Most limited companies do not provide fuel for private use, as the tax charge is normally greater than the cost of the fuel. So the following applies more often to partnerships and sole traders, where there is an apportionment between business and private use.

VAT fuel scale charges, for taxing private use of road fuel, have been changed for periods commencing on or after 1 May 2013.

The scale charge for a particular vehicle is now determined by its CO2 emissions figure. Where the CO2 emissions figure of a vehicle is not a multiple of five, the figure is rounded down to the next multiple of five to determine the level of the charge. For a bi-fuel vehicle which has two CO2 emissions figures, the lower of the two figures should be used.

For cars which are too old to have a CO2 emissions figure HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have prescribed a level of emissions by reference to the vehicle’s engine capacity (cc) as follows:

  Cylinder   capacity            CO2 band
  1,400cc or less   140
  1,401cc to 2,000cc   175
  Over 2,000   225 or above

The HMRC website has details of the CO2 emissions amounts and the related fuel scale charges. The tables on the HMRC website show VAT inclusive scale charges applicable in each accounting period, depending on whether it is a 12 month, three month or one month accounting period.