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Can I Take My Motorcycle to Ireland?

Published by Tamar Hela.

Can I Take My Motorcycle to Ireland?

Traveling to Ireland on your motorcycle sounds like an amazing adventure. While it is possible to take your motorcycle across the ocean to Ireland, there are some important steps you need to follow to smoothly import your bike. In this blog post, we will guide you through the entire process of shipping and importing a motorcycle to Ireland.

We will cover choosing a reliable shipping company, preparing your bike for transport, understanding import documentation requirements, dealing with applicable taxes and fees, registering your motorcycle in Ireland, and ensuring proper insurance coverage during your trip.

With thorough planning and by following the correct procedures, you can fulfill your dream of an epic motorcycle journey in the Emerald Isle.


Shipping Your Motorcycle to Ireland

The first major step is to ship your motorcycle across the ocean to Ireland. This involves selecting a reputable shipping company and properly preparing your bike for transport.

Choosing a Shipping Company

It is crucial to choose a professional and experienced shipping company to transport your motorcycle overseas. Going with an unlicensed or unreliable operator can put your bike at risk of damage or loss during the long sea journey.

When comparing rates and services, check reviews, verify proper licensing and certifications, and ask about included services like customs brokerage to ensure a smooth import process.

Preparation for Shipping

Before your selected shipper can pick up the motorcycle, there are some preparations you must complete:

  • Ensure there are no outstanding loans or liens on the title. The motorcycle must be paid off with clear ownership.
  • Check that all parts and accessories meet applicable conformity and safety standards in Ireland. Lights, signals and emission controls should comply.
  • Gather required import documentation like the title and registration. The shipper can provide advice on forms needed and assist with processing paperwork.
  • Properly secure and wrap the motorcycle for ocean transport. Fuel levels should be minimal and antifreeze added for temperature extremes.

By taking care of these tasks beforehand, you avoid delays and reduce risks of issues at customs upon the bike's arrival in port. The shipping company reps can also inspect the prepped vehicle and container packing.

Transport Methods

Most shippers offer two options for transporting motorcycles by sea - sole container load or consolidated container load.

For sole container transport, the motorcycle is shipped exclusively within its own sealed container. This offers maximum protection but comes at a higher individual cost.

Consolidated or shared container transport groups multiple vehicles within large shipping boxes. While risk of minor contact is higher, consolidated rates are more competitive for individual riders. Carriers strive to safely stack and segregate motorcycles.

Consider factors like vehicle value, transport distance, and budget when deciding between options. Either method when utilized through a reputable company provides a reliable way to transport your motorcycle across the ocean.

New Deals are now available for shipping all types vehicles using our vetted reliable shippers. Compare price estimates & Unlock up 25% off.

Import Process in Ireland

Upon arrival at the Port of Dublin, specific steps must be completed to lawfully import the motorcycle into Ireland.

Customs Declaration

The shipping company will arrange for customs clearance and have all required documents in order:

  • Import Declaration listing the motorcycle details, value, country of origin, etc.
  • Valid driver's license as proof of ownership and identification.
  • Original title and registration papers in your name from your home country.
  • Commercial invoice of the purchase value amount.

An authorized customs broker can expedite the declaration process. Officials will inspect the bike before releasing it from the port.

Customs Duty and VAT

Most vehicles imported to Ireland are liable for Customs Duty and VAT(Value Added Tax).

  • Customs Duty is calculated at up to 10% of the motorcycle's price declared on the commercial invoice.
  • VAT applies at a standard rate of 23% on top of the total value including any duty amount levied.

Fortunately, motorcycles with engines under 400cc generally qualify for a reduced 5% VAT rate versus the normal 23% rate on larger bikes. This can significantly lower overall costs.

Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT)

On top of duty and VAT, a VRT tax based on the engine size must be paid before registration. The rate schedule is:

  • Up to 150cc: €150 flat fee
  • 151-400cc: 33% of the open market value
  • 401-600cc: 36% of value
  • 601-800cc: 40% of value
  • Over 800cc: 41% of value

The declared commercial invoice price serves as the bike's open market value for VRT calculation purposes. All these taxes and fees usually must be paid within 30 days of import.

Registration Process

With customs clearance complete and taxes paid, the motorcycle can now be registered to drive on Irish roads:

  • Take the bike and required documents to a National Car Testing Service (NCTS) center.
  • They will inspect it, provide an NCT certificate of roadworthiness, and complete the registration application.
  • Present a Certificate of Conformity (CoC) showing the motorcycle complies with all EU safety and emissions standards.
  • Pay the annual Motor Tax fee of €120-€630 depending on engine size.
  • receive license plates and an Irish registration certificate.

Having all paperwork in order, including a valid U.S. title, speeds up this final registration process.


Insurance Considerations

Comprehensive travel insurance is mandatory when bringing any vehicle to Ireland. Make sure your policy:

  • Covers the entire duration of your trip, including time spent riding in Europe.
  • Insures the stated value of the motorcycle for damages, losses or third-party liability claims.
  • Allows business or pleasure use as applicable. Some policies exclude commercial activities.
  • Details towing, storage and repatriation coverage in the event of an accident abroad.

Review exclusions carefully as flood, fire or theft coverage overseas may be limited or unreliable with standard auto insurance back home. Consult a travel specialist for tailored motorcycle touring plans in Europe.


As this article has outlined, successfully transporting and registering a personal motorcycle in Ireland involves thorough planning and understanding each step of the import and registration process.

By utilizing the expertise of professional shipping companies, correctly preparing required import documents, paying all applicable duties and taxes, and ensuring proper insurance, your dream ride through the Irish countryside can become a reality.

With the right amount of advance preparation, effort and paperwork, you can legally fulfill your adventure of riding through this picturesque country on two wheels.

Take Your Bike Overseas With Ease - Rely on A1 Auto Transport

Planning an international motorcycle adventure but not sure how to get your bike across the ocean? Let A1 Auto Transport handle the transport so you can focus on the open road.

As a licensed carrier with over 20 years experience, we specialize in safely shipping motorcycles worldwide. Our climate-controlled containers and experienced motorbike haulers ensure your prized ride arrives in top condition.

Our door-to-door service takes the hassle out of arranging overseas transport. We'll pick up your bike, handle export paperwork, deliver directly to your destination country, and even assist with local import requirements.

Whether you're riding through Europe or taking a route through Asia, rely on A1 Auto Transport to smoothly transport your bike anywhere in the world.

Don't stress over international transport details. Contact us now and leave the hauling to the transportation pros at A1 Auto Transport!

Get a free quote.

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Tamar Hela is one of our featured writers at A-1 Auto Transport, researching everything from AI auto shipments out of China to what paperwork is required to move long distance. We can safely say she's become well versed in all things shipping and logistics while making the information easy to digest and understandable. 

Tamar has been a copywriter for over 16 years and was trained in the 7-Figure Copywriting Accelerator course through American Writers & Artists, Inc. (AWAI). She's also an incredibly seasoned copyeditor, having previously been the Chief Editor and Publishing Director for Cosby Media Productions, based in Atlanta, Georgia. 

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