If you’re considering importing a car from UK to Ireland, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re relocating or simply looking to purchase a vehicle across the Irish Sea, we’ll guide you through the step-by-step process to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience.

Importing a car may seem like a daunting task, but with the right information and guidance, it can be a straightforward process. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about importing a car from the UK to Ireland, from researching import regulations to customs clearance and vehicle registration.

So, if you’re ready to embark on this exciting journey, let’s dive in and explore the ins and outs of car import from the UK to Ireland.

Before we get started, let’s take a moment to appreciate the thrill of driving a new car in a breathtaking country like Ireland. The winding roads, picturesque landscapes, and vibrant cities await your arrival, and importing a car allows you to experience it all at your own pace.

Now, let’s begin our journey into the world of importing cars from the UK to Ireland. The first step is to conduct thorough research on import regulations, ensuring you comply with all the necessary requirements. We’ll guide you through this process, providing you with valuable insights and tips to make your import journey a success.

Stay tuned for the next section, where we’ll discuss in detail the research you need to undertake to ensure a smooth import of your dream car. From necessary documents to taxes and additional requirements, we’ve got you covered.

Researching Import Regulations

Before importing a car from the UK to Ireland, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the import regulations. This section will cover the necessary documents, taxes, and any additional requirements you need to consider when importing a vehicle into Ireland.

Understanding the Import Process

Importing a car to Ireland from the UK involves complying with specific regulations and procedures. By familiarizing yourself with these requirements, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free importation process.

Necessary Documents

When importing a vehicle into Ireland, you will need to gather the following essential documents:

  • Vehicle Registration Document (V5C)
  • Invoice or Bill of Sale
  • Original Certificate of Conformity (COC) or UK Certificate of Mutual Recognition
  • Valid UK MOT Certificate (if applicable)

Additionally, it is crucial to verify if any other documentation is required specific to your situation. Consulting with the relevant authorities or a professional import agent can provide further guidance.

Taxes and Duties

Importing vehicles into Ireland from the UK may incur various taxes and duties. Understanding these financial obligations beforehand can help you plan your budget accordingly. The most commonly applicable charges include:

Tax/Duty Description
Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) A tax based on the Open Market Selling Price (OMSP) of the vehicle
Value Added Tax (VAT) A standard tax rate of 23% applied to the OMSP and the VRT
Customs Duty Applicable for vehicles originating outside the EU

It is crucial to calculate and budget for these costs to avoid any unexpected financial burdens during the importation process.

Additional Requirements

In addition to the necessary documents and taxes, you may also need to consider the following additional requirements:

  • Obtaining temporary insurance coverage for the vehicle during transportation
  • Scheduling an appointment for vehicle inspection upon arrival
  • Ensuring compliance with Irish road safety and emissions standards

By understanding and preparing for these additional requirements, you can ensure a smooth importation process.

importing a car to ireland from uk

Importing a Car from UK to Ireland Options

After completing all the necessary paperwork, it’s time to consider how you will transport your vehicle from the UK to Ireland. You have a few options to choose from, including car shipping services and car transport companies. Let’s explore these options in detail:

1. Car Shipping Services

If you prefer a hassle-free way to transport your car to Ireland, car shipping services can be an excellent choice. These services specialize in transporting vehicles internationally, ensuring a smooth and efficient process.

Car shipping services typically offer two main options:

  • Ro-Ro Shipping: This stands for Roll-on/Roll-off shipping. Your car is driven onto a specialized vessel, securely strapped in place, and transported to Ireland. Ro-Ro shipping is a popular choice for its convenience and affordability.
  • Container Shipping: With container shipping, your car is loaded into a secure shipping container before being transported to Ireland. This option provides additional protection against external factors and allows you to ship personal belongings along with your vehicle.

Both options have their pros and cons, so it’s essential to consider factors such as cost, security, and convenience before making a decision. It’s advisable to research and compare different car shipping services to find the one that best suits your needs.

2. Car Transport Companies

Another option to transport your car from the UK to Ireland is to hire a car transport company. These companies specialize in moving vehicles domestically and internationally, offering a range of services tailored to your specific requirements.

Car transport companies provide two primary methods of transportation:

  • Open Transport: In open transport, your car is loaded onto an open carrier along with other vehicles. This method is cost-effective but provides less protection against weather and road debris.
  • Enclosed Transport: Enclosed transport involves shipping your car in a covered trailer, providing maximum protection against external elements. This option is ideal for high-value or classic cars that require extra care and security.

Car transport companies offer flexibility and convenience, allowing you to choose the transportation method that best suits your needs. It’s important to research and compare different companies, considering factors such as reputation, insurance coverage, and delivery timelines.

car shipping from uk to ireland

Choosing the right vehicle transportation option is crucial to ensure the safe and timely delivery of your car to Ireland. Take the time to evaluate your preferences, budget, and the specific needs of your vehicle before making a decision.

