Classifying vehicles, parts and accessories
- HM Revenue & Customs
- Part of:
- Classification of goods and Import and export: customs declarations, duties and tariffs
- First published:
- 3 August 2012
- Last updated:
- 21 April 2017, see all updates
How to classify vehicle parts and accessories for the purposes of the UK Trade Tariff.
Use the online UK Trade Tariff tool to find commodity codes for classifying goods for imports and exports.
How you classify a vehicle under the UK Trade Tariff (the Tariff) depends on whether or not it’s designed to transport passengers or goods, and whether it’s used to carry less than or more than 10 people, including the driver.
Classification also depends on the type of fuel your vehicle can use, that’s petrol (spark ignition) or diesel (compression ignition), also the engine size and whether it’s new or used.
You would typically classify an incomplete or unfinished vehicle as if it’s a finished one, provided it still has its essential character of a complete vehicle (for example, a vehicle not yet fitted with its engine or interior fittings, wheels or tyres).
Another important reason for identifying the commodity code of vehicles is to find out whether they are considered dual-use goods, that’s goods that can be adapted and put to strategic or military use. Vehicles classed as dual-use goods may require an export licence.
Classifying passenger cars
According to the Tariff, the term ‘cars’ includes motor cars, and other motor vehicles mainly designed for the transport of persons.
For most cars, engine size and whether the car is new or used will dictate their classification within heading 8703.
The exception is for all terrain vehicles (ATVs) and quad bikes - see Classifying all terrain vehicles.
Cars to transport less than 10 passengers (including the driver) are classified under heading 8703 and include:
- station wagons (estate cars)
- racing cars
- ATVs and quad bikes that meet certain criteria
- adult go-karts
- mobility scooters
- trike bikes (with ‘car-type’ steering) - 3-wheeled motorised vehicles with no bodywork, for the transport of 2 passengers
These vehicles under commodity code 8703 are further classified by the type of fuel they use:
87032 - classification of petrol engined cars to transport less than 10 people
87033 - classification of diesel engined cars to transport less than 10 people
87038 - electric motor only powered passenger cars (that’s with no internal combustion engine)
8703 - hybrid passenger vehicles now have their own headings
870390 - hydrogen fuel cell electric motor vehicles
8703101800 (this heading is currently under review) - electric mobility scooters
Hydrogen internal combustion engines are commonly spark ignition, therefore classified similar to petrol vehicles (but compression ignition hydrogen fuelled internal combustion engines are under development).
Motorised vehicles specially designed for disabled persons (heading 8713) are different from vehicles of heading 8703, mainly because they have all of the following features:
- a maximum speed of 10 kilometres per hour (approximately 6.2 miles per hour)
- a maximum width of 80 centimetres
- 2 sets of wheels touching the ground
- special features to alleviate the disability
- steering and other controls (for example a joystick), never in the form of a separate, adjustable steering column
Vehicles for the transport of 10 or more people, including the driver, are classified under heading 8702 and by the fuel they use.
Classifying goods vehicles
Including chassis fitted with engines, bodies and cabs
Goods vehicles include chassis fitted with engines, bodies - including cabs - and multi-purpose vehicles that can transport both persons and goods.
For most goods vehicles, their gross weight, engine size, the type of fuel they use and whether the vehicle is new or used will dictate their classification under 8704.
Pickup style vehicles of classification heading 8703 or 8704
Single row of seat pickup vehicles are classified under heading 8704.
Double row of seats pickup vehicles are classified under heading 8703 or 8704 - see below.
Heading 8703 includes motor cars and other motor vehicles mainly designed for transporting people, such as those having the characteristics mentioned in Tariff Notice 07/08 which provides guidance on the correct way to classify double row of seat pickup vehicles.
For ATVs, see section Classifying ATVs.
Tractors are classified under heading 8701 or 8709.
