VAT Recovery When Leasing Vehicles

VAT recovery when leasing vehicles

Leasing companies can generally recover the VAT incurred when purchasing cars, provided the cars are leased out at a commercial rate. This means that if they lease vehicles to other businesses, they can claim back the car leasing VAT paid during the purchase.

Business Leasing and VAT Recovery

When a business leases a car for business purposes, they can typically recover 50% of the VAT charged. The other 50% is disallowed because it accounts for any private use of the vehicle. It’s essential for businesses to keep clear records to distinguish between business and private use for VAT recovery purposes. The business can reclaim the remaining 50% of the car leasing VAT charged following standard VAT rules.

VAT Recovery for Specialized Uses

In cases where cars are leased primarily for specific purposes such as taxi services or driving instruction, businesses can reclaim all of the VAT charged on the lease. This applies to “qualifying cars,” and the business must intend to use them primarily for either:

  • Providing hire services with a driver for carrying passengers.
  • Providing driving instruction.

VAT Recovery for Self-Drive Hire

The 50% car leasing VAT recovery block also applies to self-drive hire, including daily rental. This restriction is in place when a car is hired to replace an ordinary company car that is off the road. Businesses can only recover 50% of the VAT in such cases, with the other half being disallowed for private use.

The Whole Idea

It’s crucial for businesses to carefully consider their use of leased vehicles and maintain accurate records to ensure compliance with VAT regulations. Failure to correctly account for VAT on motor expenses can lead to issues with tax authorities, including potential penalties or additional tax liabilities. Consulting with a tax professional or accountant with expertise in VAT can be beneficial to navigate these regulations effectively.

Leasing a Car for Business Tax Deduction

In addition to the VAT considerations mentioned above, businesses leasing cars for commercial purposes may also benefit from tax deductions based on the percentage of business use. When a company leases a vehicle for business operations, they can often deduct a portion of the lease expenses as a tax deduction. However, this deduction is subject to careful documentation and adherence to tax regulations.

Leasing a car for business tax deduction is typically calculated based on the percentage of business-related mileage compared to total mileage. The deductible portion of the lease payments can help reduce the company’s taxable income, leading to potential tax savings. As with VAT recovery, it’s crucial for businesses to maintain detailed records of mileage and usage to substantiate these deductions and ensure compliance with tax laws.


Consulting with a qualified tax professional or accountant who specializes in business taxation is recommended to maximize the car leasing tax benefits for business purposes and to navigate the intricacies of tax deductions associated with it.

Source:HM Revenue & Customs| 13-08-2023