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How to bring your car to Cape Verde

Hello everybody,

If you exported your car to Cape Verde, were there any formalities that needed to be completed beforehand? What were they?

What is the best way to export your car? Is there a limit on the number of vehicles, or perhaps the age of the vehicle? Are there limits on emissions or emission controls in Cape Verde?

What are the expected costs of exporting a car? In your opinion, is it worth it?

Once you arrived in Cape Verde, what were the applicable taxes? What was the customs process like?

How do you go about registering an imported car in Cape Verde?

Is it best to buy a car once you have arrived or to bring your car with you, in your opinion?

We look forward to hearing from you!

Bhavna

It's actually not a great idea for a foreigner to import a car into Cape Verde because the import duties are astronomical. The duties start at 40% for cars that are less than 4 years old. It is 70% for cars that are 4 to 6 years old, and 100% for cars over 6 years old but less than 10 years old. For cars over 10 years old, the import tax is 190%! This is for vehicles with a 1.5L engine or greater. For vehicles with tiny engines of less than 1.5L, the import duties are slightly less.

In other words, if you bring a vehicle to Cape Verde, you will pay for it all over again. Plus you must also pay the 15% VAT, and all that is before you add the cost of just shipping it here.

If you own a business, you can import a vehicle for business use and import duties will be completely waived. But you still must he 15% VAT. However, there are restrictions. First of all, no one else but you and authorized employees of your company can use the vehicle. The car sticks out like a sore thumb because you are required to use RED license plate (you could be viewed as a well-heeled target), Second, if you attempt to sell the vehicle, you will then be liable for the import duty that was waived. Finally, unless you ship the vehicle back to its origin within 5 years incurring more shipping costs, you will then become liable for the full import duty at the end of 5 years if the vehicle is still in the country.

Cape Verdean immigrants who are returning to Cape Verde can import one vehicle and pay zero% duty. They can only do this once in their lifetime. But they must still pay the 15% VAT.

And it is only recently that many of the main surface roads have been paved with asphalt. So your vehicle may be subject to severe wear and tear due to the beating it will take from many of the pot-holed strewn, cobble-stoned surfaces that have been used here historically. But it is improving especially in the capital.

It is better to simply purchase a small used vehicle locally. You won't expend the costs of shipping. I sold both my vehicles before coming to CV. It just was not worth the cost to import either of them.

Any vehicle you own here should be diesel burning. Do NOT import or purchase a gasoline burning vehicle because the cost of gasoline is exorbitant so your costs of operating the vehicle may be high. Diesel is much cheaper.

You also need to insure the vehicle. Insurance is cheap and may run around $150 every three months for liability. Fully comprehensive will be higher.

You need to pay a license fee each year to keep the vehicle on the road. It's just a few dollars to renew. If your vehicle has been imported and is being registered for the first time, it will also be just a few dollars to get the registration "livrete"...the little book they give you that shows your car is registered.

In summary: The biggest costs you will incur is importation duties and VAT which you pay just once. The operation costs which are relatively large are fuel, insurance and periodic maintenance in that order. License and registration fees are nominal.

Thank you very much for this interesting information .... but if anyone wants to move to Cape Verde and have owned the car for more than 1 year, then are there not  other rules that apply ... much like in the rest of the EU?

Hi Wovi,

Perhaps you didn't understand my post. I indicated that if you bring a car to Cape Verde that is less than 4 years old, you will pay duties of 40% plus VAT of 15%.

Or maybe I'm not following your question.

CVAngelo :

It's actually not a great idea for a foreigner to import a car into Cape Verde because the import duties are astronomical. The duties start at 40% for cars that are less than 4 years old. It is 70% for cars that are 4 to 6 years old, and 100% for cars over 6 years old but less than 10 years old. For cars over 10 years old, the import tax is 190%! This is for vehicles with a 1.5L engine or greater. For vehicles with tiny engines of less than 1.5L, the import duties are slightly less.

In other words, if you bring a vehicle to Cape Verde, you will pay for it all over again. Plus you must also pay the 15% VAT, and all that is before you add the cost of just shipping it here.

If you own a business, you can import a vehicle for business use and import duties will be completely waived. But you still must he 15% VAT. However, there are restrictions. First of all, no one else but you and authorized employees of your company can use the vehicle. The car sticks out like a sore thumb because you are required to use RED license plate (you could be viewed as a well-heeled target), Second, if you attempt to sell the vehicle, you will then be liable for the import duty that was waived. Finally, unless you ship the vehicle back to its origin within 5 years incurring more shipping costs, you will then become liable for the full import duty at the end of 5 years if the vehicle is still in the country.

Cape Verdean immigrants who are returning to Cape Verde can import one vehicle and pay zero% duty. They can only do this once in their lifetime. But they must still pay the 15% VAT.

And it is only recently that many of the main surface roads have been paved with asphalt. So your vehicle may be subject to severe wear and tear due to the beating it will take from many of the pot-holed strewn, cobble-stoned surfaces that have been used here historically. But it is improving especially in the capital.

