Type of vehicle

The kind of vehicle you own can affect the expenses you deduct. For income tax purposes, you should know the definitions of these four types of vehicles:

  • motor vehicles
  • passenger vehicles
  • zero-emission passenger vehicle (ZEPV)
  • zero-emission vehicle (ZEV)

A motor vehicle is an automotive vehicle designed or adapted for use on highways and streets. A motor vehicle does not include a trolley bus or a vehicle designed or adapted to be operated only on rails.

A passenger vehicle is a motor vehicle that is owned by the taxpayer (other than a zero-emission vehicle) or that is leased, and designed or adapted primarily to carry people on highways and streets. It seats a driver and no more than eight passengers. Most cars, station wagons, vans, and some pick-up trucks are passenger vehicles.

Passenger vehicles and zero-emission passenger vehicles are subject to limits on the amount of CCA, interest, and leasing costs that may be deducted. They do not include:

  • an ambulance
  • a clearly marked police or fire emergency response vehicle
  • a motor vehicle you bought to use more than 50% as a taxi, a bus used in the business of transporting passengers, or a hearse used in a funeral business
  • a motor vehicle you bought to sell, rent, or lease in a motor vehicle sales, rental, or leasing business
  • a motor vehicle (except a hearse) you bought to use in a funeral business to transport passengers
  • a van, pick-up truck, or similar vehicle that seats no more than the driver and two passengers and that, in the tax year you bought or leased it, was used more than 50% to transport goods and equipment to earn income
  • a van, pick-up truck, or similar vehicle that, in the tax year you bought or leased it, was used 90% or more to transport goods, equipment, or passengers to earn income
  • a pick-up truck that, in the tax year you bought or leased it, was used more than 50% to transport goods, equipment, or passengers to earn or produce income at a remote work location or at a special work site that is at least 30 kilometres from the nearest community with a population of at least 40,000
  • a clearly marked emergency medical service vehicle used to carry paramedics and their emergency medical equipment

A zero-emission passenger vehicle (ZEPV) means an automobile that is owned by the taxpayer and is included in Class 54 (but would otherwise be included in Class 10 or 10.1). The rules that apply to the definition of passenger vehicles apply to zero-emission passenger vehicles (ZEPVs). A ZEPV does not include a leased passenger vehicle, but other vehicles that would otherwise qualify as a ZEPV if owned by the taxpayer, are subject to the same leasing deduction restrictions as passenger vehicles.

A zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) is a motor vehicle that is owned by the taxpayer where all of the following conditions are met:

  • is a plug-in hybrid with a battery capacity of at least 7kWh or is either fully:
    • electric
    • powered by hydrogen
  • us acquired, and becomes available for use, after March 18, 2019, and before 2028
  • has not been used for any purpose before it was acquired by the taxpayer
  • is a vehicle for which:
    • an election has not been made to forgo the Class 54 or 55 treatment
    • assistance has not been provided by the Government of Canada under the new incentive annouced on March 19, 2019
    • an amount has not been deducted as CCA and a terminal loss has not been claimes by another person or partnership

Vehicle definition

The kind of vehicle you own can affect the expenses you can deduct. For income tax purposes, you should know the definitions of motor vehicles, zero-emission vehicles, passenger vehicles, and zero-emission passenger vehicles.

If you own a passenger vehicle or a zero-emission passenger vehicle, or you lease a passenger vehicle or a vehicle that would otherwise qualify as a ZEPV, there may be a limit on the amounts you can deduct for CCA, interest, and leasing costs. 

The following chart will help you to determine if you have a motor vehicle or a passenger vehicle. The chart does not cover every situation, but it gives some of the main definitions for vehicles bought or leased and used to earn self-employment income. For details about depreciable properties, go to Claiming capital cost allowance (CCA).

Vehicle definition chart
Type of vehicle Seating (includes driver) Business use in year bought or leased Vehicle definition
Coupe, sedan, station wagon, sports car, or luxury car 1 to 9 1% to 100% passenger
Pick-up truck used to transport goods or equipment 1 to 3 more than 50% motor
Pick-up truck (other than above) 1 to 3 1% to 100% passenger
Pick-up truck with extended cab used to transport goods, equipment, or passengers 4 to 9 90% or more motor
Pick-up truck with extended cab (other than above) 4 to 9 1% to 100% passenger
Sport utility vehicle used to transport goods, equipment, or passengers 4 to 9 90% or more motor
Sport utility vehicle (other than above) 4 to 9 1% to 100% passenger
Van or minivan used to transport goods or equipment 1 to 3 more than 50% motor
Van or minivan (other than above) 1 to 3 1% to 100% passenger
Van or minivan used to transport goods, equipment, or passengers 4 to 9 90% or more motor
Van or minivan (other than above) 4 to 9 1% to 100% passenger
Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: