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  • Green Routed Freight Ltd

Successfully Importing a Car from The UK to Ireland in 5 Steps

If you're in the market for a new car and considering importing one from the UK to Ireland, this comprehensive guide will walk you through the essential steps and considerations to ensure a seamless and cost-effective process. Importing a car requires careful planning and attention to detail, so let's dive into the key aspects.

Step 1: Finding the Right Car

Your journey begins with the search for the perfect car. The UK offers a plethora of options, from new models to used vehicles. You'll find listings on various platforms, including online marketplaces, dealerships, auctions, and even private sellers. It's essential to take your time and explore different avenues. However, exercise caution to avoid rogue private sellers and illegitimate dealers looking to make a quick profit.

Start by defining your requirements and preferences. Consider the type of car, make, model, and features that best suit your needs. Once you've narrowed down your choices, thoroughly research the seller's credibility and the car's history. A reputable seller and a well-documented vehicle history will give you peace of mind as you move forward.

Step 2: Calculate the Costs

You've probably heard stories of people who've saved a bundle by bringing cars from the UK to Ireland. As you explore UK car websites like CarSave or CarGiant, you stumble upon a 2016 Nissan Juke and a Ford Focus, each priced at £10,000 in the UK. But when you check the prices for the same cars on CarZone in Ireland, they're listed at €18,000 each. The price difference is striking, and you might be thinking about the substantial savings. However, importing a car involves various costs you need to be ready for. Knowing these financial aspects will help you plan your budget effectively. Here are the key financial considerations:

Purchase Price

The amount you pay for the car depends on the exchange rate between the British pound and the Euro. Keep an eye on exchange rates, as getting a favourable rate can save you hundreds of euros.


  • Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT): This tax is a significant part of the import process. It's calculated based on the car's CO2 emissions and market value.

  • Value Added Tax (VAT): As of now, VAT stands at 23% for cars imported from the UK.

  • Customs Duty: The customs duty rate varies based on the car's origin. It's 0% if the vehicle originated in the UK and 10% if it came from outside the UK, such as an EU country or a third country like the USA or Japan.

  • Travel and Transport: If you choose to collect the car in the UK, you'll need to account for travel expenses. This includes the cost of flights, accommodation (if needed), fuel, and ferry charges.

Step 3: Do a History Check and Inspection

While not mandatory, conducting a history check and professional inspection is advisable, especially when purchasing a used car. A history check provides vital information about the car, including its year of manufacture, date of first registration, number of previous owners, and more. Note that many companies offer various levels of inspection services at different price points. Investing in an inspection can help identify potential issues and ensure that the vehicle is in the condition you expect.

Step 4: Finalise Your Payment

After reaching a decision and feeling content with your choice, the time comes to wrap up the payment process with the UK dealer. Chances are, you've already put down a deposit to secure your selected vehicle, so now it's about settling the remaining balance. It's important to keep in mind that using cash for the final payment is generally discouraged. In fact, large cash transactions are often not accepted by UK dealers due to anti-money laundering regulations. This recommendation holds true even if you're purchasing from a private seller. Opting for cash transactions can leave you vulnerable to untraceable dealings and potential fraud.

Various dealers may have their own policies regarding acceptable payment methods, so it's advisable to have a conversation with the dealer involved. However, the most commonly preferred and secure payment methods include card transactions or online transfers. It's worth noting that these transactions may require you to make the payment in advance, ensuring that it clears before you can proceed with collecting the vehicle. This step is taken to ensure a smooth and trustworthy payment process.

Step 5: Collect and Register the Car

Once you've made your choice and completed the purchase, it's time to consider how you'll collect and register the car in Ireland. There are two primary options to choose from:

Firstly, you can opt to have it delivered. Many professional car transport services regularly travel between the UK and Ireland, offering convenient delivery services. This is an excellent choice if you prefer a hassle-free approach and don't want to undertake the journey yourself.

Alternatively, if you decide to collect the car in person, be prepared for some travel arrangements. You'll need to plan a trip to the UK, and your mode of travel could involve flying or taking a ferry, depending on the car's location. When flying, it's often more cost-effective to book affordable flights with budget airlines to the nearest airport. Don't forget to arrange a return ferry booking for your journey back to Ireland.

In cases where the car is situated far from the coast, collecting the vehicle in person may be the more practical option. Be ready to make overnight accommodation arrangements if your flight schedule doesn't align with ferry departure times.

A useful tip is that many sellers are willing to assist by picking you up from the airport, making the process more convenient. Importantly, once the car arrives in Ireland, schedule an inspection at an VRT centre within seven days. This step is crucial before proceeding with the car's registration and fulfilling the necessary payments, including the VRT (Vehicle Registration Tax) and any other applicable taxes, ensuring your vehicle is fully compliant with Irish regulations.

Step 6: Prepare Required Documentation for Customs Clearance

  • Vehicle Invoice: Include details of the seller and buyer, a description of the vehicle, chassis/VIN and registration numbers, and the purchase value.

  • V5 Log Book: This book is essential for registration details. Ensure you provide all its pages for submission.

  • Ferry Ticket: Keep records of the date, time, shipping line used, vehicle registration, and the ticket's cost.

  • Proof of Payment: To demonstrate the financial transaction, provide a bank account statement screenshot that highlights the purchase.

  • EORI or PPS Number: Ensure the required forms are correctly completed.

Final Step: Utilise Customs and Excise Services in Ireland

To simplify the customs clearance process and ensure all documentation and procedures are handled professionally, consider enlisting the services of a specialised customs clearance provider like Green Routed Freight. Our experienced team can offer personalised solutions tailored to your specific import and export requirements, streamlining the process and minimising potential complications. Get in touch with us today for all your customs clearance needs.



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