Normally – all cars brought or imported into Ireland (apart from temporary visits of less than 12 months) are subject to Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) and must be registered with the Revenue Commissioners. The tax rates vary from 14% to 36% depending on CO2 emissions.
(If you are an Irish resident thinking of buying a car from the UK and importing it – we have some information for you about Buying a Car in the UK )
But – people who are moving to Ireland permanently and have owned their vehicles abroad for more than 6 months are exempt from paying this VRT.
To claim the exemption from VRT – You will be required to provide proof of ownership, proof of living abroad – i.e bank statements, proof of address and date of arrival in Ireland. You will need proof of insurance abroad going back 6 months and proof of date of purchase. If the car is exempt but is sold wiithin 12 months of arriving in Ireland – you will have to pay the VRT.
In some cases foreign-registered vehicles may be imported into Ireland temporarily by a non-resident without the requirement to pay VRT or register the vehicle. A non-resident is classed as someone who lives outside Ireland for at least 185 days each year and the temporary exemption is for a period of up to 12 months.
Foreign students who are studying in Ireland may bring a foreign-registered vehicle into Ireland and the 12-month time limit will be extended to cover the completion of their course.
Details of VRT rates in Ireland here
The vehicle 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. In the case of cars and small vans, the amount of VRT payable is based on a percentage of the recommended retail price, which includes all taxes. This price is known as the Open Market Selling Price
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 means a car that has been in use or 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