Portuguese taxes on cars

In this page: a brief introduction to portuguese vehicle taxes.
Updated: 21th July 2020.
Summary: there are two taxes, ISV, paid when a license plate is delivered and, IUC, paid annually for possessing a vehicle.

Tax principle and some history

In Portugal, cars - and other vehicles such as motorcycles, boats or airplanes - pay essentially two taxes.

One, called Imposto Sobre Veículos or ISV (Vehicle Tax), is paid only once when the vehicle gets a portuguese license plate.

The other, called Imposto Único de Circulação or IUC (Circulation Unique Tax), is paid yearly, for having a (circulation) license plate.

These taxes were implemented in July 2007, replacing "Imposto Automóvel" and "Imposto Municipal sobre Veículos", respectively.
Previously, the vehicle tax ratio was focused on acquisition rather than property.
With the 2007 vehicle tax reform, tax revenue was evenly distributed between property and acquisition, to spread the tax revenue influx, reducing severe impact from highs and lows in the automotive market.

In Portugal, there are no taxes when you buy an used car - you'll only pay the registration fee (about 55€/65€, online/offline).
There are no regional taxes too.

On a side note, when a car gets a license plate number, it gets it for life, meaning that one car (VIN) = one license plate (almost always) forever.
Generally speaking, Portugal doesn't have transit, temporary or personal license plates and as a rule of thumb you can't change your car's license plate number.
Car insurance is a separate process from getting a license plate, your car can have a license plate and, if kept outside public roads, doesn't have to have car insurance.

How ISV works

The ISV for common passenger cars is calculated considering two facts: engine cubic capacity (displacement) and CO2 emissions.
Both are declared by the manufacturer through a document called Certificate of Conformity or by the Department of Vehicles' (IMT or Instituto da Mobilidade e dos Transportes) Homologation.

The math goes like this:

(engine cc * tax per cc - fixed deductible amount)
(CO2 g/km * tax per g/km - fixed deductible amount)

There are several tax brackets for engine displacement and several tax brackets for CO2 emissions.
The purpose of these brackets is to charge significantly more tax if the vehicle has more cc or emits more CO2. The government official version is that ISV tries to tax the most polluting vehicles.

More about this: ISV tax rate tables (in portuguese).

There are several tax reductions for several types of vehicles or owners.
If you're moving to Portugal and you bring your car with you, you can be exempted from ISV.

Some vehicles' tax calculation doesn't consider CO2 emissions (goods/commercial vehicles, motorcycles).
Hybrid or plug-in cars have a discount, electric cars don't pay any ISV.
There is a 500€ surcharge for diesel vehicles that emit more than 0,002~0,001g/km of particles (meaning, all diesel cars without diesel particulate filter - DPF).
Other tax breaks include cabs and car rental companies. The state itself and several other private institutions or individuals (firefighters, solidarity associations, persons with disabilities, diplomatic or UE staff) don't pay any ISV on all or some vehicles.

More about this: ISV legislation (in portuguese).

ISV is owed for new and used vehicles. Used vehicles imported from an UE country benefit from an age discount, between 10% (up to 1 year) and 80% (more than 10 years), but only for the engine displacement tax component. Any imported used vehicle pays the CO2 tax component as if it was new - there's no age discount.
Used vehicles imported from any other country (Switzerland or the USA for example) don't get any age discount on ISV and also have to pay 23% VAT (IVA), on top of any other customs duty, which range from 0% to 10%.

More about this: ISV calculator (in portuguese).

In general, ISV lets us be one of the leading countries in low car CO2 emissions. In everyday life, we have an underpowered car fleet. Cars with between 1.0 (gasoline) and 1.6 liters (diesel) of engine displacement represent the major share of cars sold.
We pay something like 500€~1.500€ of ISV for gasoline vehicles and 2.000€~4.000€ for diesel vehicles. Contrary to what these numbers may suggest, we are a diesel nation - fuel tax (ISP) is heavier on gasoline than on diesel and, corporate tax laws give more tax deductions to diesel than to gasoline.

How IUC works

IUC, the yearly tax, is based on the same principles. More cc, more CO2, more tax to pay.
Yet, there is a major difference between two classes of vehicles. Those that were registered before July 2007, benefit from a very low tax, because IUC was implemented on that date.
Previous to IUC, average cars used to pay a yearly tax of just 10€~50€.
After IUC was implemented, this yearly tax was increased to an average of 100€~300€. The most polluting vehicles, diesel +2.500cm3 and +250g/km CO2 pay something like 1.000€ every year.
When buying or importing a car, consider those that have a low engine displacement and low CO2 emissions.

More about this: IUC tax rates tables (in portuguese).

IUC is payable up to the end of the month of the portuguese license plate.
Example: if a car gets its license plate on 8th March 2017, one must pay IUC until 31st March in any given year. Nonetheless, although IUC is due yearly, only its payment is distributed along the year, to avoid payment peaks or last minute rushes.

There is no longer a "tax paid stamp" that you need to stick in the car. The police and transit authorities don't have any legal grounds to require any proof that the tax was paid. If you pay or not, it's only a matter of business between you and Autoridade Tributária (Tax Authority). However, Autoridade Tributária can and will issue a mandate to apprehend any car that is past due on IUC (something that, to my knowledge, is very rare).

More about this: IUC FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) (in portuguese).

The tax is calculated considering the same figures of ISV calculation: engine cc and CO2 emissions. There are two tax tables, one for each figure. Then, there is a coefficient factor to penalize younger cars. From 2017 there is also a new additional surtax for cars with more than 180g/km of CO2 emissions.
Diesel cars also pay a surtax. This surtax was meant to be temporary but, until now, it prevails.

Goods or commercial vehicles pay accordingly to their gross weight.
Motorcycles pay accordingly to their engine displacement and age (CO2 isn't considered).

More about this: IUC calculator (in portuguese).

There are tax breaks for some persons (disabled) or entities (state vehicles, solidarity associations, etc.).

The IUC tax is due until one cancels the vehicle's license plate, meaning, it's a tax for the life of the car.

More about this: IUC legislation (in portuguese).

There is a common confusion among imported used cars regarding IUC. The tax is payable, as mentioned above, until the end of the license plate's month.
But, some years ago, because we were importing too many used cars from UE countries (Germany mainly), there were concerns that these vehicles didn't match the wanted vehicle profile that Portugal was supposed to have. Let's say it another way: we were importing too much junk. So, the government changed our license plates layout to add a yellow side strip that mentions the month and year of the first license plate of the car, be it portuguese or not.
So, today, we have a tax that's payable until the end of the portuguese license plate's month but, in the physical license plate, the one that you find in the car, you can have a completely different month.
Predictably, this measure didn't accomplish its objective and in 2020, when a new format of license plates was issued because the old one was running out (dashes were dropped and the letter/number combination was changed to AB 12 CD), the yellow side strip with the car's first registration date was also dropped. As it is allowed for already issued license plates to change to the new format, you can see in the streets old cars with a new license plate format but with the old letter/number combinations (12 AB 34 and 12 34 AB).

Moreover, you can have a 2005 car, that was imported in 2010, that will pay IUC as a portuguese 2010 car (the tax's higher), and not a 2005 car, because the IUC is payable according only to the portuguese license plate date if its first license plate (registration) isn't from an UE/EEA country.
The only place where you can check the date and origin of the first plate is in the DUA (Documento Único Automóvel - we have some affection for initials), the vehicle registration certificate.
So, if you bring a 2000 car from an UE/EEA country you'll be paying IUC accordingly to the first license plate date but, if you bring the same car from a non-UE/EEA country, such as the USA or Russia, you'll pay IUC as if it was new in Portugal.

