Moving to Portugal
A Complete Guide

Known for its golden sand, pastéis de nata, and of course Cristiano Ronaldo, moving to Portugal from the UK is appealing to many. However, before you can make the leap, it is important to brush up on the ins and outs of moving to Portugal, outlined in this page. Vamos!

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Moving to Portugal still feeling like a far-fetched dream? Why not listen to this playlist of Fado (traditional Portuguese music)!

Listen to our Spotify playlist
and get ready to move!

Listen to our Spotify playlist
and get ready to move!

How Much Does it Cost to Move to Portugal from the UK?

Before we get onto the fun stuff, to avoid any nasty surprises, it is crucial that you understand what moving to Portugal from the UK is likely to cost. While the only way to receive accurate figures is request free quotes from us, to give you a head-start, we have put together this table which shows the cost of moving from London to Lisbon by road.

Property sizeTimeAverage cost
1-bedroom house9 – 13 days£2,400 – £3,300
2-bedroom house3 – 5 days£3,000 – £4,100
3-bedroom house3 – 5 days£3,900 – £5,400
4-bedroom house3 – 5 days£5,200 – £7,000
5-bedroom house3 – 5 days£6,500 – £8,800

Before you crack on with moving to Portugal, please note that these numbers are merely estimates. The final cost of relocating to Portugal will be dependent on the exact nature of your move, most notably the distance travelled and the volume of your possessions. Become a real international moving costs boffin, by reading our page dedicated to it!

Tip! Not sure how much stuff you have got? Use our handy removal volume calculator, while you sit back, relax and focus on the important things. Like getting a good night’s sleep!    

Moving to Portugal?
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How to reduce your moving costs:

There are a number of obvious way to make your move to Portugal cheaper. Firstly, try and reduce the volume of your move. You can purchase many items when in Portugal and on average it will be cheaper than furniture in the UK.

Although it is possible to reduce your household it is only possible to a certain extent, other features that can help make your move to Portugal cheaper include:

  • Insurance. Depending on the quality of insurance is dependant on how much more your move will cost.
  • Transport type. Air transport is a lot more expensive than sea. but the convenience factor is higher. So it is a question of which trade-off you prefer.
  • Additional services. Although these services make life a lot easier, like everything, they come at a cost.
  • Compare many removal quotes to ensure that you pay the right price!

A Complete Moving to Portugal Checklist

It’s not all about money! Now you are an expert on moving to Portugal costs, it is time to move on to other essential bits and bobs. Follow this checklist to stay organised and complete a perfect, peaceful and pleasant Portuguese pilgrimage. Try and say that one again!

Did you know? Portugal has more hours on sunshine than any other country in Europe! You better get moving, or we will be jumping on the plane with you! 😉

Before you go:

  • Important documents. Gather up all your important documents and store them in a safe and accessible location.
  • Find an international removal company. It’s important you get this right as a lot of trust has to be put into your moving company. If you are at a loose end, explore our list of top international removal companies to get cracking.
  • Pack. There is no such thing as starting too early; read our expert packing guide for tips and channel the Marie Kondo within you!
  • Taking a car? It is possible to take your car with you when moving to Portugal from the UK, provided that:
    • The vehicle is for private use only.
    • The registered owner of the vehicle is transferring their residence from another EU member state in which they have resided for over 185 days.
    • The vehicle was initially purchased fully tax-paid.
    • The vehicle has been used by its registered owner for at least six months.
  • Moving with pets. Again, provided they meet the following requirements, your pets will be welcome to join your Portuguese adventure:
    • They are microchipped.
    • Have been vaccinated against rabies with a certificate to prove it.
    • Have an EU Health Certificate and USDA Endorsement.
  • Tax. Everyone’s favourite topic! Unless you fancy paying tax twice (thought not!) it is important that you inform HMRC that you are moving abroad. You will automatically be classified as a tax-paying resident once you have been in the country for more than 183 days.

Once you arrive in Portugal:

  • Register. If you are moving to Portugal for longer than three months, you must register at your local city council to formalise your residence. Once you ninety-day period is up, you will have a thirty-day grace period to do this. The cost is around 15EU.
  • Bank account. We strongly recommend opening a local bank account when emigrating to Portugal. The following banks are worth considering:
    • Banco Santander Totta
    • Novo Banco
    • Banco Finantia
    • Caixa Central de Crédito Agrícola Mútuo
  • Take advantage of the Serviço Nacional de Saúde (SNS), which is the socialised healthcare system available to all. While it is only free to under-18s and over-65s, it is heavily subsidised. Kaching!
  • Driving licence. Love paying fines? If not, register your UK licence with the Insituto da Mobilidade e de Transportes within 60 days of arrival.

Phew, that sure was hard work. If you are still after some more answers, we have a more detailed general moving abroad checklist, which is sure to do the trick!

Can I move to Portugal from the UK after Brexit?

Whatever side of the Brexit debate you are on, there is no beating around the bush; the UK’s decision to leave the European Union has made it more complicated when it comes to moving to Portugal from UK.

Luckily, we have an entire guide about moving to Europe after Brexit but have also provided a quick summary here to answer any pressing concerns.

  • Moving to Portugal before 31st December 2020. If you are moving before the end of this year, then you are in luck. The terms of the Withdrawal Agreement mean that you will retain your European rights in Portugal.
  • Moving to Portugal after 31st December 2020. Things are little more complicated here. As a deal is yet to be struck, there are no concrete answers. If this remains the case, you will have to comply with the specific immigration rules of Portugal.

Life in Portugal as a British Expat

Before you can tuck into Portugal’s sweets including a nun’s belly (barrigas de freira) and an angel’s double chin (papos de anjo), it is important to paint a picture of what life looks like on Europe’s most western peninsula. Read on to become a moving to Portugal expert!  

The cost of living in Portugal

Time for some good news- the cost of living in Portugal is, on average, 24.98% lower than in the UK, with rent prices similarly 28.49% lower. That means more to spend on cocktails at the beach!

To better understand where and how your money will be spent upon moving to Portugal from the UK, we have put together this table which compares cost of living metrics between the two countries.

MetricUK averagePortugal average
Monthly rent for 1-bedroom apartment in the city centre£750£531
Price to buy per square metre in the city centre£4,187£2,324
Cappuccino£2.75£1.25
0.5L of draught beer£3.60£1.79
12 eggs£1.95£1.58
Monthly utilities for 85m2 apartment£154£90

Fun fact! Perhaps you are aware that Portugal’s leading export is port, or maybe you even know that they produce half of the world’s cork. But, did you know that they are a world leader in renewable energy too? Consider this when choosing your utility provider.

Living in Portugal

Want to work in Portugal?

As one of the UK’s leading retirement destinations, working is probably the last thing you want to think about when relocating to Portugal. However, for those of you who are looking for work, stay tuned because finding a job is never easy, not least when moving abroad.

The good news is, that the Portuguese job market is becoming increasingly accommodating to expats. The bad news is, for the most part, it is difficult to find employment if you don’t speak the language.

Whatever industry you are in, explore some of the following job portals, preferably before moving to Portugal from the UK:

For the meantime, continue with that Portuguese practice. Just saying não compreendo all the time simply won’t suffice!

What’s Next?

First of all, congratulations, or rather we should say parabéns! Moving to Portugal from the UK is well and truly in sight. However, this page is just one of many on the Sirelo website here to help you.

For now, because we are committed to helping you move with a smile, we will leave you with this:

Why are there no ducks in Portugal?

Because they are all PortuGEESE! 😆

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