Car Tax Act 1983

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1983 c. 53


Car Tax Act 1983

1983 CHAPTER 53

An Act to consolidate the enactments relating to car tax.

[26th July 1983]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

S-1 Car tax.

1 Car tax.

(1) A tax, to be known as car tax, shall be charged in accordance with the provisions of this Act on all chargeable vehicles—

(a ) made or registered in the United Kingdom by a person registered under this Act, or

(b ) made or registered in, or imported into, the United Kingdom by any other person.

(2) The tax on any vehicle shall be charged—

(a ) in the case of a caravan, at the rate of 10 per cent. of three-fifths of its wholesale value, and

(b ) in any other case, at the rate of 10 per cent. of the wholesale value of the vehicle.

(3) For the purposes of this section a vehicle is registered if it is registered under the Vehicles (Excise) Act 1971 or the Vehicles (Excise) Act (Northern Ireland) 1972 .

(4) Schedule 1 to this Act (which contains provisions relating to the administration and collection of the tax) shall have effect.

S-2 Chargeable vehicles.

2 Chargeable vehicles.

(1) For the purposes of this Act a vehicle is a chargeable vehicle if—

(a ) it is a vehicle of a kind normally used on public roads;

(b ) it is propelled by an internal combustion engine;

(c) it is either—

(i) constructed or adapted solely or mainly for the carriage of passengers, or

(ii) has to the rear of the driver's seat roofed accommodation which is fitted with side windows or which is constructed or adapted for the fitting of side windows; and

(d ) it is not a vehicle to which subsection (2) below applies.

(2) This subsection applies to the following vehicles—

(a ) vehicles having three or more wheels and capable of accommodating only one person or suitable for carrying twelve or more persons;

(b ) vehicles of not less than three tonnes unladen weight other than caravans;

(c ) ambulances and prison vans;

(d ) vehicles of a type approved by the Assistant Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis as conforming to the conditions of fitness for the time being laid down by him for the purposes of the London Cab Order 1934 ;

(e ) vehicles (other than caravans) constructed for a special purpose other than the carriage of persons and having no other accommodation for carrying persons than such as is incidental to that purpose;

(f ) vehicles more than twenty years old.

(3) The Treasury may by order delete or vary any description of vehicle for the time being specified in paragraphs (a ) to (e ) of subsection (2) above or add a description of vehicle to those specified in that subsection; and any such order may contain such transitional provisions as appear to the Treasury to be necessary or expedient.

(4) For the purposes of the tax, a vehicle which is not finished and complete but which, if finished and complete, would be a chargeable vehicle shall be treated as a chargeable vehicle.

S-3 Wholesale value.

3 Wholesale value.

(1) For the purposes of the tax the wholesale value of any vehicle shall be taken, subject to subsection (2) below to be the price which, in the opinion of the Commissioners of Customs and Excise (in this Act referred to as ‘the Commissioners’) the vehicle would fetch on a sale made at the time the tax becomes due by a person selling by wholesale in the open market in the United Kingdom to a retail trader carrying on business in the United Kingdom only, on the assumption that—

(a ) the price was the sole consideration for the sale; and

(b ) the vehicle was to be delivered to the retail trader at the seller's place of business; and

(c ) neither the tax nor value added tax was payable;

and in this subsection ‘retail trader’ means a person who sells by retail and does not sell to a person who carries on a business of selling vehicles.

(2) If in the opinion of the Commissioners a vehicle is not finished and complete, they shall determine its wholesale value as if it were finished and complete, having regard to the parts and accessories that remain to be provided and the processes that remain to be undergone for the vehicle to be in a state to be expected of a finished and complete chargeable vehicle.

(3) Where the person by whom the tax is payable is dissatisfied with the determination of the wholesale value by the Commissioners he may, within such period from the time when their decision is communicated to him as may be prescribed by regulations under this Act or such further time as the Commissioners may allow, by notice in writing given to the Commissioners require the determination to be referred to the arbitration of a person appointed under this section, whose decision shall be final and conclusive; but no such reference shall be made unless, within that period or such further time as the Commissioners may allow, the person requiring the reference has deposited with the Commissioners the amount of tax which would be due on the basis of their determination.

(4) If the tax chargeable as a result of a reference under subsection (3) above is less than the amount deposited with the Commissioners the excess shall be repaid with interest at such rate as the referee may determine.

(5) A referee for the purposes of subsection (3) above shall be appointed by the Lord Chancellor, except that—

(a ) if the person by whom the tax is payable has his principal place of business in Scotland, the referee shall be appointed by the Lord President of the Court of Session; and

(b ) if that person has his principal place of business in Northern Ireland, the referee shall be appointed by the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland.

S-4 Registration of makers and importers of chargeable vehicles.

4 Registration of makers and importers of chargeable vehicles.

(1) A person who, in any calendar year, makes or imports not less than ten chargeable vehicles is liable to be registered by the Commissioners.

(2) Every person who is liable to be registered under this section and is not for the time being so registered shall notify the Commissioners of the fact within fourteen days of becoming so liable; and the Commissioners may, if they think fit, register any such person.

(3) A person for the time being registered under this section who ceases to make or import chargeable vehicles shall notify the Commissioners of that fact and the Commissioners shall cancel the registration of any such person when all tax due from him has been accounted for; and they may, if they think fit, cancel the registration of any other person.

(4) The Treasury may from time to time by order substitute another number for that specified in subsection (1) above.

S-5 Liability to and payment of tax.

5 Liability to and payment of tax.

(1) Subject to section 6(3) below, the tax on any vehicle shall be payable—

(a ) if the vehicle is made or imported by a person registered under this Act, by that person;

(b ) if the vehicle is imported by a person not registered under this Act, as if it were a duty of excise chargeable on importation; and

(c ) in any other case by the person who for the purposes of the registration of the vehicle is treated as the person keeping the vehicle.

(2) Where tax on a vehicle is payable by a person registered under this Act, it shall become due—

(a ) if the vehicle is appropriated to the use of that person, at the time when it is so appropriated;

(b ) if it is delivered under an agreement providing for its sale or return, at the time when, in accordance with the agreement, it ceases to be the property of that person or when it is treated for the purposes of the tax as so ceasing to be his property in pursuance of regulations made under this Act;

(c ) in any other case, when it is sent out from the premises of that person;

and shall become payable at the time provided for by those regulations.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2) above, a vehicle which is to be sold by retail by a person registered under this Act shall be deemed to be sent out from the premises of that person when it is sent to the place from which it is to be sold.

(4) Subject to subsection (5) below, the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 and, except where the contrary intention appears, any other enactments (including provisions of regulations or other instruments having statutory effect) relating generally to excise duties on imported goods, whenever passed or made, shall have effect, with such exceptions and adaptations as the Commissioners may by regulations prescribe, as if chargeable vehicles in respect of which tax is payable in accordance with subsection (1)(b ) above were liable to a duty of excise on importation and as if the tax were that duty.

(5) The following enactments shall be excepted from those which are to have effect as mentioned in subsection (4) above—

(a ) sections 43(5), 125, 126 and 127(1)(b ) of the said Act of 1979;

(b ) the Customs and Excise Duties (General Reliefs) Act 1979 ; and

(c ) sections 8 and 9 of the Isle of Man Act 1979 .

(6) Where tax on a vehicle is payable as mentioned in subsection (1)(c ) above it shall become due and payable before the vehicle is registered.

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