In some cases, you might not have to pay Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) when you register your vehicle. Alternatively you may be entitled to relief from a certain amount of VRT.
This section provides a description of the reliefs and exemptions that are available.
More extensive VRT information is given in the Exemptions and Reliefs manual.
Customers are requested to send in applications for the reliefs outlined through MyEnquiries where possible.
Transfer of residence (TOR)
If you are a private individual transferring normal residence permanently to the State from abroad this relief may apply. You still need to register your vehicle, but the registration may be exempt from VRT.
You will find information about relief from Customs Duty and VAT on vehicles imported from outside the EU in:
- Relief from Customs Duty and VAT on transferring residence to the EU
- Relief from Customs Duty and VAT on transfer of business to the EU.
Normal residence requirements
Your normal residence generally is:
- the place where you usually live, for at least 185 days each year, because of occupational and personal ties
- if you live in two different countries due to occupational and personal ties, the country of your personal ties provided:
- you return there regularly
- you are working abroad carrying out a task of definite duration for less than one year.
- not affected by living abroad to study.
To qualify, you must prove you:
- have had normal residence abroad
- are taking up normal residence in the State.
You will need evidence, both abroad and in the State, of:
- acquiring and disposing of a home (for example, rent agreements, mortgage documents and rent or mortgage payments)
- employment (for example, pay slips, tax records and social welfare records)
- day-to-day living (bank statements or transaction documents, bills or receipts for electricity, phone, service charges and other day-to-day living expenses)
- travel into and out of the country.
The vehicle must:
- be your personal property
- have been in your possession and used by you for at least six months before transfer of residence. Any possession and use in the State, even during times when you were living abroad, does not count.
- brought into the State within 12 months of the date of your transfer of residence
- be fully tax and duty paid.
Vehicles acquired tax and duty-free may also qualify for relief in certain limited circumstances. These include vehicles supplied under diplomatic or consular arrangements or to UN missions. In such cases the vehicles must be possessed and used by you for 12 months before transfer of residence.
Evidence required in respect of the vehicle will usually consist of:
- vehicle registration document
- certificate of insurance
- purchase receipt
- ferry ticket to show when the vehicle arrived in the State
- evidence of the vehicles use abroad, for example, service and maintenance records and evidence that motor tax has been paid.
The VRT relieved becomes payable in full if you sell or dispose of the vehicle within 12 months following registration.
You do not qualify if:
- you have been abroad on a task of any definite duration
- granted similar relief for a vehicle in the previous five years.
If you are moving from within the EU, you must submit your application via MyEnquiries where possible. If you are not able to access Revenue’s online resources please contact the designated Revenue office.
If you are moving from outside the EU, you must apply at the customs office where you enter the State.
Scheme for persons with disabilities
A remission or repayment of Value Added Tax and Vehicle Registration Tax cannot exceed €10,000, €16,000 or €22,000. It may be claimed by:
- a driver with a primary medical certificate (PMC)
- a passenger who has a PMC
- a family member residing with, or responsible for the transportation of, a passenger who has a PMC
- a registered charity engaged in the transport of persons who have PMCs whose purpose is to provide services to persons with disabilities.
A person must have certain severe and permanent physical disabilities to obtain a PMC. The vehicle must be specially constructed or adapted to carry the PMC holder. At any given time only one vehicle can qualify for the scheme per driver or passenger.
Vehicles for people with disabilities (Tax relief scheme) contains detailed information on this scheme.
The fuel grant is available for vehicles which are in the scheme for drivers and passengers with disabilities. It can be claimed online up to an annual maximum of:
- 2,730 litres in respect of a driver or passenger
- 4,100 litres in respect of an organisation.
For more information see Department of Finance website or Vehicles for people with disabilities (Tax relief scheme).
A vehicle which is in the scheme may also be exempt from the payment Motor Tax. However you must still obtain and display a valid tax disc.
Registration of new vehicles by motor dealers
Motor dealers can register new vehicles that qualify with the exemption letter the customer receives from the Central Repayments Office.
Registration by an individual
You need the correct documentation to register your vehicle.
New vehicles that are modified may require Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA). You should direct any queries on IVA to the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI).
Used vehicles registered in another State and modified for use under the scheme, must have a completed declaration of conversion. This is in addition to the documents normally required for registration.
While online service is the quickest, easiest and most convenient option for most customers, a small number of customers do not have online access.
Therefore, the option remains to submit a paper form. This can be obtained from our website or from the Forms and Leaflets Section 01 738 36 75 (Monday to Friday).
However, service delivery may be slower during peak periods. For this reason you are encouraged to use the online service, wherever possible.
