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Old Apr 8th 2013, 1:39 am   #1
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Default I have matriculated my car tax free ... here's how

Hey guys, I decided this Jan to apply for residency and matriculate my car ... it has been a mission and I only had until 5th March and I managed to do it in time without paying the ISV/IVA ... which would have been in total be around €14k for my car that only cost me £2.5k in the UK (I know, crazy right?).

Following is my story and costs to get this done. Everybody's story will be slightly different as their situations are different and the rules of Portugal are different depending on who you speak to or what day it is.

Something I will mention is that I did all this in Portuguese ... if I didn't pick up the language and couldn’t communicate in Portuguese, I wouldn’t have accomplished this (not without a translator) ... this is crucial.

---------------------
2nd JAN

I live in Tavira and I went to apply for residency as I'd been in Portugal for just over 3 months. This is also a prerequisite to matriculate your car. I went with the required documentation: passport, self-employed work contract, bank statement, fiscal number, residency form with date of arrival.

Initially I went to the SEF building and the man told me that for the 1st time I should go to Camara. I did this, and the woman told me I need an Atestado from Junta de Freguesia which will prove I live where I say I live. So I get the Atestado form from the Junta which has to be filled in from 2 Portuguese voters that will vouch for me and my address.

8th JAN

I have the Atestado form filled in and go to the Junta. The woman tells me to return the next day.

9th JAN

I pick up the Atestado document and pay €3. I go to the Camara and apply for residency. The woman tells me my work contract isn't good enough as it's in English. Instead I give her a bank statement showing her the funds I've transferred over from the UK, and this is good enough for her to accept. She tells me to come back in a week.

16th JAN

I go back and pick up my residency certificate. I've heard stories that Tavira tend to give only 1 yr residency .... I received the 5 yrs straight away, the doc costing €15

This same day I'm getting the ball rolling for the car matriculation. I phone up Vauxhall in the UK and order a Certificate of Conformity. There are numerous websites that do this as well but the cost was the same for me, and Vauxhall would send me both an English and Portuguese certificate for £96. This arrived a few days later, awesome service.

21st JAN

I go to my local mechanic and get the headlamps swapped for 2 new ones with the beam shining the correct way. I looked for a number of scrap yards but was unsuccessful in finding something for my car, so decided to just buy new. I didn't get Vauxhall brand lights as they cost twice as much at €750, ridiculous money. I also go the mechanic to rewire my fog light in the back so the left one would shine instead of the right ... you must have a fog light anywhere from centre to the left edge of the car. On my Vectra, the fog light bulb already existed on the LHS but it's used as a spare bulb, it's not wired by design. Total cost for these tasks was €341.98

24th JAN

I read in a number of places that I'd need the original car owner's manual which I didn't receive with my car. So I ordered one off eBay for £19.45

This day I also drove to the British embassy in Portimao to transfer my residency to Portugal ... this is a document that customs need as it states the date you arrived into Portugal. I made the appointment through the embassy website a week earlier. The trip took a while but the meeting took 10 mins. The cost of this paper: €159

As there is a customs (Alfandega) in Portimao, I decided to pop in and get a list of what I need for car matriculation to ensure I know exactly what I need to do.

25th JAN

I went to the financas office to order 2 documents that were on the Portimao Alfandaga list: One is a declaration that I don't owe any IRS for the past 3 tax years (since it was before March the previous year was 2011 as data for 2012 wasn't out). The 2nd document is a declaration that I don't owe any money to the state. Total cost, €20.32 (the 2nd doc more expensive at €15).

On this day I went to the Social Security office as well to receive a form that was on the list which proves I don't owe any social security in Portugal. There was no cost to this, but the guy was confused as I've never worked in Portugal before and don't have a social security number. He said he'd fax something to head office and I'll receive the letter in the post in a week. Well, a week later the letter arrived with my name spelt wrong and my fiscal number with a digit missing (silly error, nobody has an 8-digit fiscal number) ... so I went back and had him phone head office who then sent another letter out, arriving in another week. This one was correct.

1st FEB

I took my car to Loule to be IPO tested. IPO is the Portuguese MOT and for matriculation you need to do a category B rather than category A. The category A costs around €45 and €7 for a retest, whereas cat B is €70 each time.

Prior to this I went to the IMTT office in Faro to pick up a Modelo 9 form, which must be filled in for the IPO guys to stamp. IMTT is the Portuguese DVLA. The Modelo 9 just needs to be filled in with details of the car from the Certificate of Conformity.

