Thailand’s, Singapore’s, England’s and Dubai’s top Exporter to Europe

The Jim Group of Companies – including Jim Autos Thailand, Jim 4×4 Thailand, Singapore Motors Jim, Jim Autos United Kingdom and Jim Autos Dubai– are Thailand’s largest auto exporter to Europe. We are exporting Right Hand Drive vehicles to United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Northern Cyprus and Malta and factory-original Left Hand Drive (LHD) vehicles and converted LHD vehicles to the rest of the Europe.


Collective Trade Barriers Tariff Rates

No local content regulations or import/export requirements are maintained by any of the EU member states. Imports from non-EU and non-EFTA countries are subject to common external tariffs (CET). A 10 percent CET is applied to passenger cars imports. Electric-motored cars are subject to a 12.5 percent CET. The CET for diesel- and gas-engined trucks is either 11 or 22 percent, depending on the vehicle engine capacity. Diesel or semi-diesel trucks with an engine capacity of 2.5 liters and below are subject to an 11 percent CET, while diesel or semi-diesel trucks with an engine capacity exceeding 2.5 liters have a 22 percent CET. Gas-engined trucks not exceeding 2.8-liter engine capacity is subject to an 11 percent CET, while those exceeding 2.8 liters having a 22 percent tariff. Dump trucks are subject to either a 6 or 17 percent duty, depending on engine capacity. Dump trucks with an engine capacity of 2.5 liters and below are subject to a 6 percent CET, while dump trucks with an engine capacity exceeding 2.5 liters have a 17 percent CET. All trucks made specifically for the purpose of transporting highly radioactive materials are subject to a 5.3 percent CET. EU’s Single Internal Market (“EC-92”) and the Type-Approval Directive The EU’s single internal market became official on January 1, 1993. Part of the “EC-92” effort includes the initiative to remove technical barriers to the free movement of products within the EU. The program’s greatest impact on the automotive sector has been in the area of standards.

The EU Commission has attempted to harmonize automotive technical and environmental standards between the member states. EU legislation also covers noise and particulate emissions, as well as safety. For example, as of January 1, 1993, all motor vehicles in the EU must have a catalytic converter. In addition, the EU’s type-approval directive (EU Council Directive 92/53) eliminates the need for national type-approval requirements by establishing one set of rules for automobiles and their parts throughout the EU. This directive aims to clarify the type-approval procedure for motor vehicles, separate technical units (i.e., trailers), and components. It simplifies the documentation, designates the type-approval number on a separate technical unit as certification of conformity, and defines vehicles, separate technical unit(s), and component(s). Certificates of conformity, as specified in Annex IX of EU Directive 92/53, will be required in order for an automobile to enter into service. For component approvals, an approval issued under relevant regulations of the U.N. Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) is recognized as equivalent to an approval granted under comparable EU legislation. In March 1992, the EU Council formally adopted the few remaining pieces of component-related legislation necessary to make whole-vehicle type approval a reality for passenger cars. In June 1992, EU member state officials approved the adoption of EU legislation creating a single system for certifying that passenger cars meet safety and other technical requirements. The legislation established an EU type-approval system to replace the twelve member state national schemes. In 1997, the EU type-approval system became mandatory. Vehicles with EU type-approval can be marketed anywhere in the Community. Therefore, a vehicle need only receive type-approval certification in one EU country to be accepted in all other member countries. To receive type-approval, products may either be brought to a testing facility or manufacturers may opt to maintain their own approved, on-site equipment. Nevertheless, U.S.-and EU-origin automobiles must still be certified to this single set of rules by an authorized member state agency. A similar system was adopted for type-approval of two and three wheeled vehicles, and became effective on January 1, 1994. Should you need further information or would like to obtain these addresses, please contact the Department of Commerce: European Union Affairs Office at (202) 482-5279.

Value-added taxes (VAT)

As part of the establishment of the single internal market, the EU member states have also begun to harmonize their VAT rates into a narrow band of approximately 15 percent. Until that time, VAT rates are country-specific, and in some cases, sector-specific; the rates fluctuate between standard, reduced and luxury VAT rates. However, standard VAT rates are generally applied to vehicles throughout the EU. EU VAT rates currently range from 15 to 25 percent. VAT rates for each EU member are listed below:

VAT Rates Austria20%Italy20%Belgium21%Luxembourg15%Denmark25%Netherlands17.5%Finland22%Portugal17%France20.6%Spain16%Germany15%Sweden25%Greece18%United Kingdom17.5%Ireland21%

EU-Japan Voluntary Restraint Agreement (VRA)

In anticipation of fully opening EU markets to Japanese competition in the year 2000, the EU and Japan agreed in 1991 to an orderly transition period under a VRA. From January 1993 to December 1999, motor vehicle exports from Japan to the EU were restricted in relation to total EU market sales. Japanese access to the EU market after this period became unlimited.


