Confirming what every car owner knows to his or her cost, new cars in Portugal are among the most expensive in Europe.
Jornal de Notícias looked at prices for 20 best selling car models in Portugal, Spain, France and Germany and found that not one vehicle was more expensive in the other countries.
The reason is the government’s taxation policy which penalised buyers of the smallest run-around to the most luxurious or sporty.
One tax is based on engine size and the resulting estimate of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Then there’s double taxation, with Portuguese buyers paying the vehicle purchase tax, 'Imposto Sobre Veículos' and then VAT on top – a tax that is taxed again.
The best-selling car in 2018, the 90 horse power Renault Clio Zen model which costs €1,700 less in Germany than in Portugal and €2,000 more than in Spain. The diesel version costs around €5,000 more.
"There is no fiscal harmony in the European Union. Even during the Portuguese presidency of the EU in 2000, we raised the question but nothing was done, which means that member States tax cars as they see fit," says Hélder Pedro, secretary general of the Automobile Association Portugal.