Customs Clearance and Vehicle Registration

When it comes to importing a car from the UK to Ireland, customs clearance and vehicle registration are crucial steps to ensure your vehicle meets all legal requirements. In this section, we will guide you through the necessary procedures, from obtaining import documents to paying customs duties and registering your car with the Irish authorities.

First and foremost, you will need to gather the following import documents:

  • The vehicle’s original registration certificate from the UK
  • A valid Form VRT2A, which declares the vehicle’s value for tax purposes
  • An invoice or bill of sale indicating the purchase price of the car
  • A certificate of conformity (COC) or a mutual recognition certificate (MRC) if applicable
  • Proof of address in Ireland, such as a utility bill or bank statement
  • Your valid UK driving license and passport

Once you have the necessary documents, you will need to pay the applicable customs duties. The amount you owe will depend on the value of the vehicle. To calculate the customs duties, you can use the Revenue Online Service’s Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) calculator.

After paying the customs duties, you can proceed with the vehicle registration process. This involves visiting your local National Car Testing Service (NCTS) center to have the car inspected and obtain a vehicle registration certificate (VRC). The inspection will ensure your vehicle complies with safety and environmental standards set by the Irish Road Safety Authority (RSA).

During the inspection, the NCTS technician will assess the roadworthiness of your car, including factors such as the condition of the brakes, lights, tires, and emissions. If any modifications are required to bring your car in line with Irish standards, the technician will provide guidance on the necessary changes.

Once your vehicle passes the inspection, you will receive a VRC, which serves as proof of registration in Ireland. You must display the VRC and your new Irish registration plates on the vehicle.

Note: If you are importing a left-hand drive vehicle, additional modifications may be necessary to comply with Irish road regulations.


In summary, to successfully import a car from the UK to Ireland, you need to complete the customs clearance process and register your vehicle with the Irish authorities. This involves obtaining the required import documents, paying customs duties based on the vehicle’s value, and having the car inspected to ensure compliance with safety and environmental standards. Once your car passes the inspection, you will receive a vehicle registration certificate (VRC) and Irish registration plates, allowing you to legally drive your imported car in Ireland.

Import Documents Customs Duties Vehicle Registration
The vehicle’s original registration certificate from the UK Paying customs duties based on the value of the car Visiting the local NCTS center for inspection
A valid Form VRT2A Using the Revenue Online Service’s VRT calculator Obtaining a vehicle registration certificate (VRC)
An invoice or bill of sale
A certificate of conformity (COC) or mutual recognition certificate (MRC)
Proof of address in Ireland
Your valid UK driving license and passport

uk car import to ireland

Vehicle Insurance and Roadworthiness

Ensuring that your imported car from the UK meets the required insurance and roadworthiness standards is a crucial step before you can legally drive it in Ireland.

First and foremost, you will need to obtain insurance coverage for your vehicle. It is essential to choose a reputable insurance provider that offers comprehensive coverage tailored to your specific needs. Compare different insurance policies and select the one that provides the best value and protection for your imported car.

Additionally, your imported vehicle must pass the necessary roadworthiness inspections to ensure it is safe to drive on Irish roads. This inspection is known as the National Car Test (NCT) in Ireland. The NCT assesses various aspects of your vehicle’s safety, emissions, and overall condition to ensure compliance with Irish roadworthiness regulations.

To schedule an NCT appointment, you can visit the official website of the Road Safety Authority (RSA) in Ireland. The RSA provides comprehensive information about the NCT, including the documents required, appointment booking process, and test locations.

Before the NCT, it is advisable to conduct a thorough pre-inspection of your vehicle to identify any potential issues that may cause it to fail the test. This can include checking the condition of your tires, brakes, lights, signals, and other critical components.

Once your vehicle has successfully passed the NCT, you will receive a Certificate of Roadworthiness. This certificate is essential as it demonstrates that your imported car meets the required standards and is fit for legal operation on Irish roads.

Remember, maintaining valid insurance coverage and roadworthiness certification is not only a legal requirement but also essential for your safety and the safety of others on the road.

vehicle import from uk to ireland

Benefits of Ensuring Insurance and Roadworthiness Compliance
1. Legal compliance and peace of mind
2. Protection against financial loss in the event of an accident
3. Ability to register and operate your imported vehicle legally in Ireland
4. Enhanced safety for you, your passengers, and other road users

Paying Taxes and Duties

When importing a car from the UK to Ireland, there are various taxes and duties that you will need to pay. These charges include Value Added Tax (VAT), Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT), and customs duties. In this section, we will outline the different taxes and duties you may incur and provide information on how and when these payments should be made.

