Buying A CarRoad Tax

Car Tax Rates

Published: 03/27/2024

All you need to know about Irish car tax.

Car tax was introduced in Ireland as a way to fund the maintenance and development of the roads networks and motorways. We are a car heavy population and despite the odd potholes and difficult bend in the road, there is a high expenditure on the upkeep of the road. No, really!! Originally, road tax costs were calculated based on the size of a car’s engine, but this was changed in 2008, when the government began calculating car tax based on the emissions of the vehicle. This is still the case today. Car tax is mandatory and those without an up-to-date tax disc can find themselves in court, facing fines and on occasion, the seizure of the car itself.  No penalty points are applicable if the Gardai find that you have no road tax, as its not a safety issue.  


How much will road tax cost?

Car, motorcycles, and commercial vehicles are all required to have valid car tax. The costs start at €120 for an electric model and go up, and indeed, way up and top cost can be over €460 per Anum. The charge is based on the age of the car, the size of the engine and crucially, on the amount of emissions. The more the car pollutes, the higher the car tax rates! The Department of Transport have all the rates on display here.  Car tax can be a  substantial running cost for most motorists and must be factored in to the financial calculations when purchasing a car. Here at Peter Hanley’s, we show the road tax costs on all of the cars that we sell and can advise on any motor tax issues you might have.

Cars over 30 yrs. old qualify for a vintage motor cars tax status and pay a concessionary rate of motor tax can apply and the submission of the old VRC (Vehicle Registration Cert) where available.

Electric Vehicles enjoy the lowest rate of motor tax available at just €120.00 annually. 

Photo by Jonny Gios on Unsplash


How do I pay motor tax?

Most people pay online to their local County Council office and an email with pin number is usually provided in good time. You can also pay in person, at the Motor tax desk in your local County Council. If you are taxing your car for the first time, you need to make sure that your name is on the Vehicle Registration Certificate (VRC). This is never a problem when purchasing from a dealership, such as ourselves, as we do all that paperwork as part of the sale process. If you have purchased a vehicle as a private sale, you need to be very certain that the seller completes and signs the change of ownership section on the registration form. Once signed, they should send the form to the Department of Transport. The department will make the changes and send a new form to you, the new owner. Without a VRC, you can’t tax your new car. You can check rates of tax and whether your car is registered here.


Imported vehicles.

All imported cars need to be registered in Ireland and are then eligible for car tax costs. Here ate Peter Hanley Motors we have sourced quality cars from abroad for many years and always ensure that the appropriate VRT (Vehicle Registration Tax) is paid prior to the car going on the sales floor.

Photo by Jonny Gios on Unsplash

Motor Tax Exemptions and Rebates


Some vehicles are exempt from paying motor tax, and these include cars where disabled persons are both drivers and passenger.   


If you car is scrapped, crashed, stolen or is off the road for any reason and the car tax has been paid for over three months in advance, you can apply for a rebate of the costs. Of course, there is a form involved and, in this case, Form RF120 needs to be signed at the local Garda station and sent to the motor tax office for rebate, along with the tax discs. A refund of car tax is also possible if you are serving in the Defence forces overseas, and no one is using the car, if you are unable to drive due to illness or injury or if the car has not been on the road for any reason. The form for this is here. For scrapped cars, you will need to provide the certificate of destruction.


What to do when you lose your tax disc

No need to panic. A replacement can be obtained by completing Form RF134 an paying a modest fee (€6.00).  The form must be witnessed by a Garda and sent to the motor tax office.


Peter Hanley Motors is a registered
member of The Society of the Irish
Motor Industry

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