Let’s pray this doesn’t happen in the US…
Buying a classic car in the United Kingdom is about to become much, much more expensive thanks to the government. Not only are they going to incur a big 20 percent VAT charge, there will be an additional 10 percent import duty if they’re coming from mainland Europe. Yep, that’s 30 percent in taxes for the privilege of owning a classic car. In other words, if this were put into place in the United States, paying $30,000 for a vehicle would come with $9,000 in additional taxes/fees.
Anyone who isn’t the child of a billionaire or has a healthy trust fund to insulate them from the financial realities of life will immediately understand why this is upsetting. Not all of us can hit daddy up for an extra few hundred thousand or take out a mortgage on the castle we own outright.
However, Colin Laidlaw, who is the Direct of VAT at Kreston Reeves, thinks some people are overreacting a bit. He told Express that the additional fees would just be making classic cars in the UK as expensive as everywhere else in the world. You hear that, you Brits? Stop your complaining because you’ve had it good and now that’s ending, so stop your crying!
Some experts are encouraging enthusiasts in the UK to make their classic car purchase right now so they can escape getting hosed by the government. England has a bad history of sticking its citizens with unreasonable and overburdensome taxes. While we don’t expect the Brits to hold a nice tea party to send a message like we did here, perhaps it’s time they hold their government accountable since it’s supposed to be serving the people and not the other way around.
The new VAT and import fees are supposed to go into effect December 31, 2020. We expect a crush of people trying to buy their dream car, which alone could make prices temporarily spike and overtax the vehicle transport system.
A lesson we should learn here in the United States: beware government officials lecturing us about how some new fees and taxes will just be catching us up to what everyone else is doing in the world. My parents lectured me about not jumping off a cliff just because everyone else was doing it, and that lesson is definitely applicable here.