Car Insurance for Imported Cars From Overseas

Caeva O'Callaghan | August 15th, 2022

You’ve found your dream car for a once-in-a-lifetime price. The only thing is, it has to come from overseas. Getting it into your garage might cost a bit extra – but will your car insurance cost more?

The short answer is: yes, it might impact the price. It’s always best to be aware of the facts before you buy.

Importing a car from overseas may seem exciting at first. You’ll be getting a unique model no one else is likely to have, and you’ve likely put a lot of thought into choosing exactly what you want. But there are a lot of pitfalls you may not have considered.

In this article, we’ll cover the following questions:

Your car’s country of origin will also have an impact on your car insurance. We have a high-quality exclusive market for imported cars, so if you have a question just call us and we’ll be able to help.

First, check where your car is from

If you import your car from the United Kingdom it will have no impact on your car insurance. But, you’ll still need to complete the relevant paperwork before you import. Firstly, you’ll need to let the British authorities know you are exporting the car. Once transfer of ownership is complete, you’ll get a V5C document, which is the equivalent of our Vehicle Registration Certificate. At this point, you’ll need to complete the V5C/4 “Notification of Permanent Export” section of the V5C document and send it to the UK’s Driver & Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA), Swansea, SA99 1BD.

There are two possible charges you will have to pay when importing a car from the UK into Ireland: VRT and VAT.

VRT (Vehicle Registration Tax) won’t apply on a vehicle that you have used in another jurisdiction for more than 6 months. So, if you’re moving from the UK to Ireland and have documentation to prove you were using this car in your first home, you won’t have to pay VRT. However you’ll still have to make an appointment for a VRT inspection with the NCTS. This inspection will confirm that your vehicle is as described in your V5C document.

Meanwhile, VAT (Value Added Tax) is only charged on a new car. This means it’s been in service for 6 months or less, or has been driven 6,000km or less. VAT in such a case is still applicable even if VAT was initially paid in another EU member state.

If you’re importing your car from the UK, you can go ahead and get car insurance as normal when everything else has cleared. However, if you’re importing the car from another place, there are more factors to take into consideration.

Think about the other side…

If you want to import your car from Europe or the United States, this will present a problem for insurers. This is because they will have the steering wheel on the wrong side. Left hand drive cars rate higher for car insurance as accidents are more likely on our roads. It’s possible to get this modified and convert your car to a right-hand drive. However, this may be expensive and you’ll need to have the modifications approved by your insurer.

Cars imported from Japan are also a problem despite the fact that the steering wheel is on the correct side. This is because these cars are manufactured abroad and not released by the manufacturer in Ireland. For this reason, they need to be inspected before you can get car insurance.

Also, cars from Japan are generally a higher spec than cars bought here. Higher performance and a larger engine size will contribute to larger premiums. Furthermore, some parts are different which will make repairs more expensive. This is relevant to the insurer when an accident happens.

Call us and talk to our car insurance experts

Here at, we have an excellent and exclusive market for imported cars. Just give us a call on the phone, tell us all about your vehicle and we’ll have a firm car insurance quote for you within an hour. We are available Mon-Fri between 8.30am and 5.30pm on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051.

To get your quote, we’ll need proof of your VRT or vehicle registration tax to issue your annual insurance certificate and disk. However, we can issue a temporary certificate until your VRT Certificate is received.

If your dream car comes from outside Ireland, there’s no need to write it off as a distant dream. Importing your car may take a little more paperwork, but it’s worth it if it’s something you really want. We can help make insuring your foreign car a breeze.

All Information in this post is accurate as of the date of publishing.