Rates of VAT on different goods and services

If you're registered for VAT and you make VAT taxable supplies you'll have to charge VAT on them. Normally you charge VAT at the standard rate, unless the goods or services you are selling, and the circumstances in which you're selling them, mean you are allowed to charge a different rate.

There are different rates of VAT, depending on the type of goods or services your business provides. At the moment there are three different rates. They are:

  • standard rate - 20 per cent
  • reduced rate - 5 per cent
  • zero rate - 0 per cent

There are also some goods and services that are:

  • exempt - so no VAT is charged on them
  • outside the scope of the UK VAT system altogether

This guide lists certain goods and services that are reduced-rated, zero-rated, exempt or outside the scope of VAT. It's not a complete list and there may be conditions that must be met before a reduced rate can apply or before it can be accepted as exempt or outside the scope of VAT. Please see the 'More information' sections for further details.

On this page:

Different goods and services - and their VAT rate

The following sections list different goods and services that are reduced-rated, zero-rated, exempt or outside the scope of VAT. These rates may only apply if certain conditions are met, or in particular circumstances, depending on some or all of the following:

  • who's providing them or buying them
  • where they're provided
  • how they're presented for sale
  • the precise nature of the goods or services
  • whether you obtain the necessary evidence
  • whether you keep the right records
  • whether they are provided with other goods and services

Other conditions may also apply.

Before using anything other than the standard rate you should study the technical documentation carefully to find out what rate of VAT applies in any particular set of circumstances.

If you need more help with deciding on the right rate of VAT to charge you can contact HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for advice.

Contact HMRC to check the VAT rate is right

There are also specific VAT rules that apply to certain trades that affect how you account for VAT, and how much VAT you must pay and can reclaim.

Find out more about special VAT rules for different trade sectors

Find out more about different VAT rates

Food and drink, animals, animal feed, plants and seeds

Food and drink for human consumption is, in general, zero-rated but many items are standard-rated, including alcoholic drinks, confectionery, crisps and savoury snacks, hot food, sports drinks, supplies of food made in the course of catering including hot takeaways, ice cream, soft drinks and mineral water.

Because certain food and drink is zero-rated, so too are certain animals and animal feeds, and plants and seeds - if the animal or plant in question produces food that is normally used for human consumption.

More about food and drink in VAT Notice 701/14

More about animals and animal feed in VAT Notice 701/15

More about plants and seeds in VAT Notice 701/38

International trade

Goods exported outside the EU or sent to someone registered in another EU country are zero-rated, subject to conditions.

More about VAT on goods sent overseas

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Sport, leisure, culture and antiques

Sport
Goods or services VAT rate More information
Physical education and sports activities exempt VAT Notice 701/45
Leisure
Goods or services VAT rate More information
Betting and gaming - including pool betting and games of chance exempt VAT Notice 701/29
Bingo - including remote games played on the Internet, telephone, television or radio exempt VAT Notice 701/29
Lottery ticket sales exempt VAT Notice 701/29
Online lottery games exempt VAT Notice 701/29
Retailer commission on lottery ticket sales exempt VAT Notice 701/29
Culture
Goods or services VAT rate More information
Admission charges by public authorities or eligible cultural bodies to certain cultural events such as visits to museums, art exhibitions, zoos and performances exempt VAT Notice 701/47
Antiques
Goods or services VAT rate More information
Antiques, works of art or similar (as assets of historic houses) sold by private treaty to public collections exempt VAT Notice 701/12
Antiques, works of art or similar (as assets of historic houses) used to settle a tax or estate duty debt with HMRC exempt VAT Notice 701/12

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Health, education, welfare and charities