Further reading

If you need any further information, please feel free to ask using the comment box below.
I'm not a native english speaker, if my english isn't quite there, please do correct me, I'll be grateful if you do.
If you want to translate this article to your native language, post your translation in the comment box bellow and I'll add a new page to this site with your translation - with credits to you.

18.12.2017. 14:20

Brian em 02.07.2021. 14:35

@FD: Thank you very much, you were very helpful!

FD em 01.07.2021. 18:59

@Brian em 01.07.2021. 15:12

You'll have no problem about EURO V/5.

About the transformation to camper, that's a whole different story.
If that information is registered in the Zulassungsbescheinigung, maybe there won't exist any problem.
Nevertheless, the transformation must meet portuguese criteria to be considered a campervan for tax purposes.
Criteria: include living space containing at least benches and a table, sleeping space that can be converted from the benches, cooking equipment and provisions for food storage.

Please be also aware that portuguese authorities are, maybe, even stricter than german authorities about these custom transformations (for registry purposes not tax).
So, be sure that the campervan complies with all UE regulation before considering to bring it to Portugal.

Brian em 01.07.2021. 15:12

Ok, maybe it was a special character (smaller as sign) that interrupted the post: The vehicle I want to bring was first time registered in Germany as a EURO 5 Diesel transporter less than 3,5t in December 2015. Officially the EU set EURO 6 in force in September 2015, but many countries had transition periods, e.g. Germany up to September 2016, when EURO 5 cars could still be first time registered. Did Portugal have such a transition period? Can the vehicle be registered in Portugal despite EURO 5 and first time registration in December 2015? Meanwhile the vehicle was converted to a camper and is now registered as a camper in Germany. Will the vehicle be considered a transporter or a camper in Portugal?

Your help is very much appreciated!

Brian em 01.07.2021. 14:37


I hope you can help, because I couldn‘t find an answer to this anywhere. I am planning to permanently move to Portugal. The general tax rules and exemptions are clear, thanks to all your explanations.

The vehicle I want to bring was originally registered for the first time in Germany as a transporter

FD em 29.06.2021. 18:05

@Ali em 26.06.2021. 13:53

You have to have bought the car 6 months before you move to Portugal (the physical move, not any kind of residence permit or similar - in your situation please do confirm this information with the portuguese tax authority).

In your case, the car should have been bought around February/March 2021.

If you bought it in June, for it to be tax free, you should only move to Portugal around December/January 2022.

To my understanding, you can have the residence permit before the actual move and, therefore, be entitled to the exemption.

However, you'll probably have to prove that you did only move in December/January.

Please notice also that you'll have to stay in Portugal for at least 365 days, if you leave sooner, you'll have to pay all taxes that you were exempted from.
Also, there are some limits for students - make sure that you move to Portugal indefinitely and not for a fixed period.

Ali em 26.06.2021. 13:53

I have the following query regarding tax exemptions for relocating.

Current Residence: UAE
New Car (Less than 1,000 km) bought recently: June 2021
Portuguese Student Visa Expected: July 2021
Travelling to Portugal: Sep 2021
Portuguese Residence Permit expected: Sep/Oct 2021

As per my understanding of the regulations one can apply for exemption within 12 months of relocating to Portugal. How does the 6 months purchase date calculation work?

I ll keep dual residency (UAE & Portugal) for now and intend to keep some belongings including this car here in UAE and ultimately cancel my UAE residency in Dec 2021.

After UAE visa cancellation am I eligible to transport this car with tax exemption in Dec 2021 when the car was bought in June 2021 (6 months passed) keeping in mind that I relocated to Portugal in Sep 2021.
Does the Portugese relocation/residence permit date play a role here?

Thank you in advance


FD em 21.06.2021. 19:11

@Martin em 19.06.2021. 23:10

What's its gross weight?

Martin em 19.06.2021. 23:10


thank you so much for providing all the information here. I have a short question regarding trucks. I own a 1999 4x4 Mercedes 917 Truck that I would like to bring to Portugal with me. I just bought it, so no chance for ISV exempt.

The question I have is: what category is it? I have access to all simuladores but I don't understand the categories.

The load area is about 1,8 high, closed with tarpaulin and bows and it has a tail lift.

Thanks again for helping out!

FD em 13.06.2021. 12:43

@Rey em 12.06.2021. 15:11

No, you will not pay VAT, ISV or customs duty.
The exemption is independent of the country of origin.
More information (in portuguese): isenção por mudança de residência - condições e procedimentos.

Rey em 12.06.2021. 15:11


I'm transferring residency from the UK to Portugal soon and would like to take my car. I know that I can be exempt from paying ISV provided that I meet the requirements, which I am also aware of.

Of course the UK is no longer in the EU, does this mean that I am liable to pay VAT (IVA) and duty? And that the "transfer of residency" rule exemption does not apply when it comes to cars? Unlike my personal effects such as house hold items, as part of my move, are exempt.

Appreciate your advice or any insight.
Thank You!

FD em 04.06.2021. 11:58

@Dan Groza em 03.06.2021. 21:40

I don't need to double check, I already know how it works. :)

As said in that page: "If you are moving to another EU country with your car, specific rules apply to car registration depending on whether or not you want to move there temporarily or permanently, on the length of your stay and on the country you are moving to."
Thus, the rules aren't equal in all countries.

Just so that you can be sure, the law (automatically) translated:

Article 30
Requirements and period of validity

1 - The temporary admission regime allows taxable vehicles registered in another Member-State of the European Union to remain in the national territory with suspension of the tax for a maximum period of six months, consecutive or interspersed, in each 12-month period, provided the following cumulative conditions are met

a) the vehicles bear the definitive registration number of another Member State and are registered in the name of a person who has no normal residence in Portugal;

b) the vehicles are brought into Portuguese territory by their owners or legitimate holders for their private use.

2 - Vehicles subject to temporary admission may only be driven on national territory by their owners, spouses or unmarried partners, ascendants and first-degree descendants or by their lawful holders, on condition that these persons do not have normal residence in Portugal.

3 - By way of derogation from the provisions of the previous number, vehicles subject to temporary admission may be driven by persons other than the owner in the case of force majeure, mechanical breakdown or by virtue of a contract for the provision of professional driving services and their circulation must be carried out under cover of the respective definitive permits.

4 - The employees of duly accredited vehicle rental companies may be authorised to drive light motor vehicles subject to temporary admission on the way back to the State in which they are registered.

5 - Residents in national territory may only use vehicles with foreign number plates under the temporary admission system in the situations provided for in this chapter when prior authorisation from customs is granted for the purpose.

6 - For the purposes of this Code, a resident is considered to be an individual who has their normal residence in the national territory for a period of 185 days or more, per calendar year, as a result of personal and professional ties or, in the case of a person without professional ties, as a result of personal ties indicating a close relationship between themselves and the place where they live, as well as a corporate person who has its head office or permanent establishment in the national territory.

7 - The normal residence of a person whose occupational ties are in a different place from his personal ties and who consequently lives in turn in different places situated in two or more Member States shall be regarded as being in the place of his personal ties, provided that he moves there regularly.

8 - Individuals shall prove the place of their normal residence by presenting their identity card or any other document validly issued by a competent authority, and the supervisory authorities may, in case of doubt, require other elements of information or supplementary evidence.

You can read the legislation here: Artigo 30.º do Código do ISV.

Dan Groza em 03.06.2021. 21:40

because i want to take the car to Madeira island @the vehicle with a foreign EU license plate can't stay in Portugal for more than 6 months in any 12 months period (it can be seized if it does stay for more than that period).@ this means automaticaly I must register it, because it would be crazy to take the car out and pay the ferry each 6 months..so are you sure is not about how much time do I stay/reside in portugal ? can you double check ? look what I found writen on an EU website : https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/vehicles/registration/registration-abroad/index_en.htm

@ If you move temporarily to another EU country without changing your normal residence you do not have to register your car or pay any registration taxes there. You can keep your car registered in your country of normal residence.

