How to buy a car (new or second-hand vehicle)

How to buy a car (new or second-hand vehicle)

To buy a car in Portugal you must have :
• A proof of portuguese domicile (a rental agreement, proof of purchase of real estate or a resident's card) ;
• A tax number (NIF - número de identificação fiscal);
• An identity document (id card, passport, driving license ...).

If you live in Portugal for more than 6 months a year, you must register your foreign vehicle within 12 months of your installation in the country.


Most major car brands presented in Portugal:   (AlfaRomeo / Fiat/ Lancia)

In each of these websites, you can choose "concessionários" / "ponto(s) de venda", concessions of the brand of your choice near you.

It is the seller who takes care of registering your new car with the portuguese authorities. It can also offer you a maintenance contract for your vehicle.

The seller can help you with insurance. In Portugal it is the car itself which is insured and not the designated drivers, which means you can lend it to your family and friends.


A. Research/"Pesquisa" Online
Standvirtual's used options are more than many: Cars, Motorcycles, Boats, Commercials or Motorhomes/Autocaravanas
AutoPT promise "a visit to the best stands in the country" through a single visit to their website.
Website of the specialized magazine "Auto Compra e Venda". In this portal you can find several used vehicles through the search tool and also the stands that are closer to your area of residence.
With 13 years of experience in the market, Auto Sapo is dedicated to selling used cars online. It is one of the largest in the country
It is the new online stand for new and used certified cars.
Prices, features and equipment of new vehicles on sale in Portugal from the magazine "Guia do Automovel". All about cars.

Note: I do not recommend other sites such as OLX, CustoJusto,... (see section C)

B. Used cars sold by Stands/"Concessionários"

In Portugal it is common to buy used car in stands. The bigger the stand, the more likely it is to have a wide variety of second-hand cars for sale. Legally, all must provide a guarantee (1 or 2 years), thus this option is one of the most reliable and safe.



C. Second-hand cars sold by private individuals

One of the main reasons people are afraid to buy a used car from an individual is the risk associated with this type of transaction. Therefore, before arriving at the appointment to see the car, you must have already asked the seller a number of questions about the vehicle. Ask about the maintenance history, the number of kilometers and, most importantly, the general condition of the car.

In Used cars ("usado") / Second-hand ("segunda mão") you have to pay careful attention to the documents presented by the seller especially when it is an individual. Make sure that the identification number indicated on the chassis corresponds to the number of the "documento único automóvel" / gray card.

The "documento único automóvel" booklet and the registration of the property are fundamental. We must make sure that everything is ok.


Network of websites for English-speakers moving or living abroad in Portugal

For " Car Dealers: Sales New & Used " in Lisbon & Algarve, I've found this in english, which seems to me reasonably good to start other searches, and most of the links are updated. … -driving-1 … -driving-1

. Auto Spares, Parts & Accessories
. Bike Hire, Scooter & Cycle Rental
. Cars, Bikes & Driving
. Car Dealers: Sales New & Used
. Car Hire & Vehicle Rental
. Driving Schools, Instructors & Lessons
. Motor Service, Repairs & Restoration
. Motorbike & Scooter Sales & Service
. Taxis, Shuttle, Transfers & Minibus

Most major car brands presented in Portugal:
(Copy and paste the selected link into your browser address bar)

What do you advise for a small family?

Buying a second-hand car

For passenger cars (in portuguese: ligeiros de passageiros), the first inspection must be carried out 4 years after the date of first registration (first car plate) and then every 2 years thereafter until it reaches 8 years. After that, the inspection must be done yearly.

When buying a second-hand car, you should check if the car has the mandatory inspection up to date. You should ask the owner for the last inspection certificate of the vehicle and check if it is approved and if it has any remarks for further repairs (at the bottom of this certificate).

You can also explain to the current owner that your decision to buy the vehicle depends on an up-to-date inspection (e.g. done less than 15 days ago), to ensure that the vehicle is in the right conditions. The mandatory inspection for a passenger car costs € 31.43 (in 2021), so I don't think this will be a big problem for the seller.

If the seller doesn't want to pay and if you are very keen on that car, you should know that this amount will be (+/-) equal than what you will pay in a garage to have the car checked. So, I would advise you to have the car inspection done at an authorised centre.

