Buying a car in Portugal

buy vehicle portugal

It is no secret that cars to be bought in Portugal are generally more expensive than in the rest of Europe and the vehicle tax (ISV) can become very important as it now takes into account the CO² emissions of the vehicle.  There will therefore be many cases in which the registration of your car will not be advantageous and you will want to move towards buying a car abroad and importing it to Portugal for registration.

You will find on this page the various things to know about buying a vehicle in Portugal but you can also if you wish to be accompanied throughout the procedure by a specialized English-speaking company, established in Portugal.

Buying and importing a car in Portugal: accompaniment

My English-speaking partner company is a human-sized company that has been established for several years in Portugal and has acquired a strong automotive expertise, a field in which it has been operating for more than 30 years: a very large number of vehicles available for purchase (new or used), some of which cannot be found in Portugal, a network with the largest European suppliers and therefore very advantageous prices on cars to be purchased and imported into Portugal.

These specialists in importing vehicles into Portugal take care of the whole procedure and guarantee you peace of mind in your steps: vehicle purchase, import, registration, delivery, assistance in taking out insurance, etc…

If you wish to be accompanied in your car purchase process in Portugal, use the button below and fill in the associated form. This company and its staff, whom I know personally, will contact you to discuss your project.


Vehicle prices in Portugal

No less than two years ago, a study carried out by the English website “Compare the Market” concluded that Portugal was the country where vehicles were the most expensive among 24 countries in Europe and the world: Portugal, India, Poland, Romania, New Zealand, Belgium, Germany, Canada, France, the United States of America, Australia, Russia, Greece, the United Kingdom, Spain, South Africa, Brazil, Ireland, Mexico, Italy, Japan, Holland and the United Arab Emirates.

buy car portugal

“Compare the Market” has divided the market into six segments: city dwellers, small family members, large family members, SUVs, luxury and sport. It then chose a model to serve as a barometer in each segment, the chosen models being respectively: the Fiat 500 , the Volkswagen Golf , the Volkswagen Passat , the Volkswagen Tiguan , the BMW 5 Series and the Porsche 911 . In addition to the purchase cost, the study counted the money spent on insurance, taxes and fuel prices.

Two striking examples of the cost of vehicles in Portugal compared to the rest of Europe:

  • Portugal is the most expensive country in Europe to buy a golf course, with a cost of up to 27,354 euros compared to only 21,842 euros in Spain.
  • A family vehicle like the Volkswagen Tiguan: its value 2 years ago in Germany was 29021€ when it was still in Portugal that it was the most expensive with a cost of 36804€ and therefore an astronomical difference of 7783€ between these two European countries for the same vehicle.

It is therefore very simple to make the connection and understand that using a car buying broker in Portugal who is able to negotiate prices abroad, arrange transport and registration of your vehicle in Portugal will often be cheaper than buying a new car directly here.

Who can buy a car in Portugal?

As you can imagine, anyone can buy a vehicle in Portugal and you will need very few documents to do so. However, you will need to have a physical address in Portugal as the necessary documents are :

Attention, your European vehicle will have to be registered within 12 months following your installation in Portugal if you reside there more than 6 months a year.

Buy a car in Portugal by your own means

You can perfectly buy a car in Portugal by your own means but as for all the administrative procedures or steps presented on essencial-portugal, I advise you to be very careful and avoid the traps.

buying vehicle portugal

There are two ways to buy a vehicle in Portugal :

Directly to dealers in Portugal. You will find in Portugal all the big known dealerships such as BMW, Mercedes, Renault, Peugeot, Toyota, Fiat, Seat and others but as seen above, the price of new vehicles in these dealerships will be for some models much more expensive than elsewhere in Europe.

Directly from private individuals who sell their cars in Portugal on numerous Internet sites. This method can be appreciable for connoisseurs but, as in France or elsewhere in Europe, it will be necessary to be extremely careful with the documents transmitted by the seller. These documents will be in Portuguese, the documents necessary to validate the sale are specific to the country and as a foreigner you could be a victim of scams. By choosing this method, you will not be accompanied when buying your car in Portugal and it will be up to you to check that the information transmitted by the seller is correct:

  • Chassis number
  • Registration information
  • Documento único automóvel
  • Property registration, fines…

Please note that in Portugal, the purchase of a second-hand car is also equivalent to the purchase of the associated debts and mortgages: you will therefore have understood the meaning of my warning and my systematic advice to expatriates to be accompanied by English-speaking companies established in Portugal to assist them.

Most purchased cars in Portugal

Find below the top selling cars in Portugal in 2019. A list that is proposed every year by the ACAP, Automobile Association of Portugal, information that can give you ideas about the vehicle you want to buy :

  • Renault Clio, 10649 cars bought
  • Mercedes-Benz A-Class, 7830 cars purchased
  • Renault Captur, 7730 cars purchased
  • Fiat Tipo, 5953 cars purchased
  • Citroën C3, 5709 cars purchased
  • Peugeot 208, 5667 cars purchased
  • Renault Megane, 5654 cars purchased
  • Peugeot 2008, 4979 cars purchased
  • Peugeot 308, 4970 cars purchased
  • Ford Focus, 4345 cars purchased

Buying and importing a car in Portugal

By validating this form, you authorize me to transmit your request to an English-speaking professional established in Portugal and qualified to accompany you in your project. Nothing is automated, these are professionals based in Lisbon, whom I know personally and who will contact you as soon as possible for a first exchange.

Essencial Portugal is a website that connects individuals/companies with trusted, certified professionals in Portugal to carry out projects in the country. Only these certified and approved professionals are able to inform you, offer and invoice these services.

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Essencial Portugal

Get in touch with trusted English-speaking professionals based in Portugal to help you with your administrative or expatriation procedures. 

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