Your normal residence is the place where you usually live, work or have family (for more than 185 days in a calendar year).

If you do not work, the normal residence is considered the place where you have personal ties which show close links between you and the place where you are living.

If you work in a place but your personal ties are in another EU country, you are usually considered having your normal residence in the EU country of your personal ties, provided that you return there regularly.

If you are stopped by the police in the country where you're temporary staying, you will need to demonstrate that you are not living there permanently. This can sometimes be difficult. When driving, it is a good habit to have with you your car registration certificate, the certificate of ownership and a proof of your normal residence (generally an ID card or document showing that you are registered as a resident in another EU country).@

FD em 03.06.2021. 12:58

@Dan Groza em 03.06.2021. 11:08

Yes, you can.
Please note that the portuguese inspection may be not valid in the country of origin (usually it is but there are exceptions).
Also be aware that the vehicle with a foreign EU license plate can't stay in Portugal for more than 6 months in any 12 months period (it can be seized if it does stay for more than that period).

Dan Groza em 03.06.2021. 11:08

one more question, can you make the Inspecção Periódica Obrigatória, IPO for an foreign car in portugal ? and the ipo to be valid so you can drive in portugal ? without registering the car in portugal (because let's say you drive it only 2 months/year)

FD em 18.05.2021. 11:50

@Dan Groza em 18.05.2021. 08:02

It depends.

Car registered in the EU before 1981 = doesn't have to pay IUC.
Car registered in the EU after 1981 = has to pay IUC.
Car certified as "vehicle of historic relevance", irrelevant if it was registered in the EU before or after 1981, can't be first registered outside EU and registered in Portugal after June 2007, 30 years or more of age and doesn't complete more than 500km per year = doesn't have to pay IUC.

These are the general guidelines.
More information (in portuguese) here: isenção de IUC em carros clássicos com mais de 30 anos.

Dan Groza em 18.05.2021. 08:02

hello ! you must pay IUC for classic cars, over 30 years old ? thank you !!!!

FD em 19.04.2021. 12:03

@Justyna Harris em 15.04.2021. 19:25

Brexit - the tax calculation is different when the car is imported from a country outside the EU.
Nevertheless, if it was imported before the end of 2020, it should (in theory) be considered an EU car but, the legislation isn't clear about that and the tax authority may interpret the law so that this happens.
Try and contact the tax authority to check if it is a mistake or if it is indeed like this.

Justyna Harris em 15.04.2021. 19:25

Hello , i have marticulated my car from Uk to Portugal 2020-12-23 the first registration for this car in UK was 2005-06-10. Its Mercedes c220CDI , cilindrada 2148cc, CO2 185g/km. On your table it says my IUC should be €67 but i have just looked on Finances portal and the charge is €415. Can you please expaint or help me understand why is so much and the difference from the table on your website. Thanks

FD em 23.03.2021. 11:32

@Martin em 22.03.2021. 20:00

Yes, autocaravanas (motorhome/campervan) are taxed differently.
You can simulate the cost here: motorhome/campervan tax simulator.
Remember: tax wise, it's only considered a motorhome if it has at least bench/chairs/stools/table, bed (it can be foldable) and kitchen, as in food confection and storage equipment (some California don't have kitchen).

Please be aware of VAT - if the campervan is new (less than 6 months of registration OR less than 6.000km - any of these conditions makes it "new") you'll have to pay VAT in Portugal, regardless of paying it in the Netherlands.

You don't have to pay VAT twice but, usually you'll have to pay VAT in the Netherlands, then pay VAT in Portugal. With the portuguese VAT receipt (DAV) you'll reclaim VAT in the Netherlands. However, this can be cumbersome if the seller isn't familiar with this type of transaction - state always to the seller that this will happen so that there aren't any surprises.
More information about this: VAT on the import of vehicles.

Sorry but, by principle, I don't recommend anyone.
This said, if you understand portuguese, the legalization/registration process is all detailed step by step here: how to legalize imported vehicles.

Martin em 22.03.2021. 20:00

Hi there,

Thank you very much for your information. And although I have read everything I’ve tried to use the calculator and I still feel I am doing something wrong. I do have some questions for you if you don’t mind me asking.

I am looking at importing a 2021 VW California from the Netherlands. The car is new however it has already been registered in the Netherlands. I am wondering whether I can import this vehicle as a autocaravana? Because I have heard that autocaravana’s are taxed differently?

Also, do you recommend a company that can import cars as a service? I have lived here for a while and to be honest I have learned to utilize services rather than try to go through the bureaucracy as a “bife”

Thanks again.

FD em 22.03.2021. 14:31

@Mirko em 22.03.2021. 09:57

Thanks for your email, I've already replied.
The car can't get the tax benefit because its electric range is lower than 50km (fields 5.2. in the COC).

Mirko em 22.03.2021. 09:57

Thanks @FD for your swift response. I have emailed you the COC-Paper and highlighted the relevant sections. Feel free to share this Example COC on this website to highlight which of the CO2-Values and Electric Range values are the relevant ones to look at.

FD em 21.03.2021. 12:13

@Mirko em 20.03.2021. 18:14

CO2 emissions considered for tax calculation: combined.
Electric range considered for tax calculation: the best of the values, whether it's city (better) or combined (worse).

Fields in COC: 4.0.3. and 4.0.5.

Legislation for CO2 emissions: alínea a) do n.º 1 do Artigo 4.º do Código do ISV.

Quanto aos automóveis de passageiros, de mercadorias e de utilização mista, tributados pela tabela A, a cilindrada, o nível de emissão de partículas, quando aplicável, e o nível de emissão de dióxido de carbono (CO2) relativo ao ciclo combinado de ensaios resultante dos testes realizados ao abrigo do ‘Novo Ciclo de Condução Europeu Normalizado’ (New European Driving Cycle — NEDC) ou ao abrigo do ‘Procedimento Global de Testes Harmonizados de Veículos Ligeiros’ (Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure — WLTP), consoante o sistema de testes a que o veículo foi sujeito para efeitos da sua homologação técnica;

Legislation for electric range: Ofício Circulado N.º: 35.141/2020.

A autonomia mínima de 50 km das baterias no modo elétrico dos veículos híbridos plug-in é relativa à autonomia combinada ou à autonomia em cidade, uma vez que ambas constam no certificado de conformidade, não tendo o legislador especificado qual o tipo de autonomia a considerar.

For it to be considered a plug-in hybrid with the correspondent fiscal benefit (pay 25% of ISV), it has to emit less than 50g/km of CO2 (49g/km is ok, 50g/km isn't ok) and have an electric range of at least 50km (49km isn't enough). Both conditions have to be met.
If you wish you can send me the COC to mobilista@gmail.com and I'll take a look.

Mirko em 20.03.2021. 18:14

thx for your useful website and responding the questions here.

I have found a used plugin-hybrid car in Germany that I want to import, but when I try to look up the values for electric range and co2 emmisions in the COC-paper there are several. some fit the limits and some dont. which values are being considered to establish if the car does indeed qualify as a hybrid? can you reference the page and number and section number on the COC please and also where does AT or IMT have this written down?

one last question the car has co2 according to WLTP-standard of 50gr, but will this be accepted or it was to be 49gr or less? the value is on bottom of page 3, section 49.4 in the COC-paper

thanks a lot.

FD em 09.03.2021. 12:23

@Artur em 08.03.2021. 18:16

Se a inspecção para atribuição de matrícula foi feita nos 3 meses anteriores à data 28/03, não precisa de fazer nova inspecção.
Se foi anterior a este prazo, poderá pagar uma coima se for fiscalizado mas, regra geral, face ao actual período, há alguma tolerência.

