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Sunday, January 11, 2009

How To Import a Car to Ireland

The law states that if you bring a vehicle into Ireland from abroad, you must have a Certificate of Permanent Export or a vehicle registration document. You must register your car and pay VRT (vehicle registration tax) by the end of the next working day following its arrival into Ireland.
Now, unless you are the super organised type or just a tad masochistic, the last thing you need when moving country is having to deal with the vechile revenue comissioners the minute you get here. Trust me.

I advise anyone planning on moving here with their car from the UK to speak with their UK insurance company before they leave. Don’t say you are moving country. Tell them you will be working in Ireland for a few months and need a “Green Card” – this is an extenstion of your insurance policy and allows you to drive, fully insured in this country. It shouldn't cost more than £50. I think the maximum you can get these for is 3 months at a time. You can extend them every 3 months if required. This will give you the breathing space required.
Be aware that if you want to avoid the 28% import tax you need to prove that you owned the car for at least 6 months before bringing it into the country.
Once you have settled in and have the time to focus on making your car legal, you will need the following to show that the car was not bought specifically for importing into Ireland.

· Vehicle Registration Certificate / Export Certificate
· Evidence of vehicle’s insurance cover abroad for previous 6 months
· Current Drivers Licence
· Invoice relating to the purchase of the vehicle
· Sailing ticket or other relevant document
· Evidence of the sale of property abroad
· Evidence of a property rental / tenancy agreement abroad
· Evidence of payment of taxes abroad (P45, P60, poll tax etc.)
· Evidence of day-to-day living abroad (e.g. household bills, medical records, work contracts etc.)

Now, the above list, at first glance, seems relatively unassuming. Be warned that no matter how honest you look, the revenue see it as their job to go through all your documents with a fine tooth comb. When they say they want to see evidence of day to day living abroad, they mean they want to see day to day, for at least the previous 6 months that you say you owned the car. It will not do to send them credit card statements for a few of those months, coupled with phone bills for a few others. They expect to see at least 2 utility bills along with other bills like bank statements, credit cards etc. If you have a job that takes you to other countries, or if you visit Ireland frequently and have transactions on you bank or credit card statements, expect to be questioned like someone on the FBI wanted list.

The VRO official calculates the rate of VRT after they inspect the vehicle. You can pay by bankdraft, money order, Laser (debit) card or cash. . Use the VRT online calculator, supplied by the Revenue Commissioners website here.

To make an appointment with a VRO official you need to contact either the north or southside offices:
There is a northside office at Furry Park Industrial Estate, Santry, Dublin 9, open Monday to Friday, 9.15am to 12.45pm and 2pm to 4pm. Telephone: 8579800 Fax: 8579820 (No appointment necessary but there is least delay for those calling early in the morning or straight after lunch).
The southside office is at 111 Lower George’s Street, Dunlaoghaire. Telephone: 2020850 (It can be easier to call in to the office to make an appointment).

Once they have seen your car and you have proved to them you aren’t trying to scam them out of the 28% import duty and you have paid them the VRT you will receive
· A receipt for the VRT paid showing the registration number assigned to your car
· A form RF 100 for use when you are applying for motor tax
· A Vehicle Registration Certificate in the post within 2-3 days

You must display the registration number within three days. You can obtain vehicle registration plates from any motor dealer. They will make and fit them for you.
Once you have all the relevant documentation and plates in place, you can go about getting your car insured with an Irish insurance company.

So, to recap. If you haven’t yet moved but are considering it, be sure to keep all utilty bills/other documentation that can support your claim. The outlays you will have are: VRT (see link above to calciulate for your vehicle), new plates for your car (approx 60 euro) and motor tax once it’s been registered.
Source : Soyouwanttodrive

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