Renting and importing a car

How to bring your vehicle into Portugal

Renting and importing a car

All the information you need if you plan to rent a car, or import your own vehicle into Portugal.

Renting a car in Portugal

Renting a car in Portugal requires the same process as in most countries. Car hire companies don’t accept clients under 21 nor those without at least a one-year driving experience, and some larger or more powerful cars will not be rented out to people under 25. Young drivers usually have to pay an additional fee for renting a car.

It is best to book a car via the company’s website to make sure one is available. Once the reservation and payment are secure, there is almost no way you won’t have your car waiting for you on arrival. However, if you just go to a renter’s desk to ask for a car right away, you may have to wait a while.

Car hire companies can be found in all major cities, all airports and many train stations. Rental prices are highly competitive, especially among the main car rental companies such as Avis, Hertz and Europcar for instance, but take your time to check all available options. If you need optional features such as car seats, extra drivers or a GPS, there will be additional costs.

Importing a car into Portugal

If you plan on moving to Portugal and make it your permanent residence, you can import your vehicle. If you are 18 and have been owner of the car for over 12 months, you can apply for a tax exemption request at the Portuguese Customs Office within six months of the transfer of residence.

For those staying in Portugal on a temporary basis, there is a way to avoid paying the vehicle import tax for up to 90 days or for 183 each year if:

  • The vehicle is registered in another EU member state.
  • The registered owner is not resident or employed in Portugal.
  • The owner is the one importing the car themselves. 

This is ideal for expats who only spend part of the year in Portugal and want to bring their car with them.

For more detailed information about importing your car into Portugal, please check with the Portuguese Embassy  in your country.

Further reading

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