Prior to January 1, 1995, Austria’s import duty for motor vehicles was 25 percent. Upon accession to the EU, Austria adopted the EU-wide tariff and non-tariff barriers mentioned above. The VAT on autos is 20 percent, which is the general VAT applied to goods and services in Austria. Austria also maintains a vehicle registration tax, which is based on price and fuel consumption, as well as an annual vehicle tax, which is based on engine power and cylinder volume. Automobiles for the handicapped and electric vehicles are free from the VAT. Automobiles must be approved for sale in Austria in accordance with EU regulations. This approval can be granted in any EU country. Most vehicles are approved for EU sale in the EU country of entry, where the vehicle is then tested.


In addition to the EU-wide tariff and non-tariff barriers mentioned above, Belgium assesses a 21 percent VAT on new and second-hand vehicles (only when taxable vendor i.e. if VAT has not already been paid). The VAT is assessed on the effective invoice price at the time of sale of the vehicle. To compensate for the reduction of Belgium’s VAT rate from 33 percent to 21 percent, Belgium now maintains a “tax on the first registration” on new cars, minibuses and motorcycles (not commercial vehicles) which is based on fiscal horsepower/engine size, and assessed on invoice price. (This tax increases steeply for cars with larger engines, and diesel engines pay more.) On second-hand vehicles, the registration tax is generally 25 percent (only when non taxable vendor). Belgium also assesses a road tax, based on engine size, an annual liability premium and has an energy tax which affects the price of gasoline.


In addition to the EU-wide tariff and non-tariff barriers mentioned above, Luxembourg assesses an annual tax on all vehicles based on engine size. The tax ranges from 150 Luxembourg francs on autos with engines from 1 to 100 cc, to 13,600 francs on autos with engines from 7900 to 8000 cc. The Luxembourg agency responsible for establishing and enforcing safety and road-worthiness requirements for autos, tucks and motorcycles is the Societe National de Controle Technique (SNCT). This agency is responsible for both national and EU type approval. SNCT’s registration department allows new vehicles to enter into service if they are covered by an EU whole vehicle type approval and accompanied by a valid certificate of conformity as specified in Annex IX of EU Directive 92/53. Luxembourg applies a VAT rate of 15 percent. 


We are exporting converted LHD vehicles to this important Scandinavian country. In addition to the EU-wide tariff and non-tariff barriers mentioned above, Denmark maintains an excise tax on automobiles known as the registration fee. The tax is based on the landed cost plus VAT. For the first 19,750 Danish Kroner (DK), the tax is 120 percent and for the remaining landed value, 180 percent. Therefore, a $16,000 U.S. car would retail at $66,452. The Danish government body responsible for establishing and enforcing national and EU auto, truck and motorcycle requirements, and type approval is the Traffic Safety Division within the Danish Ministry of Justice in Copenhagen. Denmark applies a VAT rate of 25 percent, based on the dutiable value at the time of a vehicle’s acquisition in a new condition. Taxes on a used vehicle are based on the street value of a similar vehicle in Denmark.


Prior to January 1, 1995, Finland’s import duty for motor vehicles was 5.3 percent of the C.I.F. value. Upon accession to the EU, Finland adopted the EU-wide tariff and non-tariff barriers mentioned above. Finland also assesses a 102 percent car tax and a 22 percent VAT rate. An additional 35 percent tax is levied on vans and station wagons. Only passenger cars with catalytic converters are allowed to be imported into Finland. In addition, In September 2002, Finland agreed to a European Court of Justice ruling to remove its 30 percent tax on imported used cars, falling into step with Europe’s drive to form a single car market. (This is expected to boost used car imports to Finland, especially from Germany.)


In addition to the EU-wide tariffs and non-tariff barriers mentioned above, in August 1995, France increased its VAT rate by 2 percent, from 18.6 to 20.6 percent.


