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Buying a car in Portugal can be an exciting prospect, but it also comes with its own set of challenges, particularly if you’re not from here and don’t know your way around. There are certain things you need to bear in mind if you want to buy a car in Portugal. Here are some pros and cons of buying a car in Portugal as an expat.


Getting your paperwork ready

Unless you’re planning on using public transport or renting a car every time you want to leave your house, buying a car is pretty much essential. The good news is that the process is relatively straightforward if you have all the right documents. Here’s what you need to know:
First, you’ll need your residency card or passport. You’ll also need proof of address, so make sure you have a utility bill or rental contract in your name. If you’re not sure where to go, the best place to start is your local motoring association like the Automóvel Club de Portugal (ACP). They can help with any questions you might have about the process.
Next, you’ll need to get insurance.

What documents are needed?

When you buy a car in Portugal, you’ll need the following documents:
  • your passport
  • residency card
  • driver’s license
  • proof of insurance
You’ll also need to bring along a Portuguese translation of your driver’s license if it’s not in English. If you’re not a resident of Portugal, you may also need to provide a tourist visa or other type of entry visa.

Should I buy a second-hand car?

Buying a second-hand car is a great option if you want to save money. You can find good deals on websites like OLX and Standvirtual. Be sure to check the condition of the car before you buy it, and get a mechanic to take a look if you’re not sure. You should also make sure that the car has a valid MOT certificate.

Insuring your new purchase

When you buy a car in Portugal, you’ll need to insure it. The good news is that there are plenty of options for expats. You can choose from local insurers or international ones. There are also insurance companies that specialise in insuring expats.

Special considerations when owning a foreign car

Here are some things to keep in mind if you will be buying a car in Portugal:
  • On one hand, having a car gives you the freedom to explore the country at your own pace. You can also avoid crowded buses and trains.
  • However, keep in mind that gas is expensive in Portugal and parking can be difficult to find (and costly).
  • You’ll also need to get your driver’s license translated if it’s not in Portuguese.

How RHJ Accountants Can Help

We recognise more than ever that individuals and businesses from the UK and other countries may be globally mobile. We aim to make you aware of the tax-efficient opportunities, available tax relief and structure finances for life at home and abroad.

Our international team of specialists operate from offices in the UK and Portugal. We work together synergistically to provide tax efficient solutions to our clients to help them grow their business whilst keeping tax liabilities to a minimum.

Get in touch with us today to find out more, or to make use of our services.

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💬 PSA: between April & June our Portuguese team have limited meeting availability due to the Tax Return Submission Period 🇵🇹