean leo ligulaconsequat vitae, eleifend acer neque sed ipsum. Nam quam nunc, blandit vel, tempus.