HRMC has made the surprise decision to reverse its benefit in kind (BIK) tax on double-cab pick-ups after a massive backlash from farmers and the motoring industry.
Pick-up drivers that used a truck for personal use were due to pay taxes as if they were company cars.
On 12 Feb 2024 the HRMC announced that from 1 July it would consider all pick-up trucks to be taxed as commercial vehicles but in an unprecedented move they've since changed their minds just over a week after announcing the initial decision.
Pressure from manufacturers as well as representatives from the farming industry are thought to be behind the decision after angry responses from the initial annoucement.
Pick-up trucks will now continue to be treated as commercial vehicles and will no longer be considered as passenger cars, saving owners thousands of pounds per year in taxes.
Crucially the statement issued today said:
"HMRC have today announced that its existing guidance will be withdrawn, meaning that DCPUs will continue to be treated as goods vehicles rather than cars, and businesses and individuals can continue to benefit from its historic tax treatment."
The statement goes on to say that the government will change the outcome in the next available Finance Bill and that this was to avoid tax outcomes for "farmers, van drivers and the UK's economy".
The government statement in full reads:
On Monday 12 February 2024 HMRC updated its guidance on the tax treatment of Double Cab Pick Ups (DCPUs), following a 2020 Court of Appeal judgment. The guidance had confirmed that, from 1 July 2024, DCPUs with a payload of one tonne or more would be treated as cars rather than goods vehicles for both capital allowances and benefit-in-kind purposes.
Since then, the government has listened carefully to views from farmers and the motoring industry on the potential impacts of the change in tax-treatment. The government has acknowledged that the 2020 court decision and resultant guidance update could have an impact on businesses and individuals in a way that is not consistent with the government’s wider aims to support businesses, including vital motoring and farming industries.
HMRC have today announced that its existing guidance will be withdrawn, meaning that DCPUs will continue to be treated as goods vehicles rather than cars, and businesses and individuals can continue to benefit from its historic tax treatment.
This move is resultant of the government making clear that it will be legislating to ensure that DCPU vehicles continue to be treated as goods vehicles for tax purposes.
The government will consult on the draft legislation to ensure that it achieves that outcome before introducing it in the next available Finance Bill.
Nigel Huddleston, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said:
“We will change the law at the next available Finance Bill in order to avoid tax outcomes that could inadvertently harm farmers, van drivers and the UK’s economy.”
Tax for pick-up trucks is changing but there's more than one kind of tax to be aware of.
If you've already read our article on the tax you must pay for a van then you'll undersand the road tax implications. Broadly speaking those same fees for road tax are due for pick-up trucks as well.
As a commercial vehicle, the road tax for pick-up trucks is a flat rate. In order for it to be considered a commercial vehicle the rules in the UK dictate that a pick-up truck must be able to carry a payload of 1000kg - or 1045kg if it has an enclosed loadspace.
Road tax for light good vehicles under 3.5-tonnes is currently set at £320 per year. That's the annual fee you'll pay for having the pick-up truck on the road. If you're a private owner that's the only real tax obligation you will have to pay.
However, here's where it gets complicated. If you own your pick-up truck through a company - ie. you have it on a lease through a business or you have bought it outright as a Limited company - then you may have to pay an additional tax.
This additional tax is known as a Benefit In Kind (BIK). You pay BIK on a vehicle if you are using it for personal use - that includes commuting to work. If you simply have a work vehicle and you only use it to for work purposes - a farm pick-up truck used to move hay or livestock around could be an example of this - then this doesn't apply.
If though, you have bought a pick-up truck as a company vehicle to avoid paying more tax than you would than say having a conventional car or 4x4, then you're now in the government crosshairs.
From 1 July 2024 all pick-up trucks that are company cars and used for personal use, will now no longer be classed as commercial vehicles. Pick-up trucks will instead be taxed as company cars and subject to the normal amount of company car tax you have to pay for a car.