It is better to simply purchase a small used vehicle locally. You won't expend the costs of shipping. I sold both my vehicles before coming to CV. It just was not worth the cost to import either of them.

Any vehicle you own here should be diesel burning. Do NOT import or purchase a gasoline burning vehicle because the cost of gasoline is exorbitant so your costs of operating the vehicle may be high. Diesel is much cheaper.

You also need to insure the vehicle. Insurance is cheap and may run around $150 every three months for liability. Fully comprehensive will be higher.

You need to pay a license fee each year to keep the vehicle on the road. It's just a few dollars to renew. If your vehicle has been imported and is being registered for the first time, it will also be just a few dollars to get the registration "livrete"...the little book they give you that shows your car is registered.

In summary: The biggest costs you will incur is importation duties and VAT which you pay just once. The operation costs which are relatively large are fuel, insurance and periodic maintenance in that order. License and registration fees are nominal.

Good evening...CVAngelo

If I move to another country and take my car with me, then it will be free for one car, but I must have owned the car for at least 1 year before moving into the country. This "rule" applies in many of the World countries but maybe not in Portugal (cape Verde) ...

Hi there Wovi.

No. This rule does NOT apply in Cape Verde. You will pay a very heavy price to bring a vehicle here. The longer you've owned the vehicle, the more you pay to import it. In effect, they don't want you to import vehicles is essentially what their import "rules" are saying.

I sold both of my vehicles in the US before moving here. I had no choice really because one was a 10 year old Mercedes S500 and the other was a 5 year old Mazda 3. It was easier and cheaper to purchase here. Yet, I no longer own a vehicle nor do I drive anywhere.

The islands are way too small and I was getting fat. Now I walk just about everywhere ...or take the bus/van if it's too far. I'm now 15Kg lighter than the weight I was carrying before, and I'm very much in the peak of health.

Cheers!

Good morning ....
Thank you very much Angelo for you taking the time to respond me. My plan is to going to C.V for the winter / spring to see if C.V is a place I can think of staying the rest of my life  :)  .... I've been around for the past 7 years (September 2017) The eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea (from Syria to Greece) and enjoying the peace and the life and fishing with my new friends, next year I will be retired and I would then see if I could find a quiet place there and rent a small apartment or similar. If I can not bring my Motor-home, I will sell it. Maybe we can exercise together because I also have a couple of kg too much, then I have a dog and a scooter but there may be no problem to bring to C.V  if now God/Allah wants me to go there... Then I wish you a lovely day ...

Yes, please do come and check it out. CV is not for everyone because it is still very underdeveloped. But maybe it can work for you. Be sure to pick the right island for your particular tastes. You'll ned to visit several before you decide. You can bring your dog and your scooter without problems. Just be sure to get a clean bill of health from your local vet and make sure all shots are administered before you bring the dog.

Angelo

Wovi :

Good morning ....
Thank you very much Angelo for you taking the time to respond me. My plan is to going to C.V for the winter / spring to see if C.V is a place I can think of staying the rest of my life  :)  .... I've been around for the past 7 years (September 2017) The eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea (from Syria to Greece) and enjoying the peace and the life and fishing with my new friends, next year I will be retired and I would then see if I could find a quiet place there and rent a small apartment or similar. If I can not bring my Motor-home, I will sell it. Maybe we can exercise together because I also have a couple of kg too much, then I have a dog and a scooter but there may be no problem to bring to C.V  if now God/Allah wants me to go there... Then I wish you a lovely day ...

Good morning Angelo....

I will do everything to get there and I hope God / Allah has no other plans for me:) ... My dog is an English setter and she loves to go on the scooter so it's good that I can bring it whit me. Already now I think I can rule out some islands, since I definitely do not want to be near a lot of other tourists, then I could have stayed at home. I prefer to meet local people when I'm in other places ...
Since 2.5 years ago, I'm on the island of Crete, but I'm going to leave soon, I have some friends on the mainland that I intend to visit and then I'm going to visit Albania for a few months, but then the road goes slowly west ...I have a friend in Faro (Portugal) as I will also meet and maybe I take a trip to Morocco now when I am almost there before I go to C.V ...
I wish you all a wonderful day ...

Wow, you sound like quite the adventurer. Safe travels then!

Angelo

Wovi :

Good morning Angelo....

I will do everything to get there and I hope God / Allah has no other plans for me:) ... My dog is an English setter and she loves to go on the scooter so it's good that I can bring it whit me. Already now I think I can rule out some islands, since I definitely do not want to be near a lot of other tourists, then I could have stayed at home. I prefer to meet local people when I'm in other places ...
Since 2.5 years ago, I'm on the island of Crete, but I'm going to leave soon, I have some friends on the mainland that I intend to visit and then I'm going to visit Albania for a few months, but then the road goes slowly west ...I have a friend in Faro (Portugal) as I will also meet and maybe I take a trip to Morocco now when I am almost there before I go to C.V ...
I wish you all a wonderful day ...

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