VAT (Value Added Tax)

Upon importing a car from the UK to Ireland, you will be required to pay VAT, which is currently set at 23% for most goods and services in Ireland. The value of the car, including any additional costs such as shipping and insurance, will be used to calculate the VAT amount payable. VAT is typically payable to Revenue Customs at the port of entry.

VRT (Vehicle Registration Tax)

Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) is another charge you will need to consider when importing a car to Ireland. The rate of VRT applied depends on factors such as the vehicle’s engine size, CO2 emissions, and age. You can calculate the VRT using the rates provided by the Revenue Commissioners. It’s important to note that VRT must be paid before your vehicle can be registered with the Irish authorities.

Customs Duties

Customs duties may apply if the car you are importing from the UK does not meet certain criteria for preferential treatment under the Common Customs Tariff. The amount of customs duties payable will depend on the specific car and its value. It’s advisable to check with Revenue Customs or consult a customs agent for detailed information on customs duties that may be applicable to your imported vehicle.

To ensure a smooth payment process for these taxes and duties, it’s recommended to thoroughly research the requirements and consult with relevant authorities or professionals. Properly calculating and fulfilling your tax obligations will help you avoid any delays or penalties in the car import process.

Tax/Duty Description
VAT (Value Added Tax) 23% of the car’s value and additional costs
VRT (Vehicle Registration Tax) Rate based on the vehicle’s engine size, CO2 emissions, and age
Customs Duties May apply if the car doesn’t meet preferential treatment criteria

Vehicle Modifications and Compliance

When importing a car to Ireland from the UK, it’s important to ensure that your vehicle meets the necessary Irish standards and regulations. Depending on the specific vehicle, you may need to make certain modifications to comply with Irish road safety and emissions standards.

To help you understand the common modifications that may be required, and to guide you on achieving compliance, we have compiled a list of key considerations:

  1. Headlights and Signage: Ensure that your vehicle’s headlights are adjustable for driving on Irish roads, which have different road alignment rules than the UK. Additionally, check that your vehicle displays the necessary signage, such as speed limit stickers, in accordance with Irish regulations.
  2. Steering Wheel Position: Some vehicles imported from the UK may have the steering wheel positioned on the right-hand side. To comply with Irish regulations, you may need to convert the steering wheel to the left-hand side.
  3. Speedometer Conversion: As the UK uses miles per hour (mph) as its primary unit of measurement, you will need to convert your vehicle’s speedometer to display kilometers per hour (km/h) to comply with Irish requirements.
  4. Exhaust Emissions: Verify that your vehicle’s exhaust emissions meet the standards imposed by the Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). If necessary, you may need to install or modify the vehicle’s catalytic converter or exhaust system to reduce emissions.
  5. Tyre Specifications: Ensure that your vehicle’s tires meet the required specifications for use on Irish roads. This includes factors such as tread depth, load index, and speed rating.
  6. Seat Belt Compliance: Confirm that your vehicle’s seat belts comply with Irish safety standards. If necessary, consider upgrading or modifying the seat belts to meet the requirements for maximum safety.

Common Vehicle Modifications and Compliance Considerations

Modification Compliance Considerations
Headlights and Signage Adjustable headlights for Irish road alignment. Appropriate signage placement.
Steering Wheel Position Conversion from right-hand drive (RHD) to left-hand drive (LHD).
Speedometer Conversion from miles per hour (mph) to kilometers per hour (km/h).
Exhaust Emissions Compliance with Irish EPA regulations. Potential catalytic converter or exhaust system modifications.
Tyre Specifications Meeting required tread, load index, and speed rating specifications for use on Irish roads.
Seat Belt Compliance Ensuring seat belts meet Irish safety standards. Consideration for upgrading or modification.

By addressing these modifications and compliance considerations, you can ensure that your imported vehicle meets Irish regulations, allowing for a safe and legal driving experience in Ireland.


In conclusion, the process of importing a car from the UK to Ireland can be a smooth and straightforward experience if you approach it with careful planning and adherence to the necessary regulations. By conducting thorough research, understanding the import procedures, and complying with all legal requirements, you can successfully import your vehicle and enjoy driving it in Ireland.

It is crucial to familiarize yourself with the import regulations and ensure you have all the necessary documents and information before initiating the import process. This includes understanding the taxes, duties, and fees involved, as well as any additional requirements specific to Ireland.

Furthermore, you should explore different transportation options to decide the most suitable method for shipping your car to Ireland. Whether you choose car shipping services or car transport companies, ensure they meet your requirements and budget.

Once your car arrives in Ireland, you will need to go through the customs clearance and vehicle registration process. It is important to obtain the required import documents, pay the necessary customs duties, and register your vehicle with the appropriate Irish authorities.

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