This was an awesome experience for me and so efficient. Not like MOTs in the UK ... here it's like a production line with each station performing a particular set of tests on the car, so you just drive through the production line and reach the end to receive a pass or fail certificate. A cat B will test the elements on the Certificate of Conformity such as distance between the axles, weights, etc. The things to make sure of are that you have converted the headlamps and fog lights, and that your speedometer does KPH.

My car failed on 1 thing ... I had 4 different brands of tyres on the car. In the UK this doesn't matter as long as they have the same tread pattern ... here the tyres on the same axis must be the same brand and ratings.

This hurt as my tyres are in great condition and relatively new. I paid €70.34 at the test centre.

4th FEB

I replaced my tyres for €350

7th FEB

I went to customs (Alfandega) in Faro which is the one I need to initiate the matriculation process in. The woman there gave me her version of the list of items I need to accomplish. Let's just say this list doesn't match the one from Portimao, which I find bizarre. On her list I didn't need the financas document that I don’t owe state taxes and I didn't need the social security document either.

I picked up the 2 car import forms from here for €1.80, the Modelo 22.1100 and Modelo 22.1101 (one is to import a car and the other to do it tax free). These forms aren't easy to fill in, but using Google Translate you can do it .... most of the data is from the Certificate of Conformity about the car.

8th FEB

I went back to Controlauto in Loule to retest my car, another €70.34. This took 20 seconds for the guy to read my 4 tyre brands and job done. If you come back within 30 days you don't have to do a full test again, only the parts that failed, in my case the tyres.

After I passed, the guy gave me a green certificate which has a sticker to put on the car. In the UK you show road tax on the windscreen, here you don't (used to, not anymore) ... but you must show insurance and IPO instead. To me this makes much more sense as an MOT and insurance are for road safety. I also received a yellow sheet which I need for later one.

One thing that was an issue here was that the engineer couldn't read my engine number (they're usually hidden) and he put that on the Modelo 9 form. This means you have to go to the dealer and get them to provide a document proving that this number plate has the engine with this number. I told the engineer that you can read it, it's on the side. So we went and I showed him, but it was on a sticker. He put the number down and made a note that it was on a sticker. He told me that IMTT might accept it or they might ask me to go to the dealer for this doc ... but don't say anything if they don't.

11th FEB

One of the things you have to prove is that you lived in the UK for a full 12 months prior to the arrival date stated on the British Embassy residency transfer document. I had 14 months of Virgin Medial bills (and this is what Peter on these forums used) ... but as a backup I also wrote to my lettings agent in London to send me an official letter stating the dates I was renting in London through them prior to moving here. Cost of this: £25.96

13th FEB

I went back to IMTT in Faro with my Modelo 9 and pass certificate. The next step is to receive a Homologacao number, I guess this is like the V5C registration number. This was a long wait and I realized how crazy IMTT is. I went at 9am and was given a ticket number of 423 or something. There were 2 queues, 200 and 400, depending on what you're there for. People queue up from very early here as it can take all day sometimes to be seen.

I was seen after 2 hours and within 2 minutes the woman told me I have a problem .... shock. She said "your certificate of conformity says your car is Vauxhall but the system says it's Opel" ... you see Vauxhall are only Vauxhall in the UK, Opel everywhere else. Because the words didn't match, she had to send a request to Lisbon head office to change the computer and she took my mobile number and said she'd call me the next day.

15th FEB

I didn't receive a phone call so I drove back myself. This time I only waited 40 mins but the woman didn't remember who I was ... she said "I can remember your face but not sure where" .... "erm you were supposed to call me?" ... "oh yh that’s right, i forgot".

Well, it was done and she gave me the homologacao number.

Now I had everything done, so I went to Alfandega to submit all my paperwork and begin the matriculation process. The woman in Alfandega went through all of my documents and told me some things weren't right:

- One of the list items is a photocopy of the passport. I had the photo page, but she wanted every page, even the empty ones and the front and back covers

- My Virgin Media bills were no good, they don’t accept phone/internet/tv bills, only council tax, rent, gas, electric, water. This sucked as I know Peter did it with Virgin Media ... didn’t folks different rules. I gave her my letting agent letter and she said that would do, but I'd have to get it officially translated into Portuguese. I didn’t know what an official translation entailed and when I asked her if she knew anybody who did it ... the answer was 'no idea'.

- I gave them my Atestado which is what I used for residency. She didn’t accept it because the Atestado said it was for Tavira Camara and it had to say it’s for Alfandega ... and have the exact same date of when I arrived into Portugal as is on the Embassy residency transfer document.

21st FEB

I got my Portuguese tutor to translate the letter for me and pay a notary €25 to make it look official. I went back to Alfandega with everything they asked for including the new Atestado from the Junta de Freguesia.

