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Am I better off buying a car in the UK and then importing it?

I have been researching replacing a Ford S-MAX (hence my questions to you alreadu!) and have been struck by the spec difference between the new model SEAT Alhambra here and in the UK. Most cars nowadays seem to be the same in the two countries, but with this model it appears to me that there is a huge difference.

We do not have the option of the more powerful diesels and the SE Lux in the UK comes with absolutely everything. The Irish spec is very basic in comparison with all the gizmos and leather etc. extra. Do you know why this might be? Based on my initial rough calculations I think I could buy a brand new model in the UK, pay the VAT/VRT and get a higher spec car for less.

What do you think?

Filed under importing - Asked by Andrew Kelly (Limerick) - Fri, 02 Sep 2011 14:43

Can you explain what 'VAT' qualifying means on importing a car from the UK?

I am considering buying a car in the UK. Can you clarify what 'VAT qualifying' means? Does this mean that I can get the UK VAT back but I have to pay Irish VAT and VRT? I realise VAT is payable on cars less than six months old.

Filed under importing - Asked by William Neale (Dublin) - Fri, 17 Jun 2011 23:24

Do dealers and the public pay different VRT?

Could you please tell me if there is a differance in the VRT rate on importing car from the UK to Ireland if you are a dealership owner or a private customer?

Filed under importing - Asked by David O'brien (Waterford) - Mon, 28 Mar 2011 22:52

Will changing my speedo and odometer raise alarm bells?


I may decide to import a car from Britain; as I would plan to keep it for a long time I would like to change the speedo and odometer to km/h. How would this affect the VRT inspection and the NCT? How can I record it that it was changed?

I do not want a scenario that it pops up on a car checking website as suspicious, but would like it to show that the speedo and odometer where changed at a specific mileage. 

Filed under importing - Asked by Jerome O'Connor (Wicklow) - Mon, 06 Dec 2010 19:45

What are the costs of importing a used car from the UK?

Hi there,

Can you tell me if VRT is the only additional cost to buying a car in the UK or is there also VAT to be paid?

Also, how accurate is the Revenue's online VRT calculator?



Filed under importing - Asked by Ray Owens (Enfield) - Sun, 22 Aug 2010 18:49

Is there any reason to avoid UK imports?

Is there any reason to avoid UK imports? We are looking for a MPV and just wondering if UK imports are as safe an option as Irish cars or is it a more complicated purchase with potential risks? Thanks

Filed under importing - Asked by Patricia McGuire (Dublin) - Tue, 29 Jun 2010 17:55

What are the costs of importing a used car from the UK?

Other than the car itself and the transportation costs, what are the costs involved in importing a used car from the UK?

Filed under importing - Asked by Paul Kieran (Dublin) - Wed, 28 Apr 2010 20:47

Should I buy from an online UK dealer?

Hi Paddy. Thanks for that reply.

I have been looking at a car at an online dealers, based in the UK. There is a diesel 1.9-litre Golf, which sounds okay value there.

They want €495 deposit. In 10 days the car is available for inspection, I gather if I'm not happy I lose my deposit.

He says I couldn't be unhappy, as the car is immaculate! It is bought straight from VW, one owner, 10,000 miles, 2008 diesel with one year warranty left. There is a 2008 model with lower spec available from a local garage with 34,000 on the clock and €2,000 cheaper.

Which would you recommend? 


Filed under importing - Asked by Angela Osullivan (Wicklow) - Tue, 18 May 2010 12:45

How to buy an Audi A4 Avant from the UK?

Want to buy a 2001 Audi A4 (b5) Avant TDI in the UK private or from non-franchise dealer. How do I do this without being caught out?

Filed under importing - Asked by Jim O'Sullivan (Co.Cork.) - Tue, 11 May 2010 11:44

Japanese import safe without NCT?

Is it safe to buy a car imported from Japan without an NCT?

Filed under importing - Asked by Madeline Orbeta (Dublin) - Sat, 08 May 2010 18:40

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