VAT relief information

VAT Relief for disabled people.

How does it work?

If you’re disabled or have a long-term illness, you will not be charged VAT on products designed or adapted for your own personal or domestic use. Also, you will not be charged VAT on:

  • The installation and any extra work needed as part of this

  • Repairs or maintenance

  • Spare parts or accessories

  • The product and your disability have to qualify.

Qualifying Products or services

Products designed or adapted for a disability qualify. For example, certain types of:

  • Adjustable beds

  • Stairlifts

  • Wheelchairs

  • Medical appliances to help with severe injuries

  • Alarms

  • Braille paper or low vision aids - but not spectacles or contact lenses

  • Motor vehicles - or the leasing of a Motability vehicle

  • Building work like ramps, widening doors, installing a lift or toilet

Goods you can buy VAT- Free

(Because of your disability includes:)

  • medical and surgical appliances

  • invalid wheelchairs and mobility scooters

  • equipment to aid the hard of hearing, and low vision aids

  • specialist beds, chair and stair lifts, rise and recline chairs and other lifting equipment and sanitary devices

  • goods that have been designed solely for disabled people

  • You can hire or lease eligible goods VAT-free if you’re disabled.

Mobility scooters

Class 2 Mobility scooters:

  • You’ll not have to pay VAT if you’re buying a mobility scooter that’s designed not to exceed 4 miles per hour and is intended for use on the pavement and not on the road. This category of scooter is known as ‘class 2'


Class 3 Mobility scooters:

  • Are designed to exceed 4 miles per hour and are intended for use on the road

  • can only be bought VAT-free if they’ve been designed solely for disabled people. (Which all our Mobility scooters are.)

Specialist adjustable beds, chair and stair lifts, rise and recline chairs and other lifting equipment and sanitary devices.


You’ll not have to pay VAT if you’re buying:

  • An electrically or mechanically adjustable bed - an adjustable bed will be eligible for relief only if it clearly stands out as being specialised for the use of invalids, as well as being adjustable, a qualifying bed will have other specific design features that distinguish it from an ordinary bed

  • A stair lift or chair lift designed for use in connection with a wheelchair (the lift does not have to carry you while you’re in the wheelchair)

  • A riser-recliner chair designed to help you move from a seated position to a standing position and the other way around, recliner chairs which do not have the lifting facility cannot be bought VAT-free

  • A hoist

  • A sanitary device such as a commode chair or stool, a sanitary appliance which has a bidet jet and warm air drier or a frame to help you lower or rise from the toilet

Medical and surgical appliances


You’ll not have to pay VAT when you buy medical or surgical appliances that are designed solely for the relief of a severe abnormality or severe injuries such as amputation, rheumatoid arthritis, learning difficulties or blindness.

Appliances that can be bought VAT-free include:

  • invalid wheelchairs

  • certain types of mobility scooters

  • leg braces

  • neck collars

  • oxygen concentrators

  • specialist clothing

  • specialist footwear

  • wigs


Items that you cannot buy VAT-free include bandages, plasters or other wound dressings and dentures (unless you buy them from a dentist or other dental care professional).


Do you qualify for VAT- Free goods?


To get the product VAT free your disability has to qualify. For VAT purposes, you’re disabled or have a long-term illness if:

  • you have a physical or mental impairment that affects your ability to carry out everyday activities, for example blindness

  • you have a condition that’s treated as chronic sickness, like diabetes

  • you’re terminally ill

  • You do not qualify if you’re elderly but able-bodied, or if you’re temporarily disabled.

  • You’ll need to confirm in writing that you meet these conditions

Prove you qualify for VAT-free goods


You’ll only be able to have eligible goods VAT-free if you’re chronically sick or disabled and the goods are for your personal or domestic use. You do not need to be registered disabled or eligible for any other benefit to qualify for VAT-free goods.

Eligibility declarations

To show that you’re entitled to buy the goods VAT-free, your supplier will probably ask you for a simple written declaration stating your eligibility.

What HMRC means by ‘chronically sick or disabled’

For VAT purposes, you’re chronically sick or disabled if you have a:

  • physical or mental impairment which has a long term and substantial adverse effect on your ability to carry out everyday activities

  • A condition that the medical profession treats as a chronic sickness (that’s a long term health condition)


For VAT purposes, the term ‘chronically sick or disabled’ does not include a person who’s only temporarily disabled or incapacitated, for example with a broken limb or someone who’s elderly but is not chronically sick or disabled.

You do not need HMRC’s permission to declare that you’re disabled or chronically sick and our advisers cannot tell you if you’re disabled or chronically sick.

If you’re not sure if your condition means you’re chronically sick or disabled you may wish to consult your doctor or another medical adviser.

* South Yorkshire Mobility Ltd, 4 The Parade, Thorogate, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, S62 7HX is an appointed representative of Mark Bates Ltd t/a Premier Care, Premier House, Londonthorpe Lane, Grantham, Lincs, NG31 9SN who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Number: 308390.

©2018 South Yorkshire Mobility. Proudly created with love.

Company No.11744007 VAT No.312414844