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Shipping a Car to Portugal

Car Shipping to Portugal Guide

Shipping Your Car to Portugal? Car Shipping from the USA to Portugal starts at a cost of $1,595 USD with an estimated turnaround time of 4-8 weeks, depending on the make and model of the car, the port of origin, and the method of shipment. Below, we explore everything you need to know about shipping your car to Portugal in our 2024 guide.

Are you ready to get started shipping a car from the USA to Portugal?

Request a free online quote – Quotes are available online with a guaranteed response within 24 hours for car shipping and moving services to Portugal.

Please do not hesitate to call or email us anytime with any questions about car shipping to Portugal. Contact our shipping experts for more information. We are always just a phone call away!

International & Domestic Coast-to-Coast

Want more information on car shipping services to Portugal from the USA?

Read on below in our guide for our US to Portugal Vehicle Shipping Checklist, Vehicle Import Options, US to Portugal Car Shipping Costs & Time Frame, US to Portugal Vehicle Shipping Options, Ports Served in the US & Portugal, and other details on our Portugal vehicle shipping service.

Shipping a Car to Portugal: Checklist

If you are relocating to Portugal and are looking to ship your car to Portugal too, there are some things that you will need to consider.

Here’s a rough breakdown of the process you’ll need to go through to ship your car overseas to Portugal.
  • Firstly, you will need to gather all necessary vehicle documentation, including:

    • Sales Contract / Bill of Sale
    • Vehicle Title Documentation
    • Certificate of Registration

  • Understand the costs of shipping a vehicle, including:

    • Freight and insurance charges when shipping your vehicle
    • Wharf, transport, storage and delivery charges after your vehicle arrives
    • Duties, taxes and fees, this includes VAT and ISV (Imposto Sobre Veículos)
    • Cleaning the undercarriage of foreign soil
    • Registration and insurance requirements in the relevant Portuguese State or Territory
    • Other charges such as import processing, customs brokers, and logistics service provider charges

  • Start collecting all the documents together in good time before your move to Portugal, to prevent any unnecessary time delays.
  • Select an international car shipping company and preferred shipping method to transport your vehicle from the United States to Portugal
  • Determine your vehicle’s departure and destination ports
  • Confirm the vehicle’s undercarriage is clean and free of foreign soil

More information on the process of shipping a vehicle to Portugal can be found here.

Online Quotes - Guaranteed Response within 24 Hours!

Quotes are available online for domestic and international vehicle shipping services. Depend on us for reliable and expedited vehicle relocation services - Our dedicated team of shipping specialists are always a phone call away to answer any questions you may have.

Vehicle Import Options

As you engage in the process of car shipping to Portugal, some of the most important questions to consider include:

  • Whether you plan to keep the car in Portugal permanently or if it’s just a temporary move,
  • Whether you have been the owner of the car for at least 6 months.
  • Whether you’re transporting a new or used car into Portugal

These questions and more will determine whether your car is eligible for shipping to Portugal. Your actual tax rate is based on these details.

When shipping cars, you should never assume your international shipping scenario is the same as someone else’s. Importing classic or collectible cars or even used cars may have eligibility requirements that differ from those for importing new cars into Portugal.

To obtain an estimate of the cost to ship a car to Portugal, fill out our free quick quote form.

Vehicle Import Approval

Upon arrival of your car shipment into Portugal, your shipped car must be declared in Customs.

To clear your vehicle through Portuguese Customs, you will require the following documentation:

  • Sales Contract / Bill of Sale
  • Registration certificate or any equivalent official document;
  • Proof of Car Ownership
  • Invoice, if there has been a sale;
  • Valid ID (Identity card or Passport);
  • EU Certificate of Conformity or equivalent documentation that proves compliance with the relevant road safety standards;
  • Vehicle Inspection Certificate (if the car is over 4 years old) obtained from an authorized inspection center;
  • Completed IMT (Institute for Mobility and Transport) form

Things to Consider

  • All cars shipped to Portugal must comply with all the legal and technical requirements stipulated by the Portuguese government and European standards.
  • Cars that are over 4 years old will require a certified inspection to determine their safety and compliance.
  • Portuguese law obliges any motor car user to take out at least third-party car insurance, known as ‘Responsabilidade Civil Obrigatória.’ Proof of valid car insurance must be carried at all times.
  • Tourists are allowed to ship their car into Portugal for 180 days in one calendar years, providing that it is registered in their name, and is imported only for the personal use of the individual and their family. You must have a valid driver’s license and insurance from your home country.

