Is this used Mitsubishi L200 really available as 'VAT-free'?

My son is interested in acquiring a Mitsubishi L200. He will not be able to afford a new one and so has been researching the secondhand market, including Mitsubishi dealer offers. Invariably, dealers quote the prices as "plus VAT" and so obviously one would add 17.5 per cent to determine the price one would have to pay. However, he has noticed one trader (not a Mitsubishi dealer) which quotes a price and states "No VAT". My son would use the vehicle purely in a private capacity and would not be able to offset any VAT against business costs. This is why I need to clear up whether or not VAT is chargeable on the sale of a used Mitsubishi L200 for private use only.

Could you possibly confirm the position? My son did contact the trader and they reassured him that there would be no VAT charged on top. Is it the case that they are simply including the VAT in the price they are quoting, so that the expression "No VAT" is not strictly correct?

Asked on 2 October 2010 by PM, via email

Answered by Honest John
It depends on where the vehicle has come from. If it has been on a lease or has been a tool of a VAT-registered company then the input VAT element will have been reclaimed and it will be plus VAT. If it was previously privately owned, then VAT will already be included in the price. If the dealer has decided to sell it privately then he will sell it at a VAT-inclusive price. So when buying commercial vehicles to use privately, you always have to check if the price is plus VAT or VAT-included.
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