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Importing a car into Ireland

If you are moving to Ireland, you may wish to import your foreign car into the country. However, before you make a decision, it is important to find out how the importation process works and how much it is likely to cost you. At TranslateMyCert, we would like to help you and provide you with some information about what you will need to do in order to import your car.

These are the four steps you must take when importing a car into Ireland:

1. Pay Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT)

Normally when you register your vehicle in Ireland, you have to pay Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT).

Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) is a tax that drivers must pay when they first register their vehicle in Ireland. After you have paid this tax, you will receive the vehicle’s registration certificate which shows that you have paid the VRT.

You can register the vehicle and pay the VRT at your local National Car Testing Service (NCTS) centre where your vehicle will be inspected. To find out how much VRT you will likely have to pay, you can check on the Revenue’s Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) calculator{:target="blank"}. You must bring your car to a NCTS centre within 7 days of its entry into Ireland and the registration process must be completed within 30 days or your arrival into the country.

If you have documentation that proves that you drove the vehicle for more than six months in another country, then you will not be charged VRT. However, you will still need to bring the car to a NCTS centre for an inspection. More information about this exemption can be found at the Revenue’s Reliefs and exemptions{:target="blank"}.

What you need to bring to the VRT inspection

  • Evidence of a previous registration. For instance, a certificate of de-registration, a foreign certificate of registration or a certificate of permanent exportation.
  • The vehicle’s invoice stating the date it was purchased.
  • Proof of your address in Ireland, e.g. a utility bill or bank statement.
  • Documentary evidence of your Personal Public Service Number (PPSN) e.g. P60, payslip, or any correspondence from the Irish Revenue Commissioners which has your name, address and PPS number.

Under certain circumstances, you may also need to pay Value Added Tax (VAT). Please refer to the Irish Revenue’s Tax and Duty manual for further details.

2. Obtain vehicle registration plates

After you have registered the car and paid the VRT, you will be given a registration number for your car and form RF100, which you will you will need when applying to pay motor tax. You can buy the registration plates for your vehicle from the NCTs centre or any car parts/accessories shop. It is illegal to not display the registration plate on your car.

3. Buy motor insurance

It is also a legal offence to not have motor insurance if you plan to drive in a public place.

4. Pay motor tax

Although there are a few exceptions, almost all drivers must pay motor tax to their local authority. After you have paid the motor tax, you will receive a tax disc which shows that you have paid. It is a legal requirement to display your tax disc on the front of your vehicle’s windscreen.

In order to make the car importation process run more smoothly, TranslateMyCert is here to help. We can translate into English any documentation you need to take to your VRT inspection such as the foreign certificate of registration or the vehicle’s invoice. All you have to do is upload your documents to our TranslateMyCert website and we will give you a free quote.