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HMRC internal manual

Guidance on the Audit of Customs Values

Wrecked cars imported as spares: Case study


A UK motor vehicle repairer imports wrecked cars on behalf of a large insurance company, who retain ownership of the cars. The cars have been written-off for insurance purposes and are broken in the UK for use as spares. It is impossible to establish a value under Methods 1 - 5.

WCO Study 1.1 (Treatment of used motor vehicles) suggests a value can be found under Method 6 based on the value of new and used cars as listed in catalogues or specialised periodicals, less a deduction taking account of “the vehicles condition and of all elements affecting its value (for example abnormal wear…).”


A basis of value is to be established on the same lines as those agreed for import VAT. This is based on the price in Glass’s Guide, less a deduction to account for the condition of the vehicle and the included taxes and duties.

The basis of value is as follows:

  • vehicles under 12 months old at importation - Price of new vehicle less 70%; and
  • vehicles over 12 months old at importation - Basic “T” price less 70%.