In the case of a pick-up truck - most of which have large engines and therefore fall into the top band of company car tax (which is based on CO2 emissions) - then you'll be paying 37% of the taxable value of the vehicle. Simply put, if your pick-up truck costs £50,000 then the taxable value is £18,500.
If you pay tax at 20% you will pay 20% of that taxable value - £3700 - per year in tax. If you pay tax at a 40% rate then you will pay £7400. That's a huge difference from the previous arrangement which for the 2023/2024 tax year was flat rated at a taxable value of £3920.
The Government has U-turned on its decision to tax double-cab pick-up trucks in the same way as passenger cars. Pick-up trucks with a second row of seats will continue to be treated as commercial vehicles when they meant the 1000kg payload requirement.
Ford has revealed its new Ford Ranger MS-RT pick-up truck based on the styling of the M-Sport rally team.
Designed to be the ultimate street truck, the newest in a long line of Rangers that include the Ford Ranger Raptor, Wildtrak X, Wildtrak and Ford Ranger Tremor, the new MS-RT Ranger gets the powerful 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine producing 237hp and 600Nm of torque.
Apparently inspired by extreme Ranger racing trucks that compete in Asia, the Ranger MS-RT gets a honeycomb grille and integrated splitter.
The visual appearance of the truck is lowered by the sculpted side skirts, while at the rear there is a distinctive bumper with an integrated diffuser.
The tailgate has MS-RT graphics and gets an exclusive ducktail spoiler that no other regular model in the line-up has. There’s also an additional cab spoiler which is to assist with overall aerodynamic balance and high-speed stability of the pick-up.
It gets diamond cut 21-inch wheels – the largest size of wheels ever to have been offered on a Ford Ranger – that have been wrapped in low-profile 275/45 R21 tyres.
The wheel arches have been flared to extend the overall width by 82mm at the front and the rear. Ford has also increased the track by 40mm at each side to help improve the grip of the truck.
The suspension has been reconfigured with new, firmer dampers at the front, a retuned rear suspension set-up and an overall 40mm height reduction.
Perhaps most importantly, for businesses wanting to reclaim the VAT, the Ranger MS-RT has a 1-tonne load-carrying capacity making it a proper commercial vehicle.
On the inside the double-cab seats are now more supportive and the seat backs on the front seats have been made to look sportier. Like the new Transit Custom MS-RT which has also been revealed, the interior uses non-animal Eco-Leather and suede with distinctive MS-RT pattern and blue stitching. There are plenty of MS-RT badges across the seats, dash and floor mats.
The Ranger MS-RT will come in a range of colours that include Conquer Grey, with Agate Black painted mirror caps and door handles.
Pick up trucks will be subject to a new benefit in kind (BIK) company car tax under rules being introduced on 1 July 2024.
Double cab pick-up trucks currently enjoy a standard rate of company car tax when driven for personal use. As such they have become a popular tax workaround for savvy drivers looking to use them as personal vehicles while paying a minimal amount of company car tax benefit in kind.
Currently any double cab pick-up truck that has a payload of one tonne (1,000kg) or more is accepted as a van for the purposes of paying BIK. With the addition of a hardtop this threshold rises to 1,045kg making any vehicle with a payload greater than this effectively a commercial vehicle like a van. The one tonne threshold has therefore become a must meet requirement for manufacturers to sell in Britain. Consequently, registrations for pick-up trucks have been far higher than in other countries that don’t offer this generous tax break for pick-up trucks and vans.
The official wording is that: “From 1 July 2024, HMRC will no longer interpret the legislation that defines car and van for tax purposes in line with the definitions used for VAT purposes. This VAT approach for double cab pickups differentiated based on payload, with anything under one tonne classified as a car, and anything a tonne and over as a van.“
The new ruling makes mention of double cab pick-ups were no longer predominantly used for the carriage of goods, and as such should be treated as cars.