The woman this time accepted all of my documents and told me to come back in 30 mins to proceed to the next step. When I returned, another woman came out and told me we have a problem .... aaarrggghh.

She said that the letter from the lettings agent isn’t valid proof that I was in the UK 12 months prior to arriving into Portugal and I need rent receipts. I flipped at this point and told her it isn’t fair, the other woman told me I needed this and I paid for it and I don't have much time left now until my deadline date of 5th March. She said "the other woman is just a front desk clerk, she doesn’t know the rules" .... ffs, so why don’t you tell her so everybody follows the same frickin rule set?

Anyway, she assured me I won’t miss my deadline as the process has started and I could come back in 6 months if I wanted to. This didn't make sense to me: when the English letter had to be translated into Portuguese, this had to be done before the process had started and the clock was still ticking ... whereas now the process has started, the clock has stopped ticking yet I’m in the same boat, needing proof.

8th MAR

I'm back in Alfandega with rent receipts ... I had 15 months just to make sure it was over a year. This time she accepted these and told me I'd receive a phone call when they go through all the documents and I'm successful in proceeding onwards.

She gave me a document which gave me 1 month driving permit in case I was stopped by the police, so at least I was legal.

14th MAR

I receive a phone call saying my documents are ready to collect from Alfandega. I was flying to England this day so I ignored them.

28th MAR

I go back to Alfandega and pick up my Certificate of Conformity and the DAV document which is the official one with my Portuguese plates (matricula) on it. So I now had a Portuguese number plate, awesome.

I had to tell the woman to give me the part of my original V5C document that I need to export the car out of the UK ... she had to ask around before giving it to me as she didn't know to do this.

I made an error here tho. The woman gave me all of my docs. I expected there to still be more hurdles with IMTT so I said "oh, you gave me a document last time to make me legal driving here for 1 month, can I have an extension while I continue to sort this out?"

As soon as I said that she snatched my documents from my hand and said she can’t give them to me until I give her the old expired document. Come one man, seriously?

I told her it was in the car which was parked far away (free parking) and I walked for 40 mins ... and it doesn’t make sense as that doc is expired. She wouldn’t have it ... before there was no problem but now she wouldn’t give me my documents.

So I had to go get the expired sheet and exchange it with her ... a complete waste of my time as I wanted to go IMTT before they closed too.

At 2pm I go to IMTT and wait (they close at 4). I have a list of things I have to give to IMTT and think I’m missing something, so I run back to Alfandega with the V5C export slip in my hand. When I reach Alfandega, I realize my hand is empty so I've lost the export slip ... and then I find out the thing I thought was missing I already had in my collection of a million documents (so confusing). So I run back and I still have to wait for an hour.

I finally get called at 3.55pm, just before closing and give the woman all of my documents and the one that customs just gave me. She registers my new matricula in the system and I pay €45 to do this.

I then immediately go few shops next door to the plate shop and give them this same doc to create the plates for me. I ask the guy to give me a hand to fix them on as my current ones are stuck on and not screwed so I wasn’t sure how to get them off. I park up outside the shop and he pulls them off with a spatula, then his boss finds out he's doing this and starts shouting at him saying it’s not their job to do this and they need to close and this is a big job having to clean the paintwork before sticking the new ones on, etc.

Anyway, I get the new plates stuck on and I drive home. Price for plates: €19, plus €3 tip for helping me swap them.

1st APR

I get my insurance switched over to the Portuguese plate (I had a policy with iBex so I got a pro-rated refund and needed to start a new 1 yr policy from this date, as opposed to just switching over plates on the existing policy).

I also go to the Financas office to pay my road tax as I've been told by many that it has to be done within 30 days or you receive a fine. I didn't know 30 days from what ... when I asked Alfandega they said "no idea ask IMTT" and when I asked IMTT they said "no idea ask financas" ... they just don’t want to know here.

The Alfandega document said I received the new plates in 14th March so I assumed it was 30 days from here. After a 2 hour wait in Financas I was seen and asked to pay the road tax (imposto do circulacao), yet she couldn't find my number plate in the system and asked to come back end of April. "But I only have 30 days" ... "oh no it's 90 days" .... hmmm, do I believe that?

Since then I've signed up for Financas Portal and am waiting for the password to arrive via post, then I can pay this myself online.

