Contract Car / Business Lease


I have just taken on a new client (sole trader) who currently uses their own car for business as well as personal. I have recommended the 40p a mile rule but the client is now thinking about taking out a lease for a new car as the old one is on its way out.

If the car was used for business only then the rental could be charged to the P&L but because the car will also be used for personal, what are the implications to the P&L and the tax computation?

Any help would be great as I have not had this problem before.


  • Gem7321
    Gem7321 MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,438
    As it's a sole trader you can just make a private apportionment, ie. if 50% is deemed to be personal then post 50% of the costs to drawings or disallow in the tax comp.

    When you say lease for a new vehicle, do you mean a lease or do you mean hire/lease purchase? If it's a lease, and I assume an expensive car, I think you have to restrict the rental going through the P&L. (Someone please correct me if I'm wrong!). I'm sorry I don't know the calculation off the top of my head but I will be able to find it for you tomorrow.
  • Gem7321
    Gem7321 MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,438
  • I think my client was referring to a lease were they would pay say £350 a month for a fixed term but would get a new car every time a new plate came out.

    So you are saying that if it is a 50 / 50 split then 50% to the P&L and 50% to drawings? Would this include all other costs such as insurance, road tax, fuel etc?
  • Dean
    Dean Registered Posts: 646
    Everything you need to know is contained in Gem's link.
  • Gem7321
    Gem7321 MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,438
    Exactly. Normally I post all of the costs to P&L, then do a journal to move 50% of the total (or whatever the private proportion is) to drawings after I've ensured with the client that the amount is reasonable.
  • Vonni
    Vonni Registered Posts: 63 💫 🐯 💫
    I am assuming that your client is not VAT registered as if you lease a motor vehicle, which has an element of private use, remember you can only reclaim 50% of the VAT.

  • qwerty
    qwerty Registered Posts: 82 💫 🐯 💫
    The above link detailing the rules for lease payments only applies to old leases (leases entered into before 6 April 2009).

    From 6 April 2009, the lease payments will be restricted by disallowing 15% of the payments if the car has CO2 emissions exceeding 160g/km (before adjustments for any private use).

    See paragraph 9.
  • Gem7321
    Gem7321 MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,438
    Thanks for that
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