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SOME disabled people can buy vehicles VAT free.

Who qualifies?

Those in permament need of wheelchairs (electrically powered or otherwise) in order to be mobile and those who are usually carried on a stretcher.

What vehicles qualify?

Those that have been substantially and permanently adapted for the carriage of a disabled person who normally uses a wheelchair or stretcher; and have a carrying capacity of no more than 12 people; and be supplied to a wheelchair or stretcher user for their domestic or personal use.

The disabled person does not need to remain in the wheelchair or on the stretcher. They may travel in any of the seats.


What adaptations are required?

A vehicle that is substantially and permanently adapted for use by a person who normally uses a wheelchair or stretcher will qualify if adapted

  • to allow the wheelchair/stretcher user to enter and travel in the vehicle while seated in the wheelchair or on the stretcher; or
  • to allow the wheelchair/stretcher user to enter or leave the vehicle; or
  • to enable a wheelchair/stretcher user to drive the vehicle; or
  • to allow a wheelchair to be carried on or in the vehicle.

The following are examples of different kinds of adaptations which may be made to enable a wheelchair or stretcher user to enter, drive or travel in a qualifying vehicle –

  • a swivel seat;
  • a hoist to lift a wheelchair into or onto the vehicle;
  • a box for the wheelchair which is fitted to the top or the back of the vehicle;
  • adaptations which enable a wheelchair user to drive the vehicle, such as a push/pull brake and accelerator, hand controls or other aids that operate the primary driving controls;
  • infra-red control unit that operates the secondary controls.

This is not an exhaustive list.

Such adaptations should generally be welded or bolted onto the vehicle in order to meet the requirement that they be permanent.

The adaptations must be done before the vehicle is supplied to the customer. This means that the adaptation work must be invoiced to the customer on the same invoice as the supply of the vehicle.

The repair and maintenance of the adapted vehicle also qualifies for the VAT zero rate. This only applies if the original vehicle qualified for the relief.

You will have to complete a declaration provided by the dealer.

Vehicles purchased using hire purchase from Motability Finance Limited, or any other finance company, will be eligible for the VAT zero rate as set out here.

Hire charges for a qualifying vehicle to a qualifying person will also be eligible for the VAT zero rate.

Useful links:

Mobilise, the charity for disabled motorists: www.dda.org.uk