Revised Vehicle Classification for VRT Purposes

Revised Vehicle Classification for VRT Purposes

On 1st January 2011, a revised vehicle categorisation system for vehicle registration tax purposes came into law. The revised system reflects the categories used for the classification of vehicles at European level, as set out under a number of EC Directives, particularly those relating to the type approval of passenger vehicles (Directive 2007/46/EC), two and three wheeled motor vehicles (Directive 2002/24/EC), and agricultural or forestry tractors (Directive 2003/37EC).

In addition, certain vehicles, e.g. busses and ambulances etc. that had been specifically defined in VRT legislation have been redefined to reflect the appropriate EC vehicle definitions.

Where a new or used vehicle is being registered in the State, an EU Vehicle Classification is now mandatory. For new vehicles, this vehicle classification is normally found on the Certificate of Conformity and in the case of used vehicles it is normally found on the registration documentation issued by the previous Registration Authority. If, for whatever reason, the vehicle classification cannot be confirmed to the satisfaction of the Revenue Commissioners at the time of registration, the vehicle shall be deemed to be a category M1, i.e. passenger vehicle for VRT purposes.

From a taxation point of view, the EU Classification is, for the most part, equivalent to the pre 2011 Revenue VRT category i.e. EU Classification M1 is normally equivalent to Revenue Category A passenger vehicles and accordingly the VRT liability should remain unchanged. The following table maps the EU classification scheme against the Revenue categories.

The following table maps the EU classification scheme against the old Revenue categories:

EU classification scheme against the old Revenue categories
EU Vehicle Classifications Equivalent Revenue Category
M1 - Passenger Vehicles Category A - Passenger Vehicle e.g. saloon, hatchback etc.
M2 - Passenger Vehicles Category C - Passenger vehicles with a minimum of 10 seats including the driver’s seat and under 5 tonnes in weight i.e. mini bus
M3 - Passenger Vehicles Category C - Passenger vehicles with a minimum of 10 seats including the driver’s seat and over 5 tonnes in weight i.e. large bus
M1, M2, M3 – Motorhomes / Motorcaravans From 01/01/2011 all such vehicles are charged at 13.3% of the Open Market Selling Price
N1 - Commercial Vehicles, designed for the carriage of goods Category B - Commercial Vehicles under or equal to 3.5 tonnes in weight
Category N1 - a vehicle that, at all stages of manufacture, is classified as a category N1 vehicle with less than 4 seats, and has, at any stage of manufacture, a technically permissible maximum laden mass weight that is greater than 130 per cent of the mass in service of the vehicle with bodywork in running order Category C - Commercial Vehicles (carriage of goods) other
Category M1 - Vehicles that have been modified or converted post manufacture to N1 Category B - Commercial Vehicles under or equal to 3.5 tonnes in weight
N2 - Commercial Vehicles, designed for the carriage of goods Category C - Commercial Vehicles (carriage of goods) over 3.5 tonnes and under 12 tonnes in weight
N3 - Commercial Vehicles, i.e. designed for the carriage of goods Category C vehicles over 12 tonnes in weight
L1 to L7 - Motor Cycles and certain three wheel vehicles Category M
T1 to T5 - Agricultural Vehicles Category C

When the EU Vehicle Classification is determined, an EU Body work must be associated with the EU Classification. The EU Body work code is dependent on the EU Vehicle Classification. In order to provide continuity between the existing Revenue categorisation system and the EU one, the current Revenue Body types have been mapped to the EU Body work code.

Additional Details Required when submitting a VRT 40

When submitting a new or amended VRT 40 from 27 November 2010, the ROS Input Screen will now include two compulsory fields for EU Vehicle Classification and EU Body work.

The EU Vehicle Classification inserted must match that listed on the Type Approval Document issued by the Approval Authority by a Member State of the EU. The Type Approval document will also contain the EU bodywork code.

If the vehicle’s design or construction has changed since the issuing of the Type Approval Document, the modified vehicle must be certified/approved by a National Approval Authority. In Ireland the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) is the National Approval Authority. Where the documentation was issued by another approval authority, it may have to be approved by NSAI.

Amended Type Approval documents will be required in the following instances for: -

  • An individual vehicle where the EU classification has changed,
  • EC small series of vehicles by manufacturers (less than 500 vehicles)
  • National Small Series (less than 500 vehicles)

A vehicle that has acquired any of the above certification presented at registration for NCTS must be accompanied by the relevant approval documentation.. From a road safety point of view, a vehicle may also be required to obtain further approval where its characteristics have changed, even though the EU classification may not have changed.

Type Approval Number on Birth Certs

From 1 January 2011, the Type Approval Number is required on the Birth Cert. The number must correspond with the Type Approval Number on the VRT 40 submitted for that make and model of the vehicle. If the Type Approval Number entered is different from that submitted on the VRT 40 the birth cert will be rejected. It is very important, therefore, that the Type Approval Number entered on the VRT40 is the same as that entered on the Birth Cert.

Amendment to Type Approval Number

When Type Approval is granted the type approval number issued remains with that make, model and version. A Type Approval Number is normally in the following format "e13*2001/116*0269*00". However, over a period of time certain "aspects" of the make, model and version may change and this may result in an amendment to the original Type Approval Number. The amendment will have a similar format to the original, with a change to the last 2 digits of the Type Approval Number – the extension number. Revenue systems will ignore the extension number in verifying that an individual Birth Cert corresponds with the Type Approval Number.

In cases where the modification of the vehicle, resulting in an amendment to the Type Approval Number alters the VRT rate applicable to that vehicle e.g. a change of CO2 emissions moving it into a different emissions band, a further vehicle declaration must be made to Revenue using the VRT40 procedure and the associated Birth Certs must be updated with the with the amended Type approval number.

In instances where the level of CO2 emissions change without a change in the VRT liability, i.e. the vehicle remains in the same CO2 band, an amended VRT40 is still required as CO2 details for new vehicles are submitted to the EU Commission each year and it is vital that accurate CO2 details are captured at the time of registration to ensure that the submission is correct.

Additional details relating to the submission of VRT 40s and Birth Certs details to Revenue are available in the relevant guides on the ROS system.

March 2014

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Information provided courtesy of the Revenue Commissioners under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence