Guide to Automobile Insurance in Portugal

Guide to Automobile Insurance in Portugal

Guide to Automobile Insurance in Portugal


To better understand automobile insurance in Portugal, we’d like to first remind you of the principles of automobile insurance and then we’ll give you all the details of the different administrative procedures required before insuring your vehicle.

To protect yourself in the event of an accident, theft or simply a blow to your windshield, automobile insurance gives you the guarantees you need to drive peacefully. Besides insuring the driver and all passengers, automobile insurance also covers the driver’s civil liability for damages caused to third parties.

To drive in a zen state of mind, make sure you’re well-insured!


Insuring your vehicle in Portugal: an obligation?

In Portugal, even insuring your car is subject to the law.

In fact, just like in England or in Spain, for example, Portuguese law requires car owners insure their vehicles with at least “third-party” insurance. This minimum guarantee, also known as “automobile civil liability” covers the costs of any material damages or bodily injuries the driver may cause to third parties. However, there are several options available to complete this basic guarantee and expand the cover for the insured vehicle (see the section “choosing good automobile insurance”).


How is the price of my automobile insurance calculated?

The sum of the premium for your automobile insurance in Portugal depends on the type of guarantees chosen (third-party, standard or all-risk) but also your driving record; in other words: your age, the number of years you have had a licence, your driving history with former insurance companies (bonuses/penalties), the use of your vehicle in Portugal.

Did you know?

If you have lived in a European country for at least 6 months, you can take a driving exam… it’s easier to pass your exam in Portugal than in France and it costs less!

And for those who still don’t speak Portuguese, some driving schools offer driving courses in French (for a higher fee): the practical exam, however, will be in Portuguese!


How do you insure your vehicle?

1st step: change the plates…

Now living in Portugal, you wish to keep your favourite car: your old insurance may cover you for a maximum of 3 months. So, you need to take advantage of this period to apply to change your registration plates with the Portuguese authorities. We’ll give you all the details on the different steps, which sometimes require a little patience… (private intermediaries, however, can do this work for you for a fee of around €500).

  1. Obtain the certificate of conformity (builder’s site)
  2. Complete an IMT form 9 (downloadable doc in Portuguese)
  3. Take your vehicle to pass a technical inspection (authorised centres)
  4. Apply for approval of your vehicle (through the IMT office closest to your place of residence)
  5. Legalise your vehicle and pay ISV (vehicle tax) – A customs office corresponding to your place of residence
  6. Apply for a new grey card (IMT)
  7. Register your new registration plates with the Conservatoria do registo Automovel


2nd step: choose good automobile insurance

The automobile insurance policies you’ll be offered may be divided into 3 major categories: Basic-Standard-All risk :

auto insurance portugal


Ask your free car insurance quote just HERE

3rd step: Documentation

To take out an automobile insurance policy in Portugal, you must provide the following documents to your insurance company or broker

  • Taxpayer’s ID number (Numero de contribuinte)
  • A mailing address in Portugal
  • A bank account number in Portugal
  • Your driving history with bonuses/penalties (ask your former insurance company)
  • The grey card for your vehicle now registered in Portugal or the official documentation proving you’ve applied for a change of registration through the Portuguese authorities.


Why can INOV Expat offer you good automobile insurance solutions?

INOV Expat is an insurance brokerage firm aimed at French and English-speaking expatriates in Spain, and now in Portugal, which has signed partnership agreements with the leading insurance companies on the market. We know just how much moving to another country can bring about a lot of surprises and procedures which are sometimes quite complex. So, ever since its foundation in 2004, INOV Expat has not only aimed to assist its expatriate clients search for “custom insurance” but also defend their rights in the event of a claim.

Ask for your free quote online: automobile, health, home, business, travel, other insurance. Check our website: or contact by email [email protected].

Guide to Automobile Insurance in Portugal 1

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