Vehicle Registration Tax in Ireland

Whether you’re buying a new ride or importing your baby from another country, you must register your car with the Revenue Commission and pay a Vehicle Registration Tax in Ireland before you take to the roads. Not sure what Vehicle Registration Tax is? Read more to find out!

When you buy a new car or import one from overseas, there are four steps you must take before hitting the road:

  1. Register your car with the National Car Testing Service (NCTS) and pay the Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT)
  2. Get new vehicle registration plates
  3. Obtain motor insurance
  4. Pay motor tax

VRT is a tax you pay when you register your vehicle in Ireland. Every car in Ireland must be registered with Revenue via NCTS unless you are a visitor and you have brought your car into Ireland temporarily. When you have paid VRT you will receive a vehicle registration number for your car. If you are buying a new car, VRT is included in the retail price of your vehicle at the dealership. If you are importing a car, you are responsible for registering your car and paying VRT independently. If you are importing a car, you must register with NCTS within 30 days of your vehicles entry into Ireland. When you register your vehicle, you must enter a Certificate of Conformity (CoC) which contains information from the manufacturer that is unique to your vehicle and confirms that your car conforms to EU safety standards. 

Calculating VRT

If you are driving a passenger car or small van (Class A vehicles), VRT is partially calculated as a percentage of the open market selling price (OMSP) of your vehicle. OMSP is the ‘expected retail price’ of your car including all taxes and VAT. Your VRT rate will also be calculated based on carbon dioxide. When you register your vehicle at the NCTS your car will be examined to ensure you are paying the correct VRT. To calculate the estimated VRT of your vehicle, click here, however note that there is a separate Nitrogen Oxide emissions tax will not be included in this estimate. 

Here are the current rates of VRT for Class A vehicles:

Vehicle Registration Tax in Ireland
Chart 1:
Nitrogen Oxide Tax

Since 1 January, 2020, all drivers are required to pay a Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions tax. This tax replaces the previous 1% VRT surcharge on all diesel engine passenger cars in place in 2019. Below is a chart showing how NOx emissions tax are charged:

Vehicle Registration Tax in Ireland
Chart 2:

If you do not provide enough information on the NOx emissions of your vehicle, you will be charged as such: 

  • Diesel Vehicles: €4,850
  • All other vehicles: €600
Reliefs and Exemptions

There are certain reliefs and exemptions on Vehicle Registration Tax in Ireland available to motorists depending on their personal circumstances. These are as follows:

  • People who have transferred permanent residence to Ireland
  • People with certain permanent disabilities whose car is specially constructed for them
  • Business vehicles where the business has moved in its entirety to Ireland
  • You have inherited a vehicle
  • You are working in a diplomatic mission in Ireland. 

For more information on VRT reliefs and exemptions, click here

Motor Tax

Motor tax must be paid once you have paid VRT if you wish to drive your car in public spaces in Ireland. How your motor tax is calculated is based on the type of vehicle you have, CO2 emissions, engine capacity, and weight of your vehicle. You are required to display evidence of payment via a ‘tax disc’ which you must display on the windshield of your car. For more information on motor tax, click here.

How to apply for Vehicle Registration

If you are registering a new car, you must bring a hardcopy of the Certificate of Conformity. For used cars and imports, you must bring: 

  • The foreign registration certificate or certificate of de-registration issued by the registration authority from your previous country of residence
  • Confirmation of the level of CO2 emissions of the vehicle at the time of manufacture
  • Confirmation of the NOx emissions from the time of manufacture

Additionally, you must also bring:

  • A passport and driver’s licence
  • The Vehicle Purchase Details form provided by your authorised motor trader
  • Invoice showing the date of purchase
  • Documents verifying your name and address
  • Your PPSN
  • Evidence of the date your vehicle entered Ireland [if you are importing your vehicle]
  • VRT exemption notification issued by Revenue [if applicable]

Your vehicle will then be examined at the NCTS centre to ensure it matches its documentation. After payment of your VRT, you will be issued a registration number. Once you have received this number, you will then be able to get your number plates. These are not supplied by Revenue and can be obtained from any source once they are to the required governmental standards. These plates must be displayed on the front and rear of your vehicle and must be clear and visible at all times. If you are driving a motorcycle, you may be displayed only at the rear. For more information on registration numbers and plates, click here. If your car is over four years old, it must also undergo the National Car Test as well. 

VRT Appeals

You must first all pay the VRT before an appeal can be considered. Appeals can be based on:

  • The amount of VRT charged
  • The refusal of a repayment of remission of VRT
  • The refusal to grant an exemption from VRT
  • Other VRT issues

For more information on appeals from VRT, click here

There you have it guys! You’re road ready to go! Bear in mind, it is an offence to forgo registering your vehicle which may result in penalties including potential forfeiture of your vehicle so be sure to register without delay! Have you paid Vehicle Registration Tax in Ireland? Comment your experience and advice below!

Emma Grove
Emma Grove

Emma is a Californian-native, a food lover, and a Journalist for Babylon Radio. With a MA(Hons) from the University of Glasgow, Emma is interested in everything musical and cultural going on in Ireland!


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