Guide to Vehicle Registration Tax

Vehicle Registration Tax is chargeable on the registration of motor vehicles (including motor-cycles) in the State. All motor vehicles in the State, other than those brought in temporarily by visitors, must be registered with the Revenue Commissioners. A vehicle must be registered before it can be licensed for motor tax purposes.

Any delay in registering your vehicle or paying the tax may make you liable to substantial penalties including forfeiture of the vehicle and prosecution.

Back to Top

VRT Valuations

It should be noted that Revenue staff do not provide vehicle valuations by phone, email or in person, unless the vehicle has been presented for registration. If you need to get an estimate of the approximate VRT for a vehicle model that is not on the VRT Calculator, please consult the FAQs section of the website - "How can I find out how much VRT I will have to pay if my particular vehicle is not on the VRT Calculator?"

Registration Process

National Car Testing Service (NCTS)

The National Car Testing Service (NCTS) has been appointed by the Revenue Commissioners to carry out a range of vehicle registration functions on their behalf.

When must I register?

In order to register an unregistered vehicle (or one previously registered outside the State) you must make an appointment with the NCTS within 7 days of its entry into the State to have a pre-registration examination of the vehicle carried out. You must complete the registration process and pay VRT at the NCTS Centre within 30 days of the arrival of the NCTS website vehicle in the State. Further details of how to book the examination are available on the NCTS website at www.ncts.ie/vrt.html External link.

Additional Charge Raised by Revenue where a Vehicle has not been Registered within 30 days

Section 62 of Finance Act (No 2) 2008 allows the Commissioners to raise an additional charge on registration where Revenue are of the opinion that the vehicle has not been registered within the specified 30 day limit. This usually arises where satisfactory documentary evidence is not produced at the time the vehicle is presented for registration.

Any queries relating to an additional charge having been raised at registration should be addressed to the VRT section within your Revenue district. Please note that queries relating to an additional charge will not be entertained unless documentary evidence is produced giving proof of the date that the vehicle entered the State and reasons why the said documentation was not produced to the NCTS when the vehicle was presented for registration.

It should be noted that an unregistered vehicle may be detained by Revenue officials or by An Garda Síochána if the vehicle is not registered within the specified 30 day limit

Where do I Register?

To register a vehicle, you must first book an appointment at an NCTS centre to have the vehicle examined and pay the VRT due (and other tax liabilities as appropriate). Details of the NCTS centres accepting appointments to register vehicles are available at www.ncts.ie/vrt.html External link

You can make an appointment through one of the following methods:

  • On-line: www.ncts.ie/vrt.html External link
  • Telephone number: 01 4135975
  • Write to the NCTS at:
    Vehicle Registration Tax Booking
    Lakedrive 3026,
    Citywest Business Campus,
    Naas Road,
    Dublin 24.

Please ensure you have the following to hand when making the booking as you will be asked for this information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Mobile Number
  • E-mail address
  • Type of Vehicle
  • Chassis Number/VIN number
  • Current Registration Number of Vehicle

Additional information in relation to booking a test is available on the NCTS website at www.ncts.ie/vrt.html External link

Back to Top

How do I register?

Once a VRT appointment has been made at your nearest NCTS Centre, you should present the vehicle at the appointed time. In order to register any vehicle, you must present proof of identity i.e. a Passport or a Driving Licence along with the vehicle and all the other required documentation. It is advisable that you should be able to locate the chassis/VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) number for the NCTS inspector when presenting the vehicle for inspection.

The vehicle itself will be examined at the NCTS centre to ensure that it matches the various characteristics described in the accompanying documentation e.g. vehicle identification number (VIN), registration number (in the case of a previously registered vehicle), make, model and variant, engine size, number of doors etc. If the requisite documentation is not available at the time of the examination or the vehicle details do not match the documentation, the vehicle will not be registered.

When it has been established that the vehicle is eligible for registration you will be presented with a document containing the vehicle details which you will be asked to sign confirming that you wish to register the vehicle. Following confirmation, Revenue will assign a registration number to the vehicle and this will be issued to you by the NCTS on payment of the tax due.

While there will be a charge for this service the charge will be credited against any VRT you will have to pay on completion of the registration process.

Please note that a registration number will not be assigned on the day of inspection in the case of a vehicle model which is not listed on Revenue's VRT system or which Revenue requires to value individually. It will be necessary in such cases to return to the NCTS centre, by arrangement, to pay the VRT and to be given the vehicle registration number.

