Brexit - importing a vehicle from the UK to Portugal

On this page: I explain where stands the import of vehicles from the United Kingdom under Brexit.
Last update: December 2020.

Also read: portuguese taxes on cars.

If the current agreements and plans are maintained, the UK will definitely cease to be a member state of the EU on 31 December 2020.

Until that day, any import of vehicles (cars, motorcycles, etc.) from the UK is deemed to be from EU territory.
This means that until the end of 2020, importing a vehicle from the UK or Germany is exactly the same, as it was until now.

From 1 January 2021, any import of vehicles from the United Kingdom to Portugal is considered to be made from a third territory, regardless of any previous status (be it an EU manufactured vehicle or not, being registered before Brexit, etc.).
This means that any import of vehicles from the United Kingdom from that date on will pay VAT (23%) and have no age deduction in the calculation of the ISV (registration tax), paying this tax as if it were new. New vehicles are, within certain rules, tariff free but, until now, I haven't found information about used cars. I hope to have this information in January 2021 when all the tariff databases are updated.
In practice, this means that it will no longer be economically rational to import (without exemptions) any vehicles from the United Kingdom.

Despite this, the exemption given in cases of change of residence remains valid for the UK (and any other country).
If you move to Portugal you can always bring a vehicle with you completely tax-free.

There is still no information about what will happen in relation to the IUC (annual tax).

For vehicles after 2020, what will always count as the date of calculation of the IUC will be the date of Portuguese registration.
However, for pre-2021 vehicles, the law is not clear on whether they will be considered as having the first registration in an EU country on the date of registration or on the date of import into Portugal. Let's see how the law is written:

Category A: Light passenger cars and mixed use cars with a gross weight not exceeding 2 500 kg that have been registered, for the first time, in the national territory or in a Member State of the European Union or the European Economic Area, since 1981 until the date of entry into force of this code;

If you import a car from the United Kingdom whose first registration was in 2006, when the UK was still a member state of the EU, is that the date considered for the IUC calculation because in 2006 the UK was still part of the EU, or is the situation of the country considered at the time of importation?
In my opinion, from my interpretation of the wording of the law, I think the situation of the country at the time of importation will be taken into account, so any vehicles imported from the UK after 2021 will always pay IUC considering the portuguese date of registration, not taking into account that the UK at the date of the first registration still belonged to the EU.

This is especially important in cases of exemption when moving to Portugal - the exemption still exists on import, even if the UK leaves the EU but, in regard to paying the IUC, there may be a negative discrimination, just as there is today in relation to Switzerland.

Therefore, be particularly careful when importing vehicles from the UK from 2021, even with exemption on import.
On top of this, I would remind you that in the case of cars, the steering wheel is on the wrong side, you will have to spend some money changing some things (headlights, etc.) if you ever need to sell the vehicle it will have a much lower commercial value than a vehicle with a left-hand drive, and you may even go as far as not being able to sell it, because nobody will buy it.

This said, if you have or want to import a vehicle from the UK, do so by the end of 2020 - don't delay it.
From 2021, I would completely advise against importing vehicles from the UK
, except in the case of motorcycles or vehicles other than passenger cars that are exempt under the exception given when you move to Portugal.

08.07.2020. 11:22

FD em 19.07.2021. 16:59

@Adilson em 19.07.2021. 15:20

You have to declare it at the customs office - both in England and in France (I suppose that's how you'll enter the EU territory).
You'll have to pay VAT.

Adilson em 19.07.2021. 15:20

Planning to take my dirt bike ( no road legal,just invoice) inside of my car from England to Portugal. Just pack and go or any paperwork please?
TIA. Cheers

FD em 16.06.2021. 11:43

@Peter Toms em 15.06.2021. 14:50

That car doesn't pay 1.800€ of ISV, it pays around 8.000€ if gasoline and 20.000€ if diesel.
You are probably using the age discount to calculate the ISV amount but, being the UK a third country, there is no age discount, that's only for cars registered in the EU countries.

As with the ISV calculation, being the country of origin the UK, you'll also have to pay VAT/IVA (those rules you mention are only applicable to EU countries).

The amount considered to calculate VAT/IVA is: price paid + expenses (transport, etc.) + ISV = total * 0,23 = VAT/IVA to be paid.

Peter Toms em 15.06.2021. 14:50


I have found a nice LHD car in the UK for sale and want to bring to Portugal

I am a Portugese resident, this will be a 2nd car, for my wife, I did bring my 1st car in duty free, so do not expect that to happen again as I am about to buy the car now

Car is 1.6L
Value around Euro 3,000
Emissions 180g/kg
Weight approx 1,500kg (under 2,500kg)
Age around 15 years
Do I pay 2 taxes ?

1) ISV (I calculated at approx Euro 1,800)
2) VAT - what rate ? (this is IVA ? )

If I have to pay VAT / IVA then this is my UK value or the value of the car the Portugese decide is appropriate ? On what base do they work the VAT out on

I have also read on another website " IVA (VAT) is only payable if the car is new or has less than 6 months and 6.000km. " Is this correct ?

Or any other taxes ?

I think I have to pay DAV / DUC / Inspection / IUC

Thanks for your support, and I look forward to giving you any feedback I get on the process

Cheers Pete

FD em 25.05.2021. 11:50

@Stephen em 25.05.2021. 09:12

You can also provide a sworn statement written and signed by you.

Stephen em 25.05.2021. 09:12

I arrived by road in 202.
Do I still need to provide receipts and gas? This is for the entire journey through France and Spain.
I didn’t keep these!!

FD em 11.02.2021. 14:22

@Kevin Fitzmaurice-Brown em 10.02.2021. 19:08

If it arrived before 31st December, you can still matriculate it by 2020 rules, but you'll have to prove that (toll ticket, gas receipt with the license plate, etc.).

Kevin Fitzmaurice-Brown em 10.02.2021. 19:08

Does anyone know what the situation is now for used cars from the UK My car arrived in Portugal prior to the BREXIT December 31 st. deadline and I want to matriculate it now.


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