How do I get from the port to the inspection garage without having Portugal registration?
- What if they find some issues, i.e. small oil leak or a custom body panel. Will there be a chance to fix it? How do I go to a mechanic without registration?
Until you officially become a resident you aren't one. Entry to PT on a residency visa does not make you a resident, it's only once SEF issue you with a resident's permit will you officially become resident.
A foreign registered car can remain in Portugal for a maximum of 185 days, after which it is deemed to have been imported whether you've started the process or not. Similarly a non resident of Portugal can drive a foreign registered car that belongs to them for that same time period. A resident of Portugal cannot legally drive a foreign registered vehicle (some exemptions apply, e.g. customs authorisation issued once the import process has been started).
When you apply to import the car by submission of a DAV and the registration document, PT customs will issue you with an authorisation document permitting your continued use of it whilst the process for putting it onto PT registration takes place.
Yes, if your car fails the (enhanced) IPO test for imported vehicles you will have the option to rectify the faults and submit it for a re-test, if the faults are minor you can continue to use the vehicle whilst repairs/modifications are made. If the faults are serious (safety critical) you will have to get it trailered/trucked away.
Garage mechanics aren't interested whether it's on PT plates or not, there are no laws preventing them from working on foreign registered vehicles.