Motor vehicles: disposals
Vehicles imported into or purchased within the UK under diplomatic privilege may only be disposed of in the UK with the prior permission of the FCO.
A car can be sold to another entitled person without payment of any VAT or duty charges, after permission has been granted, or to a non-entitled person upon payment of the VAT and duty. The charges are calculated on the value of the vehicle at the time of sale. The rate used to calculate the charges will be the lower of the rate at the time of the disposal or the rate at the time the relief was granted.
Authorisation for the disposal and assessment of charges will be completed using Form 5 (available from FCO) and charges paid as calculated by the Personal Transport Unit (PTU).
On receipt of a Form 5 from a diplomat or mission, the PTU should:
- Check that the form has been completed correctly and stamped by the DVLA. If the Form 5 has not been stamped it should be returned to the diplomat or mission to obtain the correct stamps
- Assess the customs charges to be paid on the vehicle
- Return the form to the diplomat or mission via the FCO
Payment should be sent to: Personal Transport Unit, HM Revenue & Customs, Building 22, Priory Court, St Johns Road, Dover, Kent, CT17 9SH.
A receipt should be issued to the mission or diplomat on collection of the VAT or duty.
For vehicles manufactured in the UK, the VAT and duty charges should be paid to the FCO.
For vehicles manufactured outside the UK, the VAT and duty charges should be paid to HMRC.
Stolen or written off vehicles
No VAT and/or duty charges should be collected on diplomatic vehicles which are stolen. Where a vehicle is subsequently recovered and sold to a non-entitled person VAT and/or duty charges should be calculated and collected. In these cases the charges are calculated on the value of the vehicle in its current condition.
Where vehicles are written off, the charges are calculated in the same way. The insurer should obtain a valuation of the vehicle and forward it to the Vehicle Appraisal Unit (part of the PTU) who will assess the charges based on that valuation. Charges can be paid either by the vehicle owner or the insurer.