If you’re thinking about buying a used car in the UK, the Revenue website has a very useful VRT calculator, which calculates the VRT that you will pay when you import a car into the Republic.
All you have to do is specify the make, model, and version of the car (all from drop-down menus), specify the mileage and date of first registration, and it will calculate the VRT liability. The whole process should take only a minute or two.
The only quibble I have about the VRT calculator is that it is prone to producing nonsensical results. For the fun of it, I input the details of a 1997 Seat Cordoba 1.4 litre petrol saloon with 225,000 miles on the clock – a car in fact that I used to own. The Revenue calculator produced a VRT bill of €480, on the basis of an “Open Market Selling Price” of €2,000!
Needless to say the €480 bill would be a multiple of the car’s true worth. And if you can find anyone silly enough to give you €2,000 for a 13-year old car with 225,000 miles on the clock, run quickly to your local scrapyard, buy as many clunkers as you can for €50 each, sell the first one to your punter offering €2,000 and then ask him where his friends live.
Then again, the Revenue have probably assumed that not many people want to import clapped-out junk cars from the UK, or anywhere else for that matter. In fairness this is hardly an unreasonable assumption.
That said, if you are importing an older car, it might perhaps be best to review the VRT treatment with a real human being in Revenue, rather than take the VRT calculator’s results as gospel.