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Porto is a densely populated second largest city in Portugal. It is one of the oldest cities in Europe and is situated on the banks of the Douro River. Towards the west of the city is the Atlantic Ocean coastline, leading to scenic beaches and blue sea. The city is a popular retirement and employment destination.
Thus, irrespective of whether you are in Porto to on a vacation, to work, study or are a returning citizen, commuting in and around the city is eased when you have your own transportation.
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Different aspects of importing the vehicle.
For tourists, you can import your vehicle and drive it for 6 months within a year if it is registered in your name and only your family uses it. Additionally, it is important that the vehicle is insured and you have an international driving license. However, for those moving temporarily or permanently to Porto will need to register the car after duration of 180 days. To do this, you need to have the residency permit. However, it is important to remember that any vehicle that conforms to the EU standards will be able to pass the varied tests and inspections at Portugal.
After 180 days of import, you are required by law to take on the residency permit and apply for the local driving license. As per the Portuguese Customs Department, if it is a used vehicle that you are importing, there is no VAT applicable, but if you sell the car within 12 months, you will need to pay it. Every 5 years, you are allowed to import one vehicle duty free into Portugal.
Types of transport.
Ocean bound freight shipping is the only way to ship your vehicle to Porto. Being a port it is faster to get the vehicle but you need to be present to get the authorized delivery. Only after all the formalities and legal procedures are completed that you can drive the vehicle. However, the method that you select to ship the vehicle affects the cost also. The two methods of shipping include:
- RORO: Roll-on/Roll-Off method includes the car being driven on the deck of the vehicle and is secured in the parking bay. This is the cheapest way of shipping the vehicle. You are not allowed to keep any personal belongings inside the vehicle nor can you leave the air conditioning gas inside the car. It has to be drained. At Porto, the vehicle has to be driven off the ship.
- Container shipping: This is an expensive option. The car and other household goods that you need to move will be sealed inside the 20 feet or 40 feet. The container will be loaded and unloaded at Porto.
Required documents for vehicle registration.
It is mandatory for all cars to be issued an ‘All-in-one” card. This acts as the vehicle’s log book, registration and license plate tag. It needs to be there in the car at all times. After you receive the ‘All in one’ card, you will be able to get a new Portuguese license plate issued. The registration of the vehicles is done at the Civil Registry office. However, it is important to remember that all documents need to be in Portuguese. The government –aided Citizen Shops will be able to help you translate the documents into Portuguese. The local bureaucracy deals in the local language, so it is best to have some assistance. You can contact the Portuguese Embassy in USA for more information.