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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Car benefit: meaning of available

Section 114(1) ITEPA 2003

The fact that a car may be available to an employee is not sufficient in itself to establish car benefit. The car must first have been made available to that employee; see EIM23200.

The word available is not defined in the legislation. Accordingly we apply its ordinary dictionary meaning of at one’s disposal or capable of being used. The Oxford English Dictionary includes this as its definition of the word’s current meaning:

“that may be availed of. Capable of being employed with advantage or turned to account; hence, capable of being made use of, at one’s disposal, within one’s reach.”

See example EIM25170 for examples of circumstances when we would accept that a car is not available.

See example EIM25175 for examples of circumstances when we would not accept that a car is not available.

See EIM25105 for an explanation of the interaction between:

  • the concept of unavailability and
  • the period during which a car may be treated as unavailable.