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Vehicle Registration Tax

By Noone Casey

The rates of Vehicle Registration Tax applicable are set out below. These rates apply to all new cars. Concessions may be allowed to non-residents on the importation of a vehicle at the time of change of residence.

Up to 1400cc 22.5%
1401cc – 1900cc 25%
Over 1900cc 30%

VRT is based on CO2 emissions (prior to 1 July 2008 it was based on engine size), the aim being to reduce the level of CO2 emissions. The table below sets out seven new VRT bands for cars for the relevant VRT rates:

CO2 Emissions (CO2g/km) Percentage payable of the value of the vehicle
0g/km up to and including 120g/km 14% or €280 whichever is greater
>120g/km up to and including 140g/km 16% or €320 whichever is greater
>140g/km up to and including 155g/km 20% or €400 whichever is greater
>155g/km up to and including 170g/km 24% or €480 whichever is greater
>170g/km up to and including 190g/km 28% or €560 whichever is greater
>190g/km up to and including 225g/km 32% or €640 whichever is greater
>225g/km 36% or €720 whichever is greater

Where evidence of the CO2 emission rating is not available, the top rate of 35% will apply. Where a vehicle is not registered by the due date for registration the VRT liability may be increased by .1% per day for each day that the VRT is unpaid, this would equate to an additional VRT liability of 36.5% if the VRT was left unpaid for a year.

The VRT is applied to the open market value of the car.

With effect from 1 May 2011 VRT payable in respect of a car with a registration category C which includes large commercial vehicles will increase from €50 to €200.

The registration of an electric car or motorcycle is exempt from VRT with effect from 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2012.

There are special reliefs available for cars imported temporarily by non residents (however these vehicles must be placed on a temporary register where they are in the State for 42 days or more) or imported where an individual transfers their residence to Ireland.

Hybrid and Flexible Fuel Vehicles

VRT relief of up to €1,500 for series-production hybrid and flexible fuel vehicles is to be extended until 31 December 2012. Additional VRT reliefs capped at a maximum of €5,000 from 1 May 2011 will apply to electric vehicles purchased up to 31 December 2012.

Scrappage Scheme

The scrappage scheme ceased on 30 June 2011.



A refund of VRT based on the an open market selling price of a vehicle at the time of export and the VRT originally paid may be available where a car is exported out of Ireland to another member State or outside the EU. The refund will only apply where the price is less than €2,000.