Private Ambulance Services
How the right finance can help build your businessSpeak to one of our experts020 4525 5312
- Unsecured lending from from 6%
- Up to 5 years to repay
- Secured lending from 2% above base rate
- Long repayment terms
Growth equity finance
- Private capital investment
- £5 million - No Maximum
- Suitable for businesses with up to £25 million turnover
- Capital is rolled up to the end of the term
- From 2% above base rate
- Up to 25 years terms
- Buy premises or existing business
- Interest only or capital repayment
A successful ambulance operation can be lucrative. But the costs of providing fully equipped vehicles and trained staff is high. You must be able to call on financial solutions that can reflect the scale of the challenges you face.
Table of Contents
With over 200 private providers already operating in the UK, ambulance services are a growth industry. But whatever the scale of your ambitions or your current operation, vehicles, staff, equipment and every day running costs all require a cost-effective source of cash.
There are two types of ambulance business.
Emergency Ambulance Services transport accident victims and people with other emergency health issues to the hospital as quickly and safely as possible. They demand expensively-equipped vans that are on round-the-clock standby and ready for dispatch and are staffed by certified medical personnel. Equipment like defibrillators and monitors, oxygen and drugs will all need to be carried.
Non-emergency medical transportation requires far less equipment and crew skills. These vehicles often transport patients between medical facilities or take patients to and from appointments.
At Rangewell, we understand the challenges of setting up, buying or growing your business, because we work with both types of private ambulance operators across the UK – and we help find a wide range of solutions for them.
Understanding the funding options for ambulance businesses
You may need to find the right type of funding option to allow you to:
Start your own business
- Buying an existing ambulance business
- Buy-ins and buyouts
- Set up a business
- Franchise Purchase
- Leasing premises
- Buying Freehold property to operate from
- Buying the premises you operate from
- Refurbishing your premises
- Buying New Assets
- Buying Second Hand Assets
- Hire purchase
- Vehicle Purchases
General Expansion and Growth
VAT and Tax Loans
Partner buy-ins and buyouts
Starting your own ambulance business
There are several ways to start working as an ambulance operator. Each one will make its own financial demands.
Buying an existing business or buying in as a partner will mean a major investment. You will need to study the historic performance of the business to understand its current value. The patient base, the premises and equipment, and the value of any NHS or other contracts need to be taken into consideration.
A number of solutions exist which can help provide the level of funding required. These include loans secured on the business premises or other property. Secured Loans are often used to borrow large sums upwards of £250,000, and are ‘secured’ because the lender will take the security if you cannot pay the loan back. Terms of up to 20 years are common. You can also enjoy lower interest rates than with other types of lending, meaning monthly repayments can be lower and easier to fit in with your cashflow.
Buy-ins and buyouts
If you are thinking of buying into a large business, you may need to do so as a partner - or buy out a partner who may be retiring. Buy-in and Buyout finance recognises the challenges and provides funding tailored to help you make full use of the opportunity.
Setting up a new ambulance business
Setting up an ambulance business could mean less outlay, but greater risk. There will be vehicles to pay for, medical staff, a receptionist and a secure depot. Electricity and business rates will have to be paid for. You will need to budget for advertising your presence and to keep afloat while you build a patient list. You need to invest in marketing, establishing a local presence and setting up a website.
Buying an ambulance franchise
Franchising is starting to become a factor for ambulance operators in the UK, and can offer a proven business model and often guaranteed contracts in return for a substantial investment. Along with a substantial initial franchise fee, there will be the usual costs for vehicles and equipment staff costs. Conventional business lenders, such as banks, may not be able to help, as your business is technically a start-up, lacking a business history.
A specialised Franchise Loan package may be essential.
Funding for your premises
Ambulances can standby almost anywhere but your business will need parking for off duty vehicles, restocking, and maintenance. Security for vehicles and drug supplies will be essential and locations with a high density of doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, and senior citizen housing might offer the best prospects.
You may need to borrow with an Unsecured Loan for the deposit on a long-term lease. Alternatively, you might want to consider a Commercial Mortgage. Commercial Mortgages can help you buy your premises or even an existing business. It is uneconomical to borrow less than £50,000, and some lenders stipulate a minimum of £75,000 or more with a Commercial Mortgage, but there is no set upper limit and you can have 25 years or more to repay.
Buying your equipment and vehicles
Modern medical equipment makes emergency ambulance service vehicles very capital-intensive, requiring a range of diagnostic equipment as well as triage facilities. Non-emergency services, on the other hand, may only require lightly-outfitted vans with a focus on accessibility. You’ll also need all the items that are essential for running a business. A desk, a chair and a computer are the minimum you will need to budget for, and if you are serving vehicles yourself, you may need to consider a range of garage tools.
At Rangewell we can help arrange Asset Finance plans. These could make the vehicles and equipment you need easier to afford by spreading the costs. These items may be new, although you may be able to save by buying some second hand. You might also consider leasing some items.