The notice on the gov.uk website goes on to explain that the “classification of double cab pickups will therefore need to be determined by assessing the vehicle as a whole at the point that it is made available to determine whether the vehicle construction has a primary suitability”. In other words has it been designed and purchased as a commercial pick-up or as a car.
Furthermore the statement adds:
“It therefore follows that from 1 July 2024 most if not all double cab pickups will be classified as cars when calculating the benefit charge. This is because typically these vehicles are equally suited to convey passengers and goods and have no predominant suitability.”
The ruling will come into force in July but there is a way around the new regulations. It says that in a transitional arrangement, those that have purchased, leased, or ordered a double cab pickup before 1 July 2024 will be able to continue with the current BIK rules. However, they will only last for as long as the vehicle is owned or until 5 April 2028.
The Ford Ranger is currently the best-selling pick-up in the UK and is ranked number four amongst all commercial vehicles. The Volkswagen Amarok has recently re-entered the UK market, and is built by Ford. Both pick-up trucks have models that are both over and under one tonne.
Tax for pick-ups is currently charged as a benefit-in-kind at £66 per month for those that are paying 20% BIK rate or at £132 per month at 40% BIK rate. This is the flat rate for 2023/2024 for commercial vehicles.
Company car tax, however, is based on CO2 emissions which will mean that fuel hungry pick-up trucks will likely be stung by a huge tax bill. Your average pick-up truck emits in the region of 250g/km. This places it in the highest possible company car tax band of 37%.
For a pick-up truck costing around £50,000 - the price of a mid-range pick-up with VAT - the BIK at 20% would be more than £3500 and at 40% more than £7000 per year.
The current rate for any commercial vehicle is a flat rate based on a nominal £3600 taxable BIK value which means that 20% taxpayers must pay £60 per month and 40% taxpayers a charge of £120 per month.
Last year in the UK the market for pick-up trucks was just over 41,000 units - a 38.7% increase on 2023 sales. It is not known how many of these were bought as company cars, but given the generous loophole it is likely the future market for new pick-ups could be considerably less.
In an amazing U-turn, HMRC abandons proposed increase to double-cab pick-up BIK tax just one week after announcing the changes above. Due to pressure from farmers and the motor industry, pick-up trucks will no longer be subject to a BIK tax.
Production models of the Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster double cab pick-up truck have begun rolling off the production line in Hambach, France.
The latest in the line-up for Grenadier models that includes the Ineos Grenadier commercial and passenger variants is due to reach its first customers by the end of 2023. European deliveries of the new Quartermaster pick-up began in early December, while shipment to other markets, including Asia Pacific, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East followed soon after. Sales in North American sare due to begin in early 2024.
Named after the military officer responsible for the supply and distribution of provisions, Quartermaster is a five-seat double cab pick-up based on the Grenadier Station Wagon.
It was unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July where details of the Quartermaster emerged including the shared ladder frame chassis, heavy-duty solid beam axles and two-speed transfer case used by the Station Wagon model.
Power comes from a choice of BMW 3-litre turbocharged inline six-cylinder petrol or diesel engines with an eight-speed automatic transmission from ZF. It also comes with up to three locking differentials.
The Quartermaster is based on a 3227mm wheelbase, an increase of 305mm over the Station Wagon model.
It has a payload of up to 760kg and load bed that is capable of carrying a 1200mm x 800mm Euro pallet.
A chassis cab model, based on the Quartermaster pick-up will enter production in 2024.
“The start of production for our second model line is another extremely exciting and important milestone for Ineos Automotive,” said Lynn Calder, CEO, Ineos Automotive.
“As part of the final sign-off process I drove a late prototype in both Spain and the African bush and it’s unbeatable off-road, combining the rugged capability and refined performance of the Station Wagon with the enormous load bay that can carry a huge amount of kit and cargo. It’s a great addition to our model line-up.”
Ford has revealed a highly anticipated hybrid version of its pick-up range with the introduction of the Ford Ranger Plug-in Hybrid electric vehicle.
