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Brazil – Buying or Importing a Car

Brazil is the largest country in South America and the fifth-largest country in the world. If you plan to live or work in Brazil, you may want to buy a car or import one from another country. In this article, we will discuss the procedure for buying a new or used car in Brazil, importing a vehicle, and selling a car.

Buying a Car in Brazil

If you are a foreign national planning to buy a car in Brazil, you need to have a valid passport and a permanent or temporary visa. Once you have met these requirements, you can start looking for a car.

Procedure for Buying a New Car

If you are buying a new car in Brazil, the process is relatively straightforward. You can visit a car dealership and choose the model that you want to buy. The dealership will provide you with a sales contract, and you will have to pay a deposit. The deposit is usually 10% of the car’s price.

Once you have paid the deposit, the dealership will order the car from the manufacturer. The delivery time depends on the model and availability. When the car arrives, you will have to pay the remaining amount and sign the sales contract. The dealership will register the car in your name and provide you with the necessary paperwork.

Procedure for Buying a Used Car


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Buying a used car in Brazil requires more effort than buying a new car. You can find used cars for sale online, in newspapers, or at car dealerships. When you have found a car that you are interested in, you should arrange a meeting with the seller to inspect the car.

When inspecting a used car, you should check the car’s condition, mileage, and history. You should also take the car for a test drive to see how it handles. If you are satisfied with the car, you can make an offer to the seller.

If the seller accepts your offer, you need to sign a sales contract and pay a deposit. The deposit is usually 10% of the car’s price. You should also check if the car has any outstanding debts or fines. The seller should provide you with the necessary paperwork, including the car’s registration certificate.

When you have paid the remaining amount, the seller will transfer the car’s ownership to you, and you will receive the car’s registration certificate. You should also obtain car insurance and register the car with the Brazilian Department of Traffic (DETRAN).

Importing a Vehicle in Brazil

If you want to import a vehicle into Brazil, you need to follow specific procedures and regulations. The import process depends on the vehicle’s origin and age.

Importing a Vehicle from a Mercosur Country

If you are importing a vehicle from a Mercosur country (Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, or Venezuela), the process is relatively straightforward. You need to follow the following steps:

  1. Obtain a Certificate of Origin: You need to obtain a Certificate of Origin from the country where the vehicle was manufactured.

  2. Obtain a Bill of Sale: You need to obtain a Bill of Sale from the seller. The Bill of Sale should include the vehicle’s details, the purchase price, and the seller’s and buyer’s information.

  3. Obtain an Import Declaration: You need to obtain an Import Declaration from the Brazilian Internal Revenue Service (Receita Federal).

  4. Pay the Taxes and Duties: You need to pay the following taxes and duties:

  • Import Tax: 35% of the vehicle’s value
  • ICMS Tax: depends on the state where the vehicle will be registered
  • PIS and COFINS: depends on the vehicle’s value
  1. Present the Documents to the Customs Authorities: When the vehicle arrives in Brazil, you should present the necessary documents to the Customs authorities. The Customs authorities will verify the documents and check the vehicle’s condition. If the vehicle meets the technical requirements and the paperwork is in order, you can register the vehicle in Brazil.

Importing a Vehicle from Other Countries

If you are importing a vehicle from other countries, you need to follow specific procedures and regulations. You should contact the Brazilian Internal Revenue Service to obtain information on the necessary paperwork and requirements.

Selling a Car in Brazil

If you want to sell a car in Brazil, you need to follow specific procedures and regulations.

Procedure for Selling a Car

When you want to sell a car in Brazil, you need to follow the following steps:

  1. Obtain a Technical Inspection: You need to obtain a technical inspection of the car. The technical inspection is valid for one year.

  2. Advertise the Car: You should advertise the car in newspapers, online classifieds, or at car dealerships.

  3. Negotiate the Price: When a buyer is interested in the car, you should negotiate the price and sign a sales contract.

  4. Transfer the Ownership: When you have received the payment, you should transfer the car’s ownership to the buyer. You need to provide the buyer with the car’s registration certificate and the technical inspection report.

  5. Cancel the Insurance: You should cancel the car’s insurance.

Paperwork Required for Selling a Car

When you sell a car in Brazil, you need to provide the following paperwork:

  • Sales Contract: The sales contract should include the names and addresses of the buyer and seller, the car’s details, the price, and the payment terms.
  • Registration Certificate: The registration certificate should be signed by the seller and the buyer.
  • Technical Inspection Report: The technical inspection report should be valid and signed by an authorized inspection center.

If you have any questions about the buying, importing, or selling process, you can contact the Brazilian Internal Revenue Service, the Brazilian Department of Traffic (DETRAN), or an authorized inspection center.

Buying or importing a vehicle in Brazil requires following specific procedures and regulations. If you are a foreign national, you need to have a valid passport and a permanent or temporary visa before buying or importing a vehicle. If you are importing a vehicle, you need to obtain the necessary documents, pay the taxes and duties, and present the paperwork to the Customs authorities. If you are selling a car, you need to obtain a technical inspection, advertise the car, negotiate the price, transfer the ownership, and cancel the insurance. By following the procedures and regulations, you can buy or sell a car in Brazil without any legal issues.

If you need more information about buying or importing a vehicle in Brazil, you can contact the Brazilian Internal Revenue Service, the Brazilian Department of Traffic (DETRAN), or an authorized inspection center. These government departments and agencies can provide you with the necessary information and guidance to ensure a smooth and legal process.


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