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Thread: Kit Cars in Ireland

  1. #1

    Kit Cars in Ireland

    Hi all,

    After 6 years of living in the UK, I'm making the move back home to Ireland. While in the UK, I've built a Westfield which I'm planning on taking back with me, but quickly realising that the Irish laws are really set up to mess this up for me as much as possible. My Westie is a Mazda SDV with a 1.6 engine from a mk1 MX5 in it. I chose a '91 as a donor because it ticked all the right boxes in the UK - no need for a cat due to engine age, etc. The car is registered with a "H" plate in the UK (the mark for a '91 vehicle), as I used enough parts from the donor for it and I was hoping that it would retain the '91 registration when I move home, however a call with the revenue office today suggests it would become a 2019 car when I get here, meaning the tax would be CO2 based, rather than engine size based. An engine of that age doesn't have an official CO2 figure so goes into the top band. It would also mean that even though I've been building the car for 5 years, using mostly old parts, it becomes a "new means of transport", where I would be asked to pay VAT as well as VRT, which would come to a crazy 59% of whatever they deem the value of the car to be in import taxes alone... I guess this sort of explains why I didn't see any of these sorts of cars on the road before moving to England!

    Has anyone successfully imported a car from the UK that has been built from a single donor vehicle, or am I the first to do this? Unless I can find a way to talk them back to a '91 plate, I'm going to have to delay my move home until after the car has been registered for more than 6 months (4 months rent would work out significantly cheaper than those taxes), and even then I'll have the crazy tax rate to pay every year. I've been doing some reading and it looks like the IKCC died a while ago so no luck getting help there either.

    Oh, and here's a photo of the (very dirty) car in Slovenia a few weeks ago. It's only been registered about 6 weeks so far, but already done 12,000km and driven through 21 countries!

  2. #2
    Welcome along here, and welcome to Irish car ownership, they don't make it easy for us!!

    NCT will honour the current MOT if it has one and since the vehicle is in your ownership for 6 months while living in UK, you are not liable for vat or vrt on import here. I can't help you any further than that I'm afraid.
    I'm standing in a field full of sheep, is it wrong that I feel aroused

  3. #3
    Senior Member OutRun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Norway / Ireland.
    Chassis date of registration is what they go by over here. I've followed this topic for years, and bar a few lads who registered robin hoods on over 30 year old registrations as old Lotus'es, it seems to be very cut and dry.

    As she's registered as a 1991, my suggestion is to wait until 2021 to register her as a classic, as in 30 years to the day, plus one more (or more) and try then.
    The regiatration of classics is a more tolerant affair I'm told.

    You didn't give them the reg by any chance, as they may have flagged the car for a closer look if you did ?
    Last edited by OutRun; 29-10-2019 at 07:51 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by crank_case View Post
    Get out there and drive it as much as possible...You or it will not be around forever, at least not with any original parts.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Co. Limerick
    Nothing to add about the predicament but fair play on the build. Looks fantastic from that one pic and hope it works out for you. Fair play on that mileage too!!

  5. #5
    Cheers guys, unfortunately despite it having a 1991 reg plate, the date of first registration on the log book is 2019 as I only got it registered 2 months ago. Depending on how the rules are interpreted, I could, as a result be stung for VAT and VRT. I've technically owned it for 5 years, so can argue off the VRT, but the Vat seems to go by "entry into service" sadly, so might have to hold off until March before fully moving back home!

  6. #6
    Hi Andrew,
    Welcome aboard. I would create a separate thread in the main forum to ask your question about registering the Westfield. I doubt most people read this section. Maybe ask a mod to move it so you don't lose the existing responses.

