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My car was never imported correctly...


I bought a Japanese car, but the person who brought it to Ireland didn't register it when he imported it here. Now I discover that over 6k is owed in penalties... What can I do?

Filed under importing - Asked by Darren Curneen (Dublin) - Thu, 10 May 2018 19:21


Hi Darren,

I think the first thing to do is to ‘lawyer-up’. You’re going to need some professional legal advice on this one. Basically, the law is pretty simple - once a car is in the country, you have a week to notify Revenue and make the booking at the NCT centre to have the car inspected, and 30 days to complete the process and get the new plates. Failure to do so means that Revenue can seize the car and they will only release it at their discretion, and on payment of a hefty fine. Plus there’s the issue of any unpaid motor tax.

As a purchaser, you should never buy a car that’s in Ireland, but still on its foreign plates. The law says it must be re-registered before being sold on. However, if you can show that you bought the car in good faith, and intended to follow the normal VRT procedure, then there might be a way through this for you. Clearly, the bulk of the onus is on the previous owner, but you definitely need to have a good solicitor on your side for this one.

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