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[Sticky] Assistance with vehicle importation, driving licences, vehicle insurance, etc. etc. etc.

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Posts: 615
Admin
Topic starter
(@gerry)
Honorable Member
Joined: 2 years ago

We are delighted to announce our association with Automóvel Clube de Portugal - ACP.

ACP provide a complete range of services for vehicle owners in Portugal. These include:

  • Vehicle importation and matriculation
  • Driving licence renewal and/or exchange
  • Vehicle insurance
  • Roadside breakdown assistance and repair insurance
  • Classic car club
  • Legal advice on traffic law, traffic offences and motorist’s rights

They also have a number of other great benefits (including healthcare plans and discount schemes) all within ACP membership.

The membership fees are inexpensive and there are discounts available for the first year fees through our site. For more information, please click on this link:

34 Replies




Posts: 13
Premium Member
(@bayard)
Active Member
Joined: 1 year ago

Hi Gerry,  I hope you will be able to give me some basic advice that will help my wife and I as regards bringing a car along with us when we move to Portugal later this year or to buy locally in Portugal.   

My wife is a EU Member, (Irish Citizen).  I'm American.  We have lived in the UK for the last three years, but before that we lived in India for 10 years.   

We would like to buy a car here in the UK, then after six months bring it to Portugal and do so without having to pay steep importation tax.  We are not sure how Brexit affects that tax free .  Do we have to buy it and live for six months in a EU country to avoid the heavy tax?  

We als owant to set up a residence in Portugal then bring in our Household goods which have been kept in storage in India as our plan for being in the UK was for one year, but stretched to three. Our concern is, will we be allowed to brining in our HHG import duty free from India. It's not our last place of residence, that's the UK.  We are not Indian nor British, will that have an effect on bringing in our goods?

Sorry to be so long winded. Perhaps I'm making a mountain out of a molehill. 

Thanks very much,

Lloyd and Vanessa

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20 Replies
Admin
(@gerry)
Joined: 2 years ago

Honorable Member
Posts: 615

@bayard

Hello Lloyd & Vanessa.

I hesitate to give specific advice because we are not 'experts' in these fields. However regarding the car, I agree with the comments from Old Bloke. What I question is do you really want to have a RHD car in Portugal. Apart from the obvious difficulties from driving on the right, the car will have less value here when you come to sell it. The price differential on second hand cars in Portugal versus UK is not so great. For example, I just found a 2013 Ford Fiesta Ecoboost Titanium with 26,000 kms for sale for Euros 8,900. Found identical car for sale in UK with 14,000 miles for sale for GBP 7,000. So the difference is around 600-700 Euros. I have no idea what your budget is or what type of car you want but I would suggest that it could be worthwhile to buy here in Portugal, avoid the matriculation issues and taxes and the problem with driving and selling a RHD vehicle. Of course if you want to speak with the true experts, we recommend ACP.

Regarding the HHG question. I don't think you will have any problem provided you meet the standards to declare these items as HHG and that you can prove they are personal effects and the storage history in India. However I suggest you get an expert view by talking to the shipping agent you intend to use and ensuring that their partner in Portugal is fully knowledgeable on this subject. If the shipping agent in India does not have a partner in Portugal that can handle the Customs clearance, let me know and I will connect you with someone that can help.   

 

 

 

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Premium Member
(@julien)
Joined: 12 months ago

Active Member
Posts: 5

@gerry would you recommend automobile insurance companies ? Thanks !

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Admin
(@gerry)
Joined: 2 years ago

Honorable Member
Posts: 615

Hi @julien

We recommend Winsurance and ACP for car insurance. You can check details of both via this link: Insurance | Expats Portugal

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Premium Member
(@julien)
Joined: 12 months ago

Active Member
Posts: 5

@gerry cheers mate! What about car import services? Any good agents you’d recommend?

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Admin
(@gerry)
Joined: 2 years ago

Honorable Member
Posts: 615

@julien

Do you mean to ship the car to Portugal or to handle the importation after arrival???

