Aim of this survey

The Annual Acquisitions and Disposals of Capital Assets Survey (ACAS) is the only survey conducted by Office for National Statistics (ONS) that collects detailed product breakdown on capital expenditure. It collects acquisition and disposal data on:

  • vehicles and other transport equipment (including new, used and goods vehicles)

  • machinery and equipment

  • new building work (excluding dwellings)

  • services associated with buildings and other capital expenditure (including computer services, business consultancy, engineering and construction services)

  • intangibly produced assets (such as the value of computer software, entertainment, literary and artistic originals)

Results from the survey are needed to more accurately deflate the Quarterly Acquisitions and Disposals of Capital Assets Survey (QCAS). It provides essential information for the UK National Accounts and feeds into the compilation of gross fixed capital formation (GFCF), which is a major component of the expenditure measure of UK gross domestic product (GDP).

What you need to know

To complete the survey, you will need the following information:

  • value of acquisitions relating to major improvements and construction work

  • value of acquisitions and disposals relating to services and costs associated with major improvements and construction work

  • value of acquisitions and disposals of transport assets and equipment

  • value of acquisitions and disposals of computers and telecommunication equipment

  • value of acquisitions and disposals of furniture and office equipment

  • value of acquisitions and disposals of electronic appliances and electrical equipment

  • value of acquisitions and disposals of general and special purpose machinery and equipment

  • value of acquisitions and disposals of fabricated and other products

  • value of acquisitions and disposals of intellectual property assets

  • value of acquisitions and disposals of other capital assets

  • value of capital assets acquired under a financial leasing arrangement

  • information relating to any lags between paying for and receiving capital items

All information you provide is strictly confidential.

Survey information

Selection criteria: UK trading businesses registered for Value Added Tax (VAT) and/or Pay As you Earn (PAYE)
Population: approximately 2.5 million
Sample: approximately 2,500
Frequency: annually

Dispatch dates

Between 5 and 9 January

Return-by dates

Between 20 and 28 March

Dispatch and return-by dates are a guide. They are subject to change due to national holidays and weekends.

Why you were selected

Your business has been selected from a directory of businesses in the UK that are registered for VAT and/or PAYE or with Companies House. Your response ensures we represent your industry.

The ACAS is conducted under the provisions of the Statistics of Trade Act 1947. Once selected, your business is legally obliged to comply. You cannot appeal your selection.

Why you have received this survey

We survey businesses of all sizes to ensure our statistics are representative of the UK economy. We select large businesses (those with 100 plus employees) for any relevant ONS business surveys because their information is so significant.

We select some small and medium businesses, usually for a set period of time, then replace them with other businesses from their industry. They are very important to us as their trading patterns are often very different to large businesses.

How to complete this survey

Please complete and return the questionnaire following the guidelines on the front page.

Reminders are issued automatically, so you may receive one if you submit data just before or after the return date.

At the moment, this survey is not available to complete online. We are currently developing a secure online collection platform. You will receive a letter notifying you when you can complete the ACAS on our new platform. We appreciate your patience.

If you need help

If your question is not answered above, you may be able to find the answer in the About ONS business surveys section.

You can call us on 0300 1234 941. Please enter the three-digit survey ID 171.

Er mwyn gwneud cais am ffurflen Gymraeg (to speak to someone in Welsh): 0300 1234 921.