If you are importing a car from the UK to Ireland, it can be difficult! Importing cars is not something that most people have done before. We have put together a list of the fundamental steps to take to make the process as seamless as possible. If you are importing a car from outside of Europe? Make sure you are aware of changes in customs declaration since January 2021.

When it comes to importing a used vehicle from the United Kingdom to Ireland, there may be significant financial benefits after Brexit. In recent years, the low value of Sterling against the Euro made importing used automobiles from the United Kingdom to Ireland very affordable. However, by 2021, because of Brexit, the cost of importing most automobiles from the United Kingdom has increased.

We at Carluv provide a comprehensive vehicle sourcing and export service to assist you in finding the ideal car for you. Importing a car from the UK is easy with us! Our team will guide you through every step of your importation process. If you are looking to buy or sell a used vehicle, get in touch today!

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Steps Involved in Importing a Car from the UK to Ireland

There are a number of steps involved in importing a car from the United Kingdom to Ireland, and we have listed them below. Let’s get started!

1. Finding the right car

Finding the right car seems simple, but it is often the most difficult task. The best way to find your ideal vehicle is to think about what you want from your vehicle before looking for one. Think about things like: horsepower, storage capacity, fuel consumption and design. Don’t set yourself a budget until you know what kind of vehicle would suit your needs the most.

2. Get Your Vehicle Sourced

The next step is to get your car sourced. Carluv provides this service for you! We source vehicles all over the United Kingdom, finding the right car for you at the best possible price. We check over 30,000 vehicles per week to make sure we find the perfect car for you. We search all used vehicle dealerships in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Through the Carluv network of contacts, we are able to cross reference our suppliers’ inventories to ensure a comprehensive list of vehicles for you to choose from. We understand that personalized service is important to customers, so we have a team dedicated to sourcing the best possible vehicle for your needs!

3. Consider all associated costs

It is important to remember that the initial purchase price of the car is not the only thing you need to spend money on. There are many other costs associated with importing a used automobile, including but not limited to: transportation, imported car duty and VAT (value-added tax). Each of these has an impact on how much your car will cost. 

There are a number of expenses to consider before purchasing a vehicle, including the following:

Cost in Sterling (FX)

If you buy a car and the rate on the EUR/GBP exchange drops, you may save enough money to tax your new automobile for a year. High street banks charge up to 5% on their foreign exchange services, and additional costs may crop up that will cost you more than you anticipated.

Carluv provides competitive exchange rates for consumers who want to trade their money in EUR (eu country) or GBP. Dedicated account executives may also help you decide when to pay and how long it should take, making sure your transfer is delivered the same day if required. If you’re planning on getting your car to Ireland as soon as possible, this is something you’ll want to know.

Customs Duty & VAT

If you are buying a new or used car from the United Kingdom, you will need to pay import duty when it enters Ireland. The cost of importing a used car will change significantly after January 1, 2022. If things change in the third country of origin, such as regulations or taxes, it may affect your decision to import.

Irish motorists importing a used automobile from the United Kingdom did not have to pay value-added tax (VAT) throughout the period up until the end of 2021, unless it was less than six months old or had fewer than 6,000 kilometers on the odometer. There was also no import tax to pay. 

When importing a vehicle from the United Kingdom to Ireland, you’ll need to complete the following tasks:

  • Fill out a customs declaration form.
  • You have to pay custom duty (up to 10%) if applicable.
  • You must pay Value Added Tax (VAT) at a rate of 21% before submitting the vehicle for registration.

If you’re importing a car from Northern Ireland, no import duty will be charged. You will still need to pay VAT.

VRT & Registration

Vehicle Registration Tax, commonly referred to as the VRT, is a tax that must be paid when you register a motor vehicle in Ireland for first time. The amount of VRT you’ll be eligible for is determined by a percentage of the recommended retail price, which includes all taxes. 

All vehicles imported to Ireland must be registered and pay a VRT tax. The registration certificate must include proof of payment. All cars entering Ireland must be registered at a National Car Testing Service (NCTS) facility.

Make sure to book an appointment within seven days of importing the car and have it registered within 30 days. If you don’t, you’ll be responsible for additional expenditures.

4) Complete a vehicle inspection/history check in UK

You like the look of your favorite automobile, and the price adds to your attraction, but before you buy it, you need to know that in the long run, a car may cost more than what you paid for it. The following are some helpful steps to make sure you account for any possible extra expenses:

  • Check the car’s history via HPI.
  • Find out how much it will cost to insure your new vehicle.
  • Make sure you get hold of its service history, the number of owners the automobile has had and service intervals. 
  • You should check for engine problems that might crop up if you don’t maintain it regularly (this includes oil changes).
  • Check for roadworthiness too, determining if the automobile has been involved in accidents and any frame damage.
  • Research new car prices and insurance rates for similar vehicles.
  • Paying With a Foreign Credit Card: Beware of Fees!