Shipping a Car to Portugal: Costs & Time Frame

Using a baseline of a compact car being shipped using the roll-on/roll-off method from the Port of Los Angeles to the Port of Lisbon, our estimate for Car Shipping from USA to Portugal starts at a cost of $1,595 USD.

However, the cost to ship a car to Portugal can vary according to factors such as the model and make of your car, your current location, the nearest departure port in the USA, your shipping method of choice, availability of your chosen services, your destination port, and your final destination. Additionally, you’ll need to consider costs related to shipping cars such as storage, cleaning, other vendor fees, and Portuguese taxes & duties, such as Portugal’s value-added tax (VAT) and ISV.

An estimated timeframe to ship a car to Portugal measures the duration of a port-to-port service. Typically, the timeframe to ship a car to Portugal from the USA will take between 4-8 weeks, depending on your port of departure, arrival, and method of service. This is provided all the required documents are submitted to us in a timely manner, the car is prepared to depart, and all other vehicles to fill the container have been secured.

Taxes & Duties for Portugal Car Shipping
Prior to car shipping to Portugal from the USA, verify your vehicle’s specifications and compliance with Portuguese requirements.

If you are shipping a car to Portugal from the USA, you will be required to pay:

  • VAT, currently at a rate of 23%
  • Vehicle import tax (ISV) is usually a maximum of 10%

These fees can be paid directly at the Finanças local office.

The specific amount of taxes and import duties payable when shipping a car to Portugal from the US will vary and depend on your individual shipment details.
However, in certain circumstances, you might be able to gain exemption from paying Portuguese customs duties and taxes.

  • Portuguese citizens that are returning to Portugal after emigrating to another country for more than 6 months.
  • If you are importing a car from an EU/EFTA country, then you will be exempt from paying ISV. You will only be required to pay VAT if the car is brand new or if you have owned it for less than 6 months. You can claim this back if you have already paid VAT on the car in another member state.
  • Non-EU nationals who are relocating to Portugal permanently may be exempt from paying ISV, providing that they meet the following criteria:
    o are over 18 years old
    o have owned the car for over 6 months before importing it to Portugal
    o have lived in the country that the car is from for at least 6 months before importing it into Portugal

To obtain an estimate of the cost to ship a car to Portugal, fill out our free quick quote form.

Online Quotes - Guaranteed Response within 24 Hours!

Quotes are available online for domestic and international vehicle shipping services. Depend on us for reliable and expedited vehicle relocation services - Our dedicated team of shipping specialists are always a phone call away to answer any questions you may have.

Shipping a Car to Portugal: Options

Car Shipping from USA to Portugal can be performed using a shared container, a sole container or a roll-on/roll-off service.


Roll-on/roll-off (RoRo shipping) – Vehicles are loaded onto a ship that contains a cargo area built like a very big parking garage. This international car shipping option tends to be cheaper as other than the shipping charge, you are required to pay only port charges and customs clearance charges.

Transits tend to be faster than with the shared container service as the vessels depart on a weekly basis.


Shared container service – This method for car shipping to Portugal requires multiple vehicles to be loaded into one shipping container. While there are more fees involved to ship a car from the USA to Portugal with shared container service than with the roll-on/roll-off shipping method, due to the fact that the container must be processed, these charges are shared between the various clients who are using the container. Such fees include a trucking charge, terminal handling charge, customs clearance, and charge for unloading the vehicles at a bonded warehouse.

One disadvantage is that you might face a longer wait before your vehicle departs, as the container must have a full load before shipping to Portugal.


Full container load – You have the added benefit of a fully enclosed container, just like our shared container service, but the 20 ft container is dedicated solely to your car. Since there’s no wait for other cars to be loaded, you’ll enjoy a shorter wait before departure. However, additional terminal handling fees and other charges won’t be shared with other vehicle owners.

