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

HMRC internal manual

VAT Input Tax

Motoring expenses: input tax on vehicles other than cars

The normal rules on when to claim VAT back apply to the purchase of any road vehicle other than a car. VAT on a lorry, van or other commercial vehicle can be recovered if:

  • it is supplied to a registered person; and
  • it is used for the purpose of their business.

Generally HMRC views any incidental private use of most types of commercial vehicle as de minimis. We would not restrict input tax in that case.

The intended use of commercial vehicles that are suitable for private use must be considered. In cases where the private use is more than de minimis it would be necessary to:

  • apportion the tax on the purchase and only claim the element relating to the business use (see VIT25000); or
  • recover the input tax in full and account for output tax each period under the Lennartz principle (see VIT25510).

Commercial vehicles suitable for private use include motor caravans, motorcycles and double cabs. Double cabs are not cars for VAT purposes. They are often marketed as dual purpose commercial and lifestyle vehicles.