Artur em 08.03.2021. 18:16

Olá, você pode ajudar. Importei um carro da UE. O imposto alfandegário está pago e quase todos os trâmites terminados no IMT - receberam mensagem com matrícula também. Se eu estiver correto agora preciso obter placas de matrícula, pagar imposto de trânsito e seguro. Tenho que fazer nova inspeção no dia 28.03. Infelizmente estou no exterior e não posso viajar por causa da COVID por mais uma semana e precisarei ficar em quarentena por 14 dias após a chegada. O que posso fazer para adiar o processo e há penalidades por atrasos no processo? Obrigado.

FD em 24.02.2021. 11:53

@Jason Bunce em 24.02.2021. 11:01

You can simulate the cost by using the IUC calculator here: simulador IUC.
The difference between pre-2007 and post-2007 is always significant but, it's bigger in cars with large displacement and high CO2 emissions.

Did you brought the car to Portugal tax free? If so, please be aware that you can't sell it for 12 months.

Jason Bunce em 24.02.2021. 11:01

Please can you offer some advice?
I have just moved to Portugal and I have a 1.4, diesel mini 2004 plate car. I want to update my car and maybe get a 1.4-1.6 diesel mini but either a 2007 plate or 2010 plate. Could you advice or let me have a rough idea of the different amount I would pay for IUC yearly tax if I was getting a mini reg before 2007? or after? Is it a big difference in price?

Warm regards,


FD em 16.02.2021. 12:27

@Rene em 15.02.2021. 16:00

You can't sell the car for one (1) year, from the date of the portuguese registration.
It used to be 5 years but this has changed recently, it's natural that you might still find information that isn't updated.

Rene em 15.02.2021. 16:00

Thanks for publishing the comprehensive information on importing a car. I hope to relocate from the Netherlands to Portugal and should qualify for exemption ISV and bring my Golf sportsvan 1395 cm3 from 2014 (love my car) but it depents on the period I need to have the car on my name to qualify. Is it 1 or 5 years that the car can't be sold, loaned or rented out? Given medical reasons, I might not drive be able to drive a car on the long term and don't want to have to pay the full ISV after a couple of years. Thanks for your assstance. Rene

FD em 10.02.2021. 11:11

@Shirley em 10.02.2021. 11:02

Yes, please read: portuguese license plate cancellation.

Shirley em 10.02.2021. 11:02

Bom dia,
I have a camper with Portugese liscence plates and woud like to suspend them since we're not driving in it. Do you know anything about this?

FD em 13.01.2021. 11:16

@Falko em 12.01.2021. 21:10

Yes, you can drive with a german registered car in Portugal for 6 month every 12 months without any need for a permit or to pay taxes.

If you decide to stay in Portugal permanently (minimum period 12 months), you can be totally exempt from taxes when registering your car in Portugal, as long as some criteria is met.
More information about this: testimony - bring your car along with you to Portugal without paying ISV.

With the above mentioned exemption you'll pay around 200€ to register it.
If the criteria isn't met, I think it's cheaper and easier to buy one here (don't what brand and model, cm3 and CO2, but...).

Falko em 12.01.2021. 22:32

Hi! I will start a new job in Portugal and want to travel to Portugal in my "1.000-EUR-cheap / 19-year-old" car to transport my most essential stuff with me. Since the job has a six months probation I was wondering if it is possible to use my car for the first six months with the German licence plate (avoiding the ISV)?

When the job turns out to be fine I would move officially to Portugal (before that only a holiday apartment or similar).

With that old car I assume it would be cheaper to buy an used car in Portugal instead of register my old car? I tried the "Simulador ISV 2021" but still don't know how much I need to pay if I would register my old one - there are two prices: one for 2020 and one for 2021???

FD em 14.12.2020. 16:04

@Yegor em 14.12.2020. 15:28

As long as the car stays in Portugal for more than aprox. 6 months per year, you'll have to register it and thus pay ISV.
IVA (VAT) is only payable if the car is new or has less than 6 months and 6.000km.

There are some exceptions to this but, you'll either have to be in Portugal in some sort of mission (work, studies, etc.) or you have to work between EU countries.
More information about this (in portuguese): drive a car with a foreign license plate in Portugal.

Yegor em 14.12.2020. 15:28

Hello, thank you for all your answers. Sorry, maybe I will repeat someone else's question, but I'm not sure I found something similar in this thread. Here's my case:
Non-EU citizen moving to Portugal for 3-4 months per year. I would like to buy a car in Germany and import it to Portugal. Do I need to pay VAT or ISV, if the car will have more than 6,000km and 2 years registration. Of course, it won't be in my possession for more than 6 months. Just a used car imported from Germany. Thank you!

FD em 30.11.2020. 14:39

@David Carter em 30.11.2020. 09:38

No, that's not true.

One, be it portuguese or not, there's no relevancy to its nationality, when moving to Portugal, can bring one vehicle tax free within certain conditions.

Read more about this: testimony - bring your car along with you to Portugal without paying ISV.

David Carter em 30.11.2020. 09:38

Hello. I had heard that Portuguese residents could import one car every 10 years without having to pay tax. Is this correct? Thank you!

FD em 06.11.2020. 09:25

@Rhys em 05.11.2020. 11:46

Please be aware that any UK import should be done until end of 2020, more information: Brexit - importing a vehicle from the UK to Portugal.

It's better if you calculate the cost by yourself, that way you can see if changes can happen when choosing different type of vehicles.

You can calculate taxes for these kind of vehicles here: light goods vehicles ISV calculator (choose "caixa aberta" that stands for flat bed or pick-up).

The only factors that are considered to calculate the tax are age and engine displacement.

The most inexpensive are pick-ups with up to 3 seats (with or without 4x4).
The most expensive are the ones with more than 3 seats and 4x4.

1. It can be imported to Portugal, but you'll have to change its headlights and any other components that aren't legal in Portugal (+75%~70% opacity tinted front windows for example).
2. If imported outside the EU, it will pay VAT (23%) and customs duty (0%~10%), rendering it economically nonviable (which is what will happen to UK imports beginning 2021).

Sorry but, I don't provide that kind of service, you should search for an "agência de documentação de automóvel".

Rhys em 05.11.2020. 11:46

Are you able to give approximate costings for two x different ( but related ) vehicle importations into Portugal please ?
NB I am not ( at least at present ) intending to transfer permanent residence to Portugal, but remain resident in UK.

1) I already OWN a Toyota Hilux Surf, 3000 cc petrol . vintage 1996. Imported into UK personally direct from Japan in 2012 and all UK taxes paid of course. It cost approx $10,000 to purchase in Japan.
How much would the total taxes be to import this car into Portugal ? Indeed, can it be imported, ie can the headlights be switched for driving on the RHS ?
2) If instead of importing this car which I already own, I imported direct from Japan into Portugal, a Toyota Hilux Surf vintage 2010, costing $8,000, what would be the total , approximate, taxation etc costings for importation into Portugal and 1st Registration in Portugal ( the car having been DE registered in Japan prior to my purchase and shipping to Portugal ) ?

Actually, i have a third Q : is dealing with all the bureaucracy to achieve legal importation something which you, personally, do for a fee ? If so can you please provide direct contact details to discuss further ?

A propósito.........percebo portugues, se prefere responder nessa língua......

FD em 13.10.2020. 13:47

@Jose Araujo em 13.10.2020. 13:20

Já escrevi sobre esse assunto aqui: novidade ISV e IUC para 2021.