    Regardless of where you post it, you're unlikely to get a definitive answer because the legislation as pertains to kits cars has become so onerous and its' application fraught with pitfalls. A few people have posted similar questions over the years and I don't recall seeing a definite answer. I looked into it myself and what follows is my understanding of it. Please don't take it as gospel because I never followed through with it. In summary though, I would not be delaying my return to Ireland based on any presumption that it may become easier due to VAT/VRT/vintage requirements. In any case, your main problem will not be the cost of VRT or road tax. You may yet have a fair bit to go in the process before you even have the honour of being allowed to pay these to Revenue

    As I see it, the first thing you have to establish is whether you have a Certificate of Conformity (CoC) for the car. In the UK, I assume you've probably gotten some kind of SVA/IVA? If so, then you need to enquire with the NSAI (Irish standards body tasked by Revenue with performing and issuing the Irish version of IVA). You need to ring them up and find someone who does this in the NSAI (might be hard find "that guy" as I doubt they do it very often for cars).

    They will be able to tell you if the CoC from the UK will be accepted by the NSAI. If not, they'll let you know the process for getting the IVA. They should also give you a good idea of whether you can register the car as the year of the chassis or if it will be new. If they accept the UK SVA/CoC then, in theory, you should be able to use this as the basis for VRT and CO2 figures. If not, then you'll have to go through the approval process with the NSAI - no idea what that costs but I'm sure it's not cheap.

    After all that, you might be able to get it registered here. Now, you're into the next big problem. The NCT. They are going to go over this car with a fine tooth comb and invariably will require a engineers report to validate some of the safety features on it, e.g. belts, steering, roll cage, etc. This will be more money and hassle.

    Say you get all that done and get it NCT'd and taxed. Now you have the next hurdle; insurance. I'd say a serial suicide car bomber will find it easier to get insurance than a new customer from the UK looking to insure a kit car. If somehow it's registered as vintage, you might get around it with a classic policy. Otherwise, you might have to pay an extortionate amount for insurance on it.

    Another thing to note; you may have become spoilt by the roads and weather in the UK and Europe since leaving Ireland. Remember that many of Ireland's main roads are equivalent of B-roads in the UK but a lot busier and in worse shape. Opportunities to enjoy something like a Westfield might be more limited than you'd expect.

    Three suggestions I'd have would be to 1) sell the car in the UK and buy one that's already registered in Ireland - they do come up from time to time. 2) Don't register it in Ireland and just keep it for track days; 3) somehow keep it taxed and insured over in the UK so you can use it for hoons over there and the continent.

    Again, just to restate, I haven't done this and I don't know anyone that has, so the above is all just my understanding of it having looked into it a lot. Frankly you'd have to be daft to attempt it. I've done a lot of daft things for cars so I'm not one to judge. So go ahead I say

    Below are some documentation to look at. Good luck.

    A good high-level starting off point:

    Stuff about getting type approval:

    Legislation about possibility of type approval based on equivalency with another Member state (search for "Recognition of individual approvals granted in other Member States")
    Last edited by injeejay; 31-10-2019 at 05:40 PM.

  7. #7
    Just to bring a quick update onto this in case anyone stumbles back in here - I'm still in the process of importing, but it's mainly taken so long due to the COVID situation. There are challenges, but it's absolutely possible to register a kit car here. On the plus side, the Irish Kit Car Club is now back up and running, and somehow I've ended up as the chairman. We've got an insurer on board for the cars, and have kicked off conversations with the NSAI regarding IVA tests in Ireland for new builds. They already had a work stream in place for this, which is re-assuring too! Worth noting also, UK IVA is valid and transferable here. Not 100% sure whether Brexit will impact this, but certainly for my car, IVA'd in 2019, it's fine. Once it's through and registered I'll post another update, but for anyone who's interested in kit cars, feel free to get in touch here, or email me at, or join up on the website ( Kit cars in Ireland are absolutely possible to own and run!

  8. #8
    Great news on the club. I've edited the thread title to hopefully catch more search querie s etc.

    I think Backroads as a whole would be very supportive of kit cars and the prospects of owning them in Ireland. I've always wanted some flavour of 7-a-like car.
    "All the finesse of a badger." (cdiv)

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by SJ View Post
    I think Backroads as a whole would be very supportive of kit cars and the prospects of owning them in Ireland. I've always wanted some flavour of 7-a-like car.
    Hear, Hear.
    If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

  10. #10
    Great news, would be have a great ifvyou did a thread with on how to reg a kit car here now and insure it etc.

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