Please also note that a second visit to an NCTS centre as a result of incorrect or missing documentation will be at your own expense.

In all circumstances, the vehicle must be registered within 30 days of arrival in the State and the registration number affixed to the vehicle within three days of registration.

Back to Top

What Documents do I need to Register?

Required Documents

The documentation listed below is required for every vehicle presented for registration.

This is in addition to specific documentation required depending on whether it is a new, used or vintage vehicle.

  1. Vehicle Identity Documentation - please see New vehicle, Used vehicle or Vintage vehicle sections for specific information.
  2. A VRT Vehicle Purchase Declaration Form must be completed in respect of each vehicle prior to arriving at the NCTS centre for registration- see details at VRT 'Vehicle Purchase Details' Form.
  3. Invoice which must have the date of purchase/sale clearly indicated.
  4. Documentation verifying the new registered owner’s name and address (Utility Bill, Bank Statement). The information leaflet "Owner Name and Address Declarations" provides additional information regarding owner's name and address details. Please note that a Television Licence is not acceptable as a Utility Bill.
  5. Personal Public Service Number (PPSN) of the person in whose name the vehicle shall be registered. Documentary evidence of the PPSN will be required. This includes a P60 or any documentation issued by the Revenue Commissioners which include your PPS number, name and address. Where an authorised trader (TAN Holder) is registering a vehicle on behalf of a customer, they should give their Revenue Customer Number (i.e. VAT or CT number) in place of the PPSN of the person in whose name the vehicle is being registered.
  6. Satisfactory evidence of the date of entry of a vehicle into the State is required. This can include shipping details, travel documents, SAD number or evidence of vehicle storage outside the State where the invoice is dated more than 30 days earlier than the date the vehicle is presented for registration. Where satisfactory evidence of the date the vehicle entered the State is not available, an additional charge may be raised by Revenue for the period from the invoice date to the date of registration.
  7. Where an exemption from VRT is claimed, the exemption notification letter issued by Revenue.
  8. Documentation (as approved by the Revenue Commissioners) confirming the level of CO2 emissions of the vehicle at the time of manufacture. Where evidence of the level of CO2 emissions of the vehicle at the time of manufacture is not available at registration - VRT will be charged at the highest rate applicable.

Documents 1 - 5 above are compulsory and the vehicle will not be registered unless they are all presented with the vehicle at registration.

If there is a delay in obtaining the correct documentation, this may result in the vehicle exceeding the 30 day requirement to have the vehicle registered once it has entered the State. Where a vehicle is in the State for more than 30 days without being registered, an additional VRT Charge will apply upon registration as outlined in Section 132 (3A) of the Finance Act of 1992 (as amended).

Back to Top

New Vehicles

A new vehicle (for VRT purposes, this means a vehicle which has not previously been registered or recorded on a permanent basis in the State or in another state, and has been acquired under general conditions of taxation) presented for registration must be accompanied by the required documentation listed above and by:

  • European Community Whole Vehicle Type-Approval (ECWVTA) Certificate of Conformity (COC), Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) or National Small Series Type-Approval (NSSTA).

Please see the Vehicle Registration Certificates details below.

Used Vehicles

A used vehicle (for VRT purposes, this means a vehicle which has previously been registered or recorded on a permanent basis in the State or in another state, and has been acquired under general conditions of taxation) presented for registration must be accompanied by the required documentation listed above and by:

  • Evidence of previous registration e.g. foreign certificate of registration, a certificate of permanent exportation or a certificate of de-registration, as appropriate (this document will be retained by the NCTS Centre so please ensure you make a copy of it before you go to the test centre).

Please see the Vehicle Registration Certificates details below.

Vintage Vehicles

A vintage vehicle, for VRT purposes, means a vehicle which is shown to the satisfaction of Revenue to be more than 30 years old at the time of registration. Where a unique vintage vehicle is presented and the original documentation is not available, a declaration in respect of the vehicle particulars from an enthusiasts’ organisation or club which provides the data necessary for registration will be accepted at the NCTS. Additional documentation may be requested to satisfy the identity and age of the vehicle. The listed required documentation above must also be presented.

Vehicle presented by someone other than the owner

Where a vehicle is presented for registration by an individual other than the person declared as the registered owner, a letter of consent signed by the person requesting registration must be presented. The "individual/agent/motor dealer" representing the person requesting registration must also provide proof of identity i.e. a Passport or a Driving Licence.