In addition to the EU-wide tariff and non-tariff barriers mentioned above, Germany maintains a graduated motor vehicle tax based on horsepower/engine size and registration year/age of vehicle. If the car was registered before 1986, the tax rate is 18.80 Deutschemark (DM) per 100 cc of engine size. If the vehicle was registered after 1986, the tax rate is 21.60 DM per 100 cc. Germany also maintains an annual tax on vehicles that is based on age and emissions (DM13.20 to 21.60 per 100cc). In addition, the German government encourages the use of lead-free gas by giving tax incentives to purchasers of cars with these features. Germany also maintains rigid safety standards. There is no specific sales tax on motor vehicles in Germany. Every sale is subject to the general provisions of VAT, with a standard rate of 15 percent.

A motor vehicle is subject to import duties (Zoll) and import value added tax (EinfuhrUmsatzteur / EUST).

After payment of all duties and taxes a customs receipt or clearance certificate (Zollquittung) or otherwise a permit of customs exemption (Unbedenklichkeitsbe-scheinigung) is usually issued.

Remember: This document will be needed to register the vehicle (see Section 3.c Registration Procedure).

The following tariff and tax rates are charged equally for every kind of imported motor vehicle:

Import duty: 10 % based on the purchase price + freight costs to the place of destination in Germany +freight insurance.

Value Added Tax (EUST): 15 % based on the purchase price + freight costs + import duty,

7% for vintage cars and collector’s vehicles under certain circumstances.

It is standard procedure to present a recent dealer’s invoice to declare the market value of the vehicle. However, if this is not fair market value, customs officials can determine the value by referring, to a dealer’s car-buying guide (“Schwacke Liste”) or demand a certified appraisal ( Wertgutachten).


This paragraph summarizes the legal procedures and prerequisites of bringing a motor vehicle into Germany. If this area does not apply to you, please continue with Part II.

Note: Foreigners staying temporarily are allowed to drive their imported motor vehicles with their home license plates and registrations in Germany for a period of up to 12 months, as long as the registration does not expire. A registration document with a German translation is required. The use of the vehicle is duty and tax free for 6 months only. (see Section 2 b Customs, Tariffs and lmport Taxes).

Reasons for obtaining a German registration:

  • The car was bought in Germany
  • You plan to stay longer than 12 months
  • Your home registration has expired

a. General Operating License (Allgemeine Betriebserlaubnis)

Motor vehicles can only be registered if they are officially licensed by the Federal Motor Vehicle Authority (Kraftfahrtbundesamt / KBA).

Each motor vehicle is subject to a general inspection including a safety and emissions test. After successful completion an operation permit (Allgemeine Betriebserlaubnis) is granted. Normally, the manufacturer or importer initiates the procedure for a certain model line. This inspection ensures that the performance of the vehicle meets with German regulations for technical, environmental, and safety standards. The KBA issues a title (Kfz-Brief) for every vehicle, listing all its technical features. The title is automatically issued by the car manufacturer or importer.

A certified expert (Kfz-Sachverständiger) is also permitted to issue the title after carrying out a technical inspection (see Section 3.b. Technical Inspection). This is usually necessary when the technical data of used cars have changed.

Note; Don’t add any modifications or special features to licensed motor vehicles without consulting a certified German expert; otherwise you might lose the operating license, as well as the insurance coverage. Furthermore, you may have difficulties registering a car which has not previously been registered.

Foreign vehicles imported on private initiative usually do not have the required German title. This must be obtained at the beginning of the registration procedure (see Section 3.b. Technical Inspection) at the Local Motor Vehicle Branch (KfzZulassungsstelle). The title has to be issued with the car’s technical data by a certified expert.

Note: It is the sole responsibility of the owner or otherwise legitimated person to supply all the required technical data of the imported motor vehicle if a general operating permit for the vehicle has not previously been granted.

Very few American cars and only some Japanese models are popular in Germany. These cars have already passed the general vehicle inspection and have been granted a general operating permit.

To meet the German motor vehicle standards several modifications to the imported car will be necessary. Be aware of costs for required modifications (see Section 3 b Technical Inspection)!

Note: The date of the vehicle’s first registration determines the applicable legal standard. That date must be supplied by the applicant.

