Importing a vehicle from the UK or abroad.

When importing a vehicle from outside of Ireland, many questions need to be answered.

  • What steps do I need to take to get the vehicle registered in Ireland?
  • What is VRT?
  • What is the rate of VRT based on?
  • How much VRT will I have to pay?
  • Will I be penalised for not registering the vehicle?
  • Will I make a saving compared to a similar model in Ireland?
  • What paperwork do I need when presenting the vehicle to VRT?
  • What do I need to check when purchasing the vehicle?

 

  • What steps do I need to take to get the vehicle registered in Ireland?

 

After importing the vehicle, make an appointment with VRT at your local NCT Test Centre. VRT will check the vehicle details including foreign registration documents .

 

  • What is VRT?

VRT (Vehicle Registration Tax) is a tax which must be paid on every vehicle when first registering in Ireland. VRT must be paid before receiving the new registration documents.

 

  • What is the rate of VRT based on?

The rate of VRT is based on the type of vehicle been imported. Different type of vehicles are categorised under different EU vehicle categories:

Vehicle Category M – Passenger Vehicles

M1 – Passenger vehicles with 9 seats or less including the driver’s seat, saloons, estates, hatchback, passenger jeep, MPV, coupes etc. VRT Category A, which is based on emissions.

M2 – Passenger vehicles with 9 seats or more including the driver’s seat with a gross vehicle weight not exceeding 5000 kg, examples are small buses and minibuses. VRT Category C, which is a flat rate of €200.

M3 – Vehicles with 9 seats or more including the driver’s seat with a gross weight exceeding 5000 kg, VRT Category C, flat rate of €200.

Vehicle Category N – Commercial Vehicles

N1 – Commercial Vehicle with a gross weight of less than 3500 kg (light goods vehicles). These vehicles are generally VRT category B and are liable to VRT @ 13.3% of the Open Market Selling Price with a minimum charge of €125.

These are vehicles which:

  1. a) have 3 seats or less,
  2. b) have more than 3 seats but the passenger and cargo compartment are in completely separate units, examples are pick-ups, recovery, tippers etc.

Certain types of N1 category vehicles (commercial vehicles), with 3 seats or less, with a gross weight of less than 3500kg and with a technically permissible maximum laden mass weight (gross weight) which is greater than 130% of the mass in service are eligible for VRT Category C rate and are charged at €200.

Example: A light goods vehicle has a technically permissible maximum laden mass or gross weight of 3000kg, the mass in running order, (weight of vehicle which includes coolant, oils, fuel, tools, spare wheel and driver) is 2200kg.

Therefore 130% of the mass in service is 2200*1.3 = 2860kg, VRT is charged at €200.

From 31st July 2018, Vehicle Category N1 vehicles with 4 or more seats and in which the passenger and cargo compartment are contained within a single unit, i.e. an area which has a continuous roof or floor panel, will be charged at VRT Category A, see table below.

N2 / N3 – Commercial vehicle with a gross weight above 3500kg, VRT is charged at a flat rate of €200.

How much VRT will I have to pay?

VRT for commercial vehicles and passenger vehicles with 10 or mare seats is outlined above.

For passenger vehicles with 9 seats or less VRT will be charged at a rate ranging from 14% or a minimum charge of €280, to 36% or a minimum charge of €720.

The rate of VRT is based on the vehicles CO2 emissions. The table below shows VRT rates based on CO” emissions.

The % of VRT is charged at the vehicles Open Market Selling Price. VRT on Motor Caravans is charged at 13.3% of the Open Market Selling Price.

Will I be penalised for not registering the vehicle?

If a vehicle is not registered within 30 days from the date of import, a penalty is payable which is calculated by the amount of VRT due multiplied by 0.1%, multiplied by number of days overdue.

Example: VRT due on the vehicle is €1,000 and is 30 days overdue:

€1,000 * 0.1% = €1 * 30 days = €30.

 

Will I make a saving compared to a similar model in Ireland?

In order to calculate if any saving can be made calculate:

Exchange rate + estimated amount of VRT to be paid + additional costs for transporting vehicle from outside the state.

Compare this to a similar vehicle currently for sale in Ireland.

 

What paperwork do I need when presenting the vehicle to VRT?

  • Proof of Identity, i.e. passport or driving licence.
  • Evidence of previous registration – Foreign Certificate of Registration, Certificate of Permanent Exportation or Certificate of De-Registration
  • VRT Vehicle Purchase Details Form to be completed
  • Purchase invoice showing date of purchase
  • Documentation verifying owner’s name and proof of address, i.e. utility bill or bank statement
  • PPSN number and proof of same
  • Evidence of date of entry of vehicle into state, i.e. shipping details, travel documents or evidence of vehicle storage outside the state.
  • Documentation confirming level of CO2 emissions at time of manufacturer. Where evidence is not available, VRT will be charged at the highest rate applicable.

 

What do I need to check when purchasing the vehicle?

When purchasing a vehicle from outside the state or within the state, it is advisable to carry out a history and finance check. This will show the following:

  • If finance is outstanding on the vehicle
  • If the vehicle is recorded as a write-off
  • Discrepancies in mileage
  • Recorded as a taxi/hackney
  • Verify the vehicle details.

 

The certificate of registration should be checked against the vehicle to verify the chassis/ VIN number, number of seats, make and model and body type, any discrepancies in the registration certificate may require an SQI form to be completed when presenting the vehicle to VRT.

 

Additional Information

If carrying out a conversion to a vehicle which is already registered in Ireland, additional VRT may be due and an SQI form completed and sent to Central Vehicles Office.

