HM Customs & Excise usually requires insurance restrictions (prohibiting private use) on the use of a vehicle to allow VAT recovery on double cabs. Private use of the vehicles could lead to their classification as cars.
But a landmark case, in favour of a company that used a double-cab for transporting mechanics, has ruled there was credible evidence the vehicle was locked at the firm's yard overnight, and that employees all had private vehicles of their own. Because the firm bought, sold, collected and delivered army surplus vehicles, it had a wide ranging insurance policy, which did not have specific provision for the double-cab as a business vehicle.
A PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) briefing stated: 'If an argument is to be mounted on the grounds that a vehicle is not available for private use then the evidence must reflect the facts. It must also be presented clearly and credibly and present a credible whole.'
PWC recommended that when the sums involved are large, fleets should seek specialist help to prepare and present the evidence as effectively as possible.