Note: To avoid the time-consuming and expensive procedure of gathering the technical features of your car through a general inspection, contact the manufacturer or importer of your car prior to the shipping date for information on the VIN (vehicle identification number), year of manufacture, type, and technical data such as:

  • Engine type ~ displacement,
  • Power (if available DIN hp / kW) at rpm,
  • Maximum speed,
  • Emissions results,
  • Admissible wheel and tire sizes,
  • Admissible gross front / rear axle weight.

Note: If the vehicle does not have any other valid plates, special license plates can be obtained to drive the vehicle to the place of inspection. Ask for “red license plates” (rote Kennzeichen) at the Local Motor Vehicle Branch.

b. Technical Inspection

Technical Inspections (Fahrzeug-Hauptuntersuchung, common “TUV”) through a certified expert are required by law for each vehicle, The TUV and DEKRA organizations maintain local test centres in most German towns and cities, where they perform the necessary inspections. Costs are approximately DM 65 per car. Addresses are listed in the telephone directory. Many gas stations and car repair shops also offer this service for a reasonable fee.

The car’s mechanical condition and fittings are checked to comply with the data in the certificate (see Section 3 a General Operating License). The vehicle is also checked for its roadworthiness and compliance with safety standards. e.g. brakes, lights, rust perforation of the chassis, shock absorber, and tire condition.

After any major changes, the vehicle is checked to determine whether the modifications influence the handling or operating characteristics of the car. This will determine whether the operating permit may be kept (see Section 3 a. General Operating License).

A little round sticker (TÜV-Plakette) affixed to the rear license plate by the test centre and a certificate are proof of a successful inspection and bear an expiry date.

The certificate for cars and motorcycles expires two years after the inspection and it is the sole responsibility of the owner to renew it. Special regulations exist for trucks and buses.

Note: Pay special attention to the renewal date, as one may be fined for exceeding it.

A yearly emissions check (Abgassonderuntersuchung / ASU) is also required for gasoline powered cars. At the moment, there is no comparable ruling for diesel powered vehicles, but one is expected to come into force soon.

Both certificates are required at the time of registration of a motor vehicle. Therefore imported cars usually pass the technical inspection together with the above mentioned general inspection, when such is required.

Note: To avoid high expenses and disappointment contact a German certified expert prior to the shipping date for the requirements of your car.


c. Registration Procedure (Zulassung)

The registration of each motor vehicle has to be applied for at the Local Motor Vehicle Branch (Kfz-Zulassungsstelle) in the town of residence of the owner or legitimated person.

In the countryside, the Motor Vehicle Branch is usually a department of the county authorities, in cities it is a department of the community authorities.

The following documents are required:

  • Proof of identity and residence e.g. passport and residence registration receipt. Only residents and resident companies may register a car, either by themselves or through an authorized representative, who must submit a letter of attorney,
  • Customs clearance certificate (Zollbescheinigung) stating payment of or exemption of relevant taxes and duties (see Section 2.b Customs Tariffs and Import Taxes),
  • Proof of ownership, e.g. through a bill of sale or commercial invoice,
  • Proof of liability insurance coverage through presentation of the so-called insurance doublecard (Versicherungsdoppelkarte, see Section 3.d. Insurance Coverage),
  • Export permit required for the export of all new and used Canadian and U.S. made vehicles from Canada (see Section 2.a. Export Permit),
  • Motor vehicle documents, these are.

The title (Kfz-Brief), if one has been issued before. Otherwise a blank title will be issued which must be completed by a certified expert (see Sections 3.a. General 0perating License & 3.b. Technical Inspection)

The technical inspection and the emissions test certificates, if such were completed. Otherwise you will be instructed as to how and where to get them (see Section 3.b. Technical Inspection).

A fee of approximately DM 30 – DM 60 must be paid in cash.

Note: German authorities do not accept credit cards.

German license plates (front and rear) have to be purchased. The clerk will advise you where to obtain them. The costs vary between about DM 35 and DM 50, depending on the required size of the plates.

After presenting the receipts of payment, the registration certificate (Kfz-Schein) will be issued and three round stickers will be affixed to the license plates. These show the validity of the vehicle registration, the passing of the last technical inspection (on the rear plate) and the passing of the emissions test (on the front plate). Be prepared to put the plates on before leaving.

Note: By German law, you are required to carry the registration certificate, the emissions test certificate, and your driver’s license with you while driving your vehicle.

