Matriculating Your Uk Registered Car in Portugal
If you have found your perfect Algarve property and are now looking to move permanently the decision f then arises of just which of your possessions you are going to bring across with you.
One of the biggest decisions we have found is whether to import your UK car or buy a Portuguese-plated one when you arrive. With the cost of both used and new cars in Portugal being very expensive the option to import a UK vehicle becomes an attractive alternative.
Why are Portuguese Cars So Expensive?
The main reason behind the price difference between Portuguese cars and their UK counterparts is the very high import tax on both new and used.
As most of the cars in Portugal are imported, with the VAT tax on the car and the ISV (Vehicle Tax) being around 20% each, that means a hefty 40% increase in price.
Portugal is a small country, with only a 10 million population, the market is small and spread over a large area can increase the costs of selling the vehicles. Add to that the need to offer a competitive warranty on all cars, the final price puts Portugal as the 9th most expensive country to buy a car.
Bringing Your Own UK Car into The Algarve
As detailed in the article Driving Your UK Car to The Algarve for Short-Term Stay, you can legally keep your UK car in the Algarve for 180 days or 6 months.
If after that period you decide to keep the car in the Algarve you will need to register, or matriculate, it as a Portuguese vehicle.
However, under these circumstances, you would have to pay the import tax on the car as you do need to have been living outside of Portugal with the car for the previous six months to take advantage of this.
Importing Your Car Exempt From Paying Import Tax
If you are looking to import the car under the government’s guidelines allowing foreigners to bring their cars into Portugal exempt from IRS taxes you must begin the registration process within 60 days of the car arriving in the. Country.
If you import your car from an EU/EFTA country, then you don’t have to pay ISV. Also, you only pay VAT if the car is brand new or you’ve owned it for less than six months. If you have already paid VAT on the vehicle in another member state you can claim this back.
Non-EU nationals, which includes the UK, who are moving to Portugal can claim exemption from ISV if they have owned the car for at least six months and have lived outside of Portugal during this period.
Therefore it is important to make a decision well in advance when bringing your own car from the UK.
Should your situation afford you this time, you could purchase a car that would be suitable for driving in the Algarve for example a left-hand drive vehicle, which can be much cheaper in the UK and hold more value matriculated in Portugal.
As long as you are living in the UK and keep the vehicle for six months you will be entitled to import the car into Portugal exemption import tax.
If you are still looking for your ideal home in the Algarve we have many properties for sale to suit all needs. Browsing our Algarve property listings will start you off on the right foot, try setting up a property alert to receive new property notices as they arrive on the market.
I have lived in the Algarve for over 20 years and love the experience. Now writing about and photographing the Algarve experience to share with others.
Contributor to all that is Algarve on Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:MarkMcLoughlinAlgarve
Books – https://amazon.com/author/markmcloughlin
YouTube Channel Algarve Elevated: Stunning Aerial Views- https://youtube.com/@MarkMcLoughlinAlgarve
Level 10 Google Local Guide for the Algarve – https://maps.app.goo.gl/QRC1qeLiWUc9wmQj6