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Importing a UK plated car in to Portugal.






Visiting Portugal with your Car

You do not have to register your car if you are only visiting Portugal.You can drive your car on a foreign registration plate for  6 months of a year.

You do not need to register your car if you do not intend to move to Portugal full time and take up residency there full time.

The car can stay on foreign number plates if the car is driven onto Portugal by the registered keeper of the car and only driven by them when the car is in Portugal. They cannot be a registered Portuguese resident. The car can only be used for private use not business.

Registering a car in Portugal

To register a car you have to be a Portuguese resident so this means having a Cartao de Residencia which is a residency card.

The car has to be road legal in Portugal. You can obtain more Information on this matter from the Instituto da Mobilidade e dos Transportes Terrestres or IMTT. But basically most European cars with certificate of conformities will be road legal.

If you buy a tax free new left hand drive car you will need to pay VAT around 23% this is payable at the local customs office who will calculate this on your tax free invoice price. If you have paid tax in another EU country then the customs office will issue a Fiscal Certificate accordingly. No import duty is chargeable for an EU import.

Documentation you will need

When you want to register your car you will need the following documentation:

– The fiscal certificate or tax clearance form issued by customs.
– A Certificate of Compliance (Form Model 9) issued by the IMTT confirming that the vehicle is “Road Legal”

– Certificate of conformity, COC (Certificado de Conformidade CEE)
– A certificate of roadworthiness (IPO) The technical inspection (Inspeccao Periodica Obrigatoria, IPO) is made at an IMTT approved garage. It confirms vehicle identification, brakes, tyres, emissions, noise levels, lights, steering, windscreen and wipers, and chassis condition much like a UK MOT.

– Driver’s licence

– Proof of identity (passport, identity card (Bilhete de Identidade))
– Proof of residency (Cartao de Residencia)

Once all of these documents are in place and presented you should be in a position to receive PT plates! The costs vary from car to car.

Importing a car into Portugal: More info

If you plan on moving to Portugal and make it your permanent residence, you can import your vehicle. If you are 18 and have been owner of the car for over 12 months, you can apply for a tax exemption request at the Portuguese Customs Office within six months of the transfer of residence.

For those staying in Portugal on a temporary basis, there is a way to avoid paying the vehicle import tax for up to 90 days or for 183 each year if:

 The vehicle is registered in another EU member state.

 The registered owner is not resident or employed in Portugal.

 The owner is the one importing the car themselves. 

This is ideal for expats who only spend part of the year in Portugal and want to bring their car with them.

For more detailed information about importing your car into Portugal, please check with the Portuguese Embasy in your country.( Ref: www.justlanded.co.uk )

Download  the official documentation from the British consulate in Lisbon


The process of how to import a car into Portugal is a lot easier that first imagined.

Property Buying Guide. everything you need to know about buying a house, property in Portugal

Importing a car into Portugal. Legal stuff you need to know

Driving in Portugal. More legal stuff you need to know

Tax Laws. Find out what the tax laws in Portugal mean for you.

Brexit. What will it mean for you.

Forest Fires & land clearing. Very important please read

Portuguese Heath Care system. Looking after your health while in Portugal

Importing & Registering a Car in Portugal

How to register and import a car in Portugal from the UK or any EU country.

With so many British Expats now in Portugal it’s no wonder it is one of the top Expats destinations to import a UK car and as ever their are plenty of complications and rules to the import process.