Do not worry about the apparent length of this procedure. Normally, it does not take too much of your time, if you have collected all the above mentioned documents before approaching the Motor Vehicle Branch.

d. Insurance Coverage

Germany’s automobile insurance system is strictly regulated by law and supervised by federal state authorities.

A liability insurance for third-party damages is compulsory for each motor vehicle to cover the risks of self-caused accidents (Haftpflichtversicherung).

In addition, two kinds of property damage insurance are available:

  • A partially comprehensive insurance (Teil-Kaskoversicherung), ask insurance company in Germany for details
  • A fully comprehensive insurance (Voll-Kaskoversicherung), ask insurance company in Germany for details

Also, a special passenger insurance coverage is usually offered.

Rates are based on the policy-years an individual has driven accident free, and are treated equally by all insurers.

The property damage insurance and, starting from July 1, 1996, also the liability insurance are linked to a vehicle classification system based on damage or theft hazard and average repair costs. The rates are subject to annual changes.

Before July 1, 1996, the liability insurance was linked to a classification system based on the amount of horsepower. In the same way that additional vehicle power and high repair costs increased the rate, longer intervals without any self-caused accidents lowered it.

Most of the insurance companies are expected to adapt the new rate system for the liability insurance starting from January 1, 1997. Former insurance contracts can be adjusted to the new rates (which is not recommendable for old cars, cars with diesel engines or off-road vehicles).

Note: We recommend you bring a letter (along with a German translation) from your insurance company stating how many years you have driven accident free, as this may give you better rates. While it cannot be guaranteed that the German insurer will recognize your accident free years, it is nevertheless worth trying.

For further information contact the German Car Insurer, the Association of Liability, Accident and Car Insurers {HUK-Verband) or the German Automobile Club ADAC (see the Appendix).

e. Motor Vehicle Tax

Every motor vehicle registered in Germany is automatically subject to a special motor vehicle tax (Kfz-Steuer). The first payment must be paid soon after registering the vehicle (Kfz-Steuerbescheid).

The yearly rates are high compared to other countries. They are grouped between approx. DM 11.00 and DM 30.00 for every 100 cc of cylinders. A different calculation is used for trucks depending on the size of its loading surface.

Rates differ depending on certain engine specifications, such as whether the car is equipped with a catalytic converter or whether it is gasoline or diesel powered. For example, the rate is DM 11.80 for a car with U.S. standard catalytic converter and DM 28.40 for a new car without any emissions reducing devices. For diesel engines the rates are even higher. For a 3.0 litre gasoline engine the payable tax would be 30 times DM 11.80, giving a total of` DM 354.00 per year.

Recently, political discussion has surfaced calling for a reorganization of the rate categories. It has been suggested to classify only according to a car’s effects on the environment.

Helpful Addresses :

1. Export Permits
External Affairs & International Trade Canada
Export Permits
Lester B. Pearson Building
125 Sussex Drive Ottawa,
Ontario, Canada K1A 0G2
Phone (613) 996-2387
Fax: (613) 952-3904
2. Federal Motor Vehicle Authority
Kraftfahrt – Bundesamt
Foerdestrasse 16
D – 24944 Flensburg
Federal Republic of Germany
Phone; 011-49-461-31-6-O
Fax; 011-49-461-316-1495 or 1650
3. Technical Requirements and Vehicle Inspection Appraisals
a) TÜV – Rheinland of North America, Inc
32553 Schoolcraft Road
Livonia, Michigan 48150
Phone; (313) 261 – 8881
Fax; (313) 261 – 8929
Schulze – Delitzsch – Strasse 49
D – 70565 Stuttgart
Federal Republic of Germany
Phone: 01149-711-7861-0
Fax: 01149-711-7861-240
4. Association of Liability Accident and Car Insurers
HUK – Verband
Glockengiesserwall 1
D – 20095 Hamburg
Federal Republic of Germany
Phone 011 49 – 40 – 32 10 70
Fax 011 49 – 40 – 32 10 72 – 00
5. Customs
a) Revenue Canada – Customs & Excise
Travellers Directorate 5th Floor,
Connaught Building,
Ottawa, Ontario,
Canada K1A 0L5
Phone (613) 954 – 7125
Fax (613) 996 – 5822
b) Oberfinanzdirektion Berlin
Kurfürstendamm 193-194
10707 Berlin
Federal Republic of Germany
P.O.Box 15 09 60
10671 Berlin
Federal Republic of Germany
Phone: 011 49-30-88070
Fax; 01149-30-882-4089
c) Oberfinanzdirektion Hamburg
Rodingsmarkt 2
D – 20459 Hamburg
Federal Republic of Germany
Phone; 011 49-40-3706-0
Fax; 011 49-40-3706-2547
6. Car Importer’s Association
Verband der Importeure von Kraftfahrzeugen e.V. (VDIK)
Kirdorfer Str. 21
D – 61350 Bad Homburg
Federal Republic of Germany
Phone 011 49 – 6172 – 840 40
Fax. 011 49 – 6172 – 842 253
7. Car Clubs
a) Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobilclub (ADAC)
Am Westpark 8
D – 81373 München
Federal Republic of Germany
Phone- 011 49-89-76-76-0
Fax: 011 49-89-7676-2500
b) Automobilclub von Deutschland (AVD)
Lyoner Strasse 16
D – 60528 Frankfurt am Main
Federal Republic of Germany
Phone: 011 49-69-660-60
Fax: 011 49-69-660-62-10



