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Entrepreneurs splash out for private jets

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In a desperate bid to beat a rise in VAT, businesses and individuals spent an extra £1bn on private jets in the last three months of 2010.

Until the start of 2011, private jets were exempt from VAT. 

In other words, by buying a private jet in 2010, you could save yourself £480,000 of VAT on a £2.4m Cessna plane. Or even a whopping £9.6m on a £48m Learjet!

Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that the rise in tax led to a £2bn collapse in spending on executive jets in the first three months of this year, compared with the previous quarter.

The airline industry isn’t happy. One source told the Guardian: “By the very nature of the people who are purchasing these planes, they are mobile and don’t care where their aircraft are registered. So it’s a big loss to the UK.”

Have you ever considered buying a private jet?

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