Many thanks to our great friend (and high-minded painter) Andy Baird, who both conceived and jump started this attempt to contemporaneously record at least some of the eventings of one move abroad. Regarding content, the narrower column on the left is the supposedly more timeless and reference stuff; ongoing entries are in the larger-width column on the right of the script below - following the (red)


by-line below. The plan is for these at least to be augmented over time.

It should also follow, therefore, that the most recently added post will always be at the top of this right-hand column; so if you want to get a flavour from earlier times, scroll and start NEARER TO or EVEN AT THE BOTTOM (only, please, please if you chose this option, allow yourself a series of snack-breaks; it can be repetitive, and boredom is guaranteed to increase with intensity of effort!)- but ANY comments are not only also welcomed ->but positively encouraged

Remember this folks ......

Remember this folks ......

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Why DO people do it?

Imagine that, over the holiday period, we were talking to relatively recent -arrivals in Portugal and- acquaintances. I recall only the main points of THEIR situation as a prelude to the following discussion sequence drawn –I trust not unfairly- from the website.

As regards the latter, I must say that the whole exchange set, to me, represents the best and most useful responses I have yet seen to a request for help from a presumed new arrival. Hope remains for all of us; as this demonstrates at least the potential for a thinking-persons blog!

On the other matter of our friends spiralling cars convolution, consider this…..

We have gotten to the stage of avoiding a whole number of perennial `questions` posed by fellow Brits who seek only confirmation of their positions -evidenced by their absolute unwillingness to accept any form of contradiction- rather than actually seeking guidance. A favourite concerns driving licences.

Most drivers appear to know that, even when technically illegal even IN THE UK (unless the holder continues to own the address identified ON the document) they can quite happily and contentedly enter and continue to drive here `on` their UK Licence. Most appear to know also that this concession is granted for six months (after arrival, `residency`, or whatever). And quite e few are aware of the more recent changes in European requirements which mean that ALL EU drivers must re-new their licences (including meeting the specified health requirements), at age 60 AND at age 65 AND at age 70 AND annually every year thereafter.
Yet nearly all Brits we meet are driving around with inappropriate licences, which could, in conceivable if unlikely circumstances, result in UK Police fronting up at an invalid address in the UK, on a mission to break horrific news which a widow(er) is NOT then receiving in Portugal.
For a `saving` of something like £30 every once in a while.

((pause for audience groans))

Fred, as I shall call him, on the other hand ……
(& notwithstanding the worthless bits of paper he has conspired to convince himself he has, `proving` otherwise) … has been living a lie for more or less a year; has been driving his current -imported- car, on an invalid licence, without a valid inspection certificate, without insurance and without proper road tax; and now intends avoiding Portuguese taxes by spending the next six months to a year driving a new, illegally imported, car; presumably still on an invalid driving licence, using a car which is without valid insurance and without proper road tax. He feels -and I think he really does!- that this is all made `all right` by his proposed intention of `hiding` said new car in his garage throughout that six months to a year period.

Aye right. There’s now`t so queer as folk.

AngloINFO Lisbon : HOME Classifieds & Discussions Cars, Importing a car

ojay20 posted on 12/12/2010
I want to import a car from the UK to Portugal but I am unsure if I will need to take it back to the uk for an MOT. Can any one advise please?

DavidW replied on 12/12/2010
Hi - no you will not need to do that. As part of the registration process here in Portugal the car will have to pass the Portuguese equivalente (IPO). Effectively you have to have a Portuguese MOT whether or not it has passed in the UK

portuguesesarah replied on 14/12/2010
I wouldn't bother. It's incredibly expensive to import cars here and usually not worth the bother.
Check it out at ACP the Automobil Club of Portugal.

lusitano replied on 01/01/2011
can anyone help please ?
how long can you drive a uk car for legally in portugal?
its 6 months in france

steve01 replied on 01/01/2011 at 18:40


basically its 6 months - same as most of Europe, but you must make sure you're legal in both countries. Tax , MOT, up to date, or SORN and appropriate docs from another country, headlights adjusted, warning triangle , reflective jacket, spare light bulbs, etc.

Or risk the large on the spot fines

Regarding bringing cars in - I'm a little fed up of answers here being incorrect.

Please note what i say below is not comprehensive, but is basically correct - we're part way through doing it and have covered enough ground to understand the process..