Charities
Goods or services VAT rate More information
Admission charges by charities exempt How VAT applies to charities
Advertising services for charities 0% VAT Notice 701/58
Certain goods sold at charitable fundraising events 0% Charity fund-raising events and VAT
Charitable fundraising events exempt Charity fund-raising events and VAT
Charity shops - selling donated goods 0% Charitable donations and VAT
Construction and sale of new buildings for a relevant charitable purpose 0% VAT Notice 708
Energy saving materials permanently installed in dwellings and buildings used for a relevant residential purpose 5% Energy saving materials - supply only - are standard-rated

VAT Notice 708/6
Sponsored charitable events exempt Charities and VAT
Voluntary donations to charity outside the scope of VAT Donations to charities
Welfare
Goods or services VAT rate More information
Building services for disabled people 0% Notice 701/7 VAT reliefs for disabled people
Burial or cremation of dead people, or burial at sea exempt VAT Notice 701/32
Mobility aids for the elderly 5% Mobility aids for older people
Equipment for blind or partially sighted people 0% Equipment for blind or partially sighted people
Equipment for disabled people 0% Equipment for disabled people
Funeral plans written under contracts of insurance exempt VAT Notice 701/36
Smoking cessation products - nicotine patches and gum 5% Read Budget Note BN77 (PDF 42K)
Welfare services provided by charities at significantly below cost outside the scope of VAT VAT Notice 701/1
Magnetic tape adapted for recording speech for blind people together with apparatus for making and playing the adapted tape and certain low vision aids 0% Aids for blind people
Health
Goods or services VAT rate More information
Care or medical treatment provided by a qualifying institution like a hospital, hospice or nursing home exempt VAT Notice 701/31
Dispensing of prescriptions by a registered pharmacist 0% VAT Notice 701/57
Health services provided by registered doctors, dentists, opticians, pharmacists and other health professionals exempt VAT Notice 701/57
Incontinence products 0% VAT Notice 701/7
Maternity pads 5% VAT Notice 701/18
Sanitary protection products 5% VAT Notice 701/18
Low vision aids 0% Equipment for blind or partially sighted people
Education
Goods or services VAT rate More information
Education, vocational training and other connected services provided by an eligible body like a school, college or university exempt VAT Notice 701/30

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Power, utilities, energy and energy saving, heating

Power
Goods or services VAT rate More information
Electricity for domestic and residential use or for non-business use by a charity. 5% Fuel for business use is usually standard-rated

VAT Notice 701/19
Gas for domestic and residential use or for non-business use by a charity. 5% Fuel for business use is usually standard-rated

VAT Notice 701/19
Heating oil for domestic and residential use or for non-business use by a charity. 5% Fuel for business use is usually standard-rated

VAT Notice 701/19
Solid fuel for domestic and residential use or for non-business use by a charity. 5% Fuel for business use is usually standard-rated

VAT Notice 701/19
Utilities
Goods or services VAT rate More information
Cesspools, septic tanks or similar (domestic) - emptying 0% Emptying industrial cesspools, septic tanks or similar is standard-rated

VAT Notice 701/16
Sewerage services supplied to domestic or industrial customers 0% Sewer and drain cleaning, unblocking or maintenance is standard-rated

VAT Notice 701/16
Water supplied to households 0% Water supplied to industrial customers is standard-rated

VAT Notice 701/16
Energy-saving materials installed in dwellings and buildings used for a relevant residential purpose
The installed goods VAT rate More information
Air source heat pumps 5% VAT Notice 708/6
Boilers - wood fuelled 5% VAT Notice 708/6
Central heating and hot water controls 5% VAT Notice 708/6
Draught stripping 5% VAT Notice 708/6
Ground source heat pumps 5% VAT Notice 708/6
Insulation 5% VAT Notice 708/6
Micro combined heat and power units 5% VAT Notice 708/6
Solar panels 5% VAT Notice 708/6
Water and wind turbines 5% VAT Notice 708/6
Heating equipment and connection of gas supply (to the extent they are grant-funded by certain funders to people aged over 60 or who are in receipt of certain benefits)
Installed goods VAT rate More information
The following heating appliances :
  • closed solid fuel fire cassettes
  • electric dual immersion water heaters with factory-insulated hot water tanks
  • electric storage heaters
  • gas-fired boilers
  • gas room heaters with thermostatic controls;
  • oil-fired boilers
  • radiators.
5% VAT Notice 708/6
The installation, repair and maintenance of a boiler, radiators, pipework and controls forming a central heating system (including micro combined heat and power systems). 5% VAT Notice 708/6
The installation, repair and maintenance of renewable source heating systems.

