Testimony - bring your car along with you to Portugal without paying ISV

On this page you´ll find a first hand testimony of someone who filed an ISV exemption when moved to Portugal.

Reader Luis Pires would like to help people in the same situation and so, described us the necessary process, to date, to file an ISV exemption, when moving to Portugal.

Remember that this exemption is for all persons that move to Portugal, portuguese or not, country of origin in the UE or not - the ISV exemption request is possible for all the people from all the countries.

This is the (amateur) translated transcription of the text written by Luis Pires on the comments section of another page (I´ve slightly edited the text, added links where necessary).

I´m new here and maybe I can help someone with my own experience.

For those who intend to return to Portugal and bring your car with you and legalise it without paying ISV, you should do the following:

  • The car must be in your name for at least 6 months.
  • Get from the proper authorities of the country where you reside a certificate stating that you´re leaving the country, meaning, you´ll be canceling your residence in that country. If that doesn´t exist, the Portuguese Consulate will testify that.
  • In Portugal get a inspecção B (a license plate inspection) - you should have the car´s COC.
  • After the inspection (if approved), you go to the IMT and ask for the homologation number.
  • You go to the Portal do Cidadão and fill the DAV (Declaração Aduaneira de Veículos) online and send it to the AT (Autoridade Tributária), you write down the DAV number and go to the AT office of your portuguese residence (you can see which office you belong to in the AT website).
  • Take photocopies of everything, car´s documents, inspection, passport or citizen ID, COC, some documents of your daily life in that country, utility receipts, rent receipts, etc., take salary slips too.
  • You need to have your address regular in Portugal and be debt free to the AT.
  • After that you just have to wait a few days and pick up the DAV at the AT office.
  • After, with the DAV, you´ll need to go to the car registry office and register ownership.

I did all these steps alone, I had an ISV exemption of almost... 11.000€!

There´s always a catch... in the first year you can´t loan the car, and you can´t sell it for 5 years, or else you´ll have to pay the remaining ISV, you can´t change your address outside Portugal for a year (at least it was like this in 2017).

I´d like to point out that the clerks at the Jardim do Tabaco AT are very friendly, helpful and efficient! Be it by phone, email or in person. Congratulations!

I hope that this helps anyone´s doubts.

Doubts or questions? Use the comments section below.

02.02.2018. 12:01

FD em 17.07.2020. 09:53

@David Allen em 17.07.2020. 07:55

Yes, that's correct, as long as you comply to the criteria mentioned above - you have owned the car for more than 6 months prior to your move and you have lived in the US for more than 6 straight months.
You have to supply official documentation (proof of residence, etc.) that can attest this, otherwise, you may not get the exemption.

David Allen em 17.07.2020. 07:55

I arrived in Portugal from the U.S. on Dec 23, 2019. I did not immediately bring my car. I understood that I have 12 months to get it here and not pay the import duty taxes. Is that correct?

FD em 15.05.2020. 11:23

@Deb em 15.05.2020. 11:08

If you're not moving and the car is in your name, it's not ISV exempt.
It will only be when you move definitely - until then it's a no-no.

And please be aware that it can't be in Portugal for more than 6 months per year, unless it's given a special permission.
More about this: conduzir um carro com matrícula estrangeira em Portugal.

Deb em 15.05.2020. 11:08


We are from the UK and are in the process of relocating to Portugal.
My partner has already relocated and is living here. I will continue to live between both countries until my contract is up at work.

We would like to import my car from the UK to Portugal. It is registered in my name but I would like to leave the car here so we have a relatively new car without it costing us a crazy amount. I have owned the car for 3.5 years. The car has a 1.2 motor and falls under the yearly £30.00 tax bracket in the UK.

Would we fall under the ISV exemption or not as I will not be permanently based here but my partner will as the car is registered in my name?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated

FD em 05.01.2020. 15:42

@Miguel em 05.01.2020. 15:22

Com o livrete do carro (V5C/logbook) dirija-se ao serviço de Finanças mais perto do local onde o veículo permanece e indique aí que pretende pagar o IUC.

Miguel em 05.01.2020. 15:22

Ola boa Tarde, gostaria de perguntar como posso fazer para obter o celo de circulaçao para um carro de Matricula Inglessa em Portugal.?

FD em 04.09.2019. 22:53

@Harry em 04.09.2019. 18:46

As far as I'm aware, Turkey belongs to the EU Customs Union.
Therefore, movement of goods between EU countries and Turkey is completely free.

You don't have to pay any tax in Portugal if you decide to choose this motorcycle to benefit from tax exemption regarding your change of residence, as described in the text above.

Harry em 04.09.2019. 18:46

I'm from the UK, but have been living in Turkey for the past four years. I'm trying to bring my motorcycle (second hand, I've had it more than a year and done more than 6,000KM) from Turkey, riding it from Istanbul to Portugal, where I will become a resident.

Do I need a customs export form (from Turkey) in order to bring the bike to Portugal?

I ask, because Turkish customs have told me they won't give me one unless I ship it. They say I should just to take green card insurance at the border and then return to cancel the registration papers and licence plate at a notary.

I am fine doing that, but will Portugal allow me to import it if do not have the form?

Secondly, I also have to prove vehicle tax has been paid on the bike in Turkey. How do I do that if the bike is second hand?

Finally, does this exempt me from paying all taxes, or do I still have to pay VAT?


FD em 03.07.2019. 12:41

@Rosario em 03.07.2019. 12:01

You're exempt as long as you meet all the criteria.
Please read this for more information: isenção por mudança de residência - condições e procedimentos.

