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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 registering your car in Portugal. Many of you don't see fit to comply with this legal obligation. A rather surprising behavior when we know how intolerant you are of foreigners who refuse to obey 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.

 Over the past few months, we've noticed that this question is often raised on self-help forums. Unfortunately, the answers given are vague and confusing as to how and why you should register your car in Portugal. To register your French/Belgian vehicle in Portugal, you'll need to do a few things stepsThis will depend on your ability to assemble all the necessary documents.

Registering your car in Portugal, a legal obligation

Is it compulsory to register your car in Portugal? The answer can be summed up in one word: YES

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

registration in portugal

Non respect of the laws, the sentence is heavy financially

If you apply for registration after the 6-month legal deadline, you will no longer be entitled to ISV exemption, and you will have to pay it (this can cost 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 have been resident in Portugal for 2 years, and your vehicle has been on Portuguese territory for the same period. In the event of a GNR control, the GNR will take into account your date of arrival in Portugal to determine the amount of the fine. To these must be added the amount of the ISV, plus, of course, the number of years of delay.

As you can see, the fines are very hefty, but you should also be aware that if you are unable to pay the fine, the Portuguese authorities will, will proceed to the seizure of your vehicles.

If you own a holiday home and drive your foreign car for more than 6 months

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 Frenchman living in Portugal for less than 6 months a year:

  • 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 the event of a control or infringement, you will be fined and the police will take charge of you. 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 French 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 the event of a claim, your insurance company will hide behind the laws that are most favorable to it. You cannot have a second home in Portugal and drive a car registered in France.

It's in this case that you run the greatest risk and find yourself outside the law. Your insurance company may call into question the validity of your contract in the event of a major claim. Demand reimbursement of expenses incurred and be released from payment of future claims.

Alternatively, non-residents regularly spending less than 6 months in Portugal can rent a car or simply 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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