Motor tax is payable if a vehicle is being used in a public place.
However, there is a facility in place to declare a vehicle off the road in advance where it is not going to be in use in a public place. A declaration of non-use must be made in the last month of an existing motor tax disc or renewed in the last month of a previously made declaration of non-use. The declaration can be made for any number of calendar months between 3 and 12 months i.e. it cannot be made for a period of 1 or 2 months. If a vehicle is subsequently required to be put back on the road during the period covered by the declaration of non-use, the declaration can be broken at any time simply by taxing the vehicle.
Motor tax legislation also provides for refunds in certain limited circumstances, including where a vehicle has been scrapped or destroyed, permanently exported, stolen and not recovered, where the vehicle has not been used in a public place at any time since the issue of a disc, where the owner of a vehicle has ceased to use the vehicle because of illness, injury or other physical disability, or due to absence from the State for business purposes, educational purposes or service overseas with the Defence Forces.
There are no plans currently to amend the legislation to extend the grounds for the granting of a refund.
With regard to a reduction in motor tax rates, changes to the rates and banding structures for motor tax take place in a Budgetary context. Changes to some rates and to the banding structure for new cars were announced in Budget 2021 and recently legislated for in the Finance Act 2020. There are no plans to amend motor tax legislation further at the present time.