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How do I get the VAT back when I export a car from the UK?

If you are buying a VAT qualifying car in the UK and looking to export the vehicle beyond the EU, you will need to know how the VAT reclaim process works. If the correct process is followed you will find you're get a very large cost saving on your export purchase, this can be as much as up to a 20% saving.

What is a VAT qualifying car?

A VAT Qualifying Car is a car that has previously been owned by a business or is a brand-new car from a main franchiser. A VAT Registered individual or company buying the car solely for business use or for export outside of the EU can reclaim the 20% VAT from the purchase price.


3 options for buying a VAT free car

Option 1 | Reclaiming the VAT yourself

Buy directly from a UK dealer and have the invoice show the amount of VAT you are paying so it can then be reclaimed. You can apply to reclaim the VAT yourself. The documentation must be written and presented correctly, and all information must be present and correct. You will need information about you, your circumstances and details of the car. Be careful that during this process, the car does not get registered to a private UK address, as this can negate the whole application, as the VAT can only be reclaimed if exported outside of the EU.

Option 2 | Via a UK Independent Dealer

You may find a dealership who is willing to process the VAT. These are usually independent dealers and it is not uncommon for them to ask you to cover the VAT while it is being reclaimed. Expensive and inconvenient. This is high risk as there are some instances where the VAT never gets returned. This is where you could land yourself in hot water, with no protection and a large sum of money missing. From this point, it is very difficult to claim anything back. You should not be asked to provide additional information beyond the VAT claim forms and you should feel protected throughout the process.

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