Beta This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what beta means

HMRC internal manual

VAT Government and Public Bodies

Section 33 bodies: cars: introduction

VAT law as it applies to cars is generally expressed in terms of business use and input tax. This has caused uncertainty in the past for public bodies whose ‘business’ is the undertaking of non-business (but not private) activities and who can recover non-business VAT under section 33.

Public bodies that fall within section 33 can treat their official business activities as if they were business for the purpose of VAT recovery in the following areas:

  • car purchases
  • car leasing
  • road fuel, and
  • repairs and maintenance.

For this purpose official business covers all activities except supplies for private use.

For further information about VAT and cars see the VAT Input Tax Manual (VIT) and Notice 700/64 ’Motoring expenses’ (external users can find the guidance and notice respectively at and…).