Powered by a 2.3-litre EcoBoost petrol engine, the new Ranger Plug-in Hybrid pick-up will be capable of up to 45km (28 miles) of electric only range. Despite taking its power from a petrol engine, the hybrid pick-up (which is also a first for the segment) will have more torque than any existing model in the Ranger line-up. The Ranger Plug-in Hybrid also has a 3.5-tonne towing capacity.
Pictured as a Ford Ranger Wildtrak trim, Ford has yet to reveal which models in its extensive line-up will be available as a hybrid. However, there has been a significant number of changed made to the standard Ranger in order to accommodate the batteries, maintain the towing capacity and still be able to perform off-road.
Described as “a key announcement for the Ranger product line”, the Ford Ranger Plug-in Hybrid can be driven as either EV-only or as a hybrid running off the conventional engine. Four driving modes, EV Auto, EV Now, EV Later and EV Charge allow you to choose what role the powertrain is playing. There’s also the ability to autonomously switch between modes thanks to geofencing of certain areas. This would enable the hybrid Ranger to switch to electric only mode when entering a zero emission zone.
Chris Rushton, Ford Pro Europe commercial vehicle marketing manager, said: “Our customers are telling us that they need new powertrain solutions while continuing to do everything that their Ranger does today, but able to carry as much, tow as much and tackle off-road driving. It’s an electrified Ranger that gives customers the best of all worlds.”
The suspension has been beefed up to cope with the additional weight, while the steering has also been tuned. The new petrol engine, has been calibrated for commercial uses as well.
The Ford Ranger Plug-in Hybrid joins a rapidly growing line-up of Ford Ranger models. It is not known where in the range the hybrid will sit in relation to the high-end Ford Ranger Raptor, Ford Ranger Wildtrak X and other models like the off-road specific Ford Ranger Tremor.
Currently the only electric-powered pick-up truck on sale is the Maxus T90EV that is a full battery electric pick-up, rather than a hybrid.
Order books for the Ford Ranger Plug-in Hybrid will open in mid-2024 with production beginning shortly after. First deliveries are expected in early 2025.
Q&A with Ford executives and production team
“It’s the right vehicle for the market at this moment in time. The customer is wanting to tow, carry payload and have the off-road capability that we currently have. It does all of that without any compromise but also allows to drive in EV only mode and get the benefit of an electric vehicle.”
“Diesel is popular in pick-ups because of the high torque. With this combination of the electric motor and gasoline engine, we’ve delivered the highest level of torque in any Ranger. The 2.3-litre is a good match and a little more refined, and a good match for driveability and for other technical reasons. We delivery ample torque and it’s a good match.”
“What we can say is that the PHEV will deliver all the attributes that customers have come to expect. The same payloads as on existing Ranger today, the power and performance with the EcoBoost and electric motor can compensate for any weight that comes from the battery. Weight is not an issue in how this vehicle will operate. We’ve upgraded the vehicle. It was designed from the onset to accommodate electrification and we’ve upgraded the rear of the vehicle, the frame, the suspension and tuned the vehicle for an outstanding package.”
“Yes, there will definitely be variants that meet the one-tonne payload requirements for the UK.”
“Ford has series production PHEV in their small SUVs. They’re not for off-road vehicles or 4x4 vehicles and they’re not suitable for the towing requirements. We did consider them, but they’re not suitable.”
“We’ve looked at what is the right solution for our customers in Europe. The plug-in hybrid gives the best solution, introducing electric capability. The F150 is a different architecture, so you can unlock different possibilities.”
Ineos has revealed its brand-new pick-up truck, the Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Based on the previously launched Grenadier station wagon, the new double cab pick-up uses an extended ladder frame chassis to create a large load bed.
