5 mistakes to avoid when registering your car in Portugal

For most people who choose to move to Portugal, registering their vehicle is often part of the process. As often during an expatriation, things are not so simple! Indeed, if you have the right to move to Portugal with your favorite vehicle, you also have rules to respect when you register your car. In order to import your vehicle to Portugal it is necessary to avoid mistakes that can be fatal. What are the 5 mistakes to avoid when legalising your car in Portugal ? What are the pitfalls to avoid when importing a vehicle ? Bob, the expatriate's assistant in Portugal, tells you the 5 mistakes you should not make when registering your vehicle in Portugal.


Do not ask for the Certificate of Conformity of your car

The registration of his car in Portugal starts before leaving his country. Indeed, one of the first steps when you register your vehicle is to pass the technical control. However, in order to pass it you absolutely need the European Certificate of Conformity COC. The mistake that many expatriates make is to request it once they have moved to Portugal. Issued directly by the manufacturer or dealer depending on your case, this original document is given to any buyer of vehicles in Europe. But the delivery time are 5 to 6 weeks : less time to register your car.

If you move to Portugal without having the certificate of conformity of your vehicle, you will lose valuable time and complicate your installation. The main risk? Exceed the legal period for your registration which must be done within 12 months after your arrival. Also, by asking for it before leaving for Portugal you will save time and thus be able to launch registration procedures more quickly and serenely.


Do not inquire about the ISV tax exemption

The ISV tax (Imposto Sobre Veículos) applies to the registration of foreign car in Portugal and is calculated by the Portuguese customs according to several criteria. Pollution, age, type of fuel, CO2, its calculation is complicated, and the amount can also increase very quickly (up to 40 000 €!) and constitute a very bad surprise.

Remember to check the amount of this tax before importing your vehicle. Good news, you can, in some cases, apply for an exemption from this ISV tax when registering your car. Indeed, Portugal allows under certain conditions to be exempted and able to drive with his car on Portuguese roads. To find out if you are eligible and apply for tax exemption, do not hesitate to use our ISV tax simulator. It is easy, fast and free. Bob is here to make your life easier!


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Do not clean your engine

Yes, this may seem surprising, but a dirty engine may fail the technical check. Indeed, when registering your car in Portugal one of the first steps will be the technical control. This, in addition to checking the safety and functionality of your car, also checks that the car you are presenting (as well as the engine) is the one listed on the Certificate of Conformity.

In Portugal inspectors of technical control centers are prohibited from touching the engine, and this, even if the dirt prevents to see the number of the engine. So, if it is the case on your car and the engine number is not visible the technical control is simply not validated (which aims to avoid as much engine traffic) and the registration of your car delayed. So be careful to skip before the fateful appointment, and everything should be fine!


Thinking that you have 12 months to register your vehicle in Portugal

This is often the result of a poor overall understanding of the situation. Because yes, the Portuguese law indicates a period of 12 months for the legalisation of your vehicle (since January 1, 2018) from the moment you move to Portugal. However, insurance companies cover your vehicle only for a period of 3 months outside the national territory. And that, the Portuguese police know it well! She does not hesitate to verbalize the offenders who find themselves driving without insurance without necessarily being aware of it because thinking to be still in time to register their car.

Also, you will need to show proof of exit from the territory if you wish to show your good faith regarding the insurance coverage period. A tip : do not try to lie: if you crossed the border through automatic gantries your car is already "known" of the Portuguese police and they can easily find the dates of your passages (and that of your car) to Portuguese borders. Worse, in case of a responsible accident the convictions are usually heavy and can even lead to jail! The sooner you register your car in Portugal, the sooner you can subscribe to a Portuguese insurance and so ride serenely.


Do not appeal to Bob to register his car!

For all these long and complicated administrative procedures, which require a lot of time, legal knowledge and some practice of the Portuguese administration, Bob is simply your best ally! We know it from experience, an expatriation is not easy, and errors are (very) easy to commit, especially when registering a car in Portugal. Thanks to the expertise of Bob and his team of shock, you are certain to make complete files, to respect the legal deadlines and to be able to concentrate on the essential aspects of your expatriation. So contact us, Bob takes care of everything!

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