Back to Top

VRT 'Vehicle Purchase Details' Form

A pdfVRT 'Vehicle Purchase Details' Form (PDF, 188KB) must be completed in respect of each vehicle being presented at the NCTS for Registration. This applies to:

  • Authorised Persons
    • Registrations
    • Pre Registration Inspections
  • Non-Authorised Persons
    • Companies, Motor Dealers or Private Individuals - Registrations only

There are 2 versions of the form available:

Where the appropriate Form is not completed at the time of presentation of the vehicle for Registration at an NCTS Centre, the vehicle will not be registered.

Section 136 of the Finance Act of 1992 (as amended) provides that only a Revenue Authorised Trader with a Revenue issued TAN (Trader Account Number) may manufacture, distribute, deal in, deliver, store repair or modify unregistered vehicles and to convert registered vehicles. It is an offence under Section 139(3) to do so if not Authorised, and is liable to a penalty on summary conviction of €5,000.

Back to Top

Vehicle Registration Certificates

The appropriate vehicle registration certificate, vehicle export certificate or EU Certificate of Conformity, as outlined above under Required Documents, must be presented at the time of vehicle registration at the NCTS Centre. Without the correct documentation, the vehicle will not be registered.

Other documentation such as a salvage certificate will not be accepted for registration purposes.

If there is a delay in obtaining the correct documentation, this may result in the vehicle exceeding the 30 day requirement to have the vehicle registered once it has entered the State. Where a vehicle is in the State for more than 30 days without being registered, an additional VRT Charge will apply upon registration as outlined in Section 132 (3A) of the Finance Act of 1992 (as amended).

People purchasing vehicles from the UK should view the UK Government webpage regarding UK Vehicle Registration Certificates (V5) and the permanent export of vehicles from the UK: Taking a vehicle out of the UKExternal link

How much VRT is payable when I register? Categories and Rates

How is tax calculated?

In the case of cars and small vans, the tax is a percentage of the expected retail price, including all taxes in the State. This price is known as the Open Market Selling Price or OMSP. Based on the vehicle details forwarded to Revenue by the NCT centre following examination of the vehicle, Revenue will calculate this tax for you at the time of registration. You may be able to obtain an estimate of the VRT from the Vehicle Registration on-line Enquiry System. While Revenue maintains an accurate valuation for all vehicles on its database, because of the variety of makes, models and versions available, the vehicle presented for registration at an NCT centre may differ significantly from a similar one on Revenue’s database resulting in a significant difference in the VRT charged to the amount you expected.

Additional VRT may be payable if the vehicle is fitted with chargeable enhancements/accessories.

Back to Top

What are the VRT categories and the appropriate current rates of VRT?

Each VRT Category is defined in detail in Section 130 of the Finance Act 1992, as amended. Further legal definitions in relation to VRT are contained in S.I. 318 of 1992.

Full details of the Revenue VRT Categories, as well as more details about classification of particular vehicles, including ambulances, hearses and motorcaravans, may be found in pdf VRT Manual - Section 1 (PDF, 761KB).

VRT Category A (EU Classification M1)

Category A vehicles include cars (saloons, estates, hatchbacks, convertibles, coupés, MPVs, Jeeps etc.) and minibuses with less than 10 permanently fitted seats including the driver's seat. The rate of tax chargeable is based on the level of CO2 emissions for the vehicle at the time of manufacture. These are classed as EU Classification M1 Vehicles.

The rates and associated minimum amounts are as follows:

VRT Categories, Rates and Minimum Amounts Payable
Revenue Category EU Category Description VRT Band CO2 Emissions (g/km) VRT Rate Minimum VRT
A M1 Passenger
Vehicles
(excl. Motor
Caravans)
A1 0 - 80 14% €280
A2 81 - 100 15% €300
A3 101 - 110 16% €320
B1 111 - 120 17% €340
B2 121 - 130 18% €360
B3 131 - 140 19% €380
C 141 - 155 23% €460
D 156 - 170 27% €540
E 171 - 190 30% €600
F 191 - 225 34% €680
G More than
225g/km
36% €720

Back to Top

VRT Category B (EU Classification N1)

Category B vehicles include certain car-derived vans and jeep-derived vans.