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Premium Member
(@julien)
Joined: 12 months ago

Active Member
Posts: 5

@gerry to buy a car in Germany (for example) and to import the car to Portugal (the whole shabang)

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Admin
(@gerry)
Joined: 2 years ago

Honorable Member
Posts: 615

@julien We are actually developing a contact to assist with this type of thing but nothing concrete yet. However, @ITexpert7 has done this so maybe he can elaborate please

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Premium Member
(@itexpert7)
Joined: 1 year ago

Estimable Member
Posts: 191

@julien
Hi, I imported my car just before Easter. Took less than 2 weeks to pay the import tax and get the plates.
I used a lawyer as an agent as I don't know Portuguese and was in a hurry paying for rental cars, paid around 600 euros for the agent. Slightly cheaper is faotir.pt and that automobil club ACP which I think you got 10% off from this forum.

Important points:
1. The trick is to get the correct paperwork from the German car seller. The import agent will give you the list.
2. When you're searching for a car, autoscout24.de is good and also main dealer websites, and of course study hard the fantastic import tax calculator to help you chose a car with low import taxes, I gave the link on another post on this thread.
3. Plug in Hybrid cars are fantastic (I drive 90% on electricity on mine), and pay about 5 times less import tax (paid 1013 euros on mine and have 292 hp on a 10 month old very fast car). BUT under new regulation it has to be able to drive on electricity for minimum 50km on the paperwork, so no more Porsche Panameras on the cheap! 😀
4. BMW main dealers can be trusted to sell car unseen (well with videos + photos) and usually know English, but flights are open now.
5. Now there is this very annoying problem with German cars, they are sold *without* plates. So you have to either go there to buy "30 day transit plates", or have the seller do it for you (mine did it 400 euros) and takes a week.
It's not good idea to bring car without plates, as you need to drive it over here, minimum for the import check. Plates come with 30 day insurance, but it's minimal 3rd party only which cannot be upgraded.
6. To bring the car into Portugal, you can either drive it from Germany with the mentioned 3rd party insurance only, or have it transported which I did due to lockdown. They picked it up Friday morning and delivered on the back of a truck on Sunday afternoon. Paid £1300 on shiply.com a middle-man service on where I found a Polish transport company with very high reviews.
7. Oh and licence plates apparently need to be screwed on (done it myself as I didn't want to wait, I'm good with a drill) in Portugal cannot be stuck on like everywhere else! 🙁

@gerry perhaps this needs to be on it's own threat to help people as a guide, as it's very doable to import a good car from Germany, even for me who am only months in Portugal.
I saved over 15,000 euros by doing this instead of buying nearly new in Portugal. And the spec is sooooo much better, the choice is HUGE, you can find your favourite spec and colours and car is like new.

Best of luck, Michael.

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Admin
(@gerry)
Joined: 2 years ago

Honorable Member
Posts: 615

@itexpert7 Thanks so much for sharing all that. Obviously, this subject is of great interest to our members and we are keen to find an expert who can advise and perhaps offer the import service. Given your experience, if you have any thoughts on this I would appreciate a PM or email. Thanks again

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Premium Member
(@julien)
Joined: 12 months ago

Active Member
Posts: 5

@itexpert7 thanks Michael may I ask who is your lawyer import agent? Cheers

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Premium Member
(@itexpert7)
Joined: 1 year ago

Estimable Member
Posts: 191

@julien

Hi Julien,

My import agent was a lawyer in central Algarve, do you live in the central Algarve? As being local is important, as you will need to visit her at least 2 times, probably 3, including with the new car.

Send me a private message if you want her details.

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Premium Member
(@julien)
Joined: 12 months ago

Active Member
Posts: 5

@itexpert7 thanks  by the way what documents if any are needed for the transport from Germany to Portugal? any requirements at the border with Spain? thanks! I'm comparing truck transport and professional driver transfer. cheers 🙂

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Premium Member
(@itexpert7)
Joined: 1 year ago

Estimable Member
Posts: 191

@julien

I was told by my agent to ask for:
Fahrzeugbrief
Fahrzeugschein
Invoice with all details of the vehicle and seller and buyer fiscal number including km of the car, and engine number which mysteriously is needed in Portugal.
EU certificate of conformity of the car

Which the seller provided.
About transportation, I used a truck through Shiply, paid £1300, came in 2 days, no problems, even though it was lockdown then (week before Easter).
I wouldn't use a driver to drive my car for days, wouldn't be cheaper anyway. Driving myself is a possibility now, although the insurance is only 3rd party.

