Importing vehicles from Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Registering a vehicle purchased in Great Britain (GB)

Vehicles purchased in GB, and brought into the State, are subject to import formalities. This includes the need for a Customs Declaration, payment of Customs Duties (where applicable) and payment of Value-Added Tax (VAT) at import. These requirements are in addition to the need to register the vehicle for Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT).

Steps required prior to registering a vehicle

If you import a vehicle from GB, either directly into the State, or where the vehicle is transported through Northern Ireland (NI), you must:

  • complete a Customs Declaration
  • pay Customs Duty (where applicable)
  • and
  • pay VAT on the import value of the vehicle.

This must be done prior to registering the vehicle. It will not be possible to register the vehicle in the State without having completed the necessary Customs Declaration. For further information on filing a Customs Declaration, please see Bringing goods into Ireland from Great Britain (GB).


Certain Origin and Returned Goods Relief rules mean that there are certain circumstances where Customs Duties may not apply.

Steps required during registration

When presenting a vehicle for registration at the National Car Testing Service (NCTS) centre, you will also need to provide:

  • the foreign registration document (the V5C from the UK)
  • a copy of the Customs Declaration
  • and
  • any other supporting documentation.

These documents must clearly identify the specific vehicle to be registered and the Customs Declaration must include the Master Reference Number (MRN).


Where a Customs Declaration is required in respect of a vehicle brought into the State, the vehicle will be liable to seizure if the Customs Declaration is not completed and, or the vehicle is not registered within 30 days of its arrival in the State.

Next: Registering vehicles from Northern Ireland (NI)