Planning to buy or import a car in Ireland? A grant of €5000 is available on buying electric vehicles. Know more about the legal procedures and formalities in all cases

If you are planning to buy a car, the one you select should be satisfactory for you. You have the right to expect a satisfactory quality and decide whether it is fit for purpose. If the one you chose becomes faulty, you have the right to ask the seller for making your car complaint free. Your consumer rights are well explained in the Sale of Goods and Associated Guarantees Act 1980.

Consumer rights only matters between deals by a consumer and a trader. If the trade happens between two individuals or commercial use in a business to business deal, the rights will be not the same all the time.

Car finances are available for you if you cannot pay the full cost immediately.
You can get personal loans from banks, building societies and credit unions. You can borrow the money and own the car and can pay back the money in installments and pay the interest to the lender too.

Hire Purchase Agreements (HP)

This type of credit is offered by car dealers and garages. Under this agreement, you can rent the car and pay the cost in regular installments to your lender. The car could be used but you cannot sell it without lender’s permission. The lender is the owner until you pay the full amount.

Personal Contract Plan (PCP)

It is similar to HP agreement. The only change is that the installment will be lower not owe more money at the end of the agreement. A proper research should be done before signing the agreement. If the dealer is offering to arrange a finance, they act as an agent and can avail the commission for arranging the loan. Authorised agents must be chosen as per the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC).

Electric Vehicles Grant Scheme

The Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland provides a grant for plug in hybrid and battery powered electric vehicles. The maximum amount is €5,000 and the rate chnages according to the price of the vehicle. The rate of the vechicle should be higher than €14,000 to be eligible for the grant. The dealer will apply for the grant and the grant amount will be deducted from the total amount. The grant amount will be reduced from €5,000 to €2,500 for plug in hybrid vehicles while the amount stays the same for battery powered electric vehicles.


The trading of your old car will bring down the cost of the new one. A proper research and discussion is necassary to find out the best price for your old vehicle. Taking an expert or a mechanic with you will be very effective in knowing the exact worth of your car.

Registration and Tax

There are many legal issues while you import or buy a car in Ireland. All new vehicles must pay a Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) and must be registered with Revenue.

Vehicle Registration Tax will be paid by the dealer itself if you buy a new vehicle. Thus the total amount paid to the dealer will include the VRT too. VAT is also charged for most products. When the VRT is paid and car is registered you will get the receipt of VRT paid and the registration number of the car and an RF100 form too.

Cross check the VRT receipt and RF100 form as it will be useful in the future at the motor tax office.

Registering without dealer needs an appointment at the National Car Testing Service Centre (NCTS) through online or over the phone. Buying a car directly from the dealer will not come under this. The procedure includes booking an appointment for vehicle testing and registering the vehicle within 30 days.

Tax reliefs and exemptions from VRT could be found in the Revenue’s website you claim claim tax reliefs under Disabled Drivers and Disabled passengers scheme.

Registration plates should be provided to you if you are buying a car directly from the dealer. The plates must be displayed on the car within three days from the date of registration. The dealer must provide you the vehicle with the registration plates fixed.

If you are registering the vehicle without the help of a dealer, Revenue will give you the registration number and Irish number plates can be bought at the NCT center on the day of inspection. Driving and unregistered vehicle is an offence in Ireland.

Vehicle Registration Certificate will be issued after registration by the Department of Transport. This will be available for you after you apply for paying the motor tax to your local motor tax office.

Motor Tax

Motor Tax as issued by the government should be paid to make your vehicle status legal. You can pay tax through post, in person at motor tax office and online at

The tax amount may vary for different vehicles. For new vehicles, the emission rate of CO2 determines the tax amount. The RT100 form should be submitted while paying the tax. You must also carry

  • RT100 form to prove your ownership
  • Vehicle registration number
  • Vehicle insurance details
  • Payment details
  • Personal identification i,e. last characters of the vehicle’s chassis number.

Motor Insurance

Motor Insurance must be taken to drive your vehicle legally and it should be displayed on the windscreen. Driving without paying insurance is an offence and you will be heavily fined. Your license could be suspended too.

Vehicle Labelling

A new color coded labelling system is used for new cars to understand the CO2 emissions rate and it should also be displayed on the vehicle. First section shows te emission band of the vehicle, second section shows the amount of fuel used by the vehicle after running 18,000 km, annual motor tax and rate of VRT. Other sections shows information like the make company, engine capacity and fuel type.


If the vehicle has any complaints or faults, you can ask the dealer to fix or repair it. If the dealer turned down your needs, you can file a complaint to the CCPC. You can file the complaint directly at the office or through thier website

You can file a complaint against your dealer, repairers and wholesalers at the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI). Your issue will be resolved by the consumer complaints mediation service.

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