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Ireland – Buying or Importing a Car

Buying a Car in Ireland

If you are planning to buy a car in Ireland, whether it is a new or used one, there are several steps you need to follow. Here is a step-by-step guide to buying a car in Ireland:

Step 1: Find a reliable dealership or seller

The first step to buying a car in Ireland is to find a reliable dealership or seller. You can start your search by browsing online car sales platforms or visiting car dealerships in person.

Step 2: Choose your car

Once you have found a dealership or seller, you need to choose the car you want to buy. Before making a decision, it is important to inspect the car thoroughly and take it for a test drive. You should also ask for the car’s history report to ensure that it has not been involved in any major accidents or has any pending fines.

Step 3: Negotiate the price


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After choosing the car, you need to negotiate the price. In Ireland, it is common to negotiate the price of a car, so don’t be afraid to haggle. You can also ask for discounts or promotions offered by the dealership or seller.

Step 4: Complete the paperwork

To finalize the purchase, you need to complete the paperwork. The dealership or seller will provide you with a purchase agreement that outlines the terms of the sale. You will also need to provide identification documents such as your passport or national ID card.

Step 5: Register the car

Finally, you need to register the car with the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) within 14 days of the purchase. You will need to provide the purchase agreement, proof of payment, and proof of insurance. Once the car is registered, you will receive the registration certificate and license plates.

Foreign nationals may face additional requirements, such as obtaining a local driver’s license.

Importing a Vehicle in Ireland

Importing a vehicle to Ireland can be a complex process, and it is recommended to hire a customs agent to handle the process. Here is a step-by-step guide to importing a vehicle to Ireland:

Step 1: Obtain the necessary documents

Before importing a vehicle to Ireland, you need to obtain the necessary documents. These include a bill of lading, an invoice, and a certificate of conformity. You will also need to apply for a Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) declaration from the Revenue Commissioners.

Step 2: Pay the VRT

When the vehicle arrives in Ireland, you need to pay the VRT. The amount of the VRT can vary depending on the vehicle’s age, type, and value. You can calculate the VRT using the Revenue Commissioners’ online calculator.

Step 3: Register the vehicle

After paying the VRT, the vehicle will undergo an inspection by the National Car Testing Service (NCTS). The inspection checks the vehicle’s safety and environmental compliance. If the vehicle passes the inspection, you will receive a certificate of roadworthiness.

Once you have the certificate of roadworthiness, you need to register the vehicle with the DTTAS within 30 days. You will need to provide the import documents, VRT declaration, certificate of roadworthiness, proof of payment of the VRT, and proof of insurance. Once the vehicle is registered, you will receive the registration certificate and license plates.

Here are the contact details and links to relevant government departments in Ireland:

Selling a Car in Ireland

If you are selling a car in Ireland, there are several steps you need to follow. Here is a step-by-step guide to selling a car in Ireland:

Step 1: Obtain the necessary documents

Before selling a car, you need to obtain the necessary documents. These include the registration certificate, proof of ownership, and proof of payment of any outstanding taxes or fines.

Step 2: Advertise the car

To sell the car, you need to advertise it. You can do this through online car sales platforms, social media, or classified ads in local newspapers.

Step 3: Negotiate the price

Once you have found a potential buyer, you need to negotiate the price. It is common to haggle over the price, so be prepared to negotiate.

Step 4: Complete the paperwork

After agreeing on the price, you need to complete the paperwork. You will need to sign a sales agreement that outlines the terms of the sale. You will also need to transfer the registration certificate to the buyer’s name and provide proof of ownership and payment of outstanding taxes or fines.

Step 5: Receive payment

Once the paperwork is complete, you need to receive payment from the buyer. It is recommended to receive payment through a bank transfer or a certified check.

Step 6: Notify the DTTAS

Finally, you need to notify the DTTAS of the sale within 7 days. You can do this online or by submitting a notification form to a local motor tax office. You will need to provide a copy of the sales agreement and transfer the ownership of the vehicle. The DTTAS will then update their records to reflect the change of ownership.

In conclusion, buying or importing a vehicle in Ireland can be a complex process, but by following the steps outlined above and seeking the help of professionals such as customs agents, the process can be simplified. It is important to ensure that all necessary documents are obtained and that all taxes and fees are paid to avoid any legal issues.


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