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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I am new to the forum
My wife and I have purchased a vacation home in Portugal.
We will use it three months of the year. My question is can I bring in an US automobile and use it without registering.
Assuming I am only using it for three months can I leave it in PT until my next trip and use it again or do I have to take it out of PT after each trip?
Given we are not driving over it would be very expensive to ship each time any alternative suggestion rental is out of the question for such a long period I assume.
Thanks:confused:
 

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As a UK citizen you don't need the visa.

From what I understand, in addition to the residency, there is an onerous / bureaucratic process required to license an imported car. This would be another consideration.
 

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As a UK Citizen you don't need a Visa, might have helped if you'd mentioned it, for a EU Resident the car restrictions are just different, you could keep the car in Portugal for a maximum of 183 days in any 12 month period, but it must be out of the country for the other 182 days, to matriculate (register) or import you still have to be a Resident.

But as your a US Resident then I believe the first answer is the correct one.

Presumably you now have an American licence so the same restriction might apply, that it is only valid for 185 days from date of entry.

:)anapedrosa, it's not that onerous/bureaucratic, just needs careful, careful preparation:)
 

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I appreciate these comments are more general than required but they might be of help to some so I'll make them anyway.

I'm also a UK citizen and moved to Portugal in September last year and imported a car as part of the process...... and FWIW, this is how it worked for me........ be warned. It's a tad complicated.

If you're coming here to become a permanent resident and assuming right of residency AND assuming you get your fiscal number and residencia etc then each adult can import a car tax free.

You have to have owned it for at least 6 months prior to arriving, have to have all the export paperwork (police clearance & export permit etc) in order and you have to have obtained the Portuguese import permit from the Portuguese High Commission in the country the car is coming from. (This last requirement seems to vary depending on the individual customs official you come across)

If you do import the car on a tax free basis then you can't sell it for 5 years unless you pay the outstanding tax on it and this is worked out on a sliding scale that relates to the time you had it in Portugal and the bigger the engine, the higher the tax percentage.

If you don't fit the above criteria then you have to pay import tax and the amount you have to pay depends on a variety of things such as age of car and engine size etc. If you do pay the tax then the advantage is that you can sell the car immediately should you so desire. - Be warned, there seems to be an awful lot of incorrect info on the net about this entire subject!

Once the car is here, you have to have begun the process of having it matriculated (converted to Portuguese registration) within 6 months. You can do this yourself or pay an agent to do it. If you pay an agent, you can expect to pay between E500 - 800 per car. (I'm using an agent to do mine)

Classic cars seem to be easier to import than modern ones, homolgation requirements are lower on classics and values of cars, esp classic cars are astronomical here compared to most other countries.

I'd say that if your coming to live permanently AND if you just enjoy nice cars then it could well be worth importing a car when you come but if it's not a permanent move and/or if you see cars as nothing more than convenient transport, then you're much better just buying something here...... and if it's just for a few weeks or possibly a few months a year, it might be better and considerably more convenient to simply rent a car...... If it's just for 3 months a year, I'd say it's easier just to rent a car.

Also FWIW, if anyone is considering importing a classic car for commerce, it seems to be best to bring in something pre 1970 and smaller than 2000 cc.
 

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I appreciate these comments are more general than required but they might be of help to some so I'll make them anyway.

I'm also a UK citizen and moved to Portugal in September last year and imported a car as part of the process...... and FWIW, this is how it worked for me........ be warned. It's a tad complicated.

If you're coming here to become a permanent resident and assuming right of residency AND assuming you get your fiscal number and residencia etc then each adult can import a car tax free.

You have to have owned it for at least 6 months prior to arriving, have to have all the export paperwork (police clearance & export permit etc) in order and you have to have obtained the Portuguese import permit from the Portuguese High Commission in the country the car is coming from. (This last requirement seems to vary depending on the individual customs official you come across)

If you do import the car on a tax free basis then you can't sell it for 5 years unless you pay the outstanding tax on it and this is worked out on a sliding scale that relates to the time you had it in Portugal and the bigger the engine, the higher the tax percentage.

If you don't fit the above criteria then you have to pay import tax and the amount you have to pay depends on a variety of things such as age of car and engine size etc. If you do pay the tax then the advantage is that you can sell the car immediately should you so desire. - Be warned, there seems to be an awful lot of incorrect info on the net about this entire subject!

Once the car is here, you have to have begun the process of having it matriculated (converted to Portuguese registration) within 6 months. You can do this yourself or pay an agent to do it. If you pay an agent, you can expect to pay between E500 - 800 per car. (I'm using an agent to do mine)

Classic cars seem to be easier to import than modern ones, homolgation requirements are lower on classics and values of cars, esp classic cars are astronomical here compared to most other countries.

I'd say that if your coming to live permanently AND if you just enjoy nice cars then it could well be worth importing a car when you come but if it's not a permanent move and/or if you see cars as nothing more than convenient transport, then you're much better just buying something here...... and if it's just for a few weeks or possibly a few months a year, it might be better and considerably more convenient to simply rent a car...... If it's just for 3 months a year, I'd say it's easier just to rent a car.

Also FWIW, if anyone is considering importing a classic car for commerce, it seems to be best to bring in something pre 1970 and smaller than 2000 cc.
I think you have had to have owned the car for 1 year now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
I appreciate these comments are more general than required but they might be of help to some so I'll make them anyway.


Thanks for the very detailed reply - it does help, I want to clarify a few points that may help further.