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Premium Member
(@itexpert7)
Joined: 1 year ago

Estimable Member
Posts: 191

Obviously the above is my own experience. There's risk involved in everything from crossing the street, to buying a used car from abroad!
As the saying goes "your mileage may vary" 🙂
I will buy a 2nd car soon, but this time I will go and see it first in Germany.

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Premium Member
(@itexpert7)
Joined: 1 year ago

Estimable Member
Posts: 191

@bayard
Hi, the import taxes are not high if you buy the right car.
I just this week imported an almost new car from Germany, BMW with 292 hp and only paid 1013 euros import tax. I got the Portuguese plates today.
Here's the import tax calculator website, I've been experimenting with that since last year:

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Premium Member
(@jeanne)
Joined: 12 months ago

Estimable Member
Posts: 247

@itexpert7 thanks for sharing the tax calculator.  What year is the BMW and how long did you own it before importing?  Thx

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Premium Member
(@itexpert7)
Joined: 1 year ago

Estimable Member
Posts: 191

@jeanne

Sorry I just now saw your question!
My BMW 330e is from June 2020, it has about 6 months of use, before they decided to sell it (it's from BMW).

> how long did you own it before importing
Erm, you mean how many days since I paid the full amount to the German BMW dealership and the car arrived in Portugal and I started the importation procedure? About 10 days I guess, does it matter? 😀

I had it delivered on the back of a truck, took 2 days to arrive. I only had seen photos and videos beforehand, but it was a premium nearly new car, so guaranteed to be perfect and it is like new. Saved me 28000 euros from the retail price minus 3k expenses including the tax.

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Premium Member
(@jeanne)
Joined: 12 months ago

Estimable Member
Posts: 247

@itexpert7. Jnteresting, 10 days. I thought that you had to own a vehicle at least six months in your/its country of origin to avoid paying extra import taxes.  But maybe I'm confusing different types of taxes.

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Premium Member
(@itexpert7)
Joined: 1 year ago

Estimable Member
Posts: 191

@jeanne

I paid import taxes, it's on my first message, just scroll up! 😀

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Premium Member
(@bayard)
Joined: 1 year ago

Active Member
Posts: 13

@itexpert7

thanks very much 

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Posts: 1866
VIP Member
(@old-bloke)
Noble Member
Joined: 13 years ago

Brexit doesn't affect the ISV free import of a car, it's open to any new resident no matter from where in the world they're coming from provided they meet the other criteria.

Artigo 58.º

Transferência de residência

1 - Estão isentos de imposto os veículos da propriedade de pessoas, maiores de 18 anos, que transfiram a sua residência de um Estado-Membro da União Europeia ou de país terceiro para território nacional, desde que estejam reunidas as condições estabelecidas nos artigos 59.º e 60.º
 
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Posts: 7
 800
Community Member
(@800)
Active Member
Joined: 6 months ago

"You will also need a signed letter of your driving record from your US state’s DMV. Most states will allow you to apply for it on-line, but they will only mail it to a US address. The ones which you can download and print are not acceptable by the Portuguese authorities. Take both of these letters and your residency card with your US driver’s license to the local Portuguese IMT office. You will need to surrender your US driver’s license."

wonder is this true while exchange foreign driver license to PT's ?  , thanks.

 

" You will need to surrender your US driver’s license."?????

 

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1 Reply
VIP Member
(@old-bloke)
Joined: 13 years ago

Noble Member
Posts: 1866
Posted by: @800

 

wonder is this true while exchange foreign driver license to PT's ?  , thanks.

 

" You will need to surrender your US driver’s license."?????

 

Yes.

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Posts: 7
 800
Community Member
(@800)
Active Member
Joined: 6 months ago

"You will also need a signed letter of your driving record from your US state’s DMV. Most states will allow you to apply for it on-line, but they will only mail it to a US address. The ones which you can download and print are not acceptable by the Portuguese authorities. Take both of these letters and your residency card with your US driver’s license to the local Portuguese IMT office. You will need to surrender your US driver’s license."

wonder is this true while exchange foreign driver license to PT's ?  , thanks.

 

" You will need to surrender your US driver’s license."?????

 

Reply




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