This means space or water heating systems which use energy from:
  • renewable sources, including solar, wind and hydroelectric power; or
  • near renewable sources, including ground and air heat.
5% VAT Notice 708/6
Connection or reconnection to the mains gas supply 5% VAT Notice 708/6

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Building and construction, land and property

Building and construction
Goods or services VAT rate More information
Substantial reconstructions to protected buildings that are buildings used as a dwelling, for a relevant residential purpose or for a relevant charitable purpose. 0% VAT Notice 708
The installation of a bathroom or lavatory, constructing ramps and widening doorways or passageways for disabled people in their own home. 0% Building services for disabled people
Construction and first freehold or long leasehold sale of a new building for a relevant charitable purpose 0% VAT Notice 708
Construction and first freehold or long leasehold sale of a new building for relevant residential purposes 0% VAT Notice 708
Construction and first freehold or long leasehold sale of new domestic buildings 0% VAT Notice 708
Converting existing premises by increasing the number of dwellings within the building 5% VAT Notice 708
Renovating a dwelling that has been empty for at least two years 5% VAT Notice 708
First freehold or long leasehold sale of a commercial building converted into a dwelling or dwellings 0% VAT Notice 708
First freehold or long leasehold sale of buildings converted for relevant residential purposes 0% VAT Notice 708
First freehold or long leasehold sale of buildings converted for relevant charitable purposes 0% VAT Notice 708
Land and property
Goods or services VAT rate More information
Garages or parking spaces let together with dwellings (under shorthold tenancy agreements) for permanent residential use exempt Garages or facilities specially designed for parking are standard-rated

VAT Notice 742
Parking - grant, or licence, to occupy land on which incidental parking takes place exempt VAT Notice 742
Property, land and buildings - grant, or licence, to occupy land or buildings exempt VAT Notice 742
Sale or long lease of a new dwelling with garage or parking space 0% VAT Notice 708

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Transport, freight, travel and vehicles

Transport
Goods or services VAT rate More information
Aircraft repair and maintenance 0% VAT Notice 744C
Freight
Goods or services VAT rate More information
Domestic leg of freight transport to or from a place outside the EU 0% Standard-rated freight transport includes domestic freight transport and freight transport between the UK and another EU member State

VAT Notice 744B
Freight containers - sale, lease or hire to a place outside the EC 0% VAT Notice 703/1
Freight containers - sale, lease or hire to another EC Member State 0% VAT Notice 703/1
International freight transport that takes place in the UK and its territorial waters 0% VAT Notice 744B
Travel
Goods or services VAT rate More information
Houseboat moorings exempt VAT Notice 742
Parking spaces or garages supplied with houseboat moorings exempt VAT Notice 742
Passenger transport in a vehicle, boat or aircraft that carries not less than ten passengers 0% VAT Notice 744A
Tolls for bridges, tunnels and roads operated by public authorities outside the scope of VAT Privately-operated tolls for bridges, tunnels and roads are standard-rated

Update 1 to VAT Notice 700
Vehicles
Goods or services VAT rate More information
Aircraft repair and maintenance 0% VAT Notice 744C
Airships - sale or charter 0% VAT Notice 744C
Caravans (more than 7m long or more than 2.55m wide) 0% or 5% Taxing holiday caravans
Civil aeroplanes - sale or charter 0% Gliders - sale or charter - are standard-rated as are hot air balloons

