7 November 2021
By Roger Jones
Prior to the implementation of Brexit there was monstrous financial savings to be made when importing a used car from the UK into Ireland.
However, with the United Kingdom leaving the EU things have changed somewhat, there’s still tremendous bargains to be had, but you just need to do a bit more research.
In short, lots. The entire process has become far more convoluted since January 1st of this year. Before Brexit, you only had to pay VAT on privately imported used UK car imports if the vehicle was less than six months old OR had clocked less than six thousand km. Now however you must pay VAT at a rate of 23%, complete a customs declaration document and you may also have to pay a customs duty of up to 10% depending on the situation.
“Due to Brexit you now have to pay VAT of 23% when you import a car from the UK to Ireland – There is no way around this, therefore you need to narrow your search to VAT qualifying cars in the UK as these can be sold to you excluding UK VAT. Similarly, you are now required to pay a 10% customs duty on the import, unless the car is manufactured in the UK, then it qualifies for the preferential origin and a rate of 0%. Alternatively, there is the returned goods relief. If a car is imported back to the EU within 3 years of being originally exported, it will qualify for a returned goods relief and be subjected to 0% customs. For example, if a car was exported from Germany in 2019 and then imported to Ireland in 2021 it will be subject to a 0% customs duty.” Notes Patrick Barry of VRT.ie
Last months budget announcement also further impacted the entire process, mainly due to the increased tariffs placed on vehicles with high emissions.
For cars with emissions between 101g/km to 105g/km you can expect to add another €604 onto the cost, larger vehicles with emissions over 191g/km could have a huge €8765 thrown onto the overall price.
“It’s all going to come down to emissions” notes Patrick Barry of VRT.ie “The trend of increasing VRT for high emissions vehicles has continued in budget 2022, this will have a positive impact on our environment as it makes it uneconomical to register new or import used high emission vehicles to Ireland. Your VRT can be as low as around 7% for low emission vehicles, or as high as 37% for higher emission cars. Technically, if you buy an electric vehicle your VRT can come to €0 when all the various reliefs are factored in – On the flip side,, if you buy a diesel car with high emissions your VRT can fall under that 37% bracket and you could also be charged something called a Nitrous Oxide (NOx) levy – This takes into account the amount of emissions produced per kilometre, with a maximum levy of €4850 for diesel vehicles, leaving you with a hefty bill. I would expect electric cars sales to continue to grow given the increased choice of electric vehicles on the market and the extension of the €5000 VRT relief on electric vehicles to the end of 2023.”
Hitting The Pocket
If you are looking to import a car you’ve got to consider more factors than ever before, otherwise, you may get a nasty surprise –
“If you compare a 2009 Volkswagen Golf Diesel against its 2019 Electric counterpart, you’ll be looking at €4003 in net tax to be paid in comparison to the €550 due on the electric model. €2425 of the tax costs on the Diesel model is the NOX levy alone. Originally if you brought a car over from the UK you simply had to pay your VRT, then book an appointment at your local NCT centre and register the vehicle, now it is more complex than that, particularly the customs declaration. You need a customs expert to complete the customs declaration. We launched our Customs Clearance Agent service earlier this year which handles the entire customs declaration process for our clients.”
VRT.ie offers a comprehensive importing a car from UK to Ireland Cost calculator on their website which enables you to identify the best vehicle to import. You insert the UK registration of the car and the vehicles price in sterling, then VRT.ie gets to work, estimating the vehicles VRT, the market price in Ireland, factoring in the current exchange rate from pounds to euro and then produces an overall custom report highlighting the amount of cash you are going to save through the process.
The New Customs Declaration Process
Simply put, the changes to the overall process have made it nearly impossible to do declare these customs yourself, it’s a highly convoluted task that could leave your imported vehicle stuck on a dock for weeks on end if not done properly – but what is involved?
First up, you need to register with Revenue Online Services (ROS) and create an account. Then you need to apply for an EORI number, this is necessary if you are importing or exporting goods through the European Union.
Once this has all been organised, you must now calculate the amount of VAT owed and also the customs duty. Then you need to place funds in your customs account to cover the costs of the VAT & Customs, if your account does not have sufficient funds to cover these, the customs declaration will not process.
Finally, the most complicated step – Submitting the customs declaration itself. If you are someone who has sufficient experience when it comes to customs applications then you can apply via the revenues AIS system, which you can access through the ROS portal. You’ll need some key information including all of the relevant parties involved, information relating to the goods themselves (I.E The tariff codes, units, weight, location and packaging), how the vehicle will be transported, data regarding the country of origin and the country of export & destination.
On top of this you’ll also need to provide a slew of documentation, inspection cert, transport documents, import licenses and more. VRT.ie is delighted to now offer a comprehensive customs declaration service that hugely simplifies the entire process, removing all of the hassle. The declaration is lodged with the revenue commissioners on your behalf leaving you with your imported car.