Motor Tax Rates Ireland

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What are the Car Tax Rates in Ireland?

Ireland has a complex system of vehicle taxes, including an annual car tax based on the vehicle's emissions and a one-time registration tax (VRT) when purchasing a new or imported car. Annual road tax is a legal requirement and its primary purpose is to upgrade and maintain the road network in Ireland. The tax system is designed to encourage more environmentally friendly vehicles and discourage the use of high-emission cars. In this article, we explore the car tax rates in Ireland, how they are calculated, and the various types of vehicles to which they apply.

What are the Specific Car Tax Rates?

The annual car tax in Ireland is based on the level of CO2 emissions that a vehicle produces. There are 11 different tax bands, ranging from A to M, with band A being the lowest emissions and band M being the highest emissions. The rates for each band are shown in the table below:

Tax Band

CO2 Emissions

Annual Rate


0-80 g/km



81-100 g/km



101-110 g/km



111-120 g/km



121-130 g/km



131-140 g/km



141-150 g/km



151-165 g/km



166-175 g/km



176-185 g/km



186-190 g/km



191-225 g/km



226+ g/km


The rate for each band is reviewed annually, and changes may be made by the Department of Transport. For example, in the 2022 budget, the rate for Band A was reduced from €170 to €120. When buying a used car, the cost of annual motor tax can be an important factor in deciding on the size and type of car is most suitable. A Car History Check is a useful way to accurately assess the annual running costs of any particular model.

What are the standard periods for which I can pay Car Tax?

A vehicle can be taxed in Ireland for periods of 3, 6 or 12 months. 

The tax period in question runs from the first day of the month in which it is taxed, for example, if the car is taxed for three months on July 30th, the tax period runs from July 1st to September 30th

Is Car Tax Payable if The Car is Not in Use?

In short, no, however, you must make a declaration of non-use at a Garda station, prior to taking the car off the road. This cannot be done retrospectively and the car must have a valid current tax disc when making the declaration. Once the declaration is submitted, it is an offence to use or park the car in a public place at any time during the non-use period. You can however, revoke this declaration at any time and resume driving by taxing the car and returning it to normal use. 

How is Car Tax Calculated?

To calculate the annual car tax, the CO2 emissions of the vehicle must be known. This information is provided on the Vehicle Registration Certificate, which is issued when the car is first registered in Ireland. If the vehicle is imported, the CO2 emissions can be found on the Certificate of Conformity or by using an online CO2 emissions calculator.

Once the CO2 emissions are ascertained, the appropriate tax band is applied, and the annual rate is calculated using the rates in the table above. For example, if a car has CO2 emissions of 120 g/km, it falls into Tax Band E, and the annual rate is €270.

What Types of Vehicles are Subject to Tax?

The annual car tax applies to all motor vehicles, including cars, vans, and motorcycles and is a tax levied against the vehicles use on public roads.  However, some vehicles are exempt from the tax, including electric vehicles and hybrids with CO2 emissions of less than 50 g/km.

In addition to the annual car tax, there is also a one-time registration tax, known as Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT), which is paid when a new or imported vehicle is registered in Ireland. The amount of VRT is based on the Open Market Selling Price (OMSP) of the vehicle, which is the price that the vehicle would sell for on the open market. The rate of VRT ranges from 7% to 36%, depending on the OMSP and the CO2 emissions of the vehicle.

If you are planning on buying or importing a used car, you can find more information on the annual car tax rates, VRT charges and much more by purchasing a Car History Check which includes information on running costs along with tools such as an online VRT Calculator and Customs charges information.


Justin Kavanagh
Justin Kavanagh is a recognised leader in automotive intelligence and vehicle data supply to the entire motor industry. He has almost 20 years experience in building systems from the ground up. As the Managing Director of Vehicle Management System, he understands the need and importance of trustworthy and reliable vehicle history and advice to both the trade and the public.
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