VAT Notice 744C
Helicopters - sale or charter 0% VAT Notice 744C
Houseboats - sale or let out on hire 0% But holiday accommodation let in a moored houseboat is standard-rated

VAT Notice 701/20
Military aeroplanes - sale or charter 0% VAT Notice 744C
Ship repairs and maintenance 0% VAT Notice 744C
Shipbuilding - 15 tons or over gross tonnage 0% VAT Notice 744C

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Printing, postage, publications - books, magazines and newspapers

Printing
Goods or services VAT rate More information
Brochures 0% VAT Notice 701/10
Leaflets 0% VAT Notice 701/10
Pamphlets 0% VAT Notice 701/10
Postage
Goods or services VAT rate More information
Direct-mail postal services meeting all the conditions of VAT Notice 700/24 3.2 and 3.3 outside the scope of VAT VAT Notice 700/24
Postage, packing and delivery within the UK included in the sales contract but charged for separately, eg mail order the same rate as the goods being delivered or posted Postage, packing and delivery within the UK charged as an optional extra is always standard-rated

VAT Notice 700/24
Public postal services provided by the Royal Mail under a universal service obligation exempt Standard Royal Mail first and second class services for example.
Other postal services that are not subject to a universal service obligation Standard-rated Supplies that are not subject to regulation.
Publications
Goods or services VAT rate More information
Books 0% VAT Notice 701/10
Children's painting and picture books 0% VAT Notice 701/10
Maps and charts 0% VAT Notice 701/10
Magazines 0% VAT Notice 701/10
Newspapers 0% VAT Notice 701/10
Printed or copied music 0% VAT Notice 701/10
Publications 0%

Some items are standard-rated such as exercise books, letterheads, posters

VAT Notice 701/10

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Clothing and footwear, protective and safety equipment

Clothing and footwear
Goods or services VAT rate More information
Baby wear 0% VAT Notice 714
Children's clothes and footwear 0% VAT Notice 714
Protective and safety equipment
Goods or services VAT rate More information
Carrycots with restraint straps 5% VAT Notice 701/23
Children's car seats, booster seats and booster cushions 5% VAT Notice 701/23
Children's safety seats with bare wheeled framework 5%

Prams and pushchairs are standard-rated

VAT Notice 701/23
Cycle helmets - CE marked 0% VAT Notice 701/23
Motorcycle helmets that meet safety standards 0% VAT Notice 701/23
Protective boots and helmets for industrial use 0% VAT Notice 701/23

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Financial services and investments, insurance

Financial services and investments
Goods or services VAT rate More information
Financial services including the issue, transfer or receipt of, or dealing with money, securities for money or orders for the payment of money exempt VAT Notice 701/49
The granting of credit such as loans exempt VAT Notice 701/49
The management of credit by the person who has granted it exempt VAT Notice 701/49
The provision of the facility of instalment credit finance for example hire-purchase exempt VAT Notice 701/49
The provision of qualifying financial intermediary services exempt VAT Notice 701/49
The issue, transfer or dealing with a security, including shares and bonds exempt VAT Notice 701/49
The operation of a current, deposit or savings account exempt VAT Notice 701/49
The management of a qualifying special investment fund exempt VAT Notice 701/49
Financial service supplied as a separate element but with other goods or services exempt VAT Notice 701/49
Financial service supplied as part of a single supply with other goods or services exempt if financial service is the principal element of the supply VAT Notice 701/49
Gold investment coins exempt VAT Notice 701/21
Insurance
Goods or services VAT rate More information
Friendly Society subscriptions for the provision of insurance exempt VAT Notice 701/36
Insurance and reinsurance transactions exempt VAT Notice 701/36
Insurance brokers and agents acting in an intermediary capacity exempt VAT Notice 701/36
Insurance supplied as a separate element but with other goods or services exempt VAT Notice 701/36
Insurance supplied as part of a single supply with other goods or services exempt if insurance is the principal element of the supply VAT Notice 701/36

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