How to bring your car to Ireland

Hello everybody,

If you exported your car to Ireland, were there any formalities that needed to be completed beforehand? What were they?

What is the best way to export your car? Is there a limit on the number of vehicles, or perhaps the age of the vehicle? Are there limits on emissions or emission controls in Ireland?

What are the expected costs of exporting a car? In your opinion, is it worth it?

Once you arrived in Ireland, what were the applicable taxes? What was the customs process like?

How do you go about registering an imported car in Ireland?

Is it best to buy a car once you have arrived or to bring your car with you, in your opinion?

We look forward to hearing from you!


I imported my car, with my belongings, so there were no taxes involved. Cars are quite expensive in Ireland (relatively). getting vehicle insurance in Ireland is more of an issue. If the car is older than a 2008 road tax is based on the size of the engine. After that tax is based on emissions. So if it is an older car, I wouldn't bring it. Honestly when you factor in the cost of getting it here it probably isn't worth it. Another dynamic is that because the Pound has devalued steeply against the Euro recently, it is actually a better deal to buy a 2nd hand car in England and import that. Even paying the NCT tax makes it worth while.


We did not bring any car's with. Simply because of costs, we bought secondhand vehicles once we were here. You need to know that there are road tax that you pay yearly based on the age of the car and the engine capacity.

You also do a yearly NCT (road worthy test) if your car is older thanks 5 years, you have to have car insurance, it's illegal not to have it, this is very expensive for the first two years it could be as much as 2000 euro per car annually!

You can exchange your South African license for an Irish license without retaking any driving tests.

Good luck,