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Importing a used car in Ireland – Why and How?

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There are many advantages for importing a used car to Ireland.
 1. Cost – Used cars (e.g. UK, N. Ireland) cost a lot less even after paying the import duties, taxes, shipping, etc.
2. Extras – Beside the price, most cars imported seems to have a higher specification, due to VRT cost for the extra add-ons (e.g. trim, leather, air conditioning, etc.)

Importing a used car in Ireland is not that difficult, but you do need to do your homework and pay attention,, as mistakes can be made and could be irreversible. For example if you are going to import from UK or N. Ireland, best is to travel and check the car out yourself or have a mechanic with you. If you are going to import from Japan, traveling is not really an option, due to cost involved and language barrier, but if you have friends that imported from Japan before, ask them where they found it and how did they proceed.

When you bring the car from another country to Ireland, you must have at hand proof of ownership (vehicle registration documents, receipt for payment made, Certificate of Permanent Export, etc).

On arrival in Ireland, you need to pay the import duties and taxes as listed below:
1. Import Duty – 10% of the price you have paid for the car (if imported from non EU country).
2. VAT  – The VAT rate is 21%  and applies to the value of the car + Import Duty (if imported from non EU country).
3. VRT – Vehicle Registration Tax which must be paid by the end of the next day, following its arrival in Ireland. This can be done by filling out a VRT4 form which can be downloaded here: VRT4 download. To get a VRT estimate, you can go here: VRT calculator available from the revenue website.

Once you have all the taxes paid, with the documents given to you by the VRT office, you can go to any motor-factors to get a set of number plates printed with the registration number provided on the papers which has to be displayed within 3 days, and tax the car for the first time in Ireland using the RF100 form giving to you by the VRT office as well. Once your car is taxed, the new Irish registration certificate will be posted to your home address in a matter of days.

If you import a used car into Ireland that is over 4 years old, you need to go through the NCT (National Car Testing) process, which is due from the date is has been first registered in the country of origin. The NCT test can be booked on-line at

That’s all there is to it and it might seem complicated but is not, so good luck with your car hunting.

Published under Tips and Advicesend this post
October 13th, 2007