Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT)

General information on registration

When you buy a new vehicle from a motor dealer, they will register the vehicle and they will pay the VRT and VAT due to Revenue. Thus, the total price you pay for the car includes VRT and VAT. When you collect the car from the dealer, the registration number is already displayed on registration plates.

When you buy a car that is not already registered in Ireland, you must register it at a National Car Testing Service centre (NCTS). At the NCTS centre you will pay the tax due and you will be given a registration number.

Motor tax

It is only when a vehicle is registered that a registration number can be issued and the vehicle can be motor taxed. For further information on motor tax see

Foreign registration certificate

The majority of used cars are imported into the State are bought in Northern Ireland and Great Britain. It is essential that you get the UK Registration Certificate, the UK 'V5', when you are buying your vehicle.

If there is a delay in getting the correct documentation, it could result in the vehicle exceeding the 30 day requirement to have the vehicle registered once it has entered the State. If this happens, you will end up paying additional VRT.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) Emissions

CO2 emissions is the basis of the VRT charge for all passenger cars first registered in Ireland since 2008. The higher your car’s CO2 emissions, the more VRT you pay.

When you are registering your car in the NCTS centre, you must confirm the level of CO2 emissions as part of the registration process.

If your documentation confirming the level of CO2 emissions of your car is different from that on the Revenue website, Revenue will accept it 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. A print-out from the Revenue website that shows the CO2 emissions is also acceptable.

For a Japanese import, a number of 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 for the model on the certificate.
  • An extract from the relevant section of the Japanese Motor Vehicle Guidebook showing the fuel consumption of the vehicle (pre-1998 vehicles only).
  • or
  • A printout from the website Goonet Exchange showing the fuel consumption of the vehicle (pre-1998 vehicles only).

A printout from the ROS Enquiry System where the level of CO2 emissions for that particular model is displayed is also acceptable.

Next: Registration plates