The chassis extension is 305mm creating a cargo area that is 1,564mm long and 1,619mm wide. The downside, however, is that the Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster only has a 760kg payload. That means that although classified as an N1 commercial vehicle, like the Ford Ranger Raptor the Quartermaster is not classed as a commercial vehicle for tax purposes and businesses will not be able to reclaim the VAT.
Despite the payload, the Quartermaster is, on paper, a highly impressive machine with a 3,500kg towing capacity, 264mm of ground clearance and 800mm wading depth.
The rear also gets four tie-down rings in the load space (Utility Rails optional), a 400W power take-off, an integrated mounting bar, and a 1,280mm tailgate capable of supporting up to 225kg when open.
Power comes from a BMW 3.0-litre turbo-charged inline six-cylinder petrol or diesel engine. Paired to an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox.
It has a locking centre differential and a two-speed transfer case. Front and rear diff locks are also optional.
Three different versions of the Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster will be available with a standard Quatermaster, Quatermaster Trailmaster and Quatermaster Fieldmaster. Prices start at £66,215 which is considerably more than the on-road £59,530.64 price for a Ranger Raptor. Prices for diesel and petrol models are the same, but Trailmaster and Fieldmaster models will both cost £73,715.
The Trailmaster is focused on extreme off-roading and gets front and rear differentials as standard, while the Fieldmaster gets more upmarket features like larger 18-inch alloy wheels, safari windows and a premium sound system.
The Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster will also be available with a range of accessories including a waterproof canvas canopy or a lockable roller tonneau cover. There’s a roof rack, and other options including jerry cans, sand ladders and shovels.
Ford Performance has announced its entry into the Dakar Rally, one of the toughest off-road races in the world, with a Dakar Rally Ranger Raptor. The company plans to compete in the 2024 Dakar Rally and beyond with extreme racing versions of the Ford Ranger and Ranger Raptor.
Ford will collaborate with longtime partners M-Sport and Neil Woolridge Motorsport (NWM) for vehicle development, servicing, and event management. The first step in their multi-year plan is to finish and learn from the race with the Ranger T1+ and the expertise of their partners.
The 2024 Dakar Rally will take place in Saudi Arabia from January 5 to January 19. Ford will field a purpose-built, high-performance Ford Ranger in the Rally Raid T1+ category. The vehicle will be based on the previous generation global Ranger and will feature a 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine.
To prepare for the Dakar Rally, the Ford Performance team will undergo a series of development phases throughout 2023. They will also participate in test races such as Spain's Baja España Aragón and Morocco's Rally du Maroc in July and October, respectively.
Mark Rushbrook, Global Director of Ford Performance Motorsports, expressed the significance of this endeavor and acknowledged the challenge ahead. The team aims to not only race to win but also to gather valuable insights that can be used to improve Ford's products for customers.
Overall, Ford's entry into the Dakar Rally represents an exciting expansion of its motorsports endeavors into the global off-road racing scene, and the company is looking forward to the learning adventure that awaits them.
In preparation for the 2025 Dakar Rally, Ford Performance and M-Sport are collaborating to develop a new, custom-built Ford Ranger Raptor. This vehicle will be designed and constructed according to the T1+ class regulations of the Dakar Rally.
Malcolm Wilson, the managing director of M-Sport, expressed excitement about the opportunity to compete in the Dakar Rally with the Ranger Raptor. M-Sport has a successful track record in rally racing, particularly in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), where they have partnered with Ford. They are eager to bring the same level of focus, energy, and effort to the Dakar Rally with the Ford Ranger.
M-Sport has gained recognition as a leading developer and campaigner of the M-Sport Ford Puma HybridRally1 in the WRC. They are also engine builders for the Mustang GT3 program. Neil Woolridge Motorsport (NWM) has been an essential part of the Rally-Raid Ranger's development since its early stages. They have built and developed units at their facility in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, specifically designed to compete in full Dakar T1+ regulations in the South African Rally-Raid Championship (SARRC) and other international events.