Our most selective customers prefer the high level of safety and expediency offered when shipping cars with dedicated container shipping. When your vehicle is received, we’ll photograph and document the vehicle’s condition as well as the loading process. Your vehicle will be loaded using our modern steel loading system, which is not only environmentally friendly, but doesn’t rely on outdated wood ramps and nails that other shipping companies use, which can damage your vehicle.

After your car is loaded onto your own private container, it is locked and secured. This will ensure no one gains access to your car before reaching its final destination. Since the car is fully enclosed in a secure container, we invite our clients to pack and transport other items inside the car. However, everything must be loaded securely, as we won’t be responsible for loss or damage of any kind.

Once your vehicle reaches its destination in Portugal, our agent will unlock the container, document the vehicle’s condition, and photograph the entire unloading process. Every step of the shipping process is not only handled carefully but documented for your peace of mind.

Compared to our RoRo shipping option, enclosed container shipping is not only more secure when shipping to Portugal, but much faster due to frequent departures each week.

Additional Services


Sourcing vehicles – Overseas clients who wish to buy a car can turn to our long list of car buyers developed in our nearly thirty years in the auto industry, who can find and purchase vehicles for an additional fee or commission.


Other services – Some of the auto transport services we offer in overseas territories include domestic pickup, vehicle import assistance, tracking of your shipment, customs clearance in the USA and a full vehicle inspection report.

Ports Served in the US and Portugal

Destination Ports – Portugal
Here are the entry ports in Portugal that we can ship a car to.

  • Lisbon
  • Duoro and Leixões
  • Aveiro
  • Setúbal
  • Sines
  • Bremerhaven, Germany
    (Many clients bring in here with final destination within Portugal)
  • Rotterdam, Germany
    (Many clients bring in here with final destination within Portugal)

Departure Ports – United States

The location your car will depart from depends on the method of car shipping to Portugal, where your car is located, your budget, and which services the nearest port offers. We have multiple departure locations from which we can ship cars from the USA, including Los Angeles, New York, Houston, Miami, Savannah, and more.

Cleaning Your Vehicle’s Undercarriage

Before shipping to Portugal, the undercarriage of your car must be cleaned and free of foreign soil to prevent the introduction of invasive plants, animals, fungi, and microorganisms. This can be accomplished through steam cleaning or other thorough cleaning methods.

CFR Classic can assist with finding an appropriate cleaner to help ensure you comply with this requirement before car shipping to Portugal. We do not recommend washing the interior of the vehicle as it can cause mold during transport. Vacuuming the interior is usually more than sufficient prior to car transport.

Plating Your Vehicle in Portugal

After customs clearance, you must officially register your vehicle with the relevant Portuguese authorities (Institute for Mobility and Transport, or IMT). This process can be carried out at any local civil registry office and must be done within 180 days of importing your vehicle into the country. While the documentation is primarily in Portuguese, you will be assisted by helpful staff that will guide you smoothly through the process.

You will require the following documentation to complete this process:

  • Your ID, for example your Identity Card or Passport
  • Your Numero de Indentificacao Fiscal (NIF) number
  • Portuguese Residency Permit
  • EU Certificate of Conformity
  • Vehicle Inspection Certificate (if required)

Once you have completed the registration process and paid the registration fee, you will receive your registration certificate, valid until you deregister or sell the vehicle.

All cars in Portugal must carry an ‘All in one’ card, which represents the car’s registration, license plate, and log book. This card must be kept with the car at all times. You must also apply for a Portuguese driver’s license (to replace your foreign driver’s license) and a new license plate.

Finally, you will need to pay IUC – Imposto Único de Circulação, which is essentially the Portuguese road tax allowing you to use Portuguese roads freely.

Other Portugal/US Shipping Options

Online Quotes - Guaranteed Response within 24 Hours!

Quotes are available online for domestic and international vehicle shipping services. Depend on us for reliable and expedited vehicle relocation services - Our dedicated team of shipping specialists are always a phone call away to answer any questions you may have.

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