CO2 and NOx Emissions
New motor Tax regimes from 1st January 2021
A new category of motor tax was introduced (applying to private cars) registered from the 1st January 2021
A new Vehicle Registration Tax VRT regime now applies to vehicle imports ( all Category A vehicles excluding electrics but including hybrids )
Pre-2021 Frequently asked Questions on the new CO2 based motor tax system
How is the method of calculating Motor Tax changing?
For all new cars registered from 1 July 2008, motor tax charges will be determined on the basis of the CO 2 emissions level, based on seven CO 2 bands. Charges will range from €120 a year for the greenest cars to €2,350 for cars with the highest emissions rating.
Rates: Motor tax rates will be graduated as one moves up the CO2 bands. Please refer to motor tax, CO2 Rates for Private Cars
Which vehicles does the new system apply to?
A new car, which is, registered by the Revenue Commissioners for vehicle registration tax on or after 1 July, 2008 as a category A vehicle i.e. passenger cars.
New cars registered between 1 January 2008 and 30 June 2008 will initially have their motor tax charged on the basis of engine size. If it is beneficial for these cars to switch to the CO 2 based motor tax system, this will happen on the first renewal of motor tax after 1 July 2008. New cars which are registered in the first 6 months of 2008 whose tax would be more under the CO 2 based system will continue to pay motor tax on the basis of engine size.
What is the legal basis for this change?
The Motor Vehicle (Duties and Licences) Act 2008 which was enacted on 26th March 2008.
What about cars registered before January 2008?
Cars registered before 2008, including imports, will continue to be taxed in future years under the existing motor tax system related to engine size. (c.c)
How will the level of CO 2 be known?
Before a new model is put on sale in Europe, it must undergo a series of tests to ensure that it has achieved approved standards regarding safety, environmental impact, etc. This process is called Type Approval and each car achieving the approved standards is issued with a Certificate of Conformity.
Among the details included on the Certificate of Conformitry is the level of CO 2 emissions of the car. This is the information that will be used for taxation purposes for both vehicle registration tax (VRT) and motor tax.
This CO 2 rating will be captured initially by the Revenue Commissioners at vehicle registration tax stage and passed on to the national vehicle file for use in connection with the administration of the motor tax system. In the absence of a Certificate of Conformity and the Revenue Coommissioners not otherwise being satisfied as to the CO 2 rating of a car by reference to any other supporting documentation, the motorist will be required to pay the highest motor tax rate. The same approach will apply to VRT.
What happens to cars registered between January 2008 and June 2008?
New cars registered between 1 January 2008 and 30 June 2008 will initially have their motor tax charged on the basis of the existing engine size (c.c.) system. However, a low CO2 emitting new car registered between 1 January 2008 and 30 June 2008 will have its motor tax switched to the lower CO2 based motor tax rate on first renewal of motor tax post 1 July 2008, (when the new CO2 based system commences). New cars which are registered in the first 6 months of 2008 whose tax would be more under the new CO2 based system will continue to pay motor tax on the basis of engine size (c.c.).
What happens to 2008 cars registered abroad and subsequently registered in Ireland on or after 1 July 2008?
2008 cars registered abroad between 1 January 2008 and 30 June 2008 and subsequently registered in Ireland on or after 1 January 2008 will be liable for motor tax on the same basis as cars registered within the State during that period, i.e. at the lower rate of our two motor tax systems for cars.
Will there be two separate systems for taxing a car?
Yes. From July 2008 there will be two separate tax systems for cars. Cars under the existing motor tax system will continue to be taxed based on engine size (cc). New cars registered from 1 July 2008 will be taxed based on their CO 2 emissions level. New cars registered in the first six months of 2008 will be switched to the CO 2 system on first renewal of motor tax after July 1st 2008, if the new CO 2 tax rate is lower.
Why introduce a new system?
The clear objective of the new motor tax system is to influence the purchasing decisions of consumers by rewarding the buyers of low-emitting cars. Purchasers of cars with low CO2 emissions will be rewarded while a premium will be charged on vehicles with high CO2 emissions.
How will I know if the car I am thinking of buying is a clean car?
The Department is introducing a labelling system for cars. This label will be similar to the label on white goods e.g. household appliances and will show the level of CO2 emissions from the car. It will also give information such as the vehicle registration tax rate and the motor tax rate for the car. All garages and motor dealers must display the label for each car offered for sale.
For information regarding changes in Vehicle Registration Tax please contact your local Revenue office or www.revenue.ie