When it comes to car tax in Ireland, the rate you pay depends on a couple of factors including when your vehicle was registered and the type of vehicle it is. There are different car tax systems in Ireland for commercial vehicles, motorbikes, classic or vintage cars, buses/public service vehicles, camper-vans and even hearses! The information that follows is for standard passenger cars.
How is car tax in Ireland calculated?
Car tax in Ireland is calculated in three different ways depending on when your car was registered. What determines how much car tax you pay is either the size of the car’s engine or the emissions that the car produces.
For cars registered before 2008, motor tax prices are based on engine capacity.
For cars registered from 2008 to 2020, motor tax prices are based on CO2 emissions.
For cars registered from 1 January 2021, motor tax prices are based on WLTP CO2 emissions.
Cars registered before 2008
For cars registered before 2008, car tax is based on the engine’s capacity. The smaller the engine, the cheaper the car tax. For example, if your car’s engine is 1,001cc to 1,100cc your car tax is €299. If your car’s engine is 3,001cc or more, car tax increases to €1,809 per year.
For cars registered from 2008 to 2020
For cars registered from 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2020, car tax is based on CO2 emissions and the cars g/km value. G/km stands for grams per kilometre and the number indicates how many grams of carbon dioxide a car generates per kilometre driven.
The lower the car’s emissions, the cheaper the car tax. For example, if your car emits 1-80g/km your car tax will be €170 per year. If your car emits 226g/km or more, your car tax will be a whopping €2,400 per year.
For cars registered from 1 January 2021
For cars registered from 1 January 2021, car tax is based on WLTP CO2 emissions. WLTP stands for Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure and it is a new and more robust test cycle for cars. The results of the WLTP gives the car its CO2 emission value.
Again, the lower the g/km figure, the cheaper your car tax will be. For example, if your car emits 51-80g/km your car tax is €150 per annum. If your car emits 201-225g/km, you’ll pay €1,250 per annum car tax.
Car tax for electric vehicles (EVs)
If your car doesn’t emit any exhaust emissions — if its CO2 value is 0g/km - you will pay the cheapest rate of car tax of €120 per year.
Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and dedicated fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) are the two types of cars that emit zero exhaust emissions. Dedicated fuel cell electric vehicles are cars powered by hydrogen. So, if you are looking to decrease your car tax, buy a BEV or FCEV.
Car tax for plug-in hybrids (PHEV)
Your car tax also decreases with plug-in hybrid vehicles. The majority of PHEVs emit fewer than 50g/km of CO2 and this places them in the second cheapest car tax band. However, the amount does depend on when your car was registered. For example, if your PHEV was registered between 2008 and 2021, you’ll pay €170. If it was registered from 1 January 2021 onwards, car tax will be €140 per annum.
As you can see, as emissions decrease, so too does the motor tax rate. This is a government incentive to get more people to buy cars with cleaner tailpipe emissions.
Motor tax renewal
When it comes to motor tax renewal, you can choose to tax your car for a period of three months, six months or 12 months. However, if you pay your motor tax in instalments, you’ll pay more than the annual rate.
• The half-year payment is 55.5% of the annual rate
• The quarterly payment is 28.25% of the annual rate
• The monthly cost is 10% of the annual rate
There’s also a late fee. If your car tax has lapsed for a month or more, you are required to pay arrears.
What do I need to tax my car online?
You pay your motor tax online via the
In order to pay for your motor tax online you need the following:
• Vehicle Registration Number — this is the number on your licence plate
• Personal Identification Number — a PIN is included in your renewal notice, which you’ll receive in the month of expiry of your current disc
• An email address
• Credit/debit card and billing details
What car insurance details do I need?
To pay your motor tax online, you need to provide your car insurance details.
You’ll need to have to hand:
• Your car insurance policy number — you’ll find this on any policy documents we have issued to you and on the insurance disc on your car windscreen.
• The end date of your insurance policy — again, you’ll find this on any policy documents we have issued to you and on the insurance disc on your car windscreen.
• The underwriter of your insurance policy — all car insurance policies with Allianz are underwritten by Allianz p.l.c.
So, there you have it. When it comes to car tax in Ireland, the price you pay decreases with engine size and emissions. If you want to pay the lowest car tax rate, you need to have a battery-electric vehicle or hydrogen-powered vehicle. When it comes time to renew your motor tax, it works out cheaper to pay your car tax for the year in full and to pay it on time too.