If you're planning to import a vehicle to the Republic of Ireland, there are a number of things you must do before you're legally allowed to drive it on public roads.

The cost of these tasks can mount up, so it's important to do your research ahead of time.



Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT)

First up is Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT). You must pay €280 VRT on vehicles with 0-80g/km, ranging up to €720 for vehicles that emit 225g/km or more.

You must book your VRT inspection within seven days of arriving in Ireland with your imported car. The entire process must be completed within 30 days to avoid any fines.


National Car Testing Service (NCTS)

The National Car Testing Service (NCTS) is like the UK's MOT system. After passing the NCTS test, you'll be given a new registration number together with new plates - which must be fitted within three days of passing.


I am a foreign student in the ROI: do I have to pay VRT?

If you are studying in Ireland but come from the UK or elsewhere, you will be exempt from paying VRT for the period of your studies.


I am a non-resident: do I have to pay VRT?

If you're not a resident of Ireland and are using the vehicle in question for 12 months or less, you shouldn't have to pay VRT.


Motor Tax

Once you've sorted out the VRT, you'll need to pay your Motor Tax. Similar to the UK's Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), Motor Tax starts at €120 per year for vehicles with CO2 emission of 0-1, rising to a hefty €2,350 for cars with emissions of 226 - 999g/km.


Is there any VAT to pay?

If the car in question was bought less than six months prior (or has covered less than 3,728 miles (6,000km), you must pay VAT, too. And it's not cheap, amounting to 23% of the car's value. Additionally, it makes no difference that you've already paid VAT in another country.


NCTs for cars over four years old

Vehicles aged four+ years must pass the National Car Test (NCT) - comparable to the UK's MOT test (which is required after three years). Having passed you'll get a certificate which means your car is deemed safe to drive for 12 months.


Car insurance

You must arrange sufficient car insurance for your imported car. However, if you're arriving from another part of Europe, your existing insurance may cover you for a period through the Green Card System. Read your policy document carefully to find out.