Jose Araujo em 13.10.2020. 13:20

Boa tarde,

Chegou-me esta notícia por intermédio de um amigo que recentemente veio viver para Portugal e a quem estou a ajudar a legalizar 2 carros para uso em Portugal.

Têm mais alguma novidade?
A ser real, para avançar e sem "letras pequeninas" (no passado o Governo Português sempre que alterou o sistema, nunca foi para beneficiar o consumidor) finalmente resolve o problema das exorbitancias para legalizar alguns carros.

Tanto eu, com 2 (ou mais caso se possa vir a reaver valores gastos em carros já vendidos), como alguns amigos de outros países que já ajudei quando se mudaram para cá, teremos alguns milhares de €s para receber caso as regras mudem ... e o governo aceite retornar valores pagos ilegalmente. Se for como IUC, depois de reclamar valores logo durante o mês de Janeiro, ainda estou à espera ... sentado.

Obrigado pela vossa atenção e pelo bom trabalho com este website.

MARK BAO em 06.10.2020. 14:22

thanks for your great help sir! i finally understand it.

FD em 06.10.2020. 09:54

@MARK BAO em 05.10.2020. 16:35

Just a small remark: ISV isn't an import tax, it's a registration (license plate) tax.

Pure electric vehicles (BEV/EV) don't pay any ISV (one time tax) or IUC (yearly tax).
This doesn't apply to PHEV or any other kind of hybrid.

If you bring a Tesla to Portugal you'll pay 10% customs duty + 23% VAT (IVA) on top of its value.
Any of these taxes is calculated with all expenses included, meaning that you pay tax considering the good's value + shipping + insurance, etc.

If the value of the car is 10.000€ and it costs 1.000€ to ship it to Portugal, you'll pay:
Custom duty = (10000 car + 1000 shipping) * 0,1 custom duty = 1.100€ custom duty
VAT = (10000 car + 1000 shipping + 1100 custom duty) * 0,23 VAT = 2.783€ VAT (IVA)
Total tax = 1100 custom duty + 2783 VAT = 3.883€
Government mandatory fees to register it (includes inspection, license plate, vehicle registration, owner registration) = +/-250€
If you outsource the registration procedure (someone does everything for you) = 250€-500€

Please be aware that the tax authority (Autoridade Tributária) can correct the car's value if it considers that it is undervalued.

MARK BAO em 05.10.2020. 16:35

hello! for the EV such as TESLA there is no import TAX right? but i still need to pay 23% VAT + 10% duty tax?
if the car value for 10000 euro so i have to pay 3300 euro for the total amount of TAX?
thanks a lot!

MARK BAO em 03.10.2020. 03:03

thanks for your help!

FD em 02.10.2020. 09:11

@MARK BAO em 02.10.2020. 03:10

You may be exempt from any tax.
Please read: bring your car along with you to Portugal without paying taxes.

If you don't meet the criteria, you can calculate the tax due here: car tax calculator (you'll have to provide the vehicle's market value).

In a case of non-exemption I strongly advise you to not bring your car - the tax cost seldom justifies it.

MARK BAO em 02.10.2020. 03:10

hello!thank you for provide such great information.
i will move to Portugal in this December and i plan to take my car with me. i have some questions about the tax. my car is a 2017 made BMW X3 xDrive20d Auto,
Engine Size. 1995cc (2 litre) ,
and I’m from China (non-EU country)
could you please help me to calculate that how much tax i have to pay in Portugal ? and what is the base for the market value of the car how to calculate it?is base on the car sale invoice?
many thanks for the help!

FD em 30.09.2020. 11:20

@Stuart S em 30.09.2020. 10:28

If you import it until 31st December 2020, unless something changes meanwhile, it's considered an EU import.
More information about this: Brexit - importing a vehicle from the UK to Portugal.

If you buy it with 4.800km on the clock, you'll have to pay IVA (VAT) in Portugal, regardless of if you have paid it in the UK or not.
For this not to happen, you must buy it with at least 6 months of registration and 6.000km.
Please notice that these limits are established on the date you buy it, not the date you initialize its registration in Portugal (meaning = you can't drive to Portugal and complete the necessary 6.000km on the road).

UK VAT = 20%
Portugal VAT = 23%
Considering this fact only, you should pay VAT in the UK.

Nevertheless, if you choose to pay VAT in Portugal, the amount is calculated on top of the car's purchase value + taxes (ISV). So, you'll pay VAT on a tax.
Imagine that you'll be paying 10.000€ of ISV. If you choose to pay VAT in Portugal, you'll pay an extra 2.300€ of VAT.
I strongly advise you to pay VAT in the UK.

More information about this (in portuguese): VAT on the import of cars or motorcycles.

A final warning: don't delay the car's import - everything is behind schedules (because of COVID-19) and you may not be able to register it before the end of the year, thus paying a lot more taxes.

Stuart S em 30.09.2020. 10:28

Ola, bom dia,

I am contemplating importing a Range Rover from the UK. I have been onto the 'Portal das Finanças' and used the simulator, however, the situation seems more complex than the simulator allows for (VAT and Brexit) - I wondered if you can help?

I'm a UK Citizen and Portugues resident (> 3 years). The vehicle is a;
Range Rover Sport P400 Hybrid HSE
Electric/Petrol vehicle with a 3l engine
WLTP CO₂ Emissions of 237
1st Registered Feb 2020

The two things I'm trying to clarify (easiest first)

o If I purchase and bring the vehicle this year, is it an import from the EU of outside of the EU?

o The vehicle is VAT qualifying in the UK and the motor dealer will supply it with VAT paid or without VAT paid in the UK (I am a private individual not a business). If I elect to go for VAT paid in the then I guess, subject to the EU/Non EU question, the figures in the 'Portal das Finanças' are ok. If I go for the, no VAT paid in the UK option, Im not sure what the total costs of importation will be?

Cumprimentos Stuart.

FD em 29.09.2020. 16:36

@Adolf em 29.09.2020. 15:59

For a 200g/km CO2 figure it will cost you around 8000€.
The CO2 emissions are measured when, in the process necessary for its registration, the car's inspected at a "Centro de Inspecções" (UK's MOT test centre). So, this figure can be higher or lower, depending on the car's engine health (more fuel consumption = more CO2).

Adolf em 29.09.2020. 15:59

Actually, I don't know the CO2. Its a 1992-manufactured Mercedes 190E 1997cc petrol with catalytic converter. It seems back then there was no COC document issued, so the best I could do is estimate it from the mpg figures.....this leaves me at a figure of 200g/km but someone told me the tax people here have a look-up table they use for older cars, where the CO2 is not recorded on the registration papers. So, for my attempt to work out the tax I wrote down 200g/km and that's when I got to almost 20,000 euro of tax.....so I assume I am wrong somewhere.

FD em 25.09.2020. 15:56

@Adolf em 25.09.2020. 14:44

What's the car's CO2 emissions figure?

Adolf em 25.09.2020. 14:44

I am looking at importing a classic car, Mercedes 190E (1997cc) from the UK. Its lefthand drive so suitable for here. When I enter the simulator for taxes I am getting a very high figure, nearly 20,000 euro for a car that will cost me 4000 euro to buy. Am I doing something wrong? I live in Portugal now and cannot import it as a transfer of residence so I have to pay taxes. How much do you think I should pay with all costs included?

FD em 25.09.2020. 13:33

@Bouwe van der Plas em 25.09.2020. 03:00

Yes, that's correct.
But, it costs 2.300€ including all expenses (travel from Germany + tax + bureaucracy).
The ISV cost alone is 1039.03€ for a flat bed, non-4x4, 4 to 6 seats vehicle aged +10 years with a 4.000cm3 engine displacement.
The bureaucracy cost is around 200€.
Please be aware that these costs are for an EU import (Netherlands for example). If you import it from a third country, the USA for example, those costs are totally diferent.

