The VAT treatment of caravans 2.1 What is a caravan?

The VAT treatment of caravans 2.1 What is a caravan?

 
The term ‘caravan’ is not defined in the VAT legislation. In practice we base our interpretation on the definitions in the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 and the Caravans Sites Act 1968.
A caravan is a structure that:
? is designed or adapted for human habitation
? when assembled, is physically capable of being moved from one place to another (whether by being towed or by being transported on a motor vehicle so designed or adapted), and
? is no more than: – 20 metres long (exclusive of any drawbar) – 6.8 metres wide, or – 3.05 metres high (measured internally from the floor at the lowest level to the ceiling at the highest level).
A ‘twin unit’ caravan can fall within this definition if composed of no more than two sections designed to be assembled on site by means of bolts, clamps and other devices, as long as, once assembled, it is physically capable of being moved from one place to another.
For a caravan to be regarded as designed for human habitation it must have the attributes of a dwelling, that is, it must consist of self-contained living accommodation. It would need to have washing facilities and the means to prepare food (such as kitchens and bathrooms).
We see the term caravan as including mobile homes (often known as residential park homes), static caravans (often called caravan holiday homes or lodges), but not motor caravans (often called motor homes).
A structure that fails to meet the conditions described above may constitute a building for planning purposes, in which case, the first sale or long lease of it may qualify for the zero rate of VAT under the conditions described in Notice 708 Buildings and construction.
The VAT liability of a caravan depends upon its size.