The rate of VRT applicable to Category B vehicles, subject to a minimum VRT of €125, is 13.3% of the Open Market Selling Price (OMSP). These are classed as EU Classification N1 Vehicles.

Category B Vehicles Rates and Minimum Amounts Payable
Revenue Category EU Category Description VRT Rate Minimum VRT
B N1
(See Note)
Light Commercial
Vehicles <3.5
tonnes
Motor Caravans
13.5% €125

Note: N1 Vehicles - qualification for Revenue Category C
Light Commercial Vehicles may also qualify for the Revenue Category C rate (applicable to heavier Commercial vehicles - see below), depending on their load carrying capacity. A vehicle that at all stages of manufacture is classified as a category N1 vehicle with less than 4 seats, and has, at any stage of manufacture, a technically permissible maximum laden mass that is greater than 130 per cent of the mass in service of the vehicle with body work in running order, may be categorised as Revenue Category C for VRT purposes only.
This does not apply to Motor Caravans.

Worked Examples

Example 1: N1 vehicle (at all stages of manufacture)

Technically Permissible Laden Mass = 3500kg

Mass in Running Order = 2000kg

Mass in Running Order X 130% = 2600kg

3500kg is greater than 2600kg - this means that this vehicle would qualify for Revenue Category C.

 

Example 2: N1 vehicle (at all stages of manufacture)

Technically Permissible Laden Mass = 2500kg

Mass in Running Order = 2000kg

Mass in Running Order X 130% = 2600kg

2500kg is less than 2600kg - this means that this vehicle would not qualify for Revenue Category C.

 

Example 3: N1 vehicle converted from M1 vehicle

This does not qualify for Revenue Category C as it has not been an N1 vehicle at all stages of manufacture.

'Technically Permissible Laden Mass' & 'Mass in Service' can be obtained from the vehicle’s Certificate of Conformity or the Vehicle Registration Certificate.

 

Example 4: N1 vehicle (at all stages of manufacture)

Current No. of Seats = 3

No. of Seats Previously = 5

This vehicle does not qualify for the €200 rate of VRT as it has not been, at all stages of manufacture, classified as a category N1 vehicle with less than 4 seats.

Motor Caravans/Motor Homes

Motor caravans/motor homes registered on or after 1 January 2011, will be charged VRT at 13.3% of the open market selling price of the vehicle at the time of registration.

Please see Motor Caravan details in the Vehicle Conversions section for more details.

Back to Top

VRT Category C (EU Classifications M2, M3, N2, N3, T1 - T5)

Category C vehicles include larger commercial vehicles, agricultural tractors and buses with a minimum of 10 seats including the driver’s seat.

Category B Vehicles Rates and Minimum Amounts Payable
Revenue Category EU Category Description VRT Rate Minimum VRT
C M2 Mini Buses < 5 tonnes
min. 10 seats (incl. driver)
€200 €200
M3 Large Buses >5 tonnes
min. 10 seats (incl. driver)
€200 €200
N2 Commercial Vehicles
> 3.5 tonnes
€200 €200
N3 Commercial Vehicles
> 12 tonnes
€200 €200
T1 - T5 Agricultural Tractors €200 €200

Vintage Vehicles

Category C vehicles also include vehicles which are shown to the satisfaction of Revenue to be more than 30 years old at the time of registration. These vehicles, on request, can be issued with a "ZV" licence number. Details in relation to the prescribed format of registration plates are available in the information leaflet Format of Registration Plates

Back to Top

VRT Category D

Examples of Category D vehicles include ambulances, fire engines, vehicles used exclusively for the transportation of road construction machinery. The use to which a vehicle is put is also considered when a vehicle is being classified for VRT purposes as Category D.

There is a 0% VRT rate payable on a Category D vehicle.

VRT Category M - Motor-cycles - EU Classification L1 - L7

VRT is charged by reference to the cubic capacity (cc) of the engine. The current rates are €2 in respect of each cc up to 350 and €1 for each cc thereafter.

Category M , Engine Size and VRT Payable
Revenue Category EU Category Engine Size (cc) VRT Payable
M L1 - L7 0 - 350 €2 per cc
351 + €2 per cc for initial 350 cc (i.e. €700)
€1 per cc over 350 cc

Examples include motor-cycles, scooters, certain All Terrain Vehicles (ATV).

