Tax relief for drivers and passengers with disabilities
The Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers Scheme provides a range of tax reliefs linked to the purchase and use of vehicles by drivers and passengers with a disability. The rules of the scheme are set out in the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Regulations 1994 (SI No. 353/1994) as amended. Under the terms of the scheme, you can claim remission or repayment of vehicle registration tax (VRT), repayment of value-added tax (VAT) on the purchase of a vehicle and repayment of VAT on the cost of adapting a vehicle, up to a maximum of €9,525 for a driver with a disability and €15,875 for a passenger with a disability.
Relief is limited to a vehicle that has been specially constructed or adapted for use by a person with a disability and that has an engine size of less than 2,000cc in the case of the driver and 4,000cc in the case of the passenger.
If you qualify for tax relief under the scheme, you can also claim repayment of excise duty on fuel used in your vehicle for the transport of a person with a disability, up to a maximum of 600 gallons per year. In addition, if you qualify under the scheme, your vehicle may be exempt from the payment of annual road tax on application to a Motor Tax Office.
Vehicles adapted for drivers or passengers with a disability are entitled to exemption from toll road fees. Toll road operators issue special passes which are recognised by all other toll road operators and which allow such vehicles pass through the tolls without paying. To obtain a special pass apply to your nearest toll road operator (pdf).
Drivers with disabilities
You can claim tax relief on
- A new vehicle
- A used vehicle that has not been previously registered in the state
You can also buy a previously registered used vehicle from an authorised dealer, in which case the amount of the repayment will be the residual VAT contained in the value of the vehicle. However, the majority of used vehicles purchased from a dealer are purchased under the Margin Scheme. This means that no VAT is payable when the vehicle is purchased and therefore no VAT is refundable.
If you bought the vehicle before you qualified as a disabled driver, a repayment of VAT and VRT, appropriate to the market value of the vehicle at the time of entry to the scheme, will be made.
If you buy a used vehicle that has previously qualified for tax relief under the scheme for transporting disabled passengers and where the original adaptions remain in place when you buy it, it is eligible for the scheme.
A vehicle that has been acquired under a hire-purchase agreement qualifies for tax relief.
A family member of a disabled passenger can also qualify for relief provided he/she is living with and responsible for the transport of the disabled person in question and has acquired the vehicle for that purpose.
If the disabled person only stays with a family member on a part-time basis, the residency requirement is not met. However, if the disabled person is a minor who is in residential or medical care on a part-time or occasional basis and who spends a significant part of his/her time at home, e.g., every weekend and holidays, the residency requirement may be met. The Revenue Commissioners may, in exceptional circumstances, waive the residency requirement.
You should contact the Central Repayments Office to make sure that you meet the residency requirements for relief under the scheme before purchasing a vehicle.
Restrictions on disposal
The vehicle must not be disposed of for at least two years from the date the relief is granted.
You will only be allowed to dispose of the vehicle within the two years if you refund to the Revenue Commissioners a substantial portion of the relief allowed, calculated by reference to the value of the vehicle at the time of disposal. “Disposal” means the sale of the vehicle, the gift of the vehicle to another person and the hiring or renting of the vehicle.
If the vehicle is disposed of following damage in an accident, the damage will be taken into account in calculating the value of the vehicle at the time of disposal.
How to apply
Download and complete Form DD1 (pdf). This application form is also available from the Central Repayments Office.
Applying for remission of VRT
You need to send the following documents to the Central Repayments Office
- Form DD1
- The original Primary Medical Certificate if you are claiming for the first time. You must apply to your Health Service Executive (HSE) Area for an application form for a Primary Medical Certificate – obtain an application form from your Local Health Office in the HSE. Complete the application form and return it to the Senior Medical Officer of the Local Health Office. The Senior Medical Officer then appoints a HSE doctor to visit your home and carry out an assessment of the level of your disability. If you satisfy the requirements, you are granted a Primary Medical Certificate by the HSE.
If your application for remission of VRT is acceptable, you will be sent a Letter of Authorisation which authorises you to purchase a vehicle. When you have chosen the vehicle, the vehicle identification number (VIN) must be submitted to the Central Repayments Office on the form issued to you with the Letter of Authorisation. You will be issued with an Exemption Notification that allows the vehicle to be registered exempt of VRT at the NCTS centre.
When you have bought the vehicle, you must obtain the following documents
- An original invoice from the dealer showing the full purchase particulars of the vehicle and verifying that payment of the amount due has been made in full
- An original invoice from the person who adapted the vehicle, showing that payment has been made in full. The invoice must show full details of the adaptations to the vehicle and the VAT charged.
- A new vehicle that is adapted requires an Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) certificate from the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI)
To register the vehicle at the NCTS centre the dealer must submit these documents, along with the Letter of Authorisation, the Exemption Notification and the completed Form DD1. If the documentation is in order, the NCTS will register the vehicle without charging VRT.
When the vehicle is registered, to obtain a repayment of the VAT the dealer should submit the Letter of Authorisation, the Exemption Notification and the invoices mentioned above to the Central Repayments Office.
Applying for repayment of VRT and VAT
If VRT has not been remitted and you want to claim repayment of VRT and VAT, you need to submit the following documents to the Central Repayments Office.
- A fully completed Application Form DD1
- The original Primary Medical Certificate if you are claiming for the first time.
- An original invoice from the dealer showing the full purchase particulars of the vehicle and VAT charged and showing that payment of the amount due has been made in full
- An original invoice from the person who adapted the vehicle, indicating that payment has been made in full. This invoice should set out the full details of the adaptations and the VAT charged.
- The vehicle’s Vehicle Registration Certificate.
If the vehicle has been registered before, there is no need to go through the usual change of ownership procedure as this will automatically happen when the vehicle is taxed exempt at the Motor Tax Office.
If your claim is accepted you are issued with a Certificate of Approval by the Central Repayments Office which you should submit to your local Motor Tax Office. You will be issued with a new Vehicle Registration Certificate which you should send to the Central Repayments Office where it will be endorsed to the effect that the vehicle was purchased under the Disabled Drivers and Passengers Scheme and cannot be disposed of for two years. This certificate will be returned to you immediately.
If the vehicle has previously qualified for tax relief under the scheme, the maximum amount of tax relief that can be claimed for the vehicle will probably have already been claimed. However, you should still submit form DD1 with all the required documentation as listed above.
Applying for refund of excise duty on fuel
Claims for repayment of excise duty on fuel should be made once a year on Form DD3 (pdf) which will be automatically sent to you by the Central Repayments Office.
You need to keep receipts for the fuel purchased for two years, but do not have to submit them with your claim. You have to estimate the percentage of that fuel that is used for your own transport or the transport of a disabled passenger.
Applying for exemption from motor tax
If your vehicle is being registered in Ireland for the first time, you need to present your Vehicle Registration Certificate to your local Motor Taxation Office.
If your vehicle was previously registered in Ireland before you entered the scheme, you will be given a Certificate of Approval by the Central Repayments Office, which you should present at your Motor Taxation Office.
Where to apply
You can find further information on the tax relief scheme (pdf) on the Revenue Commissioners’ website