Can I Import My Car Tax-Free? Your Quick Guide

So, you're contemplating bringing your beloved car to Portugal, and the big question on your mind is, "Can I do it tax-free?" Let's break it down and see where you stand.

Scenario 1: If You Can Answer 'Yes' to the Following:

  1. I am registered in Portugal.
  2. I have a NIF number and access to the Finance Portal.
  3. I moved to Portugal less than 12 months ago, or I have not moved yet.
  4. I can prove that I lived in my previous country for at least 6 months in a row, in the year before coming to Portugal.
  5. I owned my car for at least 6 months before formally moving.

Congratulations! You're in luck. You are most likely eligible to import your car tax-free. However, keep in mind that individuals moving from outside of the EU might encounter additional VAT, so it's wise to check the specifics.

Scenario 2: If You Answered 'No' to One of the Questions:

Not to worry, you might still be able to import your car, but taxes will be in the picture.

Now, let's dive into the tax overview based on your situation:

EU Import taxes:

  • Pay ISV tax.
  • ISV is calculated by engine size and fuel type, with deductions for each year, so older cars pay less taxes.
  • Ideal for smaller vehicles, motorbikes, electric cars, company cars, vans, and pick-up trucks, as taxes are generally lower for these categories.
  • Company cars like pick-up trucks and goods vans may enjoy up to 90% ISV deduction.
  • For larger cars, motorhomes, etc., it depends on the situation if it's worth importing.


  • Pay both ISV and VAT.
  • If this sounds like your situation, brace yourself – the costs are likely to be astronomical and may surpass the value of your car.


Thinking about bringing your trailer along? It's possible, but you'll need a data sheet, COC, or a type approval number (that's the 'K' on the back side of your plastic matriculation card).

Need help with your import? We can help! Please contact us here.

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