Tractors are vehicles constructed essentially for hauling or pushing another vehicle, appliance or load (whether or not they include an integral container to transport tools or other goods, where required as part of the tractor’s main work).
The following are classified under heading 8709:
- self-propelled works trucks, not fitted with lifting or handling equipment, of the type used in factories, warehouses, dock areas or airports for the short-distance transport of goods
- tractors of the type used on railway station platforms
- parts of the above vehicles
Tractors include wheeled vehicles used for forestry or agriculture, road tractors for semi-trailers and pedestrian controlled tractors.
Their classification under heading 8701 primarily depends on whether they are being used for agriculture or forestry, their engine power and whether the tractor is new or used.
Road tractors for semi-trailers are classified according to whether they are new (subheading 8701201000) or used (subheading 8701209000).
Machines and working tools designed for fitting to tractors of heading 8701 as interchangeable equipment remain classified in their respective headings even if they are presented with a tractor, and whether or not they are mounted on it.
It’s necessary to determine whether ATVs are classified under heading 8701 or under heading 8703. The information in the earlier Tariff Notice (23/09) has been superseded by a ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) (Case C-91/15 Kawasaki Motors Europe NV).
The ruling removed the requirement for such vehicles to have a power take off or hydraulic lifting device or a permanently attached winch to be classified as agricultural or forestry tractors.
To be classified as a tractor under heading 8701, ATVs must meet all of the following characteristics:
- a handlebar with 2 grips incorporating the controls for steering the vehicle, the steering is achieved by turning the 2 front wheels and is based on a motor car type steering system (Ackerman principle)
- brakes on all wheels
- an automatic clutch and a reverse gear
- an engine specially designed for use in difficult terrain and capable in low ratio of delivering sufficient power to tow attached equipment
- power transmission to the wheels by shafts and not with a chain
- tyres having a deep tread design suitable for rough terrain
- a coupling device of any kind, for example a towing hitch, designed to enable the vehicle to pull or push at least twice its dry weight
- a towing capacity of a non-braked trailer of twice its dry weight or more - this can be proved by technical documentation, user manual, certificate from the manufacturer or from a national authority, specifying exactly in kilograms the towing capacity of the all-terrain vehicle and its dry weight (the weight of the vehicle without any liquids, passengers or cargo)
If they meet all of the above characteristics, the vehicles will be classified as agricultural or forestry tractors under subheading 8701.
If they don’t meet the above characteristics, the ATVs are classified under heading 8703.
Classifying special purpose motor vehicles
Special purpose motor vehicles, other than those mainly designed for the transport of persons or goods, are classified under heading 8705.
‘Special purpose motor vehicles’ cover a wide range of specialist wheeled and motorised trucks, lorries, derricks and mobile medical units. They are classified as follows:
- 8705100000 - crane lorries
- 8705200000 - mobile drilling derricks
- 8705300000 - firefighting vehicles
- 8705400000 - concrete mixer lorries
- 8705903000 - concrete pumping vehicles
- 8705909000 - other
Self-propelled works trucks that aren’t fitted with lifting or handling equipment are classified under heading 8709. These vehicles are of the type used in factories, warehouses, dock areas or airports for short distance transport of goods. Heading 8709 also covers tractors of the type used on railway station platforms as well as parts of the vehicles.
‘Segways’ and ‘hoverboards’ are classified under subheading 8711909000 (as a 2 wheeled electric motored vehicle).
Amphibious motor vehicles are classified under the appropriate heading of Chapter 87.
Classifying tanks and other armoured vehicles
Tanks and other armoured, motorised fighting vehicles, whether or not fitted with weapons, and parts specific to such vehicles are classified under subheading 8710000000.
You’re advised that prohibitions and restrictions may apply to the import and export of these vehicles and the trade in arms generally.
Classifying ‘classic’ vehicles and parts
Chapter 87 includes classification of ‘classic or collectors’ cars, unless they meet the criteria found at Additional Note 1 to chapter 97 in the Tariff.
