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Ola,

Here's some information from the Portuguese Consulate in The U.S. about importing a car to Portugal for anyone else who is considering taking their automobile. I'm still trying to decide about bringing my car over! Hope this is helpful:


DUTY FREE IMPORTATION OF AUTOMOBILES INTO PORTUGAL


Persons Who Can Benefit:

1. Portuguese citizens, older than 18 years of age, holders of valid driver’s licenses, who have been residing abroad for over 12 months, and are returning to Portugal.
2. Professors working under exchange programs and Foreign Service officials working for the Portuguese Government.
3. Citizens of other European Union countries, older than 18, holders of valid driver’s licenses, who have been residing abroad for over 24 months, and who are transferring their residency to Portugal.

Exceptions: Citizens of non-European Union countries transferring residency to Portugal, or Portuguese citizens who have lost Portuguese nationality by voluntarily acquiring another citizenship before 1981, are not exempt.
Students, interns, or individuals who are executing specific duration functions for a limit two years period.

General Information

The Consulate must issue an importation certificate to be submitted to the customs in Portugal. The automobile must be imported at the time the applicant is transferring his/her residence to Portugal.

The following documents must be submitted:

Original Title as proof that vehicle has been in applicant’s possession for over 12 months prior to being imported into Portugal.
Vehicle registration issued by the local Motor Vehicle Department.
Proof of continuous residence during the last 1 year, such as letters from employer, income tax receipts, visa, rent bills, utilities, etc;
Valid driver’s license issued at least in the last 12 months(either US or Portuguese)

Legalization of the Vehicle in Portugal

The request for duty free entry must be presented to the Customs authorities in Portugal within 12 months from the date vehicle arrived in Portugal. The vehicle must be legalized in Portugal within 180 days from the date of arrival. Failure to follow these regulations will result in the applicant being ordered to pay the customs fees.

The vehicle cannot be sold, lent, leased or otherwise transferred to another person within the first 12 months of importation, and may be driven only by the owner, or his/her spouse or children.

Consular Fees
Certificate of Importation ........................................................................................... US$ 99,90
Certificate of Residency ............................................................................................ US$ 36,75
Certificate of authenticity of US driver’s license (*) ..................................................... US$ 35,35
(*) For applicants who do not possess a valid Portuguese drivers license
All fees payable in cash, money order or certified check. Personal checks are not accepted
 

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Thanks for your response Bella - We are actively looking to move to Portugal when we retire next April 14 and our present car is in need of replacement (11 years old). Would it be advisable from a cost point of view to purchase a car at home and take it abroad with us or buy a new car in Portugal itself. I have read some articles concerning the admin over there (insurance/tax etc) that seem quite disturbing. What do you think?
 

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Bella,

I think you'll find there's a little more to it than is on the site OR possibly restrictions/rules are different for cars coming from the US..... for example, I think you'll find that the resale rule is that if you sell it within the 1st year you have to pay all the import tax etc that you had previously avoided but there's a sliding scale of how much you have to repay that lasts 5 years.

Paul,

It probably would be worth buying in the UK and importing but if you do, (and assuming you're talking about buying used rather than new) it's better to buy a LHD and if you want to make it easier then try to but a PT registered car so you don't have to do all the matriculation BS.
 

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Bella,

I think you'll find there's a little more to it than is on the site OR possibly restrictions/rules are different for cars coming from the US..... for example, I think you'll find that the resale rule is that if you sell it within the 1st year you have to pay all the import tax etc that you had previously avoided but there's a sliding scale of how much you have to repay that lasts 5 years.

Paul,

It probably would be worth buying in the UK and importing but if you do, (and assuming you're talking about buying used rather than new) it's better to buy a LHD and if you want to make it easier then try to but a PT registered car so you don't have to do all the matriculation BS.
The major thing since Bella posted this back in 2009 is that EU and 3rd country citizens can import free of ISV providing you've owned vehicle and been a Resident outside of Portugal for min 12 months prior to your move and can prove it

This would apply to you Paul, is it worthwhile buying a newer RHD in UK, my opinion no, a LHD but then you have to drive in UK for 12 months is it worth it doubt it when you look at some of LHD prices in UK again doubt it, better to bite the bullet when your here.

The one thing everyone forgets is that a say 5 year old car (or any age) is road taxed as new for the year you matriculate, bring a high co2 or gas guzzler your looking at very expensive Road Tax
 

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Transferring a car to portugal - or not

Thanks for your thoughts on this folks - it is useful to speak to people who have experienced this for themselves. As my current vehicle is now nearly twelve years old I will probably leave it in the UK to die a natural death or leave it to my kids. A purchase when I get to Portugal seems favourite at the moment. Thanks.
 

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Douboe taxation on vehicle purchase in Portugal!

Be warned, the double taxation on new cars in Portugal makes buying a car extremely expensive. It also contributes to higher used car prices. I've heard that this double taxation is not permitted under EU law but as the fines the Portuguese government pay are less than the profits they make it keeps going. Plus, the Portuguese have a habit of complaining about injustices but doing nothing concrete about them. :(
 

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Be warned, the double taxation on new cars in Portugal makes buying a car extremely expensive. It also contributes to higher used car prices. I've heard that this double taxation is not permitted under EU law but as the fines the Portuguese government pay are less than the profits they make it keeps going. Plus, the Portuguese have a habit of complaining about injustices but doing nothing concrete about them. :(
Don't really understand what you are saying about "Double taxation" What double taxation?
 
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