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Has Brexit affecting importing used cars?

How have/will the Brexit trade agreement effect importing cars from the UK?

Filed under importing - Asked by Gerard Mccarthy (Mullingar) - Sat, 09 Jan 2021 11:00

Neil Briscoe Answered by: Neil Briscoe - Complete Car Advisor - @neilmbriscoe


Hi Gerard,

Yes, the final Brexit-exit has indeed caused some changes. According to Revenue, if you’re importing a car from the UK, you will now have to complete an electronic customs declaration form BEFORE going to collect the vehicle (you can find them here) and you’ll then be liable for three potential costs — customs duty, VRT (as before, including the NOx charge) and VAT, currently at 21 per cent. That VAT charge, previously only applied to vehicles that are either new or less than six months old (or with fewer than 6,000km on the clock) now applies to all imports.

Except it doesn’t — if you import a car from Northern Ireland, thanks to NI’s new special status as per the Brexit withdrawal agreement, then the VAT will only be charged on new vehicles, and you won’t have to pay any customs duty (sometimes referred to as import duty).

Incidentally, that customs duty (which is charged at 10 per cent of the total value of the car, plus carriage costs) will NOT be applied if the car was built in the UK, or in an EU country. That’s a potential minefield as you’d be surprised how many cars that you assume to be British or European are actually made in, say, South Africa or the US. It obviously affects Japanese and Korean-built cars, but again, you’d be surprised how many of those that we buy are actually built in the UK, France, Slovakia or elsewhere in Europe.

Basically, the short version is that importing a car from the UK just got a lot more difficult and likely more expensive too.

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