Here's what the dealers told our mystery shoppers…
• Volvo XC60 – mystery shopper If the vehicle is delivered early January then we can invoice it in December, but any later then I am afraid you would be liable for VAT at 20%, current lead time is December 30.
• BMW 1-Series – mystery shopper Order the car asap. A 10% deposit is required and as long as we invoice this year and you do not finance the car as a new car, and pay out in full via cheque/debit card, then you can pay VAT at 17.5%. You can still have the free options as long as it's registered before the end of Feb. However, you cannot have the low-rate finance, because of the reason stated above. You can get yourself a personal loan not tied to the car.
What Car? says – fantastic. The only tiny problem with these two incredibly helpful responses is that there are, technically, three days in January to raise the invoice, but at least these dealerships have got the crucial word 'invoice' into their answer.
• Mazda 5 – mystery shopper I have spoken to our Accounts department regarding the VAT raise in January.
For you to avoid paying this increase we would need you to pay the full 17.5% VAT, a total of £2,692.24 in full before 31/12/2010.
What Car? says – this Mazda dealer knows it doesn't have to cost them anything, and are asking for the money they would need to pay for the VAT at their next return. Very good.