You can post your application for the scheme to:
Office of the Revenue Commissioners
Central Repayments Office
M:TEK II Building
Telephone: 01 738 36 71
Other permanent reliefs
Transfer of business undertaking
This applies only where a business is moving in its entirety to the State from abroad. To qualify the business must:
- be an independent economic unit
- have ceased its activity abroad
- have transferred its activity to the State
- intend to independently carry on the same activity in the State.
The vehicle must be:
- belonging to the business and used for core business operations for minimum twelve months prior to activity ceasing abroad
- intended for use for the same purpose in the State
- brought into the State, normally within twelve months of activity ceasing abroad
- not sold, disposed of, hired, loaned or given as security for twelve months following registration
For a State resident, an inherited vehicle can be exempt from Vehicle Registration Tax if:
- you inherit it directly under a will or law relating to intestacy
- you are the personal representative of the deceased
- the vehicle was the personal property of the deceased at the time of death
- the vehicle is brought into the State within two years.
Donations by official bodies, public authorities or similar bodies
Revenue may grant VRT relief in advance of a vehicle given as:
- a donation
- a token of friendship or goodwill.
European Union institutions and their staff
EU institutions established in the State may be able to obtain VRT relief on one vehicle. Staff not normally resident in the State before employment may claim this relief on maximum two personal vehicles.
Benefiting vehicles cannot be sold, hired, loaned or given as security in the State for two years following registration.
Diplomatic or consular arrangements
You may claim this relief if working in a diplomatic mission in the State. This is subject to prior approval by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Non-Irish, non-resident technical and administrative staff may claim relief on one vehicle within six months of starting work.
A diplomatic agent accompanied by a spouse may claim relief on two vehicles. Otherwise a diplomatic agent may claim relief on one vehicle.
If buying a new vehicle in the State, contact Revenue before purchase.
Generally, such vehicles should be retained until the owner leaves the State.
International air services
Contact Revenue at the relevant airport for relief on vehicles used:
- to establish or maintain international air services using an airport in the State
- to establish or maintain radio or meteorological services and aids to such services
- for experimental purposes connected with such services.
For a vehicle from within the EU availing of:
- relief for EU institutions and their staff
- diplomatic and consular arrangements relief
VRT Exemption Section
St. John’s House
Phone: 01 414 9705
Except as otherwise outlined above:
- for a vehicle coming from within the EU, apply to your Revenue office within seven days of the vehicle arriving in the State
- for a vehicle from outside the EU, apply at the customs office at the point of arrival in the State.
Persons established outside the State
An individual is established outside the State when they have their normal residence outside the State. For further information on normal residence see Transfer of Residence.
A company is established outside the State when they have their only or principal place of business outside the State.
Revenue may grant a vehicle temporary exemption from the requirement to register in the State if it is:
- both taxed and registered abroad
- owned or registered abroad by a person established outside the State
- not disposed of or hired out or lent to a person established in the State
- not driven by a person established in the State except with the permission of Revenue
- not used for the carriage of person for reward within the State, in cases of a passenger car or motorcycle
- not used to transport goods for business purposes, in cases of a passenger car or motorcycle
If you qualify, you do not need to apply for a temporary exemption that does not exceed 12 months. But you need to carry the documents that show you qualify with you in the vehicle. These must be presented when requested by a Revenue official at a checkpoint.
If you intend to avail of exemption for over 12 months you must apply at a Revenue office. However, this does not apply to a passenger car or motorcycle:
- when you are in the State to study
- when you are established outside the State and only travel to and from work in the State.
A car or motorcycle belonging to a car rental company established outside the State may:
- be rehired once to a person established outside the State for its transportation outside the State
- be taken outside the State by any employee of the car rental company.
Individuals established in the State
Vehicles driven by State residents are generally required to be registered in the State. However, you may apply for temporary exemption if you are a State resident and you are:
- employed by an employer established and trading in another member State
- self-employed and you have a business that is principally trading in another Member State.
The vehicle must:
- be a passenger car or motorcycle registered abroad
- be supplied under your contract of employment and owned or leased by your employer
- not be disposed of or hired out in the State or lent to a person established in the State
- not be used for the carriage of person for reward within the State
- not be used to transport goods for business purposes within the State
- be used principally for business purposes outside the State. (Travel to and from your place of work is not counted as business use.)
Other temporary exemptions
Temporary exemption may be available to vehicles brought into the State where it is:
- used solely for the purposes of competition, exhibition show, demonstration or similar purposes
- designed or specially adapted as professional equipment.
For further information please see the manual in further guidance.