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Traffic Regulations in Portugal

Driving Overview | Insurance Information | Rental Restrictions

Driving Overview

General Information
In Portugal you can drive on a four-line highway, or "auto estrada", from Lisbon to Porto, and between many other main cities in the country.  Two-lane highways of good quality also connect the rest of the country. From Portugal you can also take the E1 motorway south to the Algarve Coast.

To rent a car in Portugal, you must be at least 21 years old (age can vary by car category) and have held your driver's license for at least 1 year. For drivers under the age of 25 an additional young driver surcharge may apply locally. Seatbelts are mandatory and children up to age 4 must be seated in a child seat.

Speed Limits
Speed limits in Portugal are:

  • Town and city: 56 km/h
  • Open Roads: 88 km/h
  • Motorways: 120 km/h

Traffic restrictions
In Portugal you drive on the right. Mobile phones are only to be used with a hands free device. It is not allowed to overtake on the right. There are high fines for speeding and drinking and driving. The fines are also collected on the spot.

Petrol stations are open from 07:00 to 22:00. Stations along the motorway are normally open 24 hours.

Some roads in Portugal are toll roads. For example the "Auto Estrada" that goes from Lisbon to Porto. More are planned. Tolls can often be paid on toll booths at highway exits. On some toll roads, however, there are no booths. For those cases, some suppliers fit out their vehicles with electronic devices for automatic payment. When that is not the case, the client will have to pay those tolls directly at Post Offices. 

In many cities in Portugal you can park in Blue zones. You collect a free cardboard disc at the local police station or motor club offices. Display the disc on your dashboard while parking. In Lisbon city centre you may encounter problems finding on-street parking.

Insurance Information

General Information
Car rental insurance varies widely, so please study the information below prior to making your booking. Regulations of the country where you rent the car will be in effect for the duration of your rental.

All our car hire rates include Collision Damage coverage and Theft Protection for the vehicle. Rental limits potential vehicle damage or loss liability to an excess, which is stated on your voucher. If you plan to take advantage of coverage offered by your credit card, please contact your card issuer directly for details. Specific insurance information for your reservation will be printed on your confirmation voucher.

Rental Restrictions

General Information
Most car categories can be driven within Western Europe, United Kingdom, Northern Ireland and Ireland. If you wish to drive abroad (outside Portugal) you need to purchase additional coverage. Please note that you may not take your rental car on a ferry. Due to insurance regulations, there are restrictions on luxury car categories and on travel in certain countries. Please take a moment to ensure that your intended itinerary will be possible with the car you plan to book.

Restricted Countries
When you hire a car in Portugal you can normally drive it to Spain and France and Western Europe. There are different rules applying so please let us know if you plan on taking your car outside of Portugal. There are additional insurance fees that apply for these rentals. If you want to travel to Eastern Europe or cross any national border(s) with your rental car it is important that you please contact us on our toll free number 1800 943 075.

Domestic one-way rentals are available between certain locations, additional fees may apply. Fees also apply for international one-way rentals. Some vehicles are prohibited on international one way rentals.

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