Motoring: Double Cabs May Face Higher Tax

Article excerpt

Byline: ROBIN ROBERTS Motoring Editor

GOVERNMENT attempts to plug a tax loophole in company vehicle benefits could spell disaster for double cabs, according to Cap Red Book editor David Hill.

The trade price guide is concerned that Gordon Brown may announce his intention to introduce higher taxes for double cabs over a ton carrying capacity.

Until now these have been exempt from the usual benefit in kind tax and meant some pounds 20,000 vehicle attracted just pounds 500 tax.

This led to a boom in sales of heavy weight double cabs and the Treasury has lost a lot of benefit money.

It is now thought likely that the Treasury will move to make up the loss with a higher weight limit before tax is taken.

Any change could spell a disaster for the trade, warns Mr Hill.

``Double cab pickups have been the biggest winner here and the manufacturers have been quick to respond with enhanced specification and improved ride quality. ``All this stems from government re-interpretation of the rules and regulations which define precisely what makes a commercial vehicle as opposed to a car.

``Good news or not, what we must watch out for are changes in the rules slipping in with little notice because that is often the first step in a journey towards trouble with the Inland Revenue. …