IT’S a good question, although HMRC is unequivocal: if it has a payload of one tonne then it’s a commercial vehicle.
However, there is a BUT.
HMRC recognises this ‘but’ and has a list of exceptions –these include car-derived vans and combi vans.
However, Business Vans reader Chris Bone made a relevant comment on our recent SsangYong Korando Sports and SsangYong Korando CSX Commercial van reviews.
Chris is quite blunt: “With less than 1000kg payload, VAT is not recoverable. Non-starter.”
And he does have a point. HMRC defines pick-ups as commercials if they have a 1 tonne payload. This is particularly important if you want to run the vehicle on a company car policy and benefit from lower van tax.
If that’s the case, the Korando Sports pick up, with its 634kg payload, clearly is a non-starter.
But what about the VAT and commercial vehicles? That’s a different matter.
I spoke to Steve Gray about this, who is SsangYong’s head of marketing, and whether the Korean vehicle importer had applied to HMRC to be on the HMRC’s list of exceptions for both the Korando Sports pick up and the Korando CSX Commercial van.
“Yes, we have,” responded Steve, “following your request for clarification. We’re sure both vehicles do qualify as commercial vehicles, but it would be clearly useful if they were included on HMRC’s updated list of exceptions.”
However, the issue of the Korando Sports pick up is possibly cloudier. Isn’t it?
Not so, reckons Steve. “You can claim the VAT back on any vehicle that is used exclusively for business, so we think van operators who want a good value four-wheel drive pick up won’t have a problem.”
Steve also added: “I think commercial vehicle status is defined by a vehicle’s homologation and therefore it’s VED status. By that definition Korando Sports is an LCV.”
In the meantime, SsangYong is in conversation with HMRC and tells us there’s the promise of further business vans, and commercial vehicles, from the company in the pipeline.
We’ll let you know the news on both counts.