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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

Van benefit from 2005/06: definitions - van

Section 115 ITEPA 2003

This definition is carried over from years before 2005/06 and remains unchanged in practice.


A van means a mechanically propelled road vehicle that:

  • is a goods vehicle (a vehicle of a construction primarily suited for the conveyance of goods or burden of any description) and
  • has a design weight (see EIM22730) not exceeding 3,500kg and
  • is not a motor cycle (essentially, a vehicle with less than four wheels).

Note that people are not “goods or burden” so a minibus (for example) is not a van.

There is a summary of whether a vehicle is a car or a van at EIM23110 and guidance on the category of vehicle usually known as ‘double cab pick-ups’ at EIM23150 (this guidance, originally an interim measure from 2002/03, is now permanent). If you are still not sure whether a particular vehicle is a car or a van, see EIM23160.

Heavy Goods Vehicles

A vehicle whose design weight exceeds 3,500kg is not a van but a heavy goods vehicle. See EIM22990 for guidance about heavy goods vehicles. This guidance also applies to years before 2005/06 and was formerly at EIM22300.