Taxing and Insuring a Commercial Jeep

Horses and Jeeps go hand in hand. If you want to compete, train or even just to enjoy a day at the beach then you really need to own a jeep (...and I suppose a horsebox too!). If you haven't got a family to drive around or have a second car then getting a commercial jeep is the way to go. It's much cheaper on tax and there is a bigger boot for carrying all your horse gear around - win win!

The issue of taxing and insuring commercial jeeps frequently comes up on Equestrian facebook groups. There seems to be a lot of misinformation and some people are unsure if it is possible to own one without having a business. It is possible to have commercial tax but have private insurance. Firstly, your jeep needs to meet the criteria to be regarded as a commercial vehicle - this usually means it only has 2/3 seats in the front of the vehicle (ie. no back seats) or is a crew cab.

The first time you tax the jeep in your name you need to fill in form RF11A (which can be downloaded here) and then bring this to your local Garda Station to be stamped. The form asks for your Income Tax Registration Number, but you can put your PPS Number here instead. If you have an Equine Premises Number you can write that instead and is becoming the preferred option. The nature of your business is "Horse Owner". I would recommend bringing a horse passport, that is in your name, and having it available should a Garda question why you are availing of commercial tax despite not being a business owner. I have never known anyone to be asked, but it's better to go prepared! You then bring this form along with your other information (insurance details, the fee etc) to the Motor Tax Office and they will process your application.

Things can be a bit trickier for a crew cab as they are classed as "a commercial vehicle that is not only used for goods carriage, but also for transport of employees to and from jobs\sites etc". The owner of the crew cab must have a minimum of three employees other than the driver. You will also be asked to fill in a "Crew Cab Declaration Form" which can be downloaded here.

After the initial forms have been filled in and approved you will be able to renew your tax online.
Next step is insurance. It really is worth shopping around - I was quoted from €500 right up to €2800 just for third-party, fire and theft. Below are a list of companies who will insure commercial vehicles for private use. I would recommend breakdown assistance, some companies will transport a horsebox too (once the horse isn't in it) if you do happen to break down.

(all of the below are clickable)
If I have forgotten any other insurance companies or if the above no longer cover commercial vehicles, please let me know either on Facebook or by emailing me :)

Hopefully, this helps those of you considering getting a commercial jeep. Despite the initial hassle, I love having a commercial jeep. The boot space is brilliant for going to shows and for trips away. It's amazing how much tack and equipment one horse needs for a night away, I swear they have a better wardrobe than me! 

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