New Nitrogen Oxide Levy on 1st January 2020

Following budget 2020 the dept of finance will introduce a nitrogen oxide (NOx) levy on all vehicles on first registration in Ireland. All new and used vehicles registered for the first time on Irish plates will be subject to a maximum tax of €600 on petrol vehicles and €4,850 on diesel vehicles. The specific amount due is dependent on the mg/km NOx emissions of the vehicle at first registration. There are alot of articles on NOx and indeed in the past about VRT, yet we remain the only true, comprehensive database of both taxes. These taxes can be punitive and indeed about 30% of the vehicles we managed the sale for would not be viable this year. Having said that the details show that most cars are not potential tax landmines! Become a member and find out quickly the VRT and NOx charge for real cars on sale that meet the make and model you are after.

Instinctively one might expect a transformation of the Irish car fleet from diesel to petrol, electric and hybrid and indeed this is the stated goal of this new levy and most likely the net effect on buying trends by customers. However, the vehicle manufacturers have been required to improve emissions through incremental Euro emissions legislation since the early 2000’s and as of 2020 Euro 6 is the current iteration. Most diesel vehicles 3-4 years of age have relatively low mg/km emissions, this does vary quiet significantly by make and model and even a relatively moderate NOx emissions figure can result in €000’s in the difference to be paid.

Importing from the UK has never been easier and while this new tax is presented as an environmental initiative its main motive is to push buyers to buy more modern cars, preferably new, at Irish garages. The lack of information is meant to cause equivocation about importing a car. Clearly if the environment was the sole concern an equivalent levy would have been introduced on high NOx emission vehicles already on Irish roads, it hasn’t. Read in to that what you will. The Irish motor industry representative body, SIMI, has worked tirelessly to have more barriers put up to reduce the number of imports and they are doing this for one reason – to make their profits even greater. Caveat emptor!

Significant choice and cost savings on higher specified quality vehicles remains on offer in the used car market in the UK, with over 100,000 vehicles imported to ROI last year it’s fair to say this is common knowledge among Irish buyers. Even with the NOx levy due, the majority of 3-5 year old diesels still offer great savings while petrol vehicles as far back as 2011 are viable, to be certain you avoid the worst emitters and secure your savings when buying from the UK you should become a member today to find out if the make and model you are after makes sense. You can leave non members to buy in haste and repent at leisure!

By Richard Smith