Racing cars which can be proven to have been designed, built and used solely for competition may be classified under chapter 97 only if they’ve achieved significant sporting successes at prestigious national or international events.
In order for vehicles (and ‘original authentic’ as opposed to ‘modern replica’ parts) to be considered as eligible for historic collectors status, you’ll have to provide information dating the year of manufacture. You must also state whether any substantial changes have been made to the vehicle as modernised or modified vehicles are excluded.
Repairing and restoring is allowed, and broken or worn-out parts, accessories and units can be replaced, provided that the vehicle is preserved and maintained in the historically correct condition.
Cars less than 30 years old are generally classified under heading 8703.
If you wish to import a vehicle, and you believe it to be a collector’s piece of historic interest (for example, for heading 9705), HMRC advise that you should obtain a Binding Tariff Information (BTI) ruling before importing the vehicle (a BTI can’t be issued for goods that have been subject to Customs import procedures).
Classifying motorcycles, mopeds and bicycles with an electric motor
Heading 8711 includes motorcycles, mopeds and cycles fitted with an auxiliary motor whether or not they come with an attached sidecar. Also trikes with ‘handlebar’ steering and sidecars are also classified under heading 8711.
Mobility scooters aren’t included in this classification and are covered under subheading 8703101800.
(Motor) scooters and electric bikes
Scooters may be presented as unassembled or disassembled but as long as they are to be powered by a petrol engine of up to 50cc, they are to be classified under 8711100010.
Scooters with an engine size exceeding 50cc but not exceeding 250cc are classified under 8711201000.
Electric scooters and bikes with auxiliary electric motor with a continuous rated power not exceeding 250 watts are classified under 8711901000, otherwise 8711909000.
Non-powered scooters - that’s foot-propelled scooters - are classified in chapter 95.
The classification of motorcycles is based purely on their engine size. Those that don’t exceed 50cc are classified under 8711100090.
Larger motorcycles are classified as follows:
|Engine size exceeding 50cc but not exceeding 125cc||8711209200|
|Exceeding 125cc but not exceeding 250cc||8711209800|
|Exceeding 250cc but not exceeding 380cc||8711301000|
|Exceeding 380cc but not exceeding 500cc||8711309000|
|Exceeding 500cc but not exceeding 800cc||8711400000|
This classification doesn’t include (pedal) bicycles and other un-motorised cycles.
Vehicles and automotive components are subject to type approval and, amongst other considerations, environmental regulations and registration requirements. For example, their fuel consumption and emission rates, and whether or not they’re permanent or temporary imports or exports.
Classifying (pedal) bicycles and other non-motorised cycles
Bicycles and other non-motorised cycles - including children’s bicycles and delivery tricycles – are classified under heading 8712.
A bicycle is to be classified as a complete or finished vehicle provided it has the essential character of a bicycle.
This means that the frames and forks must be present, plus any 2 of the following major components – a set of wheels, a steering unit (including handlebar and handbar stems), brake system and crank-gear (normally consists of a bracket-bearing axle, gearings and a crank or pedal arm).
Bicycles are classified under subheading 87120030 and unicycles under 87120070.
Parts of bicycles are often classified under subheading 87149, but excepting items such as tyres (chapter 40), luggage (chapter 42) or lighting (8512100000).
These classifications don’t include motorcycles, mopeds, scooters and cycles with motors.
Non-powered scooters and children’s cycles other than bicycles (toys) are classified in chapter 95 (see Classifying toys, games and sports equipment for import and export.
Wheeled toys powered by internal combustion piston engines designed to be ridden by children, so-called ‘Quad vehicles’, are classified in chapter 95 providing they meet all of the following:
- a speed not exceeding 20kph (approximately 12.5 mph)
- a net weight not exceeding 50kg
- a cylinder capacity not exceeding 49cc
- one-speed transmission
- only one back-wheel brake system
For more information, see Classifying toys, games and sports equipment for import and export.
