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Which Passenger 4WD Vehicles Qualify as ‘Commercial’?

Which Passenger 4WD Vehicles Qualify as ‘Commercial’?

It’s not often that the Revenue Commissioners will provide you with an opportunity to save money. But the recent updates to Revenue’s criteria of which vehicles actually qualify as commercial brings good news to many business people. Particularly those with families.



Due to a change in regulations some Four Wheel Drive (4WD) vehicles which would have typically been classified as ‘passenger’ vehicles can now be purchased as ‘commercial’.

The update means that savings of up to €15,000 are possible on some vehicles.


So what has changed?

Commercial vehicles are charged at lower rates of vehicle registration tax (VRT) and road tax. But up until now commercial 4WD’s were permitted to only have two seats – no back seats were allowed. Plus they had to have panels instead of windows along the sides. So for a business owner in need of a commercial vehicle, but with family to transport, they needed to purchase a second ‘family’ vehicle. If they wanted to own just one vehicle which served both purposes they would have been subject to huge ‘benefit in kind’ taxation.

Now, with the new regulations, it is possible to get a commerical 4WD which can also act as a family vehicle.

The standards and measurements are strict as to which vehicles qualify. There are rigid guidelines on size and distance from seats to rear. If the vehicle qualifies it is stamped before import as ‘N1’ meaning you will pay just 13.3% VRT and typically just €333 in road tax. Considering that a larger 4WD could have previously been charged at 34% VRT and €1400 road tax – this amounts to significant savings.

How does it work?

Before you make a decision to purchase we always advise that you discuss the new regulations with your accountant or tax advisor first.

  • At point of purchase you will pay the full VAT and commercial rate of VRT
  • The garage will give you a certificate to confirm that the vehicle qualifies as N1 commercial – this information will also be available to Revenue through their vehicle import database
  • You can reclaim the VAT already paid when submitting your bimonthly VAT Returns

Which Vehicles Qualify?

Mitsubishi Pajero, from €49,950 (incl VAT)



Five-seater; automatic (5spd); selective 4×4; 3.2-litre turbocharged/intercooled four-cylinder; 200bhp; direct injection; 441Nm torque; 3,500kg towing capacity. Suspension – double wishbone coil springs with stabiliser bar at front, multi-link coil springs with stabiliser bar at rear; delivery and related charges extra.

Land Rover Discovery, from €55,120 (incl VAT)

Five-seater; 3-litre V6 (2,993cc) diesel 210bhp; 4×4; towing capacity 3,500kg; air suspension; 207g/km; torque 520Nm, maximum torque between 1,500 – 2,500rpm; delivery, related charges extra.

Toyota Land Cruiser, from €53,995 (incl VAT),



Five-seater ; 3-litre D-4D diesel (2,982cc; 190bhp; 3,000kg towing capacity; Full-time 4WD; 420Nm torque; 39.7mpg; 214g/km); double wish bone suspension; stabiliser bars at front and rear; as usual delivery and related charges are extra.


SsangYong Rexton, from €38,329 (automatic from €41,377) including VAT

Five-seater; 2-litre diesel (155bhp); 4WD; Torque 360Nm; 6-spd manual/5-spd automatic; 2.6-tonne towing capacity. Ladder chassis – double wishbone and coil spring suspension at front; five-link rigid axle with coil springs at the rear; delivery and related charges extra.

Time to start shopping for your new 16-2 vehicle!

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