Buying a New Car in Ireland
Before you can set a wheel on the
With the exception of vehicles brought to Ireland temporarily
by tourists, there are four things that have to be taken care
of, before you can start driving in Ireland.
- Ensure that you have a valid driving licence, and carry
it at all times when driving.
- Vehicle Regitration Tax (VRT) (A once off payment, when
vehicle is registered)
Every new and imported car must be registered with the Revenue
- Motor Insurance
- Pay Motor tax
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All about Vehicle Registration Tax
All newly purchased cars in Ireland are liable for Vehicle
Registration Tax, which one must pay (only once) when the
car is first registered. It is a legal requirement and there
are considerable penalties for any delay in registering your
Registration is taken care of at the You can register the
local Vehicle Registration Office (VRO). The tax will be calculated
at the VRO, and in the case of cars and small vans, is based
on a percentage of the recommended retail price of the vehicle
(including all taxs). This price is known commonly as the
Open Market Selling Price (OMSP).
If you are dissatisfied with the amount that you are being
charged, bring this to the attention of the official at the
VRO at the time of payment. There is also a VRT appeals procedure,
for those who aren't happy with the charges. Leaflets are
available from any VRO.
VRT Exemptions and Reliefs
There are a number of different reliefs and exemptions from
VRT and more information is provided at your local VRO. In
particular, relief is provided for certain disabled drivers,
Visitors who will be temporary residents in Ireland and have
owned their vehicles abroad for more than 6 months, and people
who have owned their vehicles abroad for greater than 6 months
and are moving to Ireland permanently. Those posted to Ireland
as part of the diplomatic corps will also enjoy reliefs on
VRT (so become a diplomat and take advantage of the freebies!)
However, if your are moving to Ireland and are exempt from
paying VRT you are not permitted to sell your vehicle for
more than 12 months after the vehicle has been registered.
But if you are required to pay VRT, you can sell your vehicle
here in Ireland whenever you want, provided it has been registered.
You will find futher information at your local VRO.
VRT when buying from a car dealer
If you purchase your new car from a dealer at car showrooms
and so on, then it is the dealer's responsibility to have
the vehicle registered and ensure that the tax is paid before
selling it to you. The selling price of the vehicle should
include the VRT, and the vehicle will be sold to you with
its registration plates already attached.
When the vehicle has been registered by the Revenue Commissioners
and the VRT has been fully paid, you (or the motor dealer)
will receive a receipt for the VRT paid, displaying the registration
number assigned to the car. The registration plates displaying
the assigned registration number must be placed on the car
within 3 days of the date of registration (you can find a
leaflet detailing the correct legal format of the registration
plates to be used at any VRO).
You will receive a receipt and a form, called the RF 100,
which you will use when you are applying for motor tax
VRT and temporary visitors to Ireland
Those bringing their car to Ireland temporarily (i.e., while
on vacation, a business trip etc.) are not required to pay
VRT on the vehicle.
The costs of VRT
As mentioned above, the costs of VRT are based on the Open
Market Selling Price of the Vehicle. This depends on the vehicle's
market values, engine size, year, model and roadworthiness
as well as the condition of the vehicle.
The VRT will be estimated by a VRO official, who will calculate
the rate after he/she has inspected the vehicle. Payments
are possible by bankdraft, money order, Laser (debit) card
and cash. (note: if you are decide to use a Laser debit card
to pay, the transaction is limited to 1,500 euro per day.
If your VRT expenses exceed this you can pay the balance in
cash or by bank draft. )
The Vehicle Engine size Cost of VRT
Here is a break-down of how engine size will affect your
VRT (ball-park figures given)
Cars up to 1400 cc 22.5% of OMSP, (subject to a minimum tax
of 315 euro)
Cars 1401cc-2000cc 25% of OMSP (subject to a minimum tax of
Cars over 2000cc 30% of OMSP (subject to a minimum tax of
Small vans (incl. some jeeps) - 13.3% of OMSP (subject to
a min tax of 125 euro)
Motorcycles (new) - 2 euro per 350cc and 1 euro per cc after
Motorcycles (used) - 2 euro per 350cc and 1 euro per cc after
Hybrid electric vehicles - 50% of VRT payable may be repaid
in respect of some hybrid vehicles (hybrids are powered by
a combination of electric motor and internal combustion engine.