The total amount is then reduced by prescribed percentages in accordance with the following table to take account of the age of the vehicle:

Reduction in VRT depending on age
Age VRT Reduction
> 3 months and < or equal to 1 year 10%
> 1 year and < or equal to 2 years 20%
> 2 years and < or equal to 3 years 40%
> 3 years and < or equal to 4 years 50%
> 4 years and < or equal to 5 years 60%
> 5 years and < or equal to 7 years 70%
> 7 years and < or equal to 10 years 80%
> 10 years and < or equal to 30 years 90%
> 30 years 100%

Repayment/Remission of VRT on Hybrid Electric Vehicles.

Revenue Category A or B Hybrid Electric vehicles registered before 31 December 2016 may qualify for a remission/repayment of up to a maximum of €1,500. The vehicles must be series-production (i.e. originally manufactured) vehicles. The repayment/remission is on a sliding scale depending on the age of the vehicle (please see Table 1 below).

Revenue Category A or B Series-production (i.e. originally manufactured) Plug-in Hybrid Electric vehicles registered before 31 December 2016 may qualify for a remission/repayment of up to a maximum of €2,500 on a sliding scale depending on the age of the vehicle (please see Table 2 below).

 

Table 1 - Hybrid Electric Vehicles registered during the period 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2016

Maximum amount which may be remitted or repaid depending on the age of the vehicle
Age of hybrid electric vehicle Maximum amount which may
be remitted or repaid
New vehicle, first registration €1,500
Not a new vehicle but less than 2 years €1,350
2 years or over but less than 3 years €1,200
3 years or over but less than 4 years €1,050
4 years or over but less than 5 years €900
5 years or over but less than 6 years €750
6 years or over but less than 7 years €600
7 years or over but less than 8 years €450
8 years or over but less than 9 years €300
9 years or over but less than 10 years €150
10 years or over Nil

Table 2 - Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles registered during the period 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2016

Maximum amount which may be remitted or repaid depending on the age of the vehicle
Age of plug-in hybrid electric vehicle Maximum amount which may
be remitted or repaid
New vehicle, first registration €2,500
Not a new vehicle but less than 2 years €2,250
2 years or over but less than 3 years €2,000
3 years or over but less than 4 years €1,750
4 years or over but less than 5 years €1,500
5 years or over but less than 6 years €1,250
6 years or over but less than 7 years €1,000
7 years or over but less than 8 years €750
8 years or over but less than 9 years €500
9 years or over but less than 10 years €250
10 years or over Nil

'hybrid electric vehicle' means a vehicle that derives its motor power from a combination of an internal combustion engine and an electric motor and is capable of being driven on electric propulsion alone for a material part of its normal driving cycle.

'plug-in hybrid electric vehicle' means a series production vehicle that derives its motive power from a combination of an electric motor and an internal combustion engine, where the electric motor derives its power from a battery that may be charged from the internal combustion engine and an alternating current (AC) electric mains supply and is capable of being driven on electric propulsion alone for a material part of its normal driving cycle.

Electric Vehicles including Electric Motorcycles

Category A or Category B electric vehicles, which are shown to the satisfaction of the Revenue Commissioners to be series production (i.e, originally manufactured) models of electric vehicles registered before 31 December 2016, are eligible for relief from VRT up to a maximum amount of €5,000.

Accordingly, for example, where VRT in the amount of €5,750 is payable on the registration of a qualifying electric vehicle, VRT in the amount of €750 (i.e. €5,750 – €5,000) will be due at the time of vehicle registration.

Electric motorcycles are exempt from VRT until 31 December 2016.

'electric vehicle' means a vehicle that derives its motive power exclusively from an electric motor.

'electric motorcycle' means a motor-cycle that derives its motive power exclusively from an electric motor.

How can I pay?

The NCTS Centre will also collect the VRT charge (and other tax liabilities) on behalf of Revenue. You can pay this charge either by:

  • Cash (Up to €200)
  • Debit Card (Up to €2,500)
  • Bank Draft (payable to Applus Car Testing Service)
  • Credit Card (This method of payment incurs a 1.5% administration charge which is imposed by the NCTS centre)

Have I any recourse if I feel that I have been overcharged?

Yes. However, please note that the VRT charge is raised by Revenue and the staff at the NCTS centre will not be able to help you with any query relating to the VRT charge.