In addition to the EU-wide tariff and non-tariff barriers mentioned above, Greece maintains a registration tax that increases as the engine size increases and ranges from100 Greek drachmas per cc to 300 Greek drachmas per cc. Greece also applies a high and complex special consumption tax (SCT) to motor vehicles. The SCT effectively raises the retail price of a small car to 250 percent of C.I.F. value and of a large car to 600 percent. Due to the formation of the EU’s single internal market, the Government of Greece is being pressured to reduce its high taxes. The Greek agency responsible for both national and EU type approval for all vehicles is the Directorate of Vehicle Technology within the Ministry of Transport and Communications in Athens. Greece applies a VAT rate of 18 percent, based on the retail selling price and/or the C.I.F. value plus customs duties (for non-EU vehicles) plus SCT plus profit margin.


In addition to the EU-wide tariffs and non-tariff barriers mentioned above, Ireland maintains a vehicle registration tax (VRT) that increases as engine size increases. In addition, gasoline and insurance are extremely expensive and heavily taxed in Ireland. Ireland applies a VAT rate of 21 percent, calculated on the basic price of the vehicle before the vehicle registration tax.

When you import from us, you have pay EU-specified 10%+ Customs Duty at the first point of entry into EU, then 21% vat, then VRT and finally the car Customs clearance charge (200ish euro). Some customers have reported that they did not have to pay VAT on an imported vehicle just the VRT.

Oasis (Online Access to Services, Information and Support) is an Irish eGovernment website. It has some guidance on importing a vehicle into Ireland at:

All new motor vehicles and vehicles brought into Ireland are subject to Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) and must be registered with the Revenue Commissioners. (The Revenue Commissioners are responsible for the collection of taxes in Ireland on behalf of the Irish Government). Every motor vehicle in the State, (with the exception of vehicles brought in temporarily by a visitor, must be registered with the Revenue Commissioners.

If you are moving to Ireland or are already living here and you are importing a car or other vehicle, you will need to do three things before you can drive your vehicle in Ireland:

  • Pay Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) (unless you are exempt)
  • Have Motor Insurance
  • Pay Motor Tax
  • All motorists are required to carry a valid driving licence with them at all times when driving in Ireland

What is Vehicle Registration Tax?

Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) is a tax you must pay when you first register a motor vehicle in Ireland. Every motor vehicle in the State, with the exception of one brought in temporarily by a visitor, must be registered with the Revenue Commissioners. If you have imported a vehicle, you must pay VRT and receive the vehicle’s Registration Certificate showing that you have paid VRT. Any delay in registering your vehicle or paying Vehicle Registration Tax will make you liable to substantial penalties – including forfeiture of your vehicle and prosecution.

Exemptions from paying Vehicle Registration Tax
There are different reliefs and exemptions from VRT. Even if you are not required to pay VRT, you must still register your vehicle when you come to Ireland (see Rules below). The following groups are exempt from paying VRT:

Certain disabled drivers
Visitors to Ireland who have owned their vehicles abroad for more than 6 months and who will be resident here temporarily
People who have owned their vehicles abroad for more than 6 months and who are moving permanently to Ireland
People posted to Ireland as part of the diplomatic corps
NOTE: If you are moving to Ireland and are among those exempt from paying VRT you cannot sell your vehicle for more than 12 months after the vehicle is registered.