They are capable of being powered by the electric part of
the motor for a substantial portion of their driving cycle)
Other vehicles - A flat rate of 50 euro for tractors, large
vans, lorries, etc.
Procedure to Apply for VRT
First of all, obtain a declaration form at any VRO. Complete
the declaration form and present the completed form together
with the vehicle at a VRO (32 of these are located around
the country). If the car is new, you will have to pay VAT
as well as VRT.
More information about VRT, VAT and Acquiring a vehicle abroad
You can contact the following office, with any queries that
you may have:
St John's House,
Tel: (01) 414 9700
(01) 414 9777
(01) 414 9720
(01) 414 9720
(01) 878 0100
(This is a 24/7 service to ask for forms and information
leaflets)back to top
Importing a vehicle into Ireland
All vehicles subject to Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT)
VRT is a once off payment, that must be paid when the vehicle
is registered. Your vehicle must be registered for VRT, unless
you are here on a temporary basis. See the above section for
You are also subject to the same requirements as stated above,
if buying a car in the country:
1. Pay Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) (unless you are exempt)
2. Get Motor Insurance
3. Pay Motor Tax
4. Carry a valid driving licence at all times when driving.
(Information on these is provided above)
Prooving ownership of the car, when importing
When you bring a vehicle into Ireland from abroad, you must
firstly be able to provide proof of ownership of the vehicle.
This might be a vehicle registration document, evidence of
car insurance and so on. You must also have a Certificate
of Permanent Export (or a vehicle registration document).
It is essential to make sure that the document or certificate
is the correct one for your car before importing it to Ireland.
When must the car be registered
It's necessary to register your car and pay VRT by the close
of the next working day, after its arrival into Ireland. Bring
it to a Revenue Vehicle Registration Office (VRO) not later
than the next working day following its arrival in Ireland,
and complete a Declaration for Registration (Form VRT 4) and
present it with the vehicle registration document or Certificate
of Permanent Export.
You then pay the VRT charged, once your vehicle has been
inspected at the VRO. When the vehicle has been registered
by the Revenue Commissioners and the VRT paid, you (or your
motor dealer) will receive: a receipt for the VRT that has
been paid (displaying the registration number assigned to
your car) and a form, called the form RF 100, for use when
you are applying for motor taxback to top
Motor tax is required in Ireland by law, and is imposed by
the Irish Government on motor vehicles. Revenue from motor
tax goes towards maintaining the roads, and upgrading the
road network. The charges for motor tax are proportionate
to the size of the vehicle engine, but some vehicles are exempt.
Refer to the motor tax section for indepth info.
It is a legally required in Ireland to have motor insurance
if you drive your car in a public place. Check out our insurance
section for more info on Motor Insurance in Ireland.back to top
Getting Registration Plates
When you purchase a car from a dealer, it will have its registration
plates attached by the time you are in possession of it. However,
if you buy the car privately, you will be required to get
registration plates - made to order at most motor dealers.
When do I receive my Registration Certificate?
Your new car's Registration Certificate is issued by the
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government.
It will be posted out after you have applied to your local
motor tax office to pay motor tax on your vehicle.
When must you display the registration number
You must display the registration number within three days.
If there is a failure to display the new registration number,
this is an offence and you are liable to be fined by the Irish
police force, An Garda Síochana.
Vehicle registration plates may be obtained from any motor
dealer, and a leaflet showing the correct legal format of
the registration plates to be used is available at any VRO.
Personalised registration plates are illegal in Ireland.
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