West coast car boot cancelled for winter months

A long-running monthly car boot sale on the Algarve’s west coast has been forced to go into “winter hibernation”.

The sales held by community association AMOVATE on Vale da Telha, outside Aljezur, on the first Sunday of each month have been called off until April, citing the “knock-on” effect of changes in the government’s licensing laws governing flea markets and car boots first introduced early in 2013.

An AMOVATE spokesperson said: “Those changes made the traditional car boots too expensive to be viable as it meant we could not afford to host commercial traders who had always been an integral part of our car boot operations.

“We have tried to adapt by ruling that stallholders could sell unwanted household items only, not goods grown, made or bought for profit.

“This, of course, significantly reduced the number of stalls on site each month and made it less appealing to the customers visiting our sales.”

The spokesperson pointed out that Amovate is a charitable organisation that in the past has donated 35 new wheelchairs to Portimão Hospital, organised the donation of €50,000 worth of firefighting and rescue equipment to Aljezur Bombeiros and also provided them with two new defibrillators, whilst training 75 people in basic life support and 24 in using the defibrillators.

It also bought a €700 ripple bed for the Madrugada charity to ease the suffering of long-term bedridden patients, amongst many other donations to worthy causes.

Their spokesperson went on: “While hoping this decision doesn’t impact our fundraising too heavily, AMOVATE has therefore reluctantly decided that, in future, the car boots would be suspended for the winter period.

“The suspension of sales will cover the months of December, January, February and March, which means the next car boot will be held on Sunday, April 3, 2016.”