Yes, a "truck"/"pick-up" (flat bed) is considered a commercial vehicle in Portugal.
The IUC is 32,52€ if its gross weight is less than 2.500kg.
You can check all the IUC tax brackets for commercial vehicles here: commercial vehicle IUC tax table.

The IUC due is independent of its owner classification as private or company.

Bouwe van der Plas em 25.09.2020. 03:00

I want to import a Toyota Tundra pick-up from 2007 4x2 (4.0 V6).

Is it true that:
- The ISV is relatively low because it is a commercial vehicle which is more than 10 years old (caixa aberta 4-6 lugares)? According to the Simulador tool it costs about 2300 euros excluding the standard fee of 1250 euros

- The IUC is only about 32 euros per year, because it is a pick-up? And is this also applicable when the car is not registered to a company but just for private use?

Many Thanks,

FD em 07.09.2020. 21:30

@Peter em 07.09.2020. 21:21

Whether the car is used or not, the tax must be paid.
If you don't pay it when it's due, you'll have to pay a late fee of 88,25€ (minimum, it can be higher if you don't pay it after notified).

If you don't have access to "Portal das Finanças", you should send an email to your "Serviço de Finanças" asking for the payment reference: email list of all "Serviços de Finanças".

After receiving the payment reference, you should do a SEPA transfer (EU bank transfer) following these instructions: how to pay IUC from abroad.

Peter em 07.09.2020. 21:21

Very helpful website!
My parents have a car in Portugal but due to Coronavirus will not be able to travel back to Portugal before the IUC tax payment is due end of this month.
As the car will not be used until they visit next March is this a problem?
Can they pay the IUC when they next visit without a penalty or problem?
They have forgotten the password to the on-line payment system so can not pay on-line as they do not know how to reset the password.
Many thanks in advance for your help!

Gary em 02.09.2020. 15:54

You Sir are a gentleman!
Many Thanks

FD em 02.09.2020. 14:15

@Gary em 02.09.2020. 13:47

The COC eases the process but it isn't mandatory.
As long as the motorbike's documents provide enough data for registration in Portugal you don't need anything else.
If it doesn't, you'll need to provide some kind of official document that can attest its characteristics (catalog, user manual, etc.).
In the cases where the same model/version was sold in Portugal, there's already an unique homologation number ("número de homologação nacional") that will be used without need for anything else.

You don't need to know its CO2 emissions figure as that data isn't used for tax calculation, that rule only applies to passenger cars. Motorcycle's tax is calculated using only its displacement figure and age.

If it's imported from Peninsular Spain (not from the Canary Islands), you'll only pay about 13,34€ of ISV tax, so, don't worry about that. However, don't forget that the registration process is more expensive - expect something like 150€-300€.

Gary em 02.09.2020. 13:47

Hey, Thanks for taking the time to reply.
A friend has done the process from the UK without a CoC, I’d the because the authorities know the details about his bike? Being a scooter from Spain with an age of 1999, would I need a CoC before buying it to be abe to import it?
Im finding it hard to obtain the Co2 emissions for a scooter this age, is it allowed to ask you what the ball park ISV would be? Sorry to ask, but I’m terrified of making a costly mistake in importing a scooter from Spain. Thanks in advance.Gary

FD em 02.09.2020. 12:57

@Hedwig Vermeiren em 02.09.2020. 11:52

Yes, it's correct.

Read more about this: how to reclaim IUC paid in excess for imported vehicles.

Hedwig Vermeiren em 02.09.2020. 11:52

Good morning, I have a question: I imported my car from Belgium, I think in 2010. All these years I paid car tax, on average 230 Euros/year. Two years ago I sold my car.
The new owner called me a few days ago to say he only has to pay about 35 Euros of tax...And he suggested that I contact Financas to see if I paid too much all these years and if I can claim my money back...

Is this correct? If yes, what do I do to get my overpayment back?

Many thanks
Best regards
Ms Hedwig

FD em 02.09.2020. 09:22

@Gary em 01.09.2020. 20:23

No, there's no problem if the registration document isn't in your name as long as you have any other document that proves that you're the rightful owner (invoice, declaration of sale/purchase statement, etc.).

Gary em 01.09.2020. 21:00

* it’s a 200cc (198). The selling price is about £2000

Gary em 01.09.2020. 20:23

Thanks for taking the time in writing the above, I wonder if you could clarify something?
I live in Madeira Portugal, I would like to import a Vespa scooter from Spain. The seller supplies scooters with original paperwork, an export certificate from the traffico department, plus a invoice in the buyers name. The registration document would not have my name on it, would that be a problem bringing the scooter in? The scooter will be over from 1984 and over 6000 kms. Tks Gary

FD em 31.08.2020. 12:04

@guido em 30.08.2020. 17:48

Cost: tax simulator.

You'll need a CO2 figure to simulate the tax.
If you don't have it (it's natural): how to know the CO2 emissions of a car.

How to register it in Portugal: how to legalize imported cars in Portugal.

You probably don't have the time or knowledge to go through this process without difficulties, consider contacting a specialized company to do this for you - search for an " agência de documentação automóvel".

Final words: that car might have high CO2 emissions, in these cases, the tax is very high (expect >15.000€). If I were you, I would buy an used car in Portugal.

guido em 30.08.2020. 17:48


We own a property in Portugal through my company. We are not Portugese residents.
But we would like to have a car in Portugal because renting a car 3 months a year has a cost and I like to drive a nice car, not a rental car.
I want to bring over a 1985 Mercedes 280 SL and put it on Portuguese plates.
On my company or private, does not matter.
I can not find how to do that and what the cost would be.
Can anyone help ?

FD em 30.08.2020. 13:00

@RL em 30.08.2020. 10:58

You'll need to cancel its registration.
You can do this by using a procedure called "cancelamento de matrícula por exportação".
The entity responsible for this is the IMT: http://www.imt-ip.pt/sites/IMTT/Portugues/Paginas/IMTHome.aspx
You need to fill a form and deliver the car's portuguese documents ("Documento Único Automóvel" or "Certificado de Matrícula").

In principle, you can do it remotely, contact the IMT by email and ask them for instructions.
You can also try to contact the portuguese embassy/consulate in your country.

RL em 30.08.2020. 10:58


I have moved away from Portugal and took my car with me. Now it is registered to new country and has plates of new country. What should I do to unregister can from Portugal. Thank you for your help

FD em 19.08.2020. 12:06

@Austin em 19.08.2020. 09:36

Em princípio sim mas terá que fazer uma inspecção para poder voltar a ter matrícula (78,44€).

Austin em 19.08.2020. 09:36

Estou pensando em compra um carro, mas a matrícula é listada como cancelada. O carro foi parado por alguns anos.

é possivél restabelecer a matrícula?

FD em 17.08.2020. 16:16

@Vignesh em 17.08.2020. 15:11

Being an electric vehicle, you don't gain much from bringing it from Dubai as "portuguese" electric vehicles only pay VAT + duty tax.
Considering that you'll have to transport it and register it (registration process = ~300€), it will cost you almost the same as an used or new "portuguese" Tesla 3.

Nevertheless, if you really want to bring it with you, it will cost you:
10% duty tax + 23% VAT + registration (~300€)
This amount is calculated considering the vehicle's market value and it should include all expenses (transport + insurance, etc.).
Duty tax is calculated on top of the car's market value + transport + insurance + any other costs (except registration).
VAT is calculated on top of the car's market value + duty tax + transport + insurance + any other costs (except registration).

