Importing a Car from the UK to Ireland

Buying a car in the UK and importing it to Ireland.

In 2017 almsot half of all new registrations of cars in Ireland were used cars imported from abroad (mostly from the UK).
There can be substantial price differences between used cars in Ireland and the UK – in some cases buyers can save 10 to 20% even after all the extra costs have been added on.  When the Euro is stronger vs Sterling  – the savings that can be made are even bigger.

With all the online car sales sites –  it is not too difficult to find the exact make and model of car you want. You could even get someone to do most of the work for you – and you will still save money. For example – in the North West –  Stenson Motors has a UK car sourcing service.

Finances and Currency Exchange.

Tip :– don’t use your bank to do the currency transfer. On more expensive car purchases you can save another 1 or 2% by avoiding using your bank to do the transfer.

You could use an online exchange service such as Currency Fair. They are an Irish based company , regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.  You can pay in your money to CurrencyFair with an Irish debit card or by bank transfer. Many other exchange firms won’t accept debit cards. (Special Offer – no fee on your first 5 transfers – which are usually €3 each)

Transfermate , is a worldwide currency broker with a HQ in Ireland. They are popular with Irish residents making UK car purchases. You can get quote by calling Transfermate  in Ireland on +353 1 6353776 or even easier – request one on their website here.

You could also use London based Currency Solutions .  Visit their website for a free no obligation quote. You can also call them on their Irish number 01 431 1344 or on their UK number 0044 207 740 0000– ask for the Irish Links contact – Ernie Enver.


Vehicle Registration :
The registration process must be completed within 30 days of the vehicle’s arrival in Ireland.
You must register the car and pay the VRT at a National Car Testing Service (NCT)
Within 7 days of your vehicle arriving in Ireland, you must book an appointment with the NCTS for it to be inspected –
Your car will be examined to ensure that you are paying the correct VRT.

Once the vehicle has been registered and the VRT paid, you will receive a receipt for the VRT paid showing the registration number assigned to your car . You will also get a form RF100 for use when you are applying to pay motor tax

See the Motor Tax Rates in Ireland here

You will need to insure the car with an Irish insurance company – see our Car Insurance page for details of car insurance prices and companies .

If you are importing a new car from another EU country you also have to pay VAT (Value Added Tax), usually when registering the car. A new car is defined as a car that has been in use for 6 months or less, or has been driven for 6,000 kilometres or less.
The VAT is payable even where you have paid VAT in the other country.
If you are importing a new or second hand car from outside the EU, VAT (and customs duty) is payable

If you are importing a new car (less than 3 months old or travelled less than 3,000km) you must also bring an EU Whole Vehicle Type-Approval Certificate of Conformity. If you are importing and registering used car (over 3 months or 3,000km) you must also bring evidence of previous registration such as foreign certificate of registration, a certificate of permanent exportation or a certificate of de-registration