HMRC's Reversal on Double Cab Pickup Tax Classification

HMRC’s Reversal on Double Cab Pickups

VAT and Company car tax changes and HMRC’s Reversal Explained

In an unexpected twist, HMRC has reversed its earlier decision to reclassify double cab pickup trucks as cars for tax and VAT purposes.

This move, initially set to reshape the tax landscape from 1 July 2024, had significant implications for UK taxpayers, particularly those utilising these vehicles for both business and personal use. 

Here, we delve into the reversal, exploring its background, reasons, and the effects it nullifies from the previous directive.

HMRC’s Reversal Explained

HMRC’s initial decision aimed to align the tax treatment of double cab pickup trucks with passenger cars, citing their dual-use capability as the basis for the change.

This reclassification would have restricted VAT recovery on purchases, hire, and fuel costs, increased Benefit in Kind (BiK) tax for private use, and altered capital allowances, alongside potential hikes in road tax and insurance premiums.

However, following a period of consultation and feedback from various stakeholders, HMRC recognized the broad implications and challenges this change posed.

The reversal, therefore, maintains the status of double cab pickups as commercial vehicles, preserving the tax benefits associated with this classification.

Original Changes Versus Reversal

Previously Announced Changes:

  • VAT recovery on purchases, hire, and fuel costs would have been restricted.
  • BiK tax for private use was set to increase, aligning with car benefits.
  • Capital allowances and potential increases in road tax and insurance premiums would reflect the car classification.

Impact of the Reversal:

  • VAT recovery, BiK rates, and capital allowances for double cab pickups remain favourable, aligned with their commercial vehicle status.
  • Businesses and individuals can continue to enjoy the tax benefits previously afforded to these vehicles, without facing the anticipated increases in tax liabilities and operational costs.

Examples of Impact and Advice Moving Forward

Under the original changes, a business purchasing a double cab pickup for £30,000 would have faced restrictions in VAT recovery and increased BiK tax rates for private use.

For example, the BiK tax payable could have jumped significantly, based on CO2 emissions and list price, affecting both employers and employees financially.

With the reversal, such vehicles retain their advantageous tax treatment, allowing businesses and individuals to reclaim VAT and benefit from lower BiK rates.

This decision underscores the need for taxpayers to stay informed and adaptable, consulting with tax professionals to navigate the ever-evolving tax regulations effectively.

Accountant York


HMRC’s reversal on the tax classification of double cab pickup trucks marks a significant moment of responsiveness to stakeholder feedback and practical considerations.

It highlights the importance of informed decision-making and adaptability in financial planning.

Taxpayers who rely on these versatile vehicles for business operations can breathe a sigh of relief, as the financial and operational benefits of their commercial vehicle status remain intact.

Staying Informed

As tax legislation continues to evolve, staying abreast of changes and seeking professional advice is crucial.

For further details on this reversal and its implications, refer to HMRC’s official announcement and guidance.


Need a quick answer? Check out our frequently asked questions on the reversal from HMRC on Double Cab pickups.

Will HMRC’s decision impact road tax and insurance premiums for double cab pickups?2024-02-23T12:17:05+00:00

The decision by HMRC to maintain the classification of double cab pickup trucks as commercial vehicles for tax purposes primarily impacts tax treatment, such as VAT reclaimability and Benefit in Kind (BiK) rates. However, it indirectly affects road tax and insurance premiums as well:

Road Tax

  • Direct Impact: The classification of a vehicle as a commercial vehicle or a car can affect its Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), commonly known as road tax. Commercial vehicles generally benefit from a flat rate of VED, which can be lower than the rates applied to cars, especially those based on CO2 emissions.
  • Indirect Impact: Since double cab pickups will continue to be classified as commercial vehicles, they will benefit from the commercial vehicle rate for road tax, which could be more favourable compared to the potential rates if reclassified as cars.

Insurance Premiums

  • Direct Impact: The classification of a vehicle can influence insurance premiums, but this is more directly determined by insurance companies based on risk assessments, vehicle value, intended use, and other factors.
  • Indirect Impact: Maintaining the commercial vehicle status may keep insurance premiums more consistent with previous expectations for these types of vehicles. However, premiums can still vary widely based on the insurer, the specific vehicle, and its use.

In summary, while the HMRC decision directly impacts tax treatment, it also has implications for road tax and potentially for insurance premiums, maintaining a status quo that could be financially advantageous for businesses and individuals using double cab pickups for commercial purposes. It’s always recommended to consult directly with tax professionals, insurance providers, and relevant authorities to understand the specific impacts based on individual circumstances and the latest regulations.

Can businesses still reclaim VAT on double cab pickup purchases?2024-02-23T12:06:51+00:00

Yes, businesses can continue to reclaim VAT on double cab pickup purchases, provided these vehicles are used for business purposes. This is due to HMRC’s reversal of their decision to reclassify double cab pickups as cars for tax purposes, maintaining their status as commercial vehicles. The ability to reclaim VAT is a significant advantage for businesses that rely on these vehicles, as it helps to reduce the overall cost of vehicle ownership and operation.

What are the tax implications of the HMRC Double Cab Pickup reversal?2024-02-23T12:18:24+00:00

The HMRC Double Cab pickup reversal means these pickups remain classified as commercial vehicles, preserving favourable VAT, BiK, and capital allowances treatments.

When was the HMRC Double Cab Pickup reversal announced?2024-02-23T12:19:02+00:00

On Monday 12 February 2024 HMRC updated its guidance on the tax treatment of Double Cab Pick Ups (DCPUs), following a 2020 Court of Appeal judgment. The guidance had confirmed that, from 1 July 2024, DCPUs with a payload of one tonne or more would be treated as cars rather than goods vehicles for both capital allowances and benefit-in-kind purposes.

Since then, the government has listened carefully to views from farmers and the motoring industry on the potential impacts of the change in tax-treatment. The government has acknowledged that the 2020 court decision and resultant guidance update could have an impact on businesses and individuals in a way that is not consistent with the government’s wider aims to support businesses, including vital motoring and farming industries.

On 19 February 2024 HMRC announced that its existing guidance will be withdrawn, meaning that DCPUs will continue to be treated as goods vehicles rather than cars, and businesses and individuals can continue to benefit from its historic tax treatment.

What has HMRC reversed regarding double cab pickup trucks?2024-02-23T11:58:34+00:00

HMRC reversed its decision to reclassify double cab pickup trucks as cars for tax purposes. This reversal means that double cab pickup trucks will continue to be classified as commercial vehicles for tax and VAT (Value Added Tax) purposes, maintaining the tax advantages previously available to owners and users of these vehicles, such as more favorable Benefit in Kind (BiK) rates and the ability to reclaim VAT for businesses using these vehicles primarily for commercial purposes.

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