Classifying vehicle parts and accessories
Vehicle parts and accessories can be classified in various chapters in the Tariff, including but not limited to chapter 87. The list is an extensive one to help you make the initial check, or at least to establish the correct term for the part before taking your search any further.
Parts and accessories
Sometimes there are special headings for industrial assembly goods.
|Air conditioning units||8415200000|
|Air pumps (hand or foot operated)||841420|
|Air pumps – electric||8414808090|
|Anti-skid chains (of steel)||7315200000|
|Badges of base metal||8310000000|
|Badges of plastics||3926400000|
|Battery, lead acid type||850710|
|Battery, other types||8507|
|Bearings, plain shell||8483308090|
|Bearings, roller||8482 or 8483|
|Belts, various of rubber||40101|
|Body panels and parts and accessories||870829|
|Bolts, of steel||73181|
|Bonnet or boot lid catches or handles of metal||8302300000|
|Bonnet or boot lid catches or handles of plastic||3926300090|
|Boots, gaiters of rubber||401699|
|Brake discs and drums for cars or lorries||870830|
|Brake discs and drums for motorcycles||8714101000|
|Brake fluid reservoirs for cars or lorries||870830|
|Brake lines and pipes of copper and copper alloys – if not to length and equipped with end fittings||7411|
|Brake lines and pipes of steel – if not to length and equipped with end fittings||73|
|Brake linings (that’s, raw material) without shoes or mounting plates||6813|
|Brakes for cars or lorries||870830|
|Brake pads, complete, for motorcycles||8714101000|
|Caps for fuel tanks or radiators for cars or lorries||8708999790|
|Carpets, of textile||57|
|Carpets of rubber (shaped)||401691|
|Car audio and visual equipment||See audio or video guide|
|Catalytic converter units||8421393590|
|Catches for doors or windows of metal||8302300000|
|Clutch actuating mechanism, forks, plates, clutch units for cars or lorries||870893|
|Clutch thrust bearing, ball roller||8482|
|Clutches and parts for motorcycles||8714105000|
|Connectors for electrical cables||8536901000|
|Constant velocity joints||8483608090|
|Contact breaker points or sets||8511900090|
|Control cables, non-electrical, made to length for motorcycles||8714|
|Convertible tops or drop-heads or hoods||870829|
|Cooling system filters||See filters|
|Cooling system pumps||8413308090|
|Couplings, hose of steel||7307|
|Couplings, hose, of brass or copper||7412200000|
|Cylinder head bolts of steel||7318|
|Dampers||See shock absorbers|
|Differentials (including housings, carriers, gear, wheels, cages or spiders)||8708|
|Doors for cars or lorries||8708299090|
|Door handles of metal||8302300000|
|Door handles of plastic||39263000 90|
|Door hinges, of metal||8302300000|
|Door locks (metal)||8301200000|
|Door sealing strips of rubber||401699|
|Drain (sump) bolt, even if with magnet, of steel||731815|
|Drain (sump) bolt, even if with magnet, of copper or brass||7415390000|
|Drive belts of rubber||4010|
|Earthing strap, not insulated, of copper||7413000090|
|Earthing strap, not insulated, of steel||7312900000|
|Engine Control Unit (ECU)||85371098|
|Electrical (vehicle) wiring, insulated||8544300089|
|Electric bulbs||See electric lamps guide|
|Electric motors, for purposes other than starting||8501|
|Electric starter motor||8511400090|
|Engine – petrol||84073|
|Engine – diesel||840820|
|Exhaust silencers and pipes for cars or lorries but not catalytic converters||8708923500|
|Exhaust silencers and pipes for motorcycles but not catalytic converters||8714104000|
|Expansion tanks, cooling system for cars or lorries||8708999790|
|Expansion tanks, cooling system for motorcycles||8714109090|
|Fan belts, of rubber||40103|
|Fifth wheel couplings, motor tractor mounted||8708999790|
|Fifth wheel couplings, trailer mounted||8716909090|
