Motor tax FAQ
- What is the carbon dioxide (CO2) motor tax system for new cars?
- How will the level of CO2 be known?
- What about motor tax for new cars registered in Ireland?
- What if my car is registered outside of Ireland?
- What must I do before I pay motor tax?
- When must I pay motor tax?
- Where do I pay it?
- Where can I apply for a driving licence?
- How do I declare a vehicle is temporarily off the road?
What is the carbon dioxide (CO2) motor tax system for new cars?
From July 2008 there will be two separate motor tax systems for cars. Cars under the existing motor tax system will continue to be taxed based on engine size or cc.
New cars registered from 1 July 2008 will be taxed based on their CO2 emissions level. New cars registered in the first six months of 2008 will be switched to the CO2 system on the first renewal of motor tax after 1 July 2008, if the new CO2 tax rate is lower.
How will the level of CO2 be known?
Before a new model is put on sale in Europe, it must undergo a series of tests to ensure that it has achieved approved standards regarding safety, environmental impact, etc. This process is called type approval and each car achieving the approved standards is issued with a certificate of conformity.
Among the details included on the certificate of conformity is the level of CO2 emissions of the car. This is the information that will be used for taxation purposes for both the vehicle registration tax (VRT) and motor tax.
What about motor tax for new cars registered in Ireland?
A private car registered in Ireland before 2008 continues to be taxed under the system related to engine size (cc).
New cars registered in Ireland between 1 January 2008 and 30 June 2008 will initially have their motor tax charged on the basis of the existing engine size (c.c.) system.
However, a low CO2 emitting new car registered between 1 January 2008 and 30 June 2008 will have its motor tax switched to the lower CO2 based motor tax rate on the first renewal of motor tax after 1 July 2008.
New cars which are registered in the first 6 months of 2008 whose tax would be more under the new CO2 based system will continue to pay motor tax on the basis of engine size (c.c.).
New cars which are registered after 1 July 2008 will be taxed on CO2 emissions.
What if my car is registered outside of Ireland?
A private car first registered abroad prior to 1 January 2008 will be taxed on engine size (c.c.). The CO2 based motor tax system does not apply to second-hand imports that were registered abroad prior to 2008.
A private car first registered abroad between 1 January 2008 and 30 June 2008 inclusive and subsequently registered in Ireland will be taxed on whichever is the lesser of the motor tax rates based on engine size (c.c.) or CO2 emissions.
A private car first registered abroad after 1 July 2008 and subsequently registered in Ireland will be taxed on CO2 emissions.
The aim of the new motor tax system is to encourage the use of smaller, cleaner, fuel-efficient cars in the fight against climate change. Reducing the emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from cars will help protect the environment and improve local air quality.
Cars registered before 1 January 2008 will continue to pay motor tax on the basis of engine size (c.c.). Also second-hand imports that were registered abroad prior to 2008 will be taxed on engine size (c.c.).
It was announced in the Budget of 14 October 2008 that new motor tax rates will come into force in 2009. This means that licences taken out for periods commencing on or after 1 January 2009 are payable at the new rates.
What must I do before I pay motor tax?
Register the vehicle with the National Car Testing Service (NCT). You must book your appointment with the NCTS within 7 days of the vehicle entering the State and have completed the registration within 30 days of the vehicle entering the State.
You may book an appointment by:
or by writing to:
Vehicle Registration Tax Booking,
Citywest Business Campus,
When must I pay motor tax?
Liability for motor tax arises when a vehicle is used in a public place or road. Motor tax discs are issued for periods of 3, 6, or 12 whole calendar months and are not issued in respect of months already elapsed. Vehicles with an annual tax of €99 or less can only be taxed for a 12-month period.
As discs are issued for whole calendar months, the preferred option on first taxing is to register or first use the vehicle early in a month. Vehicle owners who first tax a recently registered vehicle after 28 May 2004 will be issued with a new Vehicle Registration Certificate by the driver and Vehicle Licensing Computer Services Division (Department of Transport).
It should be noted that there is a surcharge for non-annual discs and motor tax should be paid when due, as monthly arrears are charged at one tenth of the annual rate.
Where do I pay it?
To find out where you can pay your motor tax, please take a look at the following page:
If you have any further questions regarding motor tax, please get in touch using the following details.
Where can I apply for a driving licence?
How do I declare a vehicle is temporarily off the road?
Since 1 October 2013 you are required to declare in advance that your vehicle will be off the road and not in use for a period of between 3 and 12 months using Declaration of Non-Use of a Motor Vehicle Form RF150 (pdf), which you submit to your motor tax office.
The declaration of non-use must be made in the same month that your current motor tax disc expires or within 10 calendar days of purchasing/importing a new or second-hand vehicle.
If arrears in motor tax are due these must be paid in full and you must also pay a minimum of 3 months motor tax, before a declaration of non-use can be made.