Know your rights: Vehicle registration tax

I imported a car into Ireland last week but I couldn’t get an NCTS appointment until January 2021. Will my VRT be based on when I brought the car into Ireland or the date that it goes to the VRT centre?

While allNational Car Testing (NCT) Centres are open, they are operating at a reduced capacity because of COVID-19 and are experiencing high levels of demand. You will not be charged a penalty for a late registration if your registration appointment is within 30 days of bringing your car into Ireland.

If you imported a vehicle into Ireland before 31 December 2020 and can’t get an appointment for an inspection before 1 January 2021, the rate of Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) you pay will be calculated based on the new payment rates for 2021.

From 1 January 2021, new VRT rates will apply based on the CO2 emissions of passenger cars. This is a new EU emissions test called the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). The current 11 band table for VRT will be replaced with a 20 band table based on a new rates structure. 

The new VRT rates will range from 7% for the lowest CO2 emissions to 37% for the highest. In addition, you have to pay a Nitrogen Oxide (NOX) levy based on the NOX emissions of your car.

You can read more about the process of importing your vehicle into Ireland on citizensinformation.ie. For more information about upcoming changes to the way VRT is calculated, you can contact the Revenue Commissioners’ Central Vehicle Office on 01-7383619.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo. You can also get information and advice from:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
  • Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

A limited number of appointments are being made in Citizens Information Centres offices where social distancing can be facilitated. You can continue to contact your local centre by email or phone using the details in the Find a Centre page on citizensinformation.ie.