A 'recovery vehicle' is defined in the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 (Schedule 1, Part V) as a vehicle which is constructed or permanently adapted primarily for the purposes of lifting, towing and transporting a disabled vehicle or for any one or more of these purposes.
Such vehicles are placed in a separate category and are subject to the following rates based on revenue weight.
Exceeding 3.500kg up to 25,000kg -
£165 (£90.75 per six month)
Exceeding 25,000kgs -
£410 (£225.60 per six months)
Operators have the option of either registering their vehicles and paying the standard rate of excise duty based on the vehicle's gross weight, in which case there are no restrictions on use, or registering them as "recovery vehicle" and restricting their use to:
(a) recovering broken-down vehicles
(b) removing a broken down vehicle from the place where it broke down to premises for repair or for scrapping.
(c) removing a broken down vehicle from premises to which it had been taken for repair to other premises for repair or scrapping, and
(d) for carrying only fuel and other liquids needed to drive the vehicle together with tools with which to operate the lifting or towing equipment.