Car Buying Guide

Written by  //  February 20, 2011  //  drive  //  2 Comments

Buying Guide

Transfer of ownership

The seller of the used vehicle is responsible for providing the form for the registration of the change of ownership (“Transferência de Propriedade”). The Form 2 (“Modelo 2”) is available from the “Instituto dos Registos e do Notariado” (IRN), and contains information about the vehicle, the previous owner and the new owner. During the sale it should be completed and signed by both the buyer and the seller.

It is the buyer’s responsibility to register the change of ownership at the local IRN vehicle registration department within 30 days.

Form for registration of change of ownership (Click – Requerimento de Registo Automóvel”)

List of local civil registry IRN offices (pdf file)


The Portuguese equivelent of the MOT test is the IPO (“Inspecção Périodica Obrigatória”).

The IPO test is compulsory and may only be undertaken by a test centre (“Centro de Inspecção”).

List of test centres here >

All cars over four years of age must be inspected and tested at an approved garage test centre every two years until the age of seven. From the eighth year onwards, the vehicle must be tested every year.

Light Goods Vehicles (LGV) must be inspected two years following registration and annually thereafter.

Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV) must be tested one year from new and annually thereafter until the eighth year. After it must be tested twice a year.

When you take your car for a test make sure you have

  • Vehicle ownership document (“Titulo de Registo de Propriedade”) and Vehicle logbook (“Livrete”) or
  • DUA (“Documento único Automóvel”) – the new combined registration, licence plate and log book card
  • Owner’s tax contribution card or number (“NIF”)
  • The previous IPO inspection test certificate

In addition to the normal requirements of a UK test, make sure your car is carrying an approved reflective vest, a red warning triangle, spare wheel and tools for changing the wheel.

When you car has passed its’ test you will receive a green paper that has to be displayed on the nearside of your car’s front windscreen.

If the car fails the test you receive a red certificate and you have 30 days to re-test.

Information correct as of January 2011

2 Comments on "Car Buying Guide"

  1. Richard March 11, 2011 at 3:43 am · Reply

    I was wondering what is the law in regards to buying a Motorbike or Scooter?? Thank you

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