Through the date of the first registration of the car you can see when the next inspection will have to be done: … bmenu.aspx


Where can I find the vehicle inspection centres list: … e-veiculos

1. Search for inspection centres on the IMT website: … eccao.aspx

Categoria = Todos (All vehicle categories)
Concelho onde pretende que o carro seja inspecionado = ... (All the inspection centres in a municipality)

Then press "Listar"

2. or, you can consult a map where each centre is located on the map of Portugal (through the centre number, you get the name of the centre on the listing shown on this PDF, and then you can consult that centre name on the internet, to know their address, phone contacts, working hours, etc.). … 199;AO.pdf

This PDF takes some time to become fully readable...

Electric cars in Portugal

Buying electric cars
(Select english option)

Charging electric cars: where and how … eletricos/ … -eletrico/
(Select english option)

Charging stations and apps

a) PCR – Postos de Carregamento Rápido (Fast Charging Stations) … -portugal/
(Select english option)

b) Rede MOBI.E

c) miio

Car Leasing 

Car Leasing Simulators on Banks' websites in Portugal:
(New vehicles)

Leasing Santander … el/leasing
Minimum term: 1 year
Maximum Term: 7 years

Leasing MilleniumBCP … movel.aspx
Minimum term: 1 year
Maximum Term: 8 years

Leasing NovoBanco … -automovel
Minimum term: 1 year
Maximum Term: 8 years

Leasing Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD) … movel.aspx
Minimum term: 1.5 years
Maximum Term: 7 years

Leasing Montepio … asing-auto
Minimum term: 2 years
Maximum Term: 8 years

Leasing Crédito Agrícola … -automovel
Minimum term: 1 year
Maximum Term: 6 years

Leasing BPI … omovel.jsp
Minimum term: 11 months
Maximum Term: 10 years



Car Dealer Simulators:

If you are thinking of leasing a specific car brand, check out the websites of those brands. They all offer information on how to finance, but only a few offer leasing simulators to their customers.

(See post # 2 ) … 29#5099334

BMW … -cash.html


Volkswagen … e-and-care



Other Simulators:
(new/used vehicles)


@JohnnyPT Hi Johnny, I am wondering what is the best way to get car insurance and can I continue using my Irish/Eu driving licence? Thank you for your help :)

Hi Ornagh, Welcome :)

Driving licences issued by countries belonging to the European Economic Area (which includes Member States of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) are valid in Portugal, and their exchange is optional.

However, drivers who establish residence in Portugal have the duty to register their driving licence at the IMT regional or district service of their residence area within 60 days, under penalty of incurring an infraction.

If the driving licence issued by another member state of the European Union is perpetual or has no expiry date, its holder is obliged to exchange it for a Portuguese licence within two years of taking up residence in Portugal.

IMT contacts (IMT is the Portuguese Agency for Mobility and Transports)

For personal attendance at IMT you should make a previous appointment (at least that's how it is in these covid times...):

You can translate PDF into English using a Doctranslator, such as:

Exchange a foreign driving licence for a portuguese one

(post #3)

Auto insurance companies

Some insurance companies are linked to banking groups, i.e. their products are also traded in the banks' branches. Others depend mainly on their agents spread around the country.

Generali Insurance
Ageas Insurance
Zurich Insurance
Liberty Seguros
Lusitania Insurance
Via Directa
Western Insurance
CA Seguros
GNB Insurance
Victoria Insurance
Una Insurance

Almost all of them have a quote simulator on their websites.



Seguro Directo / Ageas


Tranquilidade / Generali

OK teleseguros / Via directa

GNB / Novobanco





Car insurance simulator - comparing different insurances
(Phone and email are requested in order to carry out the simulation)
How to buy a motorboat (new or second-hand) and how to get a boat license in Portugal?

How to get a Sailing License in Portugal

Please read this:

(english version available)

DGRM (Direção Geral Recursos Naturais, Segurança e Serviços Marítimos) = Portuguese Government Agency / General Office of Natural Resources, Security and Maritime Services

You can get the yachtsman/sailing license in the following ways:

1. If you have never had any training, you will need to attend a course and successful training at one of the yachtsman's training entities certified by DGRM. After completing the exam, the licences will be issued by the DGRM.

Find out in this excel where you can attend this course in Portugal (you can filter by locality, and for each school you have the contacts):

(Excel doc, Jan 2022)

2. If you have been trained as a naval officer, merchant naval officer or have been a student of the Naval College Infant D. Henrique (*) and other professionals of the sea you can request your Licence by equivalence.

(*) Escola Superior Náutica Infante D. Henrique (College in Paço de Arcos, Lisbon)


The training courses generally last from 3 to 5 weeks, depending on the organisation where you want to get your licence. Note that there are normally 20 hours of theory lessons and 10 hours of practical lessons.


More information: