Vintage car enthusiasts counting cost of Brexit

A vintage car on sale for £10,000 in Britain would end up costing almost €20,000 when sterling conversion and new charges are factored in, says vintage car expert
Vintage car enthusiasts counting cost of Brexit

Wayne McCarthy of Edgwood Automotive with a DMC DeLorean car similar to the one featured in the 1984 movie Back To The Future.

Vintage motors, caravan and campervan enthusiasts have been counting the cost of Brexit to their pastimes, with new charges adding thousands of euro in extra fees to bring them in across the Irish Sea.

Despite most of the vehicles imported being used sparingly, such as in village vintage rallies and club get-togethers, or holidays in the summertime, there is no dispensation from tax authorities when it comes to paying the newly-imposed charges after Brexit.

Revenue confirmed that vintage cars which meet certain criteria will not have to pay customs duty on import from Britain, if they are in their original state, without substantial changes outside of essential repairs and restoration, and are at least 30 years old, or no longer in production.

1979 Mercedes Benz 450.

1979 Mercedes Benz 450.

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

One of the most highly-regarded experts in vintage vehicles in Ireland, 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 about, and it is small in the overall context of Brexit, but it has been a passion for many Irish enthusiasts down through 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 sterling into euro and factored in the new charges, you're looking at the best part of €20,000 now

, by the time you've converted the sterling into euro and factored in the new charges, you're looking at the best part of €20,000 now. That will be a bridge too far for many would-be collectors. 

"It's a pity because vintage vehicles bring life to many events, such as St Patrick's Day parades, village festivals and charity runs. Many of these vehicles would only go a few hundreds kilometres a year, they are not for everyday driving, so many people will decide it is not worth it."

1970s' Volkwagen campervan

1970s' Volkwagen campervan

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

Similarly, would-be caravan and motorhome owners also face hefty new charges if bringing in vehicles from Britain.

Interest in buying caravans and motorhomes surged in 2020 when it became apparent that lockdown measures and travel restrictions would deter most Irish holidaymakers from travelling abroad.

Importers of caravans and motorhomes will face a 21% Vat charge, regardless of age or intended usage, Revenue said, while customs duty will also apply.

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