Therefore, having paid the amount demanded, you can appeal the charge with Revenue under the formal excise appeal procedure, details of which are set out in a separate information leaflet Appeal Procedures which you can also obtain at any Revenue Office. Please note that you will be required to enclose evidence, obtained at your own expense, to support your opinion of the chargeable value.

If you decide that you do not wish to register the vehicle, and pay the VRT due, you must ensure that the vehicle is taken out of the State immediately, but at the latest within 30 days of its initial entry into the State.

Back to Top

VRT Reliefs and exemptions

Various Reliefs and Exemptions from VRT are available in particular circumstances. They include Reliefs and Exemptions which may apply in the case of:

  • Transfer of Residence
  • Transfer of Business Activity
  • Inheritance
  • Diplomatic
  • Vehicles for People with Disabilities

All available Reliefs and Exemptions are listed with further details in the ‘Reliefs and Exemptions’ section of the website.

If you think you are entitled to an exemption, you must first contact your local Revenue Office and apply for the exemption. The application accompanied by the relevant documentation will normally be processed within 10 working days and if approved, a letter confirming eligibility to the exemption will issue to you. You must bring this letter to the NCTS Centre when registering the vehicle to avail of the exemption.

An exemption will only be allowed on presentation of this letter at the NCTS centre. Where the exemption letter is not available at the time of registration (e.g. lost or misplaced) full VRT will be charged. This will be refunded on presentation of the letter to a Revenue office.

Irish Registration Numbers - Motor tax, Registration Certificates and Number Plates

Motor Tax

For further information from the Motor Tax OfficeExternal link on first taxing of a new or imported vehicle.

Irish Registration Certificates

The registration certificate, issued by the Department of Transport External link , will be posted to you after you have paid motor tax to your local authority.

Irish Number Plates

When the VRT payment (and other outstanding liabilities) has been accepted by the NCTS, the registration number assigned to the vehicle by Revenue will be issued to you by the NCTS Centre. This registration number must be displayed in the prescribed format on the vehicle within three days of issue. Details relating to the prescribed format of registration plates are available in information leaflet Format of Registration Plates.

Buying from an Irish Motor Dealer

The dealer is obliged to pay the VRT and register the vehicle before delivering it to you.

Back to Top

EU Vehicle Classification and Type Approval

Revised vehicle classification system for VRT purposes since 1 January 2011

Since 1 January 2011, a revised vehicle categorisation system for vehicle registration tax purposes was enacted. The revised system reflects the categories used for the classification of vehicles at European level as set out under a number of EC Directives.

In addition, certain vehicles, e.g. buses and ambulances etc. that had been specifically defined in VRT legislation have been redefined to reflect the appropriate EC vehicle definitions.

Where a new vehicle is being registered in the State, an EU Vehicle Classification is now mandatory. Similarly, in the case of the registration of a second hand vehicle, an EU Classification is now mandatory. The EU Vehicle Classification is normally found on the Registration documentation issued by the previous Registration Authority. If, for whatever reason, the vehicle classification cannot be confirmed to the satisfaction of the Revenue Commissioners at the time of registration, the vehicle shall be deemed to be a category M1, i.e. passenger vehicle for VRT purposes.

From a taxation point of view, the EU Classification is, for the most part, equivalent to the Revenue VRT category i.e. EU Classification M1 is normally equivalent to Revenue Category A passenger vehicles and accordingly the VRT liability should remain unchanged.

The following table maps the EU classification scheme against the Revenue VRT categories:

EU Category scheme against the VRT Category
VRT Category EU Category Description
Category A
(generally passenger cars)
M1 Passenger vehicles comprising not more than 8 seating positions in addition to the driver's seating position and with no space for standing passengers
Category C
(i.e. a mini bus)
M2 passenger vehicles comprising more than 8 seating positions in addition to the driver’s seating position, may have space for standing passengers and not exceeding 5 tonnes
Category C
(i.e. a large bus)
M3 Passenger vehicles comprising more than 8 seating positions in addition to the driver’s seating position, may have space for standing passengers and exceeding 5 tonnes
Category B   Motor Caravans can be Category M1, M2 or M3
Category B or
Category C – vehicles that at all stages of manufacture are classified as category N1 vehicles with less than 4 seats, and have, at any stage of manufacture, a technically permissible maximum laden mass that is greater than 130 per cent of the mass in service of the vehicle with bodywork in running order
N1 Commercial vehicles, designed and constructed for the carriage of goods and not exceeding 3.5 tonnes
Category C N2 Commercial vehicles designed for the carriage of goods having a maximum mass exceeding 3.5 tonnes but not exceeding 12 tonnes
Category C N3 Commercial vehicles designed for the carriage of goods having a maximum mass exceeding 12 tonnes
Category M
(motor-cycle)
L1 to L7 Motor cycles and certain three wheel vehicles
Category C T1 to T5 Agricultural tractors/vehicles