Hennessey Performance Engineering has announced a new upgrade package for the Ford Ranger Raptor pick-up truck. The VelociRaptor 500 package includes a number of performance and cosmetic enhancements, including a 500hp engine upgrade, custom bumpers, LED off-road lights, and 35-inch off-road tires.
The VelociRaptor 500 package is priced at $24,950 and can be carried out on the 2024 Ford Ranger Raptor.
John Hennessey, CEO, said: "The VelociRaptor 500 Ranger is an excellent choice for the pickup enthusiast who doesn't need the capacity of our full-size VelociRaptor 600 F-150. The midsize pickup is incredibly capable and very agile… it's actually lighter than the Bronco SUV! In addition, our 500hp upgrade will noticeably improve low-end torque, and it's got a lot more power for those who like to really push their trucks in mud, sand, or on the open road."
The VelociRaptor 500 package is the latest in a line of performance upgrades from Hennessey Performance Engineering. The company has also offered performance packages for the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, and Dodge Challenger.
The VelociRaptor 500 package includes a high-flow air induction system that increases air intake by 50%, a larger front-mounted intercooler that cools the air intake for improved performance and an engine management software upgrade that optimises the engine for increased power and torque.
Cosmetic changes to the VelociRaptor 500 include:
The VelociRaptor 500 package is a significant upgrade for the Ford Ranger Raptor. The increased power and torque will make the truck more capable off-road, while the cosmetic enhancements will give it a more aggressive appearance.
The package is priced at $24,950, which is a significant investment, but it is worth it for those who want the ultimate in performance and capability from their Ranger Raptor.
VelociRaptor 500 package includes:
The VelociRaptor 500 package is a significant upgrade for those who want more power, torque, and off-road capability from their truck.
Specifications and pricing for the new Volkswagen Amarok have been revealed with models starting from £33,000 and rising to £47,000 for the top-spec pick-up trucks.
The Amarok is available in a range of four trim levels with Life, Style, PanAmericana and Aventura models.
Entry-level trim called Amarok Life gets 17-inch Combra silver alloy wheels, LED headlamps, and a 10-inch infotainment screen. There’s also a rear-view reversing camera system to help with parking along with more than 20 standard safety systems. Amarok Life models are available exclusively with the entry-level 2-litre diesel engine producing either 170PS or 205PS – the latter of which gets an automatic 10-speed automatic.
The Amarok Style gets upgraded 18-inch Amadora silver alloy wheels, a chrome styling bar and black side steps with a chrome insert. There’s also a larger 12-inch central infotainment screen with satellite navigation. Additional safety systems include an Area View 360° camera. Amarok Style models have the option of the more powerful 2-litre diesel engine or a 3-litre V6 with 240hp – both of which get a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Next in the range is the Amarok PanAmericana which focuses on off-road ability with a rear locking differential, underride guard, as well as the comfort suspension system. PanAmericana also gets upgraded 18-inch black Amadora alloy wheels.
The top of the range Amarok Aventura is available with 21-inch Varberg silver alloy wheels, chrome-plated exterior mirror and door handles, and premium bumper.
Both the PanAmericana and Aventura are only available with the 3-litre V6 engine and automatic gearbox.
All new Amaroks get five services (which includes three oil changes, and two oil change and Inspection plus three MOTs. There’s also a five year warranty, extended from the standard three year warranty and five years’ roadside assistance.
|Total RRP inc. OTR ex. VAT
|Total RRP inc. OTR inc. VAT
|Life 170PS 2.0 TDI 6-spd manual 4MOTION
|Life 205PS 2.0 TDI 10-spd Automatic 4MOTION
|Style 205PS 2.0 TDI 10-spd Automatic 4MOTION
|Style 240PS 3.0 TDI 10-spd Automatic 4MOTION
|PanAmericana 240PS 3.0 TDI 10-spd Automatic 4MOTION
|Aventura 240PS 3.0 TDI 10-spd Automatic 4MOTION