Imagine that your Model 3 has a market value of 40.000€.
Transport + insurance = 1.500€
Duty tax = (40000 + 1500) * 0,10 = 4.150€
VAT = (40000 + 1500 + 4150) * 0,23 = 10.499,5€
Registration (DIY) = 300€
Registration (by a specialized professional) = 300€ + 500€ (professional service cost)
Total cost = ~17.000€

If you can pay the loan before the 6 month period prior to moving to Portugal, I strongly advise you to do it, you'll only pay the registration fees - you'll save about 15.000€.
Or, you can simply sell it in Dubai and buy an used car in Portugal.

Vignesh em 17.08.2020. 15:12

Just a heads-up in terms of my previous comment -- I presently live in Dubai, so it'll classify as a non-EU vehicle.

Vignesh em 17.08.2020. 15:11

Hey guys,

I'm planning on moving to Portugal in Autumn 2021 as a student at NOVA (fingers crossed anyways) and I wanted to figure out transportation. The most viable option for me seems to be to import a Tesla Model 3 Performance, but I cannot bring it in tax-free because the loan will only be paid off after I complete 6 months in Lisbon. Does anyone have any idea what this will amount to VAT/Customs/Duties-wise? I don't think I'll have to pay ISV what I gleaned from the article. Thanks in advance!

FD em 16.08.2020. 16:13

@Lucinda em 16.08.2020. 13:47

1. No.
In that case, you can either apply Tabela A or Tabela B, choose the one that's best for you (less expensive).

2. Yes.
As long as it's considered an "autocaravana" (portuguese for motorhome), it's irrelevant if it's 4x4 or not.
A campervan can be considered an autocaravana as long as it has: a living space with seats and table, a sleeping space even if it is converted from any benchs/seats, kitchen equipment (sink and stove or similar) and a cabinet or fridge to keep food.
These vehicles pay 30% of Tabela B.

3. In theory, yes.
In real life, it can be a bureaucracy nightmare (homologation, public clerks that aren't used to or don't have knowledge about these exceptions, etc.).

4. Yes, check answer #2.
If you'd like to review the exact phrasing of the law:

e) autocaravanas, considerando-se como tais os automóveis construídos de modo a incluir um espaço residencial que contenha, pelo menos, bancos e mesa, espaço para dormir, que possa ser convertido a partir dos bancos, equipamento de cozinha e instalações para acondicionamento de víveres;

Source: Alínea e) do Artigo 2.º do Código do ISV.

Lucinda em 16.08.2020. 13:47

Firstly, many thanks for providing this great resource!

Please can you confirm whether the following is correct?

1. If I import a VW Transporter van with all-wheel drive (4x4), it will be subject to ISV as per Table A whether it is a mixed use e.g. Kombi or purely cargo because it is 4x4.
2. If I import a VW California Ocean campervan with all-wheel-drive (4x4), it will be subject to ISV per Table B.
3. It is possible to import a van with 4x4 and ask for the ISV to be suspended whilst the van is converted into a campervan so that Table B applies.
4. To qualify as a 'motorhome' a campervan must have sleeping, kitchen and seating area.

Sorry for all the questions but it's a very confusing area! Thank you so much for any help.

Best wishes,

MarkD em 10.08.2020. 07:50

Thank you very much for all your help - much appreciated.
Fantastic detail, patience and knowledge.


FD em 07.08.2020. 11:34

@Mark D em 06.08.2020. 18:52

There's a vehicle full tax exemption (one per person) when you move to Portugal.

Yet, you say that you have a residence certificate, is it a NHR?
If it is, there's some doubt if you're entitled to this exemption, depending on how much time you spend in Portugal and where your habitual residence is.
You should clarify this by talking to the "Alfândega" (portuguese customs) or your Embassy. It's a specific situation that isn't clearly contemplated in the law and in which I don't have the necessary experience to help you (it's a rare case).

Market value: the average price of a given same spec vehicle (age, body, engine, fuel, etc.) for sale.
You can get this value by asking for it to an used car valuation service (Eurotax for example) or by asking an appraisal to a car dealership (not for them to buy it but for them to sell it).
If you want something a little more simple, just collect the prices of similar cars for sale at the moment in any swiss classifieds platform and calculate the average. You should provide prints of these (or the URL) to portuguese customs. Then, the portuguese customs will verify the authenticity of these claims and accept it or ask for more proof (appraisals, etc.).

Mark D em 06.08.2020. 18:52

Apologies for more questions.
I am also considering retiring here early next year and relocate from Switzerland. I currently have Portugal residence certificate but have not changed fiscal address. Does that change anything regarding my car tax situation?
Anyway if not I still may change plates here as the Nissan has I much higher spec than the ones you kindly pointed me towards on the website. (thanks for the link) it was a special Swiss edition that was fully loaded etc - I have not see this spec in Portugal.
When I contacted the Swiss garage that sold me the car new they said they would give me €12,000 to buy back the car (typical garage!) However it does raise the point who determines market value ? What would my taxes be if the value was €12,000 .

Appreciate your help and patience with my questions


FD em 06.08.2020. 11:55

@MarkD em 06.08.2020. 10:59

As I've said, it isn't financially wise to import it, you'll be paying 12.233,87€ in taxes (plus transport and at least 200€ for registration procedures) if I value it at 18.000€ (more if I value it at 22.000€).

This is the tax due for your situation, there are no exceptions or benefits in your case.

For your reference, you can buy today a similar car - unless yours is a 4x4, a feature that in most cases you don't really need in Portugal, as there's almost no snow - (with a portuguese license plate) for about 20.500€ (with warranty from a trusted seller) without any bureaucracy or stress: https://www.standvirtual.com/anuncio/nissan-qashqai-qashqai-1-6-dci-tekna-premium-ID8ORB4U.html

MarkD em 06.08.2020. 10:59

Thanks rot response - very much appreciated.If I may please pick your expertise again with some follow up

The car details are Nissan Qashqai 1.6L Diesal. Bought new in Switzerland for €41,000 Oct 2016.
Engine side 1598cc CO2 emissions 122 g/km.

I quite like the car as it has low mileage 22,000 km Amd been fully serviced - it’s like new.

How do I assess current market value in Switzerland - tha can vary quite a lot depending on What market portal you use . But I think value is somewhere around 18,000 - 22,000 euro

I did contact a local company that say they manage this matriculation process and they think I just have to pay isv? What’s your thoughts on that - am I entitled to any exceptions.

Do you also provide that service - I would be happy to pay you for more advice and in addition get you to handle the process. I can provide my contact details if required.

Thanks again - very pleased with your professionalism and knowledge.

FD em 06.08.2020. 10:52

@Wolfgang em 06.08.2020. 08:04

To my knowledge, if you're going to apply for the residence move exemption, you don't have to worry about VAT and the 6.000km rule.
This rule only applies to intracommunity acquisitions.
Well, in your case, you didn't acquire anything - you'll move your residency from one country to another, bringing with you your possessions (including your car), thus, in my opinion, there's no VAT to be paid.

Because it's a rare case (sometimes I may oversee something in uncommon cases, such as these that imply several national and international laws), I ask you to please confirm this information with the portuguese "Alfândega" or your Embassy.

As for the deadline to initialize the legalization process, you have 20 work days to initiate it after the car lands in portuguese territory.
The 12 months deadline applies when you move to Portugal and don't bring your car in that moment.
- if you move and bring your car at the same time, you have 20 work days
- if you move and don't bring your car, you have 12 months to bring your car after you move, once the car arrives you have 20 work days

FD em 06.08.2020. 10:18

@Mark D. em 05.08.2020. 22:02

You don't provide any data about the car so that I can confirm that the ISV calculation is correct.

VAT and customs duty are calculated accordingly to the car's present value (as an used car), not its value as new.

