Arnold Clark owner pays £78.3m tax bill as the largest car dealer tax payers are revealed

  • Lady Clark coughs up bumper figure to taxman after another impressive year for Arnold Clark
  • Car dealer group topped Car Dealer Top 100 list once again with an Ebitda of £383m
  • Sunday Times Tax List reveals the UK’s 100 biggest taxpayers

Time 9:17 am, January 26, 2024

Lady Philomena Clark is the car dealer who paid the largest tax bill last year after another period of huge profits for Arnold Clark.

She and her family handed over £78.3m to the taxman in 2023, according to the latest Sunday Times Tax List, after her hugely successful dealer group generated £383.8m in profit in its most recent set of annual accounts.

The widow of Sir Arnold is the largest shareholder in the business, which once again topped our Car Dealer Top 100 list of the most profitable dealer groups last year.

Despite the eye-watering tax bill, the Clark family actually paid LESS tax than they did in the previous year, when they contributed a whopping £92.7m.

The Sunday Times Tax List, revealed today (Jan 26), lists the biggest taxpayers in the UK.

Lady Clark tops the list of automotive taxpayers in 15th place overall and putting her ahead of the likes of JK Rowling and even the Duke of Westminster.

Elsewhere, former car salesman-turned-financier Henry Moser comes in at number 32 with a tax bill of £39.6m, tying with singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, while Douglas Park and family, of Park’s Motor Group, are 65th with an £18m tax bill.

There is more automotive interest further down the list too, with the Tordoff family – of JCT600 fame – coughing up £17.4m, which puts them in joint 66th place and the same position they held last year.

Meanwhile, Richard and Christine Teatum, who own Stoneacre, are a new entry at 68th position, having paid £16.7m.

Geoffrey Warren, the founder of used car dealership Cargiant, is similarly a new entry in joint 74th place with his £14.7m tax bill, while Dick Lovett boss Peter Lovett is a new entry as well at joint 78th after contributing £14.3m.

Mark and Rhianon Bailey – the husband-and-wife team behind Trade Centre Wales – are a new entry at 81st position (£13.9m), with the Swansea-based dealer Graham Day and his family, who own Day’s Motorpark but have a big property portfolio as well, also new on the list at 99th position (£10.2m).

Meanwhile, the Marshall family are ranked 36th with a tax bill of £34.8m. The news that the biggest shareholder of Marshall Motor Group – now owned by Constellation Automotive Group – was considering selling its stake to Constellation took the Marshall board by surprise, Car Dealer revealed in December 2021.

There is also an automotive link in second place with ex-F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone stumping up £652.6m in tax and penalties to avoid jail last year.

His was also a new entry on the list, and speaking to The Sunday Times from his home in Switzerland for the first time since he settled with HMRC, Ecclestone said: ‘I have always paid tax in the UK, every year I always have.

‘The issue was about the tax I earned overseas that the (UK) taxman thought I should pay UK tax on. It was an honest mistake and I think everyone knew that.’

The UK’s top-placed taxpayer overall is Alex Gerko, a Moscow-born maths whizz who made a fortune from trading up to $300bn a day. He shelled out a whopping £664.5m in tax.

The UK’s biggest car dealer taxpayers

  1. Lady Philomena Clark and family – £78.3m
  2. Douglas Park and family – £18m
  3. The Tordoff family – £17.4m
  4. Richard and Christine Teatum – £16.7m
  5. Geoffrey Warren – £14.7m
  6. Peter Lovett – £14.3m
  7. Mark and Rhianon Bailey – £13.9m
  8. Graham Day and family – £10.2m

Source: Sunday Times Tax List 2024

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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