Importing vehicles from Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Registering vehicles from Northern Ireland (NI)

Registering used vehicles bought in NI

A vehicle that has previously been in use in NI can be registered for Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) in the State, without liability to additional Customs duties and import Value-Added Tax (VAT). Proof will be required that the vehicle has been in private ownership for a reasonable period of time.

Vehicles bought from NI dealers which had not previously been in use in NI (for example, vehicles that had been in use in Great Britain (GB) prior to being purchased by an NI dealer) will require proof of Customs Declaration.

Vehicles that were moved to NI prior to 1 May 2023 will also be subject to additional VAT requirements if imported into the State. These additional requirements must be completed prior to presenting the vehicle for registration.

Vehicles purchased after 30 April 2024 can be registered in the State without being subject to these additional requirements. These vehicles will still require proof of Customs Declaration or proof that the vehicle has been in private ownership in NI for a reasonable period of time.

Proof of the vehicle’s status in NI prior to purchase will be required, for example:

  • a copy of the V5C showing the last registered keeper in NI and a date of registration to that keeper
  • tax and insurance details indicating use in NI
  • Ministry of Transport (MOT) test history in NI
  • proof of Customs Declaration which clearly identifies both the specific vehicle and the date of import
  • or
  • a ferry ticket showing the date of arrival in NI which clearly identifies the specific vehicle.

Motor vehicles in the State must be registered within 30 days of their date of entry. The National Car Testing Service (NCTS) registers vehicles on behalf of Revenue.


Before purchasing a vehicle in Northern Ireland, please ensure that you have some, or all, of the proofs listed above. In particular, note the requirement that the specific vehicle must be identified. Without these proofs, you will be liable to pay Customs Duty and VAT before the vehicle can be registered in Ireland.

Next: Vehicles imported from Great Britain (GB), routed through, Northern Ireland (NI)