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Driving UK plated car in Portugal

Driving UK plated car in Portugal

Old Feb 10th 2020, 7:24 am
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Default Driving UK plated car in Portugal

We just got our PT residency in Jan before Brexit and we plan to drive down in our UK car in March to transport our cats. I always presume you can use your UK car for under 180 days here but just found out you can’t if you are already resident. We haven’t exchange our driving licence yet. I am wondering one anyone here have idea what our options are? Many thanks!
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Old Feb 10th 2020, 7:28 am
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Default Re: Driving UK plated car in Portugal

A portuguese resident cannot legally drive a foreign registered vehicle in Portugal unless they own it AND it has begun the matriculation process & there are no exceptions to that whatsoever.

I've said it before but they really do have the foreign registered car thing sewn up tighter than a duck's bum.
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Old Feb 10th 2020, 7:34 am
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Default Re: Driving UK plated car in Portugal

I thought the restriction referred to the country of issue of the driving licence rather than residency.

Edit.
No, I think I am wrong, but the reference in the guidance is for temporary and importation and use. UK government guidance

mfesharne - can you see a way round this? I am thinking, perhaps:
start the matriculation procedure whilst the car is still in the UK, and finish it on arrival?
get someone else to drive it over?
obtain permission from customs?

Last edited by Diddion; Feb 10th 2020 at 7:53 am.
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Old Feb 10th 2020, 7:51 am
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Default Re: Driving UK plated car in Portugal

Thanks for all the reply. It says we have 20 days to inform the authority to start the registration, what if we drive back within 20 days?
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Old Feb 10th 2020, 7:58 am
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Default Re: Driving UK plated car in Portugal

It’s going to be one-off. We didn’t plan to import our car, but we may look into the option if it is really going to be a problem. Our car is just a Toyota aygo.


Last edited by qianh; Feb 10th 2020 at 8:00 am. Reason: Content change
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Old Feb 10th 2020, 8:01 am
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Default Re: Driving UK plated car in Portugal

Originally Posted by qianh View Post
It’s going to be one off.
Sorry qianh.

I was poring over the regs because I was sure I'd seen there was a 20 day grace period but I see you've come across that, hence the deleted post. I'm not actually sure how that is applied in practice but obviously if you're not importing the car, it doesn't.
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Old Feb 10th 2020, 8:10 am
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Default Re: Driving UK plated car in Portugal

Btw if anyone has recommendation of agency helping doing the matriculation, will be much appreciated. May have to look into this option too
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Old Feb 10th 2020, 8:46 am
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Default Re: Driving UK plated car in Portugal

Originally Posted by qianh View Post
Btw if anyone has recommendation of agency helping doing the matriculation, will be much appreciated. May have to look into this option too
Depends where you are. used Organifacho in Pombal. Www.organifacho.com


Last edited by Diddion; Feb 10th 2020 at 8:50 am.
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Old Feb 10th 2020, 9:03 am
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Default Re: Driving UK plated car in Portugal

If you are now resident of Portugal you need to check if you are actually insured.
When I asked my UK insurer theytold me they would not insure me at all if I was not a UK resident
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Old Feb 10th 2020, 10:29 am
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Default Re: Driving UK plated car in Portugal

Yes, thanks for all the reply! We will consider all the options, it’s tricky to juggling all the timing within this transitional time and we still need to come back and forth between UK and PT. well if worst comes to worst, we just take my sister-in-law with us and using her car,
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Old Feb 10th 2020, 11:24 am
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Default Re: Driving UK plated car in Portugal

You have to do the import & process correctly & there are some grey areas made worse by a difference between defiitions between Customs & IMT & both consider the start of the beginning of process differently............... but I'll try to give you a thumbnail sketch.

Cars temporarily imported into PT don't have to be declared to Customs but permantly imported cars have to be declared within 20 working days but obviously that leaves the first grey area as a lot of people bring their cars in on a temporary basis and then decide to stay after a few weeks so when does the vehicle change from temporary import to permanent?

Customs also consider the matriculation process to start when the declaration is made but IMT consider it started when they receive the application.

Now we move onto the matriculation process which can only begin when the vehicle is in PT & the owner/applicant becomes a registered resident of PT (assuming the new immigrant tax free exemption)

Then the law says a PT resident can only drive a foreign registered car if they own it AND it has begun the process of matriculation & the best way to comply with that is to appoint a matriculation agent & tell him to submit the application at the same time/day you intend to register resident so you can drive it until you go to the Camara to register residency & by the time you come out as a resident, the process has started & that's the only way to be 110/% sure of being 110% legal & it of course works a lot better with holders of EU member state passports than non EUMS.

It should also be noted that a foreign registered car in Portugal cannot be sold, given, swapped or scrapped in Portugal & the only 2 legal options are to matriculate or have a non PT resident drive it back to the country of registration.

Also that a PT registered car can only tow a PT registered trailer or caravan & a PT registered trailer or caravan cannot be legally towed by a PT registered car.

Also that a foreign registered vehicle must be taxed, tested & insured in it's country of registration all the time it's here and failure to comply can result in permanent confiscation & a PT IPO certificate has no legal standing on a foreign registered car.

And on top of that there are 2 laws that contradict each other: To get the tax free concession, the owner has to have owned it for at least 6 months in it's country of registration AND been a registered resident of that country for that time & whilst one law says you have 12 months to begin matriculation, another says a foreign registered car can only stay in the country for 6 months (as mentioned previously) so in effect, you have 6 months to begin the process not 12.

Furthrmore, they have it all sewn up tighter than a duck's bum.

Other than that it's easy but if you do it right with the right car then it can be a great investment. Mine increased in value more than 10 fold overnight with it's PT plates.
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Old Feb 10th 2020, 11:53 am
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Default Re: Driving UK plated car in Portugal

Thanks a lot! Yes I can see the complications ahead giving the grey areas, contradicting laws and of course the variable of the people you deal with!
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Old Feb 10th 2020, 1:22 pm
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Default Re: Driving UK plated car in Portugal

Originally Posted by mfesharne View Post
And on top of that there are 2 laws that contradict each other: To get the tax free concession, the owner has to have owned it for at least 6 months in it's country of registration AND been a registered resident of that country for that time & whilst one law says you have 12 months to begin matriculation, another says a foreign registered car can only stay in the country for 6 months (as mentioned previously) so in effect, you have 6 months to begin the process not 12.
Unless, of course, you and the car don't arrive in Portugal at the same time.

You could fulfil the ownership / residency conditions in the country of origin, arrive in Portugal and deal with importing your car 11 months later.
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Old Feb 10th 2020, 1:37 pm
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Default Re: Driving UK plated car in Portugal

Originally Posted by Red Eric View Post
Unless, of course, you and the car don't arrive in Portugal at the same time.

You could fulfil the ownership / residency conditions in the country of origin, arrive in Portugal and deal with importing your car 11 months later.
Hence my comment about EU & non EUMS passports.

I bought mine in from South Africa & got residency as early as possible so I could create as large a time window as possible so had to time everything almost to the minute & fortunately the company handling our shipment were really helpful & in the know & I was able to do the Customs declaration on the same day I collected the car in Lisbon.

Took an awful lot of organisation though.
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Old Feb 10th 2020, 1:48 pm
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Default Re: Driving UK plated car in Portugal

I'm not sure what significance passports have - I was just pointing out that those items are not actually contradictory.
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