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Vehicle Labelling

Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT
Motor Tax
Annual C02 Emissions Guide
Sample Labels 
Key Elements of the Labels
Message for Consumers
Further Information


Since 1st July 2008 vehicle registration tax (VRT) and annual motor tax for new cars are calculated on the basis of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from vehicles. Twelve emission/tax bands apply and VRT and motor tax payable is determined by the relevant band for each vehicle.

The system was introduced to incentivise consumers to purchase vehicles with lower CO2 emissions, an important step in reducing national greenhouse gas emissions and in meeting Ireland’s commitments for the purposes of the Kyoto Protocol.  Carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the principal greenhouse gases contributing to global warming.

In the context of the new CO2 based motor tax and VRT system,  the Minister introduced, in cooperation and with the agreement of the Society of the Irish Motor Industry,  a revised labelling system for new cars. The new labelling system will strengthen the existing EU requirements under Directive 1999/94/EC.


Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT)

VRT is payable based on the open market selling price (OMSP) of each vehicle; further information on VRT and how it is calculated is available from the Revenue Commissioners (external link)

Motor Tax

Motor Tax and C02 Emissions 
Current Motor Tax Rates


  Annual CO2 Emissions Guide

The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) provides details on CO2 emissions for all new vehicles for sale in Ireland. Their annual CO2 Emissions Guides are available, free of charge, from all dealers who sell new cars and on the Society of the Irish Motor Industry website (external link).


Sample Labels


Key Elements of the Label

Section 1

This shows the emission bands and identifies the band for the particular vehicle to which a label is attached. The band determines that car’s environmental impact in terms of CO2 emissions and enables buyers to compare the impact of different cars and thereby make informed choices on environmental grounds.  The band also determines the VRT and annual motor tax payable on a vehicle.


This section provides three important points of information for consumers:
the rate of VRT payable on the vehicle,
the annual motor tax payable, and
the amount of fuel required to run the vehicle over 18,000 kilometres.
Section 3

This ‘Environmental Information’ section of the label supplements the information provided in the first and second sections, and introduces the importance of driving behaviour.  One of the key messages for consumers is that information on the fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions for all new cars is readily available to assist them in making informed choices.

Remaining Sections

The remaining sections of the label provide essential information on the actual vehicle to which it is attached, including make, model, engine capacity, transmission, fuel type and consumption.  Importantly, the penultimate section repeats the information in section one on the actual CO2 emissions for the vehicle, highlights the fact that this information can be obtained from the vehicle’s Certificate of Conformity, and points out that some specifications of the same make/model may have lower CO2 emissions. 

Message for Consumers


The sole purpose of the labelling system iis to provide information to assist consumers in making informed choices.  It is not intended to show or suggest a preference for any particular vehicle type or vehicle technology, and should not be interpreted in that way. 


Further Information


Climate Policy Section,
Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government,
Custom House, Dublin



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