VRT is the tax which must be paid when a vehicle is first registered in Ireland. The amount of VRT (for cars and vans) is calculated based on a percentage of the recommended retail price of the vehicle, known as the Open Market Selling Price (OMSP).
VRT can be paid in cash (up to €200), by debit (Laser) card, bank draft and credit card at the NCTS centre.
There are some exemptions from paying VRT for foreign vehicles being imported into Ireland. For example, non-residents (those who reside in Ireland for less than 185 days per year) have an exemption from paying VRT for up to 12 months. Foreign students are entitled to bring a foreign registered vehicle into the country for the duration of their course and people with diplomatic status do not have to pay. Exemptions also apply for people with disabilities and when a vehicle is inherited.
People who have owned their vehicle abroad for at least six months and are moving to Ireland permanently may also be exempt from paying VRT. This is referred to as "transfer of residence". The vehicle still has to be registered. In such a case, it may not be sold in Ireland for at least 12 months after it has been registered.
VRT usually has to be paid on all new vehicles.
After paying VRT and completing registration processes, the owner is issued with the registration number for the vehicle and given a form (RF100) which is needed when applying for motor tax.
The registration number plates must be displayed on the vehicle within three days. Failure to do so may incur a fine.
Road tax can be paid annually, half yearly, or quarterly. Motor tax discs can be bought online or at local Motor Tax Offices. Submit the "First Motor Tax Application Form" with the appropriate fee. Tax renewal forms thereafter are sent in the post, but are also available at Motor Tax Offices, public libraries and Garda (Police) stations.
Motor insurance is compulsory in Ireland for all vehicles on a public road. Proof of insurance is required when paying motor tax.
The registration certificate for the vehicle is sent by the Department of Transport once the application for motor tax has been made.
As well as VRT, Value Added Tax (VAT) is also levied on new cars imported from abroad. This is payable at the point of entry. VAT is not due on vehicles from the EU that are over six months old or that have travelled more than 6,000 Km.
VAT and customs duty are due on new and second-hand vehicles imported from outside the EU.
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