When the EU Vehicle Classification is determined an EU Bodywork must be associated with the EU Classification. The EU Body work code is dependent on the EU Vehicle Classification. In order to provide continuity between the existing Revenue categorisation system and the EU one, the current Revenue Body types have been mapped to the EU Body work code.

Further details about the EU Classification of vehicles for VRT purposes may be found in pdf VRT Manual - Section 1 (PDF, 761KB).

Back to Top

EU Type-Approval

EU Directives require that motor vehicles intended for the carriage of goods or passengers must be approved for use on the roads. Before a model can be approved for use on the roads, it must comply with certain mandatory technical requirements. These requirements mean that the vehicle must, among other things, achieve minimum standards regarding braking, noise emissions and CO2 emissions etc. These standards are defined in various Type-Approval Directives and the tests themselves are carried out under the supervision of the national standards authorities in the Member States, in the case of Ireland, the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI). The standards for the various types of vehicles are defined in a range of Directives, the more important ones being -

EU Certificate of Conformity

When a manufacturer is granted type-approval for a particular vehicle model or variant, the manufacturer issues a certificate of conformity for each vehicle of that model manufactured in conformity with the standards for which it was approved. The certificate of conformity is, in effect, a statement by the manufacturer that the vehicle conforms to the relevant EU type-approval regulations.

All new vehicles of EU vehicle categories M (passenger vehicles), N (commercial vehicles), L (2/3 wheel motorcycles and quads) and T (tractors), excluding special purpose vehicles and completed N2 and N3 vehicles, now require European Community Whole Vehicle Type-Approval ECWVTA, or national type-approval in order to be registered in Ireland. Further details of the EU Vehicle Categories may be found in Table above.

If an individual imports a new EU Category vehicle outlined above that does not have Type-Approval, e.g. one from outside the EU, the car must be presented to the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) for certification before registration can take place.

Additional details relating to the regulations and requirements are available on the Road Safety Authority website at: : European Community Whole Vehicle Type-Approval (ECWVTA) and related National Approval Schemes as proposed in Directive 2007/46/EC External link .

Further details about the NSAI including contact details can be obtained on their website: www.nsai.ie External link

VAT and Customs

When is VAT chargeable and payable?

For VAT purposes a new means of transport is a goods or passenger vehicle that meets either one of the following two criteria:

  • It is a new means of transport if it is a motor vehicle or motor-cycle (other than a tractor) supplied six months or less after the date of its first entry into service.
  • It is a new means of transport if it is a motor vehicle or motor-cycle (other than a tractor) that has travelled 6,000 kilometres or less at the time the vehicle is first presented for registration.

If the vehicle meets either of these criteria the vehicle is treated as a new means of transport for VAT purposes and VAT is chargeable at registration.

Note: In this context "entry into service" means registration in another jurisdiction. If not previously registered, the vehicle is new.

Example

Vehicle 5 months old with 8,000km - chargeable to VAT

Vehicle 7 months old with 5,000km - chargeable to VAT

Vehicle 7 months old with 8,000km - not chargeable to VAT

Note: The date of the vehicle's first entry into service (registration date) determines the age of the vehicle for VAT purposes. The mileage is the odometer mileage when first presented for registration in the State.

Back to Top

New Means of Transport (new and used) imported from outside the fiscal territory of the EU

In the case of either new or used vehicles (means of transport in VAT terms) imported from outside the fiscal territory of the EU, VAT (and customs duty) is chargeable at importation in the normal way. Proof of payment of the VAT must be presented at the NCTS Centre when the vehicle is being registered in the State.

When is CCT chargeable and payable?

Customs Common Tariff (CCT) is chargeable on vehicles (both new and used) that are imported from outside the EU. It should be paid at the first point of entry of the vehicle into the EU. Proof of payment of the CCT must be presented at the NCTS Centre when the vehicle is being registered in the State.

Converted/Modified Vehicles

Please see the section Vehicle Conversions for further details.

August 2015

Back to Top


Print this page