------------
SUMMARY OF COSTS

Atestado - €3
Residency certificate - €15
Certificate of Conformity - £96 = €113
Headlamp/fog switch - €341.98
Car owners manual (which wasn’t needed) - £19.45 = €23
Residency transfer at embassy - €159
2 Financas docs that I don’t owe anything (only 1 was needed) - €20.32
2 IPO tests - €70.34 each = €140.68
4 tyres - €350
Alfandega forms - €1.80
Letting agent letter - £25.96 = €30
Photocopying, stationary, printing - €30
Register car in IMTT - €45
Portuguese plates - €22
Tolls on A22 - €34.63
Fuel (750 km for 9 trips) - €70
Parking - €3.85

Total = €1,403

Post costs: insurance (€39 to change policy as Portuguese insurance is cheaper than on UK plate) and road tax (not sure how much this will be, its treated as a brand new car for tax purposes so will be high)
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Old Apr 8th 2013, 6:59 am   #2
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Default Re: I have matriculated my car tax free ... here's how

You must have the patience of " Job ". I am not sure I could deal with all the hassle and complications.
Well Done !!!
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Old Apr 8th 2013, 1:48 pm   #3
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Default Re: I have matriculated my car tax free ... here's how

5 stars for persistence Etchy Boy.

This really sums up Portuguese beauracracy.
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Old Apr 8th 2013, 3:47 pm   #4
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Default Re: I have matriculated my car tax free ... here's how

I'm glad I changed my idea of moving to Portugal

In Gib, go to customs and an officer will inspect and value the car for duty.
Pay import duty and receive registration number, depending on the queue this procedure could take up to 30 mins.
Get plates made up at auto shop. Give them details and return in not less than a hour.
Fit plates.
Go to MOT centre get tested, pay for registration documents, time again depends on queue but about 30 mins max.
Return a week later to pick up documents.
Total cost about £75 plus import duty.
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Old Apr 8th 2013, 4:36 pm   #5
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Default Re: I have matriculated my car tax free ... here's how

Yes there are some of my neighbours with Gib plates, been coming and going for years. Only change the car but still have a Gib plate.
Think its only the Spanish who make a fuss about a GBZ plate.
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Old Apr 8th 2013, 6:02 pm   #6
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Default Re: I have matriculated my car tax free ... here's how

Quote:
Originally Posted by tombo View Post
Yes there are some of my neighbours with Gib plates, been coming and going for years. Only change the car but still have a Gib plate.
Think its only the Spanish who make a fuss about a GBZ plate.
To register a Gib car you have to prove residency in Gib

My post above was reference importing a car into Gib. You can of course buy new ones from a dealer like anywhere else
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Old Apr 8th 2013, 11:16 pm   #7
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Default Re: I have matriculated my car tax free ... here's how

Hi Etchyboy

Congratulations.

SUMMARY OF COSTS

Atestado - €3
Residency certificate - €15
Certificate of Conformity - £96 = €113
Headlamp/fog switch - €341.98
Car owners manual (which wasn’t needed) - £19.45 = €23
Residency transfer at embassy - €159
2 Financas docs that I don’t owe anything (only 1 was needed) - €20.32
2 IPO tests - €70.34 each = €140.68
4 tyres - €350
Alfandega forms - €1.80
Letting agent letter - £25.96 = €30
Photocopying, stationary, printing - €30
Register car in IMTT - €45
Portuguese plates - €22
Tolls on A22 - €34.63
Fuel (750 km for 9 trips) - €70
Parking - €3.85

Total = €1,403

My Cost where

Residency 15€
Certificate of Conformity 113€
1 Pair Head/lights 120€ " Local spares shop " Dealer price in Spain 258€
Embassy certificate 159€
IPO test 70€
Customs forms 1.80€
Register car IMTT 45€
Car plates 16€
Fuel cost app 35€ " Autogas "

Time start to finish Two days.

I only post this to show the difference in costs around the country. As you point out a number of things are not needed and it's only information posted by hose who have one the Matriculation that will help other.

Agents will charge a smal fortune to do this as as i did it in Two days so can they and then charge up to 1,000€ or more.

Peter " Dreams can come true "

http://petersvaleboahouse.blogspot.p...-legal-in.html
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Old Apr 9th 2013, 9:05 am   #8
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Default Re: I have matriculated my car tax free ... here's how

Brillaint! Thanks for taking the time to provide all the details. This thread is going to be bookmarked by a lot of people! :-)

I also like the MOT (inspeccao) procedure here - takes 15 mins - you can nip out at lunch time and get it done and you get to see how its done. I even lend a hand with switching on/off the lights when the guy instructs! But yes, the fact that if you fail on something, you have 30 days to get it fixed and then they ONLY check that bit, for free, is a plus.

