What Category is my vehicle?

Vehicles are categorised by a letter that indicates their intended use. It is important that you know your vehicle’s category in order to understand your tax and testing requirements.

Vehicle categories

Vehicles are categorised by their manufacturer, i.e. the category assigned is found on the certificate of conformity which is based on the type approval of the vehicle. Certain vehicles however are built in more than one stage. In these instances the base vehicle is categorised by the original manufacturer and the finished vehicle is categorised by the approval authority certifying subsequent stages of the build.

To find out specifications and rules for vehicle types, you can check the full details on:

There are also rules for vehicles with the following added specifications:

It should be noted that older vehicles might not have the vehicle category section completed on their registration papers. You can contact your local Motor Tax office if you have a query relating to the category of an older vehicle.

How does a vehicle’s category affect tax and testing?

Once you have registered your vehicle with the Revenue Commissioners, you must indicate its intended use as ‘private’ or ‘commercial’, which will make a difference in the amount of annual motor tax you pay. It should be noted that M1 category vehicles, such as cars and other passenger vehicles, will always be taxed privately.

You should bear in mind that the fact that a vehicle is taxed privately or commercially has no bearing on test requirements, which are based on the category of the vehicle.

  • A category M1 vehicle (cars and people carriers designed to carry no more than 8 passengers) must take the national car test (NCT), meaning that it only has to be tested after it is 4 years old and then every 2 years after that (if it is older than 10 years it must undergo annual testing).
  • A vehicle outside category M1 must take the commercial vehicle test (CVT), meaning that it has to be tested every year from the date of purchase. This is true even if your vehicle is taxed as a private vehicle.

Can I change my vehicle category?

In some special instances it is possible to change the category of a vehicle post registration by altering its configuration.. Please contact the Revenue Commissioners as you may have to engage the services of an Automotive Engineer and submit a form to the Central Vehicle Office to complete this change particularly if it relates to a physical modification in the vehicle.

Furthermore, when making a declaration about an unregistered (or foreign registered vehicle) the vehicle owners must also declare this to the NCTS when registering a converted vehicle.