Vehicle Registration Tax is levied on any registered motor vehicle (new or used and imported) in Ireland that has not been brought in temporarily. Every vehicle must be registered with Revenue, and the owner must pay VRT before the end of 30 days since its arrival in the country.
How is VRT paid?
Revenue receives the tax either by it being included in the retail price by the dealership or the owner paying it directly upon applying for registration.
VRT mainly depends on the Open Market Selling Price (OMSP) of the vehicle. Details required by Revenue for VRT calculation include the make and model of the vehicle, transmission type, engine type, body type, mileage units, etc.
To include these factors along with the EU classification of the vehicle can be pretty tedious, which is why the usage of a VRT calculator is recommended. Most VRT calculators use an automatic input that recognizes the registration number and immediately calculates the payable tax amount.
What are the VRT Categories?
These categories are linked to European type-approval categories, and there exist five categories, VRT category A, B, C, D, and M.
VRT Category A
Passenger vehicles, including cars and minibusses (whose maximum seating capacity does not exceed nine, including the driver), fall under this category. Other vehicles that have four or more seats are included in this category.
The VRT rate, in this case, also depends on the carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from the vehicle.
The CO2 component is a certain percentage of the OMSP or a fixed rate (whichever is higher is chosen). In contrast, the NOx component is calculated separately and added to the total to give the final payable amount of VRT.
It ranges from 0-50g/km at around 7% of OMSP or €140, whichever is greater, to more than 190g/km at 37% or €740.
VRT Category B
This category includes vehicles used for commercial purposes and designed for the carriage and transportation of goods, not exceeding 3.5 tonnes. These vehicles typically have three seats or less and include motor caravans.
The VRT is typically 13.3% of the OMSP, and the minimum additional cost to it is €125 and can go up to €200 if at any given point in time the mass laden is 130% of the mass in service.
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VRT Category C
The following category extends to larger commercial vehicles, buses, agricultural tractors and vehicles, and vehicles that are older than 30 years of age at the time of registration. They are charged €200.
VRT Category D
This vehicle category is exempted from paying VRT and includes service vehicles such as ambulances, fire engines, road rollers, sweeping machines, and refuse carts. It also includes vehicles that are used exclusively for the transport of road construction tools and materials.
VRT Category M
Motorcycles are included in this VRT category, and the charge depends on the cc (cubic capacity) of the engine.
There is a percentage reduction in the total VRT amount based on the age of the motorcycle.
At older than 3 months, there is a 10% reduction and a 100% reduction for a vehicle that is older than 30 years.
In case a vehicle’s VRT remains due past 30 days after its arrival, there is an additional VRT of 0.1% added on to the total for each day past the deadline.
Electric and Hybrid Vehicles
There are three types of vehicles that fall under this category:
- Hybrid Electric Vehicles – They are powered by a combination of a typical combustion engine and an electric motor.
- Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles – They are powered by a battery that can be charged by being plugged into the electricity grid.
- Electric Vehicles – A battery exclusively powers them.
Passenger cars and commercial vehicles that have been registered before 31 December 2021 and are exclusively powered by an electric motor are eligible for relief on the VRT up to a maximum amount of €5000.
Vehicles with an OMSP greater than €40,000 will be eligible for lesser amounts in relief, and those with an OMSP greater than €50,000 will not be eligible for any VRT relief.
Electric motorbikes are exempted from VRT until 31 December 2021.
The total amount of NOx emissions can be found on the Certificate of Conformity or FRC (Foreign Registration Certificate)
Should the NOx figure for a vehicle not be found, a flat charge will apply.
Charges on NOx emissions range from €5-€25 payable per mg/km.
If evidence corroborating the declared NOx value cannot be provided, a maximum of €4,850 for diesel vehicles and €600 for others can be charged.
These emissions have been chargeable since 1 January 2020.
VRT is calculated as a rate that is the percentage of the OMSP based on carbon dioxide emissions along with a separate charge on the vehicle’s NOx emissions. Calculating this net with every relief amount applied can be a difficult task. It is not only time-efficient but also cost-efficient to enlist the services of an online VRT calculator.