Rosario em 03.07.2019. 12:01

Excellent advice, thank you all
I am a non resident Portuguese national living in London for the past 15 years prior to that I had been living in different countries of the world, I am looking to move back to Portugal and start anew as I recently bought a flat along the silver coast. As I have never lived in Portugal for more than 30 days in the past two years or worked in Portugal , do I need to pay the ISV import tax to bring my car from UK to Portugal or am I exempt from it . Any advice is appreciated

FD em 06.04.2019. 18:23

@Claudio em 05.04.2019. 17:55

If you're moving and you meet the criteria above, no, you will not pay VAT (named IVA in Portugal).
When moving, the tax exemption is total, meaning, you don't pay any taxes (customs duties, ISV and VAT).

Claudio em 05.04.2019. 17:55

This has been very helpful, thank you...
If importing a motorcycle into Portugal when immigrating from South Africa to Portugal, do I pay VAT 23%?
Trying to figure if its better to sell vehicle and buy there or import it...


FD em 21.03.2019. 11:01

@Jackson em 21.03.2019. 10:19

Your translation is correct.
But, please be aware of the c) paragraph in that same article.

From what I read of it, the car could have been purchased in a different country but, it must have been your property (i.e. registered) in your country of origin.

Jackson em 21.03.2019. 10:19

Thank you FD. I suppose it's best to re-register in UK and wait 6 months then...

On article 60 (b) - can you confirm what the first part says? Does this refer to the purchase or the registration of the vehicle "in the country of origin or in a country where the owner has also previously resided"?

b) ter sido adquirido no país de proveniência, ou em país onde anteriormente tenha igualmente residido o proprietário, em condições gerais de tributação e não ter beneficiado na expedição ou exportação de qualquer desagravamento fiscal, presumindo-se tal facto quando o veículo se encontre munido de uma placa de matrícula de série normal, com exclusão de toda e qualquer placa temporária


FD em 20.03.2019. 17:26

@Jackson em 20.03.2019. 16:13

The law states that the vehicle must:
- not had any fiscal exemption/benefit in the country of origin regarding its export
- have a definitive license plate in the country of origin
- have been registered in your country of origin in your name for at least 6 months

There's no mention to what address the vehicle must be registered in, meaning that, to my understanding, your vehicle's UK registry address can be different from your UK address.
This said, I wouldn't facilitate it - I would registered it under your UK address - you never know what an overzealous civil servant is capable of.

You can read the full article regarding this here: Artigo 60.º Condições relativas ao veículo do Código do ISV.

Jackson em 20.03.2019. 16:13

Hi, firstly thank you very much for these resources & replies to comments - very good information available!

I understand to be ISV exempt, my car must first be registered in my name for a minimum of 6 months.

I am a UK resident looking to move to Portugal. My car was purchased in France & currently registered in Germany.

Unfortunately I cannot find information on where (which address & country) my car must be registered for 6 months before importing to Portugal, hoping to avoid massive ISV charges...

To be ISV exempt, does my car need to be registered at my official UK residence address?
Or, can my car be registered at a different UK address (still under my name)
Or, can my car be registered in any EU country (e.g Germany, under my name) even if my official residence is UK?

Will I first need to register my car under my UK address for 6 months before importing - or is the car registration location not important and only the name that counts?

Kind regards,

FD em 14.01.2019. 14:42

@rebecca em 14.01.2019. 11:58

O seu carro com matrícula francesa pode permanecer legalmente em Portugal 6 meses, seguidos ou não, por cada período de 12 meses. O período de 12 meses não é anual.
O carro apenas pode ser conduzido por um não residente em Portugal.

Your car with french license plates can be kept legally in Portugal for 6 months, consecutive or not, in any period of 12 months. That 12 month period isn't linked to a year.
The car can only be driven by a non resident in Portugal.

rebecca em 14.01.2019. 11:58

Eu sou um residente do Reino Unido com casas de férias em Portugal e na França. Eu tenho um carro registrado francês que eu comprei de uma garagem na Inglaterra há um ano e registrei-o do meu endereço de casa de férias na França. Eu tenho uma carteira de motorista francesa. Eu paguei para transferir os documentos para o meu nome, é MOT verificado e atendido regularmente na França.
Por quanto tempo posso legalmente mantê-lo em Portugal e o que devo fazer para cumprir a lei de Portguese? Se eu o mantiver em Portugal durante seis meses por ano, é o tempo calculado a partir de 1 de Janeiro ... ou o dia em que o dirijo a Portugal, Obrigado pela sua ajuda antecipadamente.

FD em 07.12.2018. 10:45

@John H em 07.12.2018. 05:07

O ISV a pagar por motos não é tão caro quanto o dos carros.
O máximo de ISV que pagaria seria 224,49€ + IVA.
A despesa maior seria o IVA sobre o valor da moto, que é 23%, e as taxas aduaneiras.

De qualquer forma, a lei é clara: a isenção é válida para motos, pelo que pode ficar completamente isento de qualquer imposto.

Quanto ao COC, uma vez que a data da primeira matrícula da moto é anterior à implementação da legislação do COC (1996), está isento da sua apresentação.

John H em 07.12.2018. 05:07

Obrigado, este é um guia realmente útil, talvez o mais útil até agora. Minha situação provavelmente será um pouco diferente e eu me pergunto se você tem algum conselho. Espero mudar-me para Portugal no próximo ano fora da UE e espero trazer comigo uma moto porque a possuí há muito tempo. É feito em 1990, então será 29 anos, vou comprar um carro em Portugal depois que eu chegar, então a moto será tudo que eu tenho por um tempo. Eu não acredito que eu possa obter um COC por causa da idade da máquina, é provável que eu possa importá-lo sem pagar ISV? se eu tiver que pagar ISV é possível calcular o que isso custaria para uma moto de 980cc?

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