I also had to get the proof of address certificate from the junta da freguesia and only then the residency certificate from the camera municipal. After I bought my own apartment and hence changed address, had to go to camera municipal again and they gave me 5 years residency on the new certificate starting as of that day!
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Old Apr 11th 2013, 10:12 am   #9
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Default Re: I have matriculated my car tax free ... here's how

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Originally Posted by ah207 View Post
Brillaint! Thanks for taking the time to provide all the details. This thread is going to be bookmarked by a lot of people! :-)
Thats cool, glad to help.

The one thing I forgot to mention was that I've heard from many that once you matriculate a car, you cant sell it for a year. The woman at customs was adamant this is 5 yrs, and when I said its 1, she says "no since 2007 its 5" which seems crazy to me ... I dont think she's right.
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Old Apr 11th 2013, 8:03 pm   #10
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Default Re: I have matriculated my car tax free ... here's how

Quote:
Originally Posted by EMR View Post
You must have the patience of " Job ". I am not sure I could deal with all the hassle and complications.
Well Done !!!
Well thanks for your story. I wanted to bring my car down when I move to Portugal but won't now, too much hassle.

I need to find out more about residency. I'm moving to Portugal so must be a resident?
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Old Apr 11th 2013, 10:57 pm   #11
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Default Re: I have matriculated my car tax free ... here's how

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roberttaylor500 View Post
Well thanks for your story. I wanted to bring my car down when I move to Portugal but won't now, too much hassle.

I need to find out more about residency. I'm moving to Portugal so must be a resident?
Hi Robert

Don't be put of by one story that had a number of problems. I matriculated my car in Central Portugal in a day.

I took one day to prepare and the next day i went out and when i got home it was all done.

I prepared and planned ahead. Don't be put of by the language as it really is not a problem if you take your time. For example the Certificate of Conformity must be in Portuguese so first that must be requested from the car maker. On the Certificate of Conformity things may be in Portuguese but all you do is copy from one form to another. The points i couldn't answer i left blank and the lady at the Customs just filled in the ones i left out.

Prior knowledge about tyres in my case i only had top change one tyre that was getting low anyway.

Good luck on your move.

Peter " Dreams can come true "

http://petersvaleboahouse.blogspot.p...-legal-in.html
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Old Apr 12th 2013, 12:55 pm   #12
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Default Re: I have matriculated my car tax free ... here's how

I wouldnt say my story had problems, only challenges .... and everyone will have diff challenges.

Peter, the thing with u doing it in 1 day, that was possible because u had everything to hand. For example, my process took around 6 wks, and thats from deciding to do this, and getting residency and going through obtaining everything to the final step.

For example, u need the certificate of conformity. Im sure u didnt order this on monday and it just magically appeared in ur house that same day ready to complete the whole process within "1 day" ... it took time to order this and get it delivered.

From the point of time of deciding to go through this process, then obtaining all the necessary documents that are needed, it takes time bro. It may be that people need time to obtain certain bills for proof or other docs they dont have, that they need certain info from manufacturers, engine number, etc.

Everybody's story will be different, but guys dont be put off by it. I posted this up to tell people the following:

a) it is doable, believe in urself
b) be prepared for the unknown, so start early, no point doing it last minute then realizing u face a challenge and have no time left within the 6 months. i started late but i am a determined mofo that doesnt give up so i knew id do this in time no matter what.
c) it is challenging yet exciting, so get excited by the journey
d) u learn a lot about the portuguese systems and about urself too
e) use knowledge from people who have done it before ... ask for guidance if required
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Old Apr 12th 2013, 6:28 pm   #13
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Default Re: I have matriculated my car tax free ... here's how

I think you did well in 6 weeks! Congratulations
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Old Apr 13th 2013, 7:38 am   #14
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Default Re: I have matriculated my car tax free ... here's how

Thanks for you message. We hope to travel down to Tavira in June so we have a little time. Can't seem to find a long term rental so far. Only out of season. Is there a thread on rentals? I can follow. Rob
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Old Apr 16th 2013, 2:34 am   #15
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Default Re: I have matriculated my car tax free ... here's how

Etchyboy, thank you for taking the time and making the effort to give such an in depth example of the process. I do not feel you have exagerated the process but instead given a clear view of the process as you see it. I have a large 4x4 that will be 9 years when I import it eventually and while this may sound old (and is RHD) it has faithfully hauled me back and forth to Portugal over many years without missing a beat. As I live up a track it is the vehicle of choice and I'm loath to replace it unless strictly necessary.

Unfortunately I do not speak Portugese and can only start out with an idea that this will take a very long time and anything less than that will be a bonus

Many thanks,

Bob
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