You can use the ISV simulator to calculate the correct total amount (all taxes) as long as you provide the car's current swiss market value.
In the field "Idade e origem do carro" choose the last option "Qualquer idade país não UE", then, fill the "Preço carro" field. That'll give you the full price to legalize it in Portugal.

As a rule of thumb, importing an used swiss car to Portugal is a big no-no - it will cost you more than to buy the exact same car in Portugal.

Wolfgang em 06.08.2020. 08:04

Hello, I'm moving from Germany to Madeira in December 2020, I bought a new car in December 2019, the car is now over 6 Months old but has only 2,500 km. This mean that I will need to pay VAT again if I don't reach the 6000km. My question is: I'm planing to bring the car in a container with German plates, drive the car in Madeira 2 or 3 months until it reaches the 6000km. Then register the car in Portugal so I will not need to pay the VAT again. Would this be possible? I will also request ISV exception because I'm stablishing my permanent residence in Madeira, do I have to initiate this process as soon as the car arrives in Portugal? I read there is a 20 day deadline, and a 12 months deadline. I'm not sure how it works. Thanks a lot!

Mark D. em 05.08.2020. 22:02

I would like to import a diesel car I bought, from new, in Switzerland 4 years ago in 2016.
Cost of car new was €41,000 (vat included). I still live and work and pay taxes in Switzerland but have second home in Portugal. My understanding from your site is that taxes would be as below:

1.Using ISV simulator approx €5000
2.Customs duty 10% of current value €1500- €2000
3.Vat 23% - is this on value of the car when it was first purchased? therefore €9430

So in total approx €16,000.

Is this number directionally correct ?

Thank you for taking time to answer, much appreciated.

FD em 01.08.2020. 16:11

@Luke em 31.07.2020. 04:05


Luke em 31.07.2020. 04:05

Hello, If I qualify and I apply for the ISV exemption, because I'm moving to Portugal, will I still have to pay the 500€ surcharge for diesel vehicles that emit more than 0,001g/km of particles?

NG em 28.06.2020. 13:59

"Car racism" Hahahahaha... ;-)))))
I'll tell that to the buyer if I sell the car in the future ;-)

Thanks for clarifying that. This website in invaluable!
Cheers! NG

FD em 27.06.2020. 16:43

@NG em 27.06.2020. 06:48

Thanks for your compliments, they're appreciated. :)

Tax values wise, being it from 2014 or 2021, it's indifferent - it pays exactly the same.
If it was from 2004, there would be a big difference, but not from 2014.

In Portugal, unlike many other european countries, you get ONE license plate for ONE vehicle and that pair is for life. So, when you sell a car, the car doesn't get a new license plate - it keeps it (for the car's life). Even if you cancel a license plate, the number/letter configuration is still saved for that car for a period of up to 5 years.

The "nacional/importado" issue is, how should I put it, "car racism".
As simple as that.

Being a "nacional", you can check almost everything about it - the check-up history, the MOT/ITV (UK/Spain) history (IPO, aka "inspecção periódica" in Portugal), you suppose that it was used in mediterranean weather conditions (no rust), you suppose its km odometer wasn't manipulated, etc.

Where as being an "importado", you can't check anything - being foreign, it's an anonymous vehicle of which you can't "know" its history.
As if the portuguese don't manipulate the odometer (they DO!), as if the portuguese roads are immaculate unlike a foreign road, as if the portuguese maintain their cars in pristine conditions where as the other europeans don't... you see where I'm getting right?

The "importados" have a "car stigma" that's been difficult to cease to exist, because the first ones (which were indeed bad cars some 30 years ago) gave the "fame" to all the others... today is non-sense but somehow it still prevails because of some "bad actors" (sellers that buy "bad condition" cars abroad and sell them "like new" here - which also happens to "nacionais" but... whatever).

Hence, it's usual that some people have preference for "nacionais" and don't even consider "importados", thus reflecting their (inferior) market value.

As long as the car was first registered in an UE+EEE country (like Spain), there's absolutely no difference/discrimination about the IUC.
Yet, you can find some old cars that pay the "new" (more expensive) IUC because they were first registered in a non-EU+EEE country, like Switzerland, which is a prime destination for (some) portuguese immigrants.

NG em 27.06.2020. 06:48

Very impressed with the quality information on this website! At first I thought it was a government website, with so much information and also in English and keeping in mind the difficulties for foreigners. There’s obviously a lot of questions in this complicated field and you seem like a good source of answers. An (ex) civil servant or Agencia consultant in the field I presume? Anyway, congratulations on this great work!

After having done a lot of research, I still have a question I can’t seem to find the answer to...
I’ll be moving to Portugal and importing my car from Spain early next year. After reading all the necessary requirements, I’m fairly confident I can be exempt from the ISV as the car has been in my name for over 8 months.

But reading the last part of your article, suddenly raises another question: What if I want to sell the car in a couple of years? (I understand you can not sell it in the first year)
I understand that the ISV will not be a problem BUT the IUC will be calculated on 2021 value instead of the 2014 date of first matriculation. And as I understand that may be a lot higher?

Is that why, when you look at cars for sale in Portugal (on standvirtual for example) many ads mention “Origem: Nacional or Importado”? Is this all about the IUC?
Is there such a big difference in price? (I understand the buyer will have to pay the same IUC every year?)

(I believe in Spain the IUC is based on the horsepower of the car, regardless if it’s from 2000 or 2020)

Thank you and keep up the good work!

B&EH em 12.06.2020. 12:45

Thank you for your help and the useful information on your website.

FD em 12.06.2020. 10:33

@B&EH em 11.06.2020. 16:45

Sorry, I don't do any services of the sort.
You should search for an "agência de documentação automóvel".

B&EH em 11.06.2020. 16:45


This website is the most understandable information I have yet found about matriculating an EU vehicle. This gives me the confidence to ask you if you can arrange a matriculation for us? If you can, please let me know. Covid19 has made things a little more complicated but I am sure you can help.
Thanks & regards

FD em 06.05.2020. 13:26

@Emanuel de Castro em 05.05.2020. 19:49

Because your question was more complete in the other page, I'll answer it there.

Emanuel de Castro em 05.05.2020. 19:49

I am South African but born of Portuguese parents here. So I have dual nationality (both SA and Portuguese passports and ID's). I intend to permanently emigrate to Portugal. My challenge is that I have small classic car collection consisting of:

1. 1958 Autobianchi Bianchina (479cc)
2. 1958 MGA (1600cc)
3. 1966 Jaguar E-type (4200cc)
4. 1968 MGC (3000cc)

My concern is that taking these with me to Portugal could not be economically viable from a local registration and import duties perspective. It would be sad to sell these in South Africa as I have lovingly restored each of these to concourse standard over the years.

Could you advise what sort of costs I'm looking at if I decided to import all of them? I'm hoping there are sufficient concessions for classic cars that may make this viable.

Many thanks for your help

Emanuel de Castro

TC em 16.04.2020. 15:26

Muito Obrigada!
We were told by friends it would be taken at the end of the month before so for road tax due in April it would be taken in March. So we were worried!
I set it up directly in the Financas office and I gave a copy of the document so hopefully it is in order.
Thanks again.

FD em 16.04.2020. 10:52

@TC em 15.04.2020. 23:14

The money is only taken in the last days of the month.
Be sure that it is all set up correctly.

TC em 15.04.2020. 23:14

Thank you for excellent information.
I wish to ask one question. I bought a new car in April 2019, it was taxed on 05.04.19.
In January I set up payment by direct debit with my local Financas Office because I am not back in Portugal until June (hopefully)
The money has not been taken from my bank account yet. Should I be worried ? Thanks again

FD em 28.02.2020. 11:27

@Brian em 27.02.2020. 20:36

Unfortunately your message was cut and I don't know if you were asking something.
Could you repeat it?

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