Before you Purchase a Car Abroad
If you intend to acquire or to purchase a car abroad, you must register it and pay Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) when you bring it into the State. All vehicles in the State, other than those brought in temporarily by visitors, must be registered with the Revenue Commissioners. A vehicle must be registered before it can be licensed for motor tax purposes.
From 12 September 2016 a Certificate of Conformity (CoC) must be on the Revenue system before a new vehicle can be registered. When you are purchasing a new vehicle abroad you MUST get the CoC, either in paper or electronic form, from the seller. It is advisable that you check in advance that the seller has a CoC and the other mandatory documentation available. You will not be able to register your vehicle if you do not have the CoC or the other mandatory documentation.
- If you get the CoC in paper form you must INPUT it to the Revenue system;
- If the CoC is provided in electronic form it must be in XML format to allow you to UPLOAD it to the Revenue system.
Full details, including instructions on how to input and upload and an Explanation of Terms, are at : e-CoC Procedures Manual (PDF, 1.59MB)
A new vehicle will normally be liable to Value Added Tax. Additional information in relation to VAT on new vehicles is available in the Guide to VRT section.
The following steps outline the requirements and necessary actions to successfully register a vehicle if you purchase or acquire a car abroad and import it into the State:
- Familiarise yourself with the vehicle registration process by reading the Guide to VRT section;
- Ensure you get all the documentation required at the time of purchase of the vehicle. It is advisable to check in advance that the seller has the documentation required. If you do not have the documentation required your registration will be delayed and you may incur additional VRT charges;
- When you bring the car into the State you have 30 days within which to register. The first step is that you must make an NCTS appointment within 7 days (see the NCTS section below) - again, if you fail to register the car within 30 days you may incur additional VRT charges;
- Once registered, your Irish registration number will be issued to you by the NCTS;
- You will receive your Irish Vehicle Registration Certificate once the vehicle has been taxed at a Motor Tax Office.
In order to register the vehicle, you must first book an appointment at an NCT centre to have the vehicle examined and pay the VRT due (and other tax liabilities as appropriate). Details of the NCT centres dealing with VRT are at https://www.ncts.ie/1145. You can make an appointment through one of the following methods:
- On-line: https://www.ncts.ie/1145
- Telephone number: 01 4135975
- Write to the NCTS at:
Vehicle Registration Tax Booking
Citywest Business Campus,
You will need to have the following information to hand when making the booking:
- Mobile Number
- E-mail address
- Type of Vehicle
- Chassis Number/VIN number
- Current Registration Number of Vehicle
As long as you have these details, you may make a registration appointment, even if you have not yet brought the vehicle into the State.
Information provided courtesy of the Revenue Commissioners under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence