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When is a goods van considered a car?

Lindsey Wicks looks at the ramifications of the judgement in Payne & Ors v Revenue & Customs [2020] EWCA Civ 889.

VanI am reminded of a car journey before lockdown when (by complete coincidence) my kids spotted a VW Kombi van with a Coca-Cola bumper sticker and remarked: “Look, that van says ‘Coca-Cola’”. The fact that the ‘van’ they were looking at might be a ‘car’ for tax purposes was lost on an eight-year-old and a 10-year-old – as it would be on most people outside of tax. However, that is exactly what this case is about and has wide implications for employees and employers where similar vehicles are provided – a point acknowledged by the Court of Appeal (CA).

The vehicles were Vauxhall Vivaros and the first and second generations of VW Transporter T5 Kombi vans provided by Coca-Cola European Partners Great Britain Limited (Coca-Cola) to its employees for use in their work and for their own private purposes.