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More and more of you are fixing your tax residence in Portugalto take advantage of the many benefits offered by the country.

As you know, during a change of tax residence You have certain obligations, including that of registering your car in Portugal. Many of you do not consider it useful to comply with this legal obligation. A rather surprising behavior when we know your intolerance regarding foreigners who refuse to comply with French laws.

Registering your car in Portugal

When you declare your change of tax residence, you have exactly 6 months to change your car registration.

 We have noticed for several months, that this question is often discussed on self-help forums. Unfortunately, the answers are unclear and confused about how and why to register your car in Portugal. You should know that in order to register your French/Belgian car in Portugal you will have to proceed to some stepsThe process is more or less easy depending on your ability to gather all the necessary documents.

Registering your car in Portugal, a legal obligation

Is it an obligation to register your car in Portugal? The answer is in one word: YES

We remind you that a French/Belgian citizen spending more than 183 days per year (6 months) in Portugal becomes a Portuguese tax resident. He is then obliged to make register your vehicle to the competent authorities within 6 months of his actual arrival in Portugal, in order to benefit from the ISV exemption.

registration in portugal

Non respect of the laws, the sentence is heavy financially

If you apply for registration after the legal deadline of 6 months, you will no longer be able to claim the exemption from ISV and you will have to pay it (be careful, this can represent several thousand euros).

If, despite everything, you decide to driving without registration your car in Portugal you will incur extremely heavy fines.

Let's take a concrete example. You are resident in Portugal for 2 years, your vehicle has been on the Portuguese territory for the same period. In case of control by the GNR, it will take into account your date of arrival in Portugal to determine the amount of the fine. To this amount you will have to add the ISV, plus of course the number of years of delay.

You will have understood, the fines are very heavy, also know that if you are unable to pay the fine, the Portuguese finances, will proceed to the seizure of your vehicles.

You own a second home and drive more than 6 months with your foreign car

You are retired and you have decided to keep your main residence in France/Belgium and spend more than 6 months per year in Portugal in your second home. Here again you are in violation.

Let's take the example of a French person living less than 6 months per year in Portugal:

  • As a French resident, your vehicle must be registered and insured in France. Your vehicle is not allowed to drive in Portugal for more than 6 months. Your French insurance company normally only accepts a period of 3 consecutive months of absence outside France. All insurance contracts under French law stipulate that the vehicle must remain primarily in France. So in fact you must be able to prove that your car has stayed at least 6 months on the French territory.

In case of control and infringement, you will be fined and the police will will force to leave the territory. In the event of an accident, whether or not it is your fault, you must prove to your insurance company that your vehicle has been out of France for less than 3 months.

The ambiguity of the French laws and Portuguese is a source of confusion. Many Europeans confuse the tolerances of a member state with a possible tolerance of their insurance automotive.

What about insurance?

In case of a claim, your insurance company will hide behind the laws that are most favorable to it. You cannot have a secondary residence in Portugal and drive a car registered in France.

It is in this case of figure which comprises the most risk and places you in a situation of outlaw. Your insurance company may question the validity of your contract in case of a major claim. Ask for the reimbursement of the expenses incurred and get out of the payment of future indemnities.

For non-residents who regularly spend less than 6 months in Portugal, the alternative is to rent a car or simply to buy a Portuguese vehicle.

In the beginning of spring, the tax department launched an operation with the collaboration of the PSP and the GNR to control foreign vehicles.

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