If you are required to pay VRT, then you can sell your vehicle here in Ireland when you wish, once it has been registered. Further information is available from your local VRO.


If you bring a vehicle into Ireland from abroad, you must first of all be able to show proof of ownership of the vehicle. For example, a vehicle registration document, evidence of car insurance, etc. You must also have a Certificate of Permanent Export (or a vehicle registration document as we mention above). It is important to check that the document or certificate is the correct one for your car before bringing it to Ireland.

You must register your car and pay VRT by the end of the next working day following its arrival into Ireland. You must bring it to a Revenue Vehicle Registration Office (VRO) not later than the next working day following its arrival in Ireland. If the vehicle is new, you should complete a Declaration for Registration (Form VRT 3) and present it with the vehicle registration document or Certificate of Permanent Export. If the new vehicle is second-hand, you should complete a Declaration for Registration (Form VRT 4). If the vehicle is a motorcycle, you should complete a Declaration for Registration (Form VRT 5).

You pay the VRT charged after your vehicle has been inspected at the VRO.

Once the vehicle has been registered by the Revenue Commissioners and the VRT paid, you (or your motor dealer) will receive:

A receipt for the VRT paid showing the registration number assigned to your car
A Form RF 100 for use when you are applying for motor tax
You must display the registration number within three days. Failure to display the new registration number is an offence and you can be fined by An Garda Siochana (the Irish police force). You can obtain vehicle registration plates from any motor dealer. A leaflet showing the correct legal format of the registration plates to be used is available at any VRO. Vanity/personalised registration plates are illegal.

When will I receive my Registration Certificate?
The vehicle registration certificate is issued to you by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. This will be posted out to you after you have applied to your local authority’s Motor Tax office to pay your motor tax. (See information on Motor Tax below).

How is VRT calculated?

In the case of cars and small vans, the VRT payable is a percentage of the expected retail price, including all taxes in the State. This price is called the “Open Market Selling Price” (OMSP). An On-Line VRT Enquiry System is now available. You can use it to calculate a VRT estimate for a range of passenger vehicles, vans and motorcycles. It is not possible to include exact information here on what the OMSP of your personal vehicle will be – it depends on market values at the time, the age, engine size and roadworthiness condition of your vehicle. (More comprehensive information on VRT calculation (including the actual rates are set out below).

If you feel you have been overcharged

If you feel that you have been overcharged, you can inform the VRO official at the time of payment. If you are still unhappy with the amount of VRT you have been charged, you can appeal under the formal excise appeal procedure. Details of the VRT appeals procedure are set out here, and are also available from any VRO.

Motor Insurance

It is a legal requirement in Ireland to have motor insurance if you want to drive a motor vehicle in a public place. Read more about the requirement for motor insurance here.

Motor Tax

Motor tax in Ireland is a charge imposed by the Irish Government on motor vehicles. Revenue from motor tax is used to maintain and upgrade the road network. Charges for motor tax are proportionate to the size of the vehicle engine. Some vehicles are exempt. Read more about the requirement for motor tax here.

VRT payable is a percentage of the expected retail price, including all taxes in the State. This price is called the “Open Market Selling Price” (OMSP). Check the online VRT calculator in the link above. (We are unable to include exact information on what the OMSP of your vehicle will be – it depends on market values, engine size, year, model and roadworthiness condition of the vehicle). The current rates of VRT are;

Vehicle Engine size Cost of VRT
Cars up to 1400 cc 22.5% of OMSP, (subject to a min. tax of 315 euro)
Cars 1401cc-1900cc 25% of OMSP (subject to a min. tax of 315 euro)
Cars over 1900cc 30% of OMSP (subject to a min. tax of 315 euro)
Small vans and some jeeps 13.3% of OMSP (subject to a min tax of 125 euro)
Motorcycles (new) 2 euro per 350cc and 1 euro per cc thereafter
Motorcycles (used) 2 euro per 350cc and 1 euro per cc thereafter
Hybrid electric vehicles 50% of VRT payable may be repaid in respect of some hybrid vehicles*
Other vehicles A flat rate of 50 euro for tractors, large vans, lorries, etc.

*A hybrid electric vehicle is a vehicle that derives it’s power from a combination of an electric motor and an internal combustion engine. It is capable of being driven on electronic propulsion alone for a material part of it’s normal driving cycle.

