It is possible to beat the VAT when buying a car which is nearly new. Provided that the car is properly second hand you need not pay VAT at the standard rate as part of the purchase. If the car is at least a few months old and has covered a few hundred miles when you purchase there is no VAT to pay.
Pre-registered and delivery-mileage cars although second hand count as new vehicles but again if the vehicle has covered some mileage and is a few months old a dealer selling it is liable to pay VAT only on whatever profit he is making. If you are purchasing a van from a dealer you should expect VAT to be added to the price.
Many manufacturers have VAT free offers, Land Rover have a freeze on VAT until the end of March 2011. Suzuki is extending their VAT free offer on the Suzuki Alto SZ3 and SZ4 models again until the end of March. Hyundai have a fantastic offer for 2011, they have decided not only to freeze the VAT but actually pay the 20% VAT on selected Hyundai i10, i20 and i30 Comfort models as part of a range of VAT offers for 2011. Hyundai’s 20% contribution will be valid until the end of March.