Remember, at Rangewell we can help arrange Asset Finance plans. These could make it easy to afford the equipment you need by spreading the costs. You These items may be new, although you may be able to save by buying some second hand. You might also consider leasing some items.
If you need equipment that you want to go on giving service for years, Hire Purchase can provide a simple solution. Hire Purchase is the simplest type of Asset Finance. You pay a deposit plus monthly instalments over a fixed term, between 12 and 72 months, after which the equipment becomes yours. Payments are fixed, making it easy to plan ahead and to arrange an agreement tailored to your monthly turnover and budget.
If you want to use the latest equipment without the responsibility of owning it, leasing will give you the freedom and flexibility you need. There is usually no upfront cost to find, meaning that you can bring the latest equipment to your ambulance business without delay. Leases can make higher cost items, such as ECC equipment, more affordable by spreading the cost across their economic life. You pay a monthly rental charge to use the asset, which will cover all the costs such as maintenance and repairs. A lease may ideal for sophisticated technical apparatus which has a limited life, or which you may want to replace when new technology becomes available – helping you keep ahead of your competitors, and letting you offer your patients the latest treatments.
We can help you find a range of funding solutions to reduce the costs you pay when you purchase a vehicle. Find out more here.
New or used?
Good quality used vehicles and equipment can be a sound investment, especially if you are setting up a new business and funds are tight. However, many professionals miss out on the potential savings because they believe they need to find the cash to pay for it.
At Rangewell we can help you spread the cost of used as well as new equipment with Asset Finance. The terms and rates we can secure are often better than those offered by vehicle and equipment suppliers, and we may be able to help arrange a single agreement to cover all your equipment needs.
Tax is an issue for every business. A large quarterly VAT or annual tax demand can cause problems with your cash flow, particularly when it falls at the same time as other costs. Tax Loans help you to spread the cost of your tax demands into affordable monthly payments, ensuring that your business does not have to go through a cashflow drought.
Benefits of a Tax Loan include:
- Better control of cash flow
- Fixed monthly payments
- Quick and simple to arrange
- Avoids issues with HMRC and potential penalties
Working Capital Finance for your ambulance business
Working Capital Finance is designed to boost the working capital available to a business. It's often used to provide cash to pay staff and suppliers while business is slow during the early weeks and months of a new business, or during a period of growth. It is usually designed to be repaid in the short- to medium-term, once your business is fully operational and bringing in an income.
Large-scale finance can be vital if you have major plans such as acquiring a competitor. Growth Finance is a special type of funding designed to fund your growth plans. Lenders may require an established trading history and record of profits, but it may be possible to arrange Growth Finance based on your profit projections, rather than on your trading history.
Why ambulance operators need Rangewell
Not all lenders will offer the most competitive terms. Looking for the most competitive deal across the entire market takes time and expertise. We know the lenders who can offer the most competitive rates for the profession, and we find solutions for all types of finance including Professional Loans, Unsecured and Secured Loans, Invoice Finance, Asset Finance, Growth Finance and more.
As well as conventional loan products, we can help you find Alternative Funding, using new loan providers and styles of funding.
Whether you have a straightforward, small-scale funding need, or require a complicated ‘Jigsaw’ Funding plan made up of a combination of financial products, we can work with you to find the answers
Call us now to get our experts working for you.
REAL EXAMPLES OF WHAT WE CAN DO
Find the most competitive loan to let a small ambulance business to acquire a lease on a more suitable premises
Help a new business with the purchase of a suite of second-hand equipment
Source a loan to allow an existing private ambulance business to purchase new vehicles
Find the most competitive finance to allow an ambulance business to buy its premises
Help an operator arrange ‘jigsaw’ funding to allow her to add a purpose-built vehicle to her fleet
Discover our range of finances
Every type of finance for every type of business
Our goal is very simple - to help businesses find the right type of finance as quickly, transparently and painlessly as possible.
Helping you build your profits
Lending tailored to your needsAt Rangewell we can help you find the most appropriate finance for any funding need your business faces. We save you money and help you move your business forward.
Funding scaled to your businessFunding solutions are available for your ambulance business, whatever its size, and whether you need individual items or a complete set-up or fleet.
Building a cutting-edge businessWe can help you find ways to afford the equipment you need to make your business successful.
Reducing risk with Asset FundingIf your business was to become unable to make the payments on equipment funding, the lender could simply repossess the equipment to cover their loss. No other assets are at risk.
Specialist lendersSome Asset Funding providers specialise in particular sectors. At Rangewell, we can help you find the most appropriate lenders for your business.
Download Rangewell’s free and detailed guide to Finance for the Medical Profession
What types of finance are there - which do you need?
Why not all providers are equal - finding the one that’s right for you
How we can provide an additional income stream
The downsides to finance - and how to avoid them
How to arrange finance - what paperwork do you need?
Key terms explained