The Even Better Heavy Vehicle Deduction in 2018

This post is in: Blog, Business

If you buy a heavy vehicle, defined as greater than 6,000 GVW, you just got a big deduction in 2018. First, determine how much business use you have. If you have 90% business use, then you will be able to take 90% of the available deduction. If you have 70% business use, you get 70% of the available deductions. But if you have 100%, then you get it all.

The Section 179 deduction is still $25,000 maximum. That, in and of itself, is a good deal, but the really good deal is the bonus depreciation. That’s now 100%.

You can use it on a luxury vehicle for a deduction of $16,000. But if you do take the bonus depreciation on a luxury vehicle (defined basically as any vehicle that’s not clearly a work truck or van or a heavy vehicle), you can’t take any other depreciation on that item for the next 5 years. It usually doesn’t work out to take the new 100% bonus depreciation.

The big difference is only with heavy vehicles. They now are eligible for the full 100% bonus depreciation. You can use it in conjunction with the Section 179 or just by itself.

You need to buy the vehicle to qualify. You can’t just lease it. It is possible to finance it with little or no down and still get the write-off.

If you’re looking for a last minute write off in 2018, consider a heavy vehicle. With the new hybrids and flex fuel options, it doesn’t mean you’re going to have to pay a lot in fuel to maintain it.


  1. ted says:

    Can I buy an SUV that has a GVWR less than 6,000 pounds and have additional options added to increase the GVWR to be above 6,000 pounds? Example: a Honda Pilot or Acura MDX with a GVWR just below 6,000 could be pushed over with a Tow Hitch. How does the IRS determine the eligibility of the SUV for the 100% first year deduction?

  2. Diane Kennedy says:

    The GVWR is something determined at the time the vehicle is manufactured. If you do after market alterations, it won’t qualify.

  3. Eric says:

    Is there a good resource to find out which 2018 or 2019 vehicles qualify as a heavy vehicle?

  4. Diane Kennedy says:

    Eric, I don’t know of any such list. But that said, you may just try Googling for it.

    Verify before you buy, though. I’ve seen some Internet lists of various things that aren’t accurate. Pretty much every dealer is going to know which vehicles qualify, if you’re buying new. Otherwise, look at the vehicle specs online, the door panel and/or the owner’s handbook.

  5. JOE says:

    Purchased an SUV 100% business use in 2018 costing $48,000. What is my deduction in 2018 for sec. 179 and bonus depreciation

  6. Diane Kennedy says:

    Hi Joe,

    If the SUV you bought for $48K is a qualifying heavy vehicle with 100% business usage, it can be all written off in 2018. But there are two caveats there: 100% business usage and it’s a heavy vehicle.

  7. Mike Murphy says:

    I own 2018 Dodge Ram 2500 with a Cummings Diesel We wrote off $50,000 in 2018
    I need to sell or trade my truck and buy. Ford f-450 When can I buy a new truck and get 100% right off

  8. Mike Murphy says:

    Can I buy a new heavy duty truck that’s used for 100% business every year And Wright off 100%

  9. Diane Kennedy says:

    This article is from 2018 and it’s now 2020. I’ll answer the two questions about Section 179 and bonus depreciation trade-ins and purchases in a new blog post to bring this all current.

    It’s time for an update!

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