Vintage car enthusiasts count the cost of Brexit

Enthusiasts of vintage motors, caravans and motorhomes have counted the cost of Brexit to their hobbies, with new charges adding thousands of euros in extra costs to ferry them across the Irish Sea.

Although most imported vehicles are used sparingly, such as in vintage village rallies and club meetings, or vacations in the summer, there is no exemption from the tax authorities when it comes to paying the new taxes imposed after Brexit.

Revenues confirmed that classic cars that meet certain criteria will not have to pay customs duty on importation from Britain, if they are in their original condition, without substantial modifications apart from repairs and essential restorations, and are at least 30 years old, or more in production.

Mercedes-Benz 450 from 1979.

However, they will be subject to 21% VAT, Revenue said.

One of Ireland’s most renowned vintage vehicle experts, Wayne McCarthy of Cork-based Edgewood Automotive, told the Irish Examiner that Brexit would hit many enthusiasts hard.

“It’s not something many people would think of, and it’s small in the overall context of Brexit, but it has been a passion for many Irish enthusiasts over the years.

“For example, if you see

if you say a vintage car on sale for £10,000 in Britain, by the time you’ve converted the pound to the euro and factored in the new charges, you’re looking at the better part of £20,000 now

, by the time you’ve converted sterling to euros and factored in the new fees, you’re now looking at the better part of €20,000. This will be a bridge too far for many potential collectors.

“It’s a shame because vintage vehicles bring many events to life, such as St. Patrick’s Day parades, village fetes and charity races. Many of these vehicles would only do a few hundred miles a year. , they’re not meant for everyday driving, so many people will decide it’s not worth it.”

Volkswagen motorhome from the 1970s
Volkswagen motorhome from the 1970s

The flip side, Mr McCarthy said, is that older vehicles already in the country will be worth much more now.

Likewise, prospective caravan and motorhome owners also face new heavy burdens if they bring in vehicles from Britain.

Interest in buying caravans and motorhomes surged in 2020 when it became clear that lockdown measures and travel restrictions would deter most Irish holidaymakers from traveling overseas.

Importers of caravans and motorhomes will have to pay 21% VAT regardless of their age or intended use, Revenue said, while customs duties will also apply.

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