Buying a Car in Northern Ireland
Buying a Car in Northern Ireland After Brexit
VRT Ireland is a leading provider of reliable services for customs duties, VAT, VRT Calculators and registration of foreign vehicles, including buying a car in Northern Ireland and importing it to the Republic of Ireland. Our services are an ideal solution for any importers wondering how to buy a car in Northern Ireland subsequent to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
The challenges posed by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU directly affect the Republic of Ireland in terms of the vehicle import process, but to make matters more complex, vehicles imported from Northern Ireland are treated differently than from Great Britain. At VRT Ireland, we aim to simplify the process and create a hassle-free experience for our valued customers.
Importing a Car from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland
Why import vehicles from Northern Ireland?
Post-Brexit, Irish vehicle importers face complex challenges when buying a car from Northern Ireland or elsewhere in the United Kingdom.
Due to the unique historical and political boundaries between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement affected Northern Ireland differently to Great Britain, Scotland and Wales. Vehicles imported from Great Britain, Scotland and Wales are subject to customs and VAT. However, vehicles imported from Northern Ireland are generally only subject to customs and VAT if they were originally registered in the UK. This is to stop Northern Ireland from becoming a back door for UK imports to avoid customs. Depending on the circumstances, a vehicle purchased in Northern Ireland which was originally registered in the UK may be subject to 10% customs duty and 23% VAT. This can potentially add thousands of euros to any vehicle purchase.
- Finding the right car
While most continental European nations use left-hand drive vehicles for driving on the right side of the road, Ireland is (along with Malta and Cyprus) one of the only nations whereby right-hand drive vehicles are used for left-hand traffic flow. This creates a situation whereby a huge number of vehicles need to be imported from the UK to cater to the used car market in Ireland.
Whenever searching for a new or used car to import from the UK to Ireland, it is essential that you purchase from reputable dealers. Rogue private sellers or individuals posing as legitimate car dealers can create a costly headache that can extend to challenges with customs and the importing process as a whole.
- Estimate how much the car will cost
To read an article detailing the costs associated with importing a car from the UK to Ireland, click here.
- Do a history check
It is essential that you obtain a thorough vehicle history check which confirms relevant details of the vehicle, such as year of manufacture, date of first registration and whether it was first registered in Great Britain or Northern Ireland and when, previous ownership, etc.
It is also beneficial to learn through a history check whether the vehicle is subject to:
- Police investigation
- Listed as an insurance write-off
- Use as a rideshare or taxi vehicle
- Registration plate changes
- Outstanding finance
- Get the vehicle inspected
Although buying a car in Northern Ireland doesn’t necessitate a garage inspection, £80 for a Northern Ireland Pre-Purchase Inspection can provide a more reliable price negotiation point as well as peace of mind.
- Purchase the car
Meet with the dealer and negotiate a fair price for the vehicle.
- Collect the car
Compared to importing vehicles from Great Britain, collecting the car is much easier for residents of the Republic of Ireland when buying a car in Northern Ireland. If you are not handing over a trade-in make sure to plan your trip. There are daily trains and buses from Dublin to Belfast, Derry, etc
- Customs and VAT
VAT: The standard rate of 23% VAT applies to the import of a new vehicle from the EU, including Northern Ireland, for cars 6 months old or less or with 6,000 travelled kilometres or less.
Customs Duties: If you import a vehicle from Northern Ireland to Ireland, customs duties do not need to be paid in the following circumstances:
- The vehicle has been in Northern Ireland prior to 1 January 2021 and has remained there (proof must be provided);
- The vehicle’s first registration was in Northern Ireland after 1 January 2021 and it has not been previously exported or registered outside of the EU (the UK is outside the EU).
In all other circumstances, customs duties are due where applicable, depending on preferential origin, and the vehicle is considered as being imported from Great Britain.Click here to Calculate Customs, VAT, VRT & NOx Levy Click here to Request a Customs Declaration
- Register the car
Within 7 days of entering the Republic of Ireland, a VRT appointment must be scheduled at an NCT centre. The vehicle must be inspected, registered, and Vehicle Registration Tax must be paid within 30 days of importation.Click here to Calculate VRT
- Purchase and display new registration plates
Upon registration, you must purchase vehicle registration plates.Click here to Purchase Registration Plates
- Pay your motor tax
After the vehicle has been registered, you must pay motor tax.Click here to Calculate your Motor Tax
More information can be found here
Customs Declarations/Agent Services
UK Car Import Costs Calculator
Used Car Warranty
Car History Checking
UK Foreign Exchange
Irish Registration Plates
- Customs Declarations/Agent Services
- VRT Calculator
- UK Car Import Costs Calculator
- Used Car Warranty
- Car History Checking
- UK Foreign Exchange
- Irish Registration Plates
Why Work With Us?
We specialise in the importing of foreign vehicles in Ireland and can assist you with buying a car in Northern Ireland as well as importing vehicles from Great Britain after Brexit. Our services are reliable and professional from our initial consultation to the formal registration of the vehicle here in Ireland.
We pride ourselves on maintaining an excellent track record of upholding nothing short of exemplary customer service for each and every client. We make the entire process of buying a car in Northern Ireland after Brexit a hassle-free experience while we handle all of the complexities.
With many years of professional experience, our team can reliably and consistently help customers navigate the complex customs declarations process of buying a car in Northern Ireland or elsewhere in the United Kingdom. Our team has the expertise and knowledge needed to guide you every step of the way.
|We specialise in the importing of foreign vehicles in Ireland and can assist you with buying a car in Northern Ireland as well as importing vehicles from Great Britain after Brexit. Our services are reliable and professional from our initial consultation to the formal registration of the vehicle here in Ireland..||We pride ourselves on maintaining an excellent track record of upholding nothing short of exemplary customer service for each and every client. We make the entire process of buying a car in Northern Ireland after Brexit a hassle-free experience while we handle all of the complexities..||With many years of professional experience, our team can reliably and consistently help customers navigate the complex customs declarations process of buying a car in Northern Ireland or elsewhere in the United Kingdom. Our team has the expertise and knowledge needed to guide you every step of the way..|
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a difference importing vehicles from Great Britain (GB) or Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland?
Yes. Vehicles imported from Great Britain (England, Scotland, or Wales) are liable to any applicable customs, Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT), VAT, and an electronic customs declaration is also required before the vehicle arrives in Ireland.
Conversely, vehicles imported from Northern Ireland have varying processes. If the vehicle was first registered in Great Britain but was subsequently imported to Northern Ireland after 31 December 2020, the importer is liable to pay any applicable customs duties, Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT), and VAT depending on the circumstances.
Why are the protocols different for importing vehicles from Northern Ireland and Great Britain?
Can I buy a car in the UK and route it through Northern Ireland to avoid the rules?
No. This specific circumstance has been addressed by Revenue Ireland. If a vehicle was first registered in Great Britain and was brought to Northern Ireland, the vehicle’s owner must provide proof that the vehicle was imported from Great Britain to Northern Ireland prior to 1 January 2021. Otherwise, the vehicle will be subject to applicable customs duties, VAT, and complete the customs declaration process as though the vehicle were imported from Great Britain.