|Filler caps, radiator,||8708999790|
|First aid kits||3006500000|
|Floor mats of rubber||4016910000|
|Fog lamp unit (not just the bulbs)||85122000|
|Fuel gauges, electronic||90261029 00|
|Fuel gauge, non-electronic||90261089 00|
|Fuel lines for cars or lorries (already made to length)||8708999790|
|Fuel lines for motorcycles (already made to length)||8714109090|
|Fuel tanks for cars or lorries||8708999790|
|Fuel tanks for motorcycles||8714109090|
|Fuel injection pumps||8413302090|
|Fuses, for max. current less than 10 amps||8536101090|
|Fuses, for max. current between 10 to 63 amps||8536105090|
|Fuses, for max. current exceeding 63 amps||8536109090|
|Gaiters, boots, bellows of rubber||401699|
|Gaskets, if metal sheeting combined with other material, or of two or more layers of metal||8484100090|
|Gaskets of aluminium||7616999099|
|Gaskets of copper||7419999099|
|Gaskets of cork (agglomerated)||4504908090|
|Gaskets of iron or steel||7326909890|
|Gaskets of paper||48239085 80|
|Gaskets and sealing rings of rubber||4016930090|
|Gearbox for cars or lorries||870840|
|Glass, unframed (toughened or tempered safety glass)||7007111000|
|Glass, unframed (laminated safety glass)||7007212000|
|Global Positioning System (GPS)||85269120|
|Grommets of rubber||401699|
|Grommets of plastic||3926909790|
|Halogen electric light bulbs||8539213000|
|Headrests not being integral parts of seats||9404909000|
|Headrests being integral parts of seats||9401908090|
|Hoses, of flexible steel||8307100090|
|Hoses of plastic (with or without fittings)||3917|
|Hoses of rubber (with or without fittings)||4009|
|Hose clips, of steel||7326909890|
|Identification plates of metal||8310000000|
|Injection pumps, fuel complete||8413302090|
|Injector nozzles (with solenoid valve) for diesel engines||8409990010|
|Injector nozzles for petrol engines||8409910090|
|Inner tubes for tyres, for cars or lorries||4013100000|
|Inner tubes for tyres, for motorcycles||4013900000|
|Inner tube valves||8481804090|
|Intercooler, for cars or lorries||870891|
|Jacks, lifting - hydraulic||8425420000|
|Jacks, lifting – not hydraulic||8425490000|
|Junction boxes, terminal blocks, fuse boxes,||8536699099|
|Knobs, gear lever, for cars or lorries||8708999790|
|Lamp bulbs, electric||8539|
|Levers, rods and linkages for cars or lorries||8708999790|
|Locking fuel tank caps||8708999790|
|Loudspeakers – single driver or speaker||8518210000|
|Loudspeakers – multiple driver or speaker||8518220090|
|Luggage racks, external, for cars||8708999790|
|Manifolds, inlet or outlet – for petrol engine||8409910090|
|Manifolds, inlet or outlet – for diesel engine||8409990090|
|Mats, floor – of rubber||4008211000|
|Mats, floor – of textile carpeting||57|
|Mirrors, rear view, of glass||70091000|
|Motors – electric, wiper motor||8501|
|Mudguards for cars or lorries||8708299090|
|Mudguards for motorcycles||8714109090|
|Navigation systems (GPS)||85269120|
|Number plates of metal||8310000000|
|Number plates of plastic||3926909290|
|Number plate lamp fitting||8512200090|
|Nuts and bolts of steel||73181|
|Nuts and bolts of plastic||3926909790|
|Oil temperature gauge, electronic||9025192000|
|Oil temperature gauge, not-electronic||9025198090|
|Pistons, for petrol engines||8409910090|
|Pistons, for diesel engines||8409990090|
|Plugs - heater for diesel engines||8511800090|
|Points, contact breaker||8511900090|
|Push rods for petrol engines||8409910090|
|Push rods for diesel engines||8409990090|
|Radiators, cooling – for cars or lorries||87089135|
|Radiators, cooling – for motorcycles||8714109090|
|Radiator caps, for cars or lorries||8708919990|
|Radiator caps, for motorcycles||8714109090|
|Relays, electric – for a current not exceeding 2 amps||8536411090|
|Relays, electric – for a current exceeding 2 amps||8536419089|
