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Are electric cars subject to new import taxes?

Importing a fully electric car from the UK: are these still VRT and VAT exempt, as fully electric cars, up to the limit of €35k? Importing a fully electric car from NI: is this as above as well?

Regards, Donal

Donal Murphy (Cork)

Feb 2021 Filed under: electric cars

Expert answer

Hi Donal,

They’re not VRT exempt; it’s that Revenue applies a rebate of VRT, up to a maximum of €5,000, on an imported electric car, as long as it’s a regular production model, up to a maximum OMSP of €50,000 (that’s the current Irish market value as defined by Revenue). So, as a rough example, if the car you’re importing has an OMSP of €35,000, you’ll technically pay VRT of seven per cent, at €2,450, but that is obviously covered by the VRT rebate, so you effectively pay nothing. However, the car has an OMSP of €60,000, you’ll pay €4,200 in VRT and won’t get any rebate.

If you’re bringing a car in from the England, Scotland or Wales, even if it’s an EV, you’ll be liable for 21 per cent VAT (charged on the OMSP value) and ten per cent import duty (charged on what you paid for the car plus the costs of getting it here). If you're bringing it in from Northern Ireland, as long as it’s either previously been registered to a person or company resident in the North, or you’ve bought it from a dealer, then you won’t pay the import duty, and you’ll only be charged VAT if the car is younger than six months, or has fewer than 6,000km on the clock.

Read our Guide to Importing Cars from the UK feature for more.

Neil Briscoe - Complete Car Advisor

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