Settlement offered without VAT after van was written off in an accident

Motor Insurance

Malcolm’s insurer offered him trade value for his van that had been written off, but they didn’t add VAT. He thought this was unfair, so he asked us to consider his complaint.

What happened

Malcolm thought the settlement he was offered after his van was written off in accident was unfair. His insurer told him they had paid the trade value for the van, but Malcolm thought they should add on VAT. 

Malcom raised a complaint with his insurer. The insurer said in its final response letter they paid the correct value, so Malcom contacted our service and asked us to investigate his complaint. 

What we said

We checked the various trade guides to see whether the valuation was reasonable and found it matched the values given by the guides. However, as a commercial vehicle Malcolm’s van would be liable to VAT. So when we checked if he was VAT registered, we found that he was. 

We didn’t uphold Malcom’s complaint. We explained to Malcolm the valuation was in line with the trade guides. Although he would have to pay VAT on a replacement van, he could reclaim this through his VAT return. This meant that his insurer only needed to pay the value of the van excluding VAT.