|Revolution counter (tachometer)||9029100090|
|Saddles for motorcycles||8714109010|
|Seat covers, padded of textile||6307|
|Shock absorber (dampers) for cars or lorries||8708803|
|Shock absorber (dampers) for motorcycles||8714109090|
|Silencer for cars or lorries||8708923500|
|Silencer for motorcycles||8714104000|
|Snow chains of steel||7315200000|
|Tachometer (revolution counter)||9029203890|
|Turbo repair kit||8414900090|
|Tyres, used or re-treaded||4012|
|Tyre pressure gauge, electronic||9026202000|
|Tyre pressure gauge, spiral or metal diaphragm type||9026204000|
|Tyre pressure gauge, not electronic nor spiral or metal diaphragm type||9026208000|
|Tyre pump, foot operated||8414208090|
|Tyre pump, other than hand or foot operated||8414808090|
|Valve caps, for tyre valves||8481900090|
|Valve guides for petrol engines||8409910090|
|Valve guides for diesel engines||8409990090|
|Valves, inlet and exhaust, for petrol engines||8409910090|
|Valves, inlet and exhaust, for diesel engines||8409990090|
|Water or cooling medium pump||8413308090|
|Wheels, with or without tyres for cars or lorries||870870|
|Wheels, with or without tyres for motorcycles||8714103000|
|Wheel trims (including embellishers) for cars||8708709900|
|Window glass – unframed||See glass|
|Window glass – framed||8708999790|
|Wiper motor – electric||8501|
|Windscreen wiper blades||4016995200|
|Wheel balance weights||8708709900|
|Wheel bearings||See bearings|
Many parts and accessories for vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705 should be classified under heading 8708.
Similar parts and accessories for vehicles of headings 8711 to 8713 are likely to be classified under heading 8714.
The expression ‘parts and accessories’ doesn’t apply to certain parts - for example, nuts, bolts or washers - as they’re considered as parts of general use.
For a full list of exclusions, see note 2 to Section XVII in the Tariff.
Find commodity codes and other measures applying to imports and exports by accessing our online UK Trade Tariff tool.
Certain vehicle parts and accessories may also be subject to type approval, environmental and other regulations, such as catalytic converters.
You can use the online UK Trade Tariff tool to look up classification codes.
If you’re unable to self-assess your products after using the tool, you can email us: email@example.com.
Please only detail one item per email and includes the following type of information:
- what the product is
- what it’s made of - if made of more than one material please explain the breakdown of the materials
- what it’s used for
- how the product works or functions
- how it’s presented or packaged
For vehicles, please include:
- the age
- the engine type (petrol or diesel) and the engine size
- whether the vehicle is new or used (and if the vehicle is over 30 years old)
- if it’s in its original condition
- if the vehicle is going to be for everyday use or for its original purpose
A classification officer will email a response back to you providing you with non-legally binding classification advice based on the information you have supplied.
Classifying trike bikes information is in Tariff Notice 15/07.
Classifying goods vehicles information is in Tariff Notice 06/07.
Classifying double cab vehicles information is in Tariff Notice 07/08.
Published: 3 August 2012
Updated: 21 April 2017
- The commodity code entry for Sensors has been corrected to 903180 from 9031803.
- Updated guidance to include classification of vehicles and related commodity codes.
- Guidance updated to include new section for classifying all terrain vehicles.
- The further information section has been updated to show the change of contact details.
- Fixing references to specialist guides
- First published.