Example 1: A standard panel van registered with 3 seats or less, is converted to a Motor Caravan. The VRT on the panel van is a flat rate of €200, whereas the VRT on a Motor Caravan is 13.3% of the Open Market Selling Price, therefore the difference in the VRT will be due when registering the vehicle as a Motor Caravan.

Example 2: A standard panel van registered with 3 seats, is fitted with additional seats. Therefore, VRT is based on the emissions which can range from 14% to 36%. Similar to example 1 additional VRT will be due when registering with 4 or more seats.

 

If importing a vehicle form the UK, we can guide you through the process. We supply a desktop report which includes:

  • A history and finance check showing MOT history, recorded mileage and any discrepancies or alerts with the vehicle
  • We compare the vehicle to similar vehicles for sale on the Irish market which can be used to calculate savings on importing and to calculate the VRT due on the vehicle
  • We also supply SQI reports which may be required by VRT

You can contact us by phone on 083 4178669 or email us at bcconnor@gmail.com

How to calculate the towing capacity of your vehicle.

A common question I have been asked is:

What is the max weight I can tow without breaking the law?

The first step is to check the manufacturers plate attached to your vehicle.

The plate can normally be found on a door pillar or under the bonnet on the front panel or bulkhead. More recent vehicles have them displayed on the door pillar.

The plate resembles the image below which is taken from a Skoda Octavia and includes the approval, chassis or VIN number (Vehicle Identification Number) and weights in kg.

On the sample plate below, the design gross vehicle weight or maximum authorised mass is displayed as 1955 kg. This is the maximum weight the vehicle is allowed including the weight of the vehicle, passengers and any load.

The second weight shown is the design gross combined weight or train weight. 3355 kg. This is the maximum load of the vehicle and trailer combined with passengers and cargo in the vehicle and trailer.

The formula to calculate towing capacity under manufactures specifications is:

Subtract the gross vehicle weight from the design gross combined weight.

In this case, 3355 kg – 1955 kg = 1400 kg

Therefore, this vehicle can tow up to a maximum of 1400 kg which would include the weight of the trailer and load.

All light trailers sold after 29th October 2012, must legally be plated.

The image below shows a typical weight plate for a trailer.

In this case the trailer has one axle with a max gross weight of 1300 kg.

The plate also shows an unladen weight of 300 kg.

Therefore, the imposed load or load the trailer can carry is up to 1000 kg, giving a combined trailer and load weight of 1300 kg.

Taking the sample plate used above from the Skoda Octavia, it could tow this trailer when fully loaded.

If a trailer is towed by a vehicle where the max gross weight of the trailer is greater than the towing capacity of the vehicle, the trailer cannot be legally towed when fully loaded.

For example:

A trailer has an unladen weight of 500 kg and a max gross weight of 2000 kg, the towing vehicle has a towing capacity of 1400 kg (example above), therefore fully loaded the towing capacity is exceeded. In order to legally tow the trailer, the trailer load cannot weigh more then 900 kg, (unladen weight 500kg + load 900kg = 1400kg).

Licensing Requirements for towing

Category B Licence – Car, Van or 4X4

A category B licence holder can drive a car, van or 4X4 vehicle in which the manufacturers design gross weight does not exceed 3500kg and is constructed to carry no more then eight passengers in addition to the driver.

The holder of a Category B licence can tow a trailer in which the design gross trailer weight does not exceed 750kg. A trailer with a design gross weight above 750kg can be towed, but only when the combined design gross weight of both vehicle and trailer does not exceed 3500kg:

i.e. vehicle design gross weight is 1955kg and trailer design weight is 1300kg, combined = 3255kg, allowing a category B licence holder to tow legally.

 

Category BE Licence – Car, Van or 4X4

A holder of a BE licence can tow a trailer where the combined gross weight of the vehicle and trailer exceeds 3500kg.

However, the design gross trailer weight (ie: trailer weight and load), must not exceed manufacturers design towing capacity. The maximum trailer weight that can be towed by a BE licence holder is 3500kg.

Therefore, the maximum combined vehicle and trailer weight is:

towing vehicle 3500kg + trailer 3500kg = 7000kg.

 

 

 

For enquiries or more information contact Brian Connor,

T (+353) 083 417 8669

Email: bcconnor@gmail.com

Brian is an SQI (Suitably Qualified Individual) under RSA regulations and requirements, an Independent Motor Engineer/Assessor @ ABC Motor Engineers and a member of the IAEA since 2011.

New rules regarding VRT on N1 (commercial vehicles) with 4 or more seats.

New rules regarding VRT on N1 (commercial vehicles) with 4 or more seats.

From 31st July 2018, vehicles with 4 or more seats and in which the passenger and cargo compartments are contained within a single unit, i.e. with one continuous floor or roof panel, will be charged in the VRT Category A rate.

N1 vehicles are commercial vehicles which are designed and constructed for the carriage of goods and whose gross weight does not exceed 3.5 tonnes.

The Category A rate also applies to EU Category M1 (passenger vehicles, vehicles with 9 seats or less including the driver’s seat).

The rate of VRT applicable is based on the CO2 emissions which can range from 14% to 36% of the open market selling price, the higher the emissions, the greater the percentage of VRT due. The table below shows VRT rates based on CO2 emissions, a vehicle with CO2 emissions of 127g/km will be charged at 18% of open market selling price or a minimum VRT of €360, whereas a vehicle with a CO2 emission of 205g/km will be charged at 36% of the open market selling or a minimum of €720.

Vehicle with 4 or more seats and have the passenger and cargo compartment in separate units will be charged at a rate of 13.3% and are VRT Category B, examples of which are pick-ups, tippers, recovery and similar designed vehicles.

Revenue will not apply the Category B rate where a partition is installed in a vehicle with one single compartment.