To import a car here, depending on engine size etc can be very expensive, because there is a Portuguese on-off supposed 'green' tax that puts a huge financial loading onto the import fees - this is to protect the Portuguese new and second hand car market - cars are very expensive here and without this nasty, and according to the EU illegal legislation. The whole car market here would collapse and everyone would pop over the border to buy a car in Spain at huge discounts..

However you are allowed to 'bring in' - 'not import' a car that you have previously owned within another EU member state, subject to meeting the requirements - proof of ownership, proof of previous address, you've pre-owned it for long enough, it conforms to EU standards, you obtain a Portuguese mot, have a Portuguese address, a residence permit, tax number etc , and you're happy filling in loads of forms, visiting customs, etc.

I believe this is limited to 1 car maximum per person, every 5 years and you must keep the car for a minimum of 2 years after registration.

The cost for this process is approximately 400-500 euros.

Companies like the citizen shops, ACP etc will all help you for a fee.

Best of luck

Maurice Bankhead replied on 03/01/2011

Ojay20 (I actually have a Christian AND surname, see my moniker); just found your posting and -re importation- would agree with practically everything previously advised - especially Steve01, who I would imagine is also a perfectly normal real person.

I suspect you’ll be getting the two threads of drift being imparted: 1) of course it can be done, & 2) it will be a bit awkward and potentially messy.

I would like to both encapsulate the whole (into "DON`T DO IT") and widen the playing field slightly with a "WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO ANYWAY?"
Allow me .......

II) So you have followed the procedures -one further set of complications that you won’t need in your settling-in period (or for which you will pay -handsomely- some third party to oversee), you are many hundreds of Euros out of pocket, your car -which will cost YOU hundreds of Euros more if you try to flog it on for many years into the future- still has the steering wheel on the wrong side, and for the every year of its` remaining natural, you will be paying a massively increased road tax compared to someone with exactly the same aged, exactly the same model of PORTUGUESE car. (anything upwards of an extra couple of hundred Euro per year depending on the exact model -the key is in that cars here post July 2007 are on a massively-inflated road tax schedule, and regardless of it’s chronological age, a vehicle is `born` on the day it first receives its Portuguese matriculation) ..........

So …….

I) You’re voluntarily, I assume, moving to a new, beautiful country. In my opinion, Brits don’t generally complain about the cheaper living costs generally, about the massively cheaper entertaining costs particularly, or the property rates (or community charge, or council tax, or whatever; either way I pay a total of less that 250 Euros per year!) specifically; so why set about trylng to dodge an equal part of the country`s legal and fiscal personal responsibility? ? ? ? ?

And a final, final though. Please please do not follow the example of some Brits, and -especially if you do decide to go ahead and bring in your car - and then blame and bad-mouth the Portuguese. They’re lovely people. They just ask US to play the white man and abide by the rules that apply equally to Portuguese. The only expensive Portuguese car is the first one; after that trade-in values etc etc cascade from and fall in line with the (admittedly high) initial outlay. Or alternately, you could follow the example of many locals …. Take up thy bed !

Hope you have a great time.


Andy said...

That's telling them! It does make a lot of sense when you think about the possible consequences. It seems daft when you think of all the hassle of dodging and diving instead of just cruising around, legally, enjoying the country and its people.

M and G said...

Precisely; and to make matters even more farcical - we are reliably informed that a different, actual, Brit now living in our general locality (identified, I seem to recall, as Bob the Scot; which at least is better than another former acquaintance, Bob the Dog, but we won`t go in to that!)had his newly imported LHDrive Ford people-carrier (? Galaxy)IMPOUNDED recently because the Portuguese police /// UK Revenue & Customs link-up detected that VAT hadn`t been paid in the UK -where the said vehicle had been supplied on the basis that it was for immediate export.
Well apparently it was (immediately exported), but, sadly, three months down the line when stopped, neither had VAT been reconciled in Portugal .......
Apparently, it was 5000 Euro (NOT including the outstanding VAT, you understand)simply TO HAVE THE VEHICLE RELEASED FROM THE POUND (and on to a low-loader, it is illegal to drive it here in it`s present `non-gratis` condition) with future follow-up action promised to rectify AND apply an appropriate fine.
Silly-Billy or what ?