Bringing your vehicle to Ireland
If you’re moving to Ireland, you may want to bring your car or other vehicle with you.
You may be eligible for tax relief on your vehicle if you are moving to Ireland permanently.
A separate relief is also available for businesses that transfer back to Ireland.
This page is a guide to claiming tax relief on a vehicle you already own. If you are buying a vehicle from abroad and importing into Ireland, read our page on importing a car to Ireland.
Do I have to pay tax when I bring my vehicle to Ireland?
The type of tax you are liable to pay depends on if you are moving from an EU or non-EU country.
Moving from within the EU
If you are bringing your vehicle from another EU country to Ireland, you are liable to pay:
- Value Added Tax (VAT)
- Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT)
You do not have to pay customs duty.
Moving from outside the EU
If you are bringing your vehicle from outside the EU to Ireland, you are liable to pay:
- Customs charges
You can claim an exemption from customs duty (non-EU), VAT and VRT due on your vehicle if you are moving to Ireland permanently and meet other criteria. You must import your vehicle within one year of moving to Ireland to claim the relief.
In the case of VRT relief, you are not eligible if you were granted similar relief for a vehicle in the last 5 years.
Bringing your vehicle to Ireland from an EU country
If you are bringing your vehicle to Ireland from an EU country, you are liable to pay VAT and VRT.
This section explains how to claim relief from VAT and VRT when moving to Ireland from an EU country.
Who qualifies for VAT relief?
You qualify for VAT relief if you meet all of the following conditions:
- You have owned the vehicle for at least 6 months before moving to Ireland
- You have lived in another EU country for a continuous period of at least 12 months
- The vehicle has driven over 6,000 kilometres
- The required tax and duty is paid on the vehicle
How to claim VAT relief
To claim the VAT exemption, you must show documents that prove the above conditions, for example, work contracts, invoices, rental agreements or evidence of day-to-day living expenses.
Who qualifies for VRT relief?
To claim an exemption from VRT, you must have had your normal residence outside Ireland at least 185 days per year before moving to Ireland.
You must also:
- Own the vehicle
- Have owned and used the vehicle outside of Ireland for at least 6 months before moving to Ireland
- Make sure the required tax and duty is paid on the vehicle
- Import your vehicle within one year of moving to Ireland
How to claim VRT relief when arriving from an EU country
If you are not able to submit your VRT exemption application using Revenue online, send your application to:
National VRT Services
You must apply for a VRT exemption within 7 days of the vehicle arriving in Ireland.
Send the following with your application:
- Proof of car ownership for 6 months or more
- Evidence you lived abroad, such as bank statements, proof of address and date of arrival in Ireland
- Proof of car insurance abroad
- Proof of date of car purchase
Your application will normally be processed within 10 working days and if approved, you will get a letter confirming eligibility. You must bring this letter to the National Car Testing Service (NCTS) when registering the vehicle to claim the exemption.
Bringing your vehicle to Ireland from outside the EU
If you are bringing your car to Ireland from outside the EU, you are liable to pay customs duty, VAT and VRT.
This section explains how to claim relief from customs duty, VAT and VRT when moving from a non-EU country to Ireland. This is also known as transfer of residence relief,
Who can claim relief from customs duty, VAT and VRT?
You can claim relief from customs duty, VAT and VRT if you:
- Are moving to Ireland permanently
- Are the owner of the vehicle at the time of moving to Ireland
- Have owned and used the vehicle outside of Ireland for at least 6 months before arrival in Ireland
- Have paid the required tax and duties in the country it was bought
For VRT relief, you must meet all the above and have lived outside Ireland for at least 185 days per year before moving to Ireland.
For VAT and customs duty relief, you must meet all the above and have lived outside the EU for a continuous period of 12 months.
How to apply for tax and duty relief when coming from a non-EU country
To apply, complete a Transfer of Residence form (pdf) and email it to Revenue at least 2 weeks before your vehicle arrives in Ireland. You must include documents to support your application such as:
- The car’s logbook
- Proof of ownership
- Certificate of insurance and
- Evidence it was previously used abroad
If you are bringing your vehicle by ferry from the UK, you should also ask for a Pre-Boarding Notification ID.
Email the completed form to one of the following addresses, depending on the area your vehicle is arriving:
Port of entry
After your Transfer of Residence (TOR) application is submitted, and if you are eligible for the relief, Revenue will send you a unique TOR number.
Arriving at customs in Ireland
When you are entering Ireland, present your documents, including your Transfer of Residence form and unique TOR number to customs.
If you are importing the vehicle using a shipping company, the shipping company should arrange the customs declaration and present the required documents to customs when they arrive in Ireland.
If approved for transfer of residence relief, Revenue will issue you a letter confirming this. You need to bring this letter with you when you register your car with the National Car Testing Service.
Bringing a vehicle from Northern Ireland
If you are moving to Ireland from Northern Ireland, you do not need to declare your vehicle to customs when you arrive in Ireland. However, you must still register your car and pay VRT unless exempt.
Register your vehicle with NCTS
When your vehicle arrives in Ireland, you must contact a National Car Testing Service (NCTS) within 7 days to make a VRT appointment. Your appointment date should be within 30 days of bringing your vehicle into Ireland.
The NCTS carry out a VRT inspection on behalf of Revenue. You must bring your VRT exemption letter to this appointment.
Bringing my vehicle on a visit to Ireland
If you are visiting Ireland on a temporary stay, you do not have to register your vehicle or pay VRT if you meet certain conditions.
Find information about Foreign Registered Vehicles Temporary Exemptions on Revenue’s website.
You can find more information on: