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What is Salvage title? Export cars from the U.S.

What Are the Rules for Exporting Salvaged Cars to Ireland?

By Mike Richards Updated: 08/04/2017 Posted: 10/16/2015

A number of residents of Ireland have found that buying vehicles from the United States and then exporting the salvaged cars to Ireland can be a good way to find a large selection of vehicles that aren’t available in their local area. They often choose to use online auctions as a means of finding salvaged cars simply because it is a relatively easy way to have access to vehicles that are potentially very cheap.

Going to Auction and Shipping

Even before you buy your vehicle at auction, you have to think about how you will be shipping the vehicle to Ireland. Locate an international shipper that can provide you with an estimate of how much it will cost when exporting salvaged cars to Ireland, as well as what the typical transit time will be like.

If you are working with a dealer or a quality auction house, they may offer their own shipping. Often, this is a good choice, as they will have some low rates. However, you always want to check the rates and the reputation of the shipping company. You may be able to find a better deal elsewhere.

What Do You Need to Do?

When you are exporting salvaged cars to Ireland from the United States, you need to do several things before you can start driving in the country. The most important is making sure that you can get the vehicle ready for the road. When you are buying salvaged cars they are not going to be drivable in many cases.

You will need to make sure the vehicle is in working condition and safe for the roads. As soon as the vehicle comes into the country, you will need to pay customs duties and VAT on the vehicle. You will also need to have proof of payment when you are registering the vehicle, which we will discuss next.

The Vehicle Registration Tax and Plates

The Vehicle Registration Tax, or VRT, is a requirement when you register the vehicle in Ireland. When you pay the tax, you will receive a copy of the registration certificate. It’s important that you pay this tax as soon as possible. If you don’t, you could be subject to fees and penalties. The penalties can actually be quite severe and include prosecution and confiscation of your vehicle.

You can take care of the payment and registration at a National Car Testing Centre. When you bring the vehicle to the center, they will determine the amount of money you need to pay for the VRT. It is generally based on the retail price of the vehicle. In the case of exporting salvaged cars, though, this number can be difficult to determine. There is an online calculator that can help you get an estimate of how much you will be paying in VRT.

After you pay the tax, your car will have a registration number. You need to display the number within three days of receiving it. Get the plates for the car through your local NCTC location.

Getting Insurance Coverage

After exporting the salvaged car and taking care of the customs fees, VAT, and registration, you also need to have insurance for the vehicle. Without insurance, you are unable to drive the vehicle on any public roadways in the country.

This is where things can get a little tricky for residents. With these types of rebuilt vehicles, it should be simple enough to get liability insurance through most carriers. They have no problem offering basic coverage because it helps protect other people and property, and not your vehicle. When you want to have higher levels of coverage, it can be a bit more problematic.

Just as it can be difficult to determine the value of the car for the VRT, some insurance companies have trouble determining the value of a salvaged car. Fortunately, the VRT can help to give them a guideline to the vehicle’s actual value.

Still, some insurers are reluctant when it comes to providing this type of coverage. If you want to have greater levels of insurance, it is generally a good idea to speak with the insurance companies before you even think about exporting salvaged cars to Ireland, just so you know what to expect when you do have a vehicle in the country in need of insurance.


If the vehicle  is more than four years old, as is the case with a number of these types of vehicles, it will need to undergo a National Car Test. This helps to ensure the vehicle is ready to be on the road. It covers things such as the brakes, wheels, lights, suspension, electrical systems, and more. It’s important that everything is in good working condition, or the vehicle could fail the test. This is why it is so important to make sure you rebuild your vehicle properly.

While there are a number of rules in place when it comes to exporting salvaged vehicles to Ireland, many residents feel that the amount of money they save on the cost of the vehicle makes it all worthwhile.

Explore our Vehicle Auctions, as well as finding more information about How These Auctions Work.