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Is it worth importing a Velar from the North?

Can you please advise on the various types of costs that are required to import a car from Northern Ireland to the Republic?

I am currently looking at two different cars with different backgrounds:

Car 1: 2021 Range Rover Velar, first registered in UK April 2021 now on sale in Northern Ireland with UK registration plates. Dealer has said he can get it registered in NI and sell with NI registration plates.

Car 2: 2021 Range Rover Velar, car built in UK and first registered in NI Feb. 2021 i.e. is currently on NI registration plates.

I have read as much documentation as I can find on the 'potential costs' but have come away more confused than informed. It was verbally mentioned to me whilst researching this, that if a car has been registered in NI for a period of more than 60 or 90 days (I cannot remember which) then the car is exempt from VAT and only subject to NOx and VRT.

Can you please let me know if this is correct?

I would appreciate any help you can afford me on this as calling the National VRT helpline has not been helpful and I was advised to take the car to my nearest NCT centre, however by doing this, I would have bought a vehicle and would be completely unaware of its taxes.

Before buying a vehicle, I need to know the cost of taxes to establish if its expenditure is worthwhile.

Deirdre Grouden (Castledaly)

Jul 2024 Filed under: importing

Expert answer

Hi Deirdre,

Yes, we have to agree - the whole process is completely over-complicated and difficult to understand at times. And it would appear some of the rules allow for real grey areas.

For example, according to Revenue: "There are no customs obligations for a vehicle that has been brought into Northern Ireland after 1st May 2023 and where the vehicle has been in private ownership in Northern Ireland for a reasonable period of time." This would suggest that Car 1 in your question would attract VAT and import duty if it has actually not been used by a private individual. I.e. it has been imported by a dealer to sell on. It doesn't matter how long it has been in the country if it is sitting on a dealer forecourt and switching it to NI plates before selling it to you doesn't change that.

Car 2 would also, we believe, attract VAT and import duty. The 'made in the UK' thing is tricky as you need to prove it yourself and it comes down to more than just the factory the car was made in - it depends on its components as well.

Sounds like you've read a lot already, but you want our take on it, look at our Guide to importing a car from Northern Ireland.

Shane O' Donoghue - Complete Car Advisor

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