1. I am a UK citizen residing in the USA
2. I am not making a permanent move to Portugal.
3. I do have a fiscal number, bank account and own a residence in Portugal
4. I will stay in Portugal no longer than 5 months a year
5. I would like to bring over a car and leave it at my residence in Portugal - using it less than 180 days a year is this possible?
6. Is it possible for me to purchase a car in Portugal as a non resident given item number 2 above.
7. I do not want to rent for 3 months as ten days cost me 900 euro's!
8. If none of the above are possible, could a portuguese resident register a car that I paid for and (loan)it back to me when I am there?

All of these questions stem from something I read online stating a non resident could not register/purchase a car in Portugal, which if is correct makes it very difficult for a long staying non-resident


Finally I appreciate all the suggestions to what seems like a simple procedure
 

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Davidada

You raise some interesting questions but I'm no expert I'm afraid...... However, I'll answer as well as I can.

As you have right of residency because of your UK passport and you have a fiscal number, I guess there's nothing to stop you getting your residencia. As I see it, the fact that you have a home elsewhere as well is neither here nor there....... If I'm right in that assumption then I see no reason why you can't import a car tax free as long as you do it within the 6 month time frame of arriving and getting your residencia and if you fulfill the criteria previously mentioned.

If you can bring one in tax free then I see no reason why you can't use it whilst you're here and store it in a garage whilst you're away........ I'm not sure but think you'd need to keep it insured throughout the year but insurance is reasonably priced so I wouldn't expect that to be a problem.

As I understand it, if you have a fiscal number, you can buy and insure a car here. FWIW, My old, much loved Jeep DRINKS petrol so I recently bought myself an oldish Renault Megane and all I had to show was my passport and my fiscal.

Car hire costs obviously vary but if you're happy with a compact you should be able to hire something for about E10 per day from argusrentals.com...... I think we were paying about E7 or E8 per day when we arrived and we got that with Alluvia that we booked through Argus.

Hope that helps.
 

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No not at all, but I have already given you the answers, and this question is one that however you ask it, the answers still no, I will give you a detailed answer to each question that relates to leaving a vehicle here, plus 6,7 and 8 than weren't in your original question.

1. I am a UK citizen residing in the USA
Which gives you the right to live, holiday, study, work or retire in any EU Country, without the Visa requirement.

2. I am not making a permanent move to Portugal.
Which means you cannot import a vehicle tax free or otherwise, but could bring one in for your personal use to a max of 183 days in any 12 month period.
3. N/A

4. I will stay in Portugal no longer than 5 months a year
As a holiday maker you can stay for a max of 6 months, but you should be aware that the Portuguese Tax office can decide that you are a Fiscal Resident if you spend more than 183 days per year in any 12 month period, should they decide that your house here is your Primary Residence. Equally you might have USA regulations that govern how long you can be out of the USA.

5. I would like to bring over a car and leave it at my residence in Portugal - using it less than 180 days a year is this possible?
No this is not possible, because as you are a Non Resident you can only bring a car in for 183 days max in any 12 month period, the car must be removed from Portugal for the remaining 182 days (which doesn't mean leaving it in a garage).
One of the other reasons why you can't do this is that for a foreign car to be legal to drive in Portugal, it must be Road Legal in it's home registered country. No doubt the US has similar laws to the EU and UK so you have insurance and MOT issues, in the case of a UK MOT it can only be done in the UK and no MOT means it's not legal.

6. Is it possible for me to purchase a car in Portugal as a non resident given item number 2 above.
Yes, you only require a Fiscal number, ID and you have an address.

7. I do not want to rent for 3 months as ten days cost me 900 euro's!
There are companies that rent cheaper than that.

8. If none of the above are possible, could a portuguese resident register a car that I paid for and (loan)it back to me when I am there?
Yes, they could equally import the car for you, but you need to know someone who was willing and you could trust as they would be the owner, not you.

Do you really want a car sitting around for 9 months of the year? modern cars don't react very well to not being used.

"As you have right of residency because of your UK passport and you have a fiscal number, I guess there's nothing to stop you getting your residencia. As I see it, the fact that you have a home elsewhere as well is neither here nor there....... If I'm right in that assumption then I see no reason why you can't import a car tax free as long as you do it within the 6 month time frame of arriving and getting your residencia and if you fulfill the criteria previously mentioned."

Under EU Law you can only be a Resident of 1 country at any one time,although you can be considered a tax resident of more than 1 country.

Yes you could take out Residence, which also makes you a Tax Resident here and could possibly affect your US Residency.

It is not as simple and straightforward as traveling-man suggests, as there are regulations about length of ownership and Residency after matriculation, and really depends on where you need your Primary Residence to be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I don't know if you're a car fan or if you just want wheels but you'll find a lot of people will tell you it's not worth importing if you have to pay the taxes......... I'd disagree with that.

Some cars, esp some classic cars are well worth importing even if you do have to pay the taxes.
Yes I have two lovely cars here in the US ( I am a car guy) and would have loved to send one over
however, canoeman made a very valid point about having a car sit so long unused

Thanks for the info
 

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canoeman, I take it that this thread is beneath a longer answer from you
davidada

Not wishing to start an argument, I will chip in to defend Canoeman.

1. You did ask a closed question, these as you know will usually propogate a single word answer. You did get that.

2. In my exchanges with Canoeman I have found him to be extremely helpful, courteous and knowledgeable.

Perhaps if you were to read some of his posts you would appreciate the efforts he puts in.

I am sure he did not wish to appear brusque.

Rob
 
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