Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT)

General information on registration

When you purchase a new vehicle, the motor dealer will register it at the point of sale. As part of this the dealer will pay the Vehicle Registration Tax and Value Added Tax to Revenue. Therefore, the total price you pay for the car includes the VRT and VAT. The dealer will also supply registration plates on collection.

In all other cases you must register your vehicle at a National Car Testing Service centre (NCTS). At the NCTS centre the vehicle will be inspected and the tax payable calculated by the operator. After you have paid the relevant tax due a registration number will be issued to you.

Motor tax

Only when the vehicle has been successfully registered can it then be motor taxed, and a registration certificate issued. Please see motor tax for further information.

Foreign registration certificates

Most used cars are imported into the State are bought in the United Kingdom. It is essential that you get the UK Registration Certificate, the UK 'V5', when you are buying your vehicle. Failure to present the relevant FRC will lead to registration being refused.  

There is a 30-day time limit to register vehicles in the State. Therefore customer must ensure they have all the required documentation at the time of inspection. Registrations started after the 30-day limit will incur additional charges.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) Emissions

Since 2008 the VRT charge on all passenger vehicles has been based on CO2 emissions. The higher your car’s COemissions, the more VRT payable.

The level of CO2 emissions must be confirmed by you as part of the registration inspection. Apart from the VRT calculator Revenue will accept CO2 emissions information provided it is listed among the following sources:

Some older cars will show the level of CO2 emissions in the owner's manual.

Revenue has CO2 emissions details of over 12,000 models available on the VRT Calculator. Customers should note that this is not an exhaustive list and only represents a sample of popular models. 

For a Japanese import, several sources declaring the CO2 are acceptable:

  • An Export Certificate, or a Japanese Certificate of Cancellation of Motor Vehicle Registration.
  • A printout from the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport showing the level of CO2 emissions on the certificate.
  • An extract from the relevant section of the Japanese Motor Vehicle Guidebook showing the vehicles fuel consumption  (pre-1998 vehicles only).
  • or
  • A printout from the website Goonet Exchange showing the fuel consumption of the vehicle (pre-1998 vehicles only).

Nitrogen Oxide (NOx emissions)

From 2020 the VRT charge on Category A vehicles will be updated to include a NOx emissions charge. Further information on this can be found in Nitrogen Oxide emissions.

Customers should note that V5’s issued after April 2019 will not have a NOx value. These should be supplemented with a Certificate of Conformity.

Next: Registration plates