A VRO official calculates the rate of VRT after he/she inspects the vehicle. You can pay by bankdraft, money order, Laser (debit) card or cash. If you are using a Laser debit card to pay, the transaction is limited to 1,500 euro per day. If the VRT payment exceeds this amount, you can pay the balance in cash or by bank draft.

If the car is new, VAT is payable in addition to VRT. When enquiring about VRT rates, you need to provide specific information about your vehicle.

How to apply

A completed declaration form together with the vehicle should be presented at a VRO (there are 32 of these around the country). Declaration forms are available from any VRO. The Revenue Commissioners have also produced a useful list of Frequently Asked Questions about VRT in Ireland.

Useful websites

Where to apply

You can register the car and pay the VRT at any VRO. You can view contact information for Vehicle Registration Offices throughout Ireland (pdf) in this leaflet. Further information about VRT, VAT and acquiring a vehicle abroad is available from:

  St John’s House,
Dublin 24.
Tel: (01) 414 9777
Fax: (01) 414 9720
E-mail: [email protected]

Questions regarding the remission of Vehicle Registration Tax and disabled drivers is available from the Revenue Commissioners at the following address.

Central Repayments Office,
Disabled Drivers Section,
Office of the Revenue Commissioners,
Coolshannagh, Co.
Tel: 047 – 82800.


Information reproduced and used in accordance with copyright from here





In addition to the EU-wide tariff and non-tariff barriers mentioned above, Italy’s VAT rate for all vehicles is 20 percent. The Italian customs duty is 10 percent for motor vehicles (and ranges from 3.4 percent to 5 percent for automotive parts and equipment). This import duty is charged on the C.I.F. value. Italy also maintains a vehicle ownership tax based on engine power. Italy’s annual vehicle ownership tax is Euro 2.58 per kilowatt on gasoline and ecodiesel engines, with an additional Euro 6.63 per kilowatt on (older) non-ecodiesel engines.

The Netherlands

In addition to the EU-wide tariff and non-tariff barriers mentioned above, the Netherlands maintains an annual motor vehicle tax which is based on the weight of the car, the type of fuel it uses, and the owner’s residence. Additionally, manufacturers or importers of passenger cars have to pay a special consumption tax of 18-27 percent, depending on the price of the vehicle. A sales tax of 45.2 percent is also assessed on the net value, less an adjustment based on fuel type. There is a 10 percent luxury tax calculated on the gross value of a vehicle older than 90 months. The Netherlands applies a VAT rate of 17.5 percent, based on the price of the vehicle exclusive of taxes.


In addition to the EU-wide tariff and non-tariff barriers mentioned above, Portugal maintains a special progressive tax, based on engine size, ranging from 95 to 1700 escudos per cc. Used vehicles benefit from a 15 percent discount. The 17 percent VAT 98 is paid on the net price of the vehicle after all discounts, but inclusive of car tax. Portugal has both a private and government agency that is responsible for establishing and enforcing auto, truck and motorcycle requirements. The private agency is called the Associacao do Comercio Automovel de Portugal and the government agency is called the Direccao de Servicos de Vehiculos. Both are located in Lisbon.


Even before Cyprus joined the European Union, it was an important hub for Europe especially UK. A lot of our vehicles heading to UK go through Cyprus where they go through ESVA and MOT compliance and testing.

We are exporting Thailand made quality vehicles to both Greek Cyprus and Turkish Northern Cyprus. Vehicles heading to Northern Cyprus are both for local use a well as re-export.

United Kingdom

UK is our largest European market. Since UK is a Right Hand Drive country like Thailand, our vehicles can go in without any modifications. See for more details on UK-specific information on importation of Jim Quality vehicles. Vehicles that are over 10 years old can be imported without any need for special inspection but some modifications are needed to get the permission to drive them on UK roads. Vehicles less than 10 years need a (E)SVA compliance and inspection before you can drive them on the road.


VAT Taxes

VAT in Europe is levied on not just the car purchase price but also on shipping costs and custom taxes.



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Jim Motor’s other services to Europe

(1) We can freight genuine and quality third party parts and accessories to any part of Asia

(2) SKD’s: Semi Knocked Down’s. We can SKD new vehicles, including Buses, Land Cruisers and pickup trucks to your country’s SKD specifications

Note: This page is still under construction, if you have relevant information, please don’t hesitate to drop in a line at [email protected].

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