Asset finance new business grew 3% year-on-year to £2.3bn (€2bn) in January, figures from the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA) have shown.
Excluding high value deals of over £20m, year-on-year growth was 4%, to €2.1bn.
IT equipment finance saw the biggest increase, up 29% to £133m. Plant and machinery and business equipment finance both grew 8%, to £509m and £191m respectively.
Commercial vehicle finance saw a fall of 4%, totalling £480m in deals.
The broker channel experienced an 8% boost, with £442m in deals originated. The sales finance saw a 10% growth to £622m.
Geraldine Kilkelly, head of research and chief economist at the FLA, said: “The asset finance market made a positive start to 2018 with further solid growth in new finance for plant and machinery and business equipment.
“In particular, new business for agricultural equipment in January was 21% higher than in the same month in 2017.
“We expect asset finance new business growth in 2018 as a whole to be at a similar rate to 2017.”