Both new and second hands cars are expensive in Portugal (and other European countries like Spain and France for that matter) and many people choose to save money by buying a LHD car in the UK and importing it into Portugal.
The upside to this is that it’s usually cheaper to buy a second hand LHD car in the UK than it is in Portugal. Although there are specialist LHD dealerships in the south of England, it’s still a very niche market. Most LHD cars that arrive in the UK are brought in by expats returning to live in the UK, or continental Europeans moving to the UK for work. In both cases, the sellers are usually looking to get rid of them so that they can purchase a right-hand drive.
Where to find Portuguese registered cars in the UK
- eBay – As well as the auctions that it’s famous for, Ebay also offers classifieds adverts (like Gumtree or Craigslist). Quite a few LHD dealers advertise here, so it’s always worth taking a look to see what’s available.
- Facebook Marketplace – Increasingly more and more people are posting to Facebook Marketplace over Autotrader and Gumtree.
- Autotrader – Most LHD dealers will list their cars on Autotrader and it’s quite common for private sellers to use Autotrader to sell their cars as well. Click ‘more options’ to use the advanced search and add the ‘lhd’ to the keywords. You can also try searching for ‘Portuguese’ if you’re looking specifically for Portuguese plates.
- Gumtree – Gumtree is another good place to look as its used by both private and commercial sellers. Again, search for ‘lhd’. You can also trying searching for ‘lhd Portuguese’ but don’t expect to find too many cars.
- Preloved – Similar to Gumtree. Always worth a look.
- Piston Heads – This tends to be more where you get a LHD Porche than something for going to the shops with.
LHD car specialists
There are a few car dealerships that specialise in LHD cars. These companies mainly deal with expats living in Europe, but a few also deal in specialist LHD imports of high-performance cars.
- LHD Place – Specialist LHD dealership in Basingstoke, Hampshire.
- My LHD – Cars can be delivered to any address worldwide. They also have offices in the UK and in France.
- LHD Car Supermarket – Based in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire.
- London Left Hand Drive Centre – Although you’ll find a few expat-type cars, this dealership tends to have a lot of high-performance imports. It’s located in an underground car park in Chelsea harbour in London and viewings are by appointment only.
You’ll notice that the vast majority of LHD cars will be located in the South of England. This is where the majority of the LHD dealerships are and where the expats that are selling these cars are usually located. Occasionally, you will find a LHD car in Scotland, Wales, or the Far North of England but the majority will be in the South.
Finding Portuguese registered cars in the UK
Yes, it’s possible to find Portuguese reg cars in the UK. Unfortunately, there isn’t a quick and easy way to do it: it’s a case of keeping an eye on all of the sites above and looking out for ones with Portuguese plates.
The majority of LHD cars in the UK have either UK, French, or Spanish plates. You’ll also find cars from a few central European countries (e.g. Germany and Belgium) and also Eastern European countries (e.g. Poland and Romania). Portuguese reg cars do pop up, but they’re few and far between. If this is what you’re specifically looking for, expect to spend a few months searching.