Before you buy a car from Great Britain(UK), it’s critical that you do a thorough investigation on any car to be imported into Ireland. If you’re buying a used vehicle, an automobile history check may look into any outstanding car finance or loans, as well as whether the car was ever reported stolen. You should have your car’s history examined in detail.

5) Inform UK authorities that you are importing a car into Ireland

Before leaving the United Kingdom, you must follow a number of procedures after purchasing a vehicle:

V5C Registration/logbook

After you’ve paid the deposit, wait for your V5C registration/logbook to arrive from the seller. An invoice should also include detailed sale information, such as the date purchased and the final price paid.

Notification of permanent export

You’ll also need to complete the V5C/4 part of your logbook, which says you have notified the UK’s Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) of your decision to export the car. This must be done as soon as possible.

If you purchased a used vehicle, the previous owner may leave the seller’s section blank, but if this is not done, complete it with your own details.

We recommend that you bring an electronic copy on a memory stick/thumb drive or email it to yourself, as well as keep a physical copy, in order to avoid any possible problems with customs duties.

6. Collect the Car

There are two methods for taking a vehicle from the United Kingdom.

(i) Book shipping from UK

Lorries that make trips between the United Kingdom and Ireland on a regular basis provide delivery services.

(ii) Collect it personally: 

This involves flying to the UK or traveling there by ferry, then returning by ferry. If the vehicle is not near the coast, it’s more likely to book a low-fare flight to the airport nearest to it and return by boat. 

You may also need to reserve a hotel room to split the journey or if flight durations are inconvenient. It’s also worth asking the seller to pick you up at the airport, as many little sellers would be more than happy to do so.

7. Register the Car at NCTS

The NCTS is responsible for inspecting cars imported and verifying whether they meet the legal requirements. Once your vehicle inspection has been completed, you’ll be notified of any concerns that must be addressed before registration (if the Vehicle doesn’t pass, it may affect its resale value).

If there are no problems with your car, you must visit one of NCTS centers in order to register your vehicle. You will need to bring the following documents with you:

  • Proof of purchase (invoice) Invoice 
  • The shipping receipt (if shipping the car yourself) 
  • Completed V5C/4 The original logbook (V5C)
  • Documents proving that you are entitled to drive in Ireland (e.g., driving license)
  • Proof of ID/permanent address (driving license) 

8. Get and display new registration plates

You will be issued an Irish registration number after all necessary paperwork has been submitted and all required payments have been made. You need to submit the plates as soon as possible. Failure to display your new registration plates may result in a fine from An Garda Siochana.

All cars must display their new registration plates on the vehicle’s front and rear after the registration number is assigned. You can get your own customized number plates made at a number of outlets, such as the NCTS office in Finglas (Dublin).

9. Pay Motor Tax

The National Car Test Service (NCTS) will provide you with a form RF100, which you must submit if you buy a new car and register it in Ireland. Vehicle tax is calculated based on the open market selling price, which means it generally depends on the model and year.

10. Get your car insured

The final step before you can drive your new ride on Irish roads is to get it insured. You’ll need to visit a local insurance broker or insurer to get quotations for the best rates based on your specific circumstances.

Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of an Irish dream car! Remember that driving abroad entails responsibilities so always obey the law and drive carefully.

We hope this guide was helpful. If you have any questions or experiences to share, feel free to comment below or contact us!

It usually takes about 15 days for a shipping container from the UK to Ireland with most companies. This can be faster if you want; you need to pay more for it.

Yes, importing cars from the United Kingdom to Ireland can be profitable, especially if you calculate your expenses upfront. You had to account for VRT before you decided to import your car from the United Kingdom.

There are two taxes that you need to pay on vehicles imported from the United Kingdom. You need to pay 10% in customs duty and 21% in VAT, the sales tax. There is also a VRT charge on these cars.

The length of the shipping time depends on where you live in the UK and ship it to Ireland. In general, it mostly takes up to 10 days from the UK to Ireland. So you should book your shipping at least one month before you need your vehicle in Ireland.

The courier service provider determines the fee for the international shipment you select. Some firms are more expensive than others. You can request estimates online by providing your contact information.

Yes, importing a car from the UK is cheaper than buying a second-hand vehicle in Ireland due to the weak pound.

The VRT is most often 13.3% of the OMSP, but the minimum due is €125. If you drive an N1 van with less than four seats and never have more than four, you may have to pay a fee of €200.

Twenty-five years old is the minimum age for drivers in Ireland.

No, you are supposed to get an Irish license plate before you import it. This means you cannot drive it without an Irish license. AN Garda Siochana will fine you for driving it with the UK license plate on it.

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