Renting a Car and Driving in Portugal

Most traffic rules in Portugal is equal to the rules established in Western Europe. Portuguese drive on the right side of the road and the legal age to drive is 18. Since 2004, the roads in Portugal have been reclassified to make them easier to understand and more consistent across the country.

Portugal Car Hire - Traffic rules There are two main types of roads in Portugal - regional roads and motorways. The motorways are equipped with gas stations, supermarkets, cafeterias and kiosks, as well as phones, repairers and information points.

In Portugal the traffic is processed by the right side. In squares, intersections and junctions, signaling unless otherwise take priority vehicles that appear to the right. At intersections with roundabouts have priority vehicles already circulating inside.
Traffic signs comply with international standards.

Fines must be paid on site.

Maximum speed limits for vehicles without trailers and motorcycles:
  50 km / hour - within localities
  90 km / hour - normal airway
100 km / hour - in the lanes reserved for cars
120 km / h - on motorways.

Tolls in Portugal

Portugal has two types of toll roads: "auto estradas" and former "SCUTs". In "Auto Estradas", that is, normal highways, toll payment is quite easy, as you'll come across toll booths when entering or exiting the highway, where you can pay by cash or by means of a credit or debit card. SCUTs are more complicated. Originally these highways were not paid (in fact SCUT means "Sem Custos Para o Utilizador", that is, "With no costs for the user") and as such they have no toll booths anywhere in sight. What they do have is electronic devices that will register the license plates of vehicles travelling through them.

For people driving a rental, there are two ways to deal with this. Sometimes the supplier will fit out their vehicles with an electronic device that will allow clients to drive through Portuguese highways without having to worry about tolls, and then the toll amount is paid directly to the supplier at the end of the rental period. When the supplier doesn't provision its cars with such a device, the client must pay the tolls at Post Offices (CTT ( ) in Portuguese, identified by their red logo). For more information about Portuguese tolls, click here. (,frameless.htm

Rental cars

To rent a car in Portugal, drivers must be at least 18 years and have a driving license for at least one year. Drivers under 23 years who rent a car are subject to pay an additional fee for drivers younger.


Using a seat belt is mandatory front and back seat of the car in Portugal. Children under three years are not allowed to travel in the front seat. Children under 12 years can not travel in the front seat of the car, unless the transport is done with a restraint system. If the seat belt laws are not strictly enforced in Portugal, can be subject to fines.

Documents required:
- Personal Identification Document
- Driving licenses
- Certificate of insurance
- Title of ownership of the vehicle registration or equivalent document
- Vehicle identification document (logbook) or equivalent documents

The Highway Code prohibits the use of mobile phones while driving, except if used devices speakerphone or headset.

Driving for people with disabilities
In Portugal, the rules of conduct for persons with disabilities refer only to your physical and mental fitness, which could result in restrictions or adjustments which should be mentioned in the license.
If the disabled person is in possession of a valid driving license in Portugal, may be able to drive vehicles and on complying with the restrictions or adaptations that suit the situation.
Are recognized in Portugal cards Community-model parking for people with disabilities, issued by any of the Member States. The seats reserved for this purpose are indicated by signage. Parking situations elsewhere are allowed in cases of absolute necessity, since for short periods of time without harming the normal and free movement of pedestrians and vehicles.

BAC, blood alcohol levels peak
In Portugal it is not allowed to drive with a BAC greater than or equal to 0.5 grams per liter. About exceed the maximum set by law, be subject to fines, which vary depending on the fee amount ascertained.
- A blood alcohol level of 0.5 g / l and 0.8 g / l is considered a serious contraordenação, which may be punished with a ban from driving for a period of 1 month to 1 year and a fine value between 250 and 1,250 euros.
- A blood alcohol level of 0.8 g / l and 1.2 g / l is considered a very serious contraordenação, and involves driving ban between 2 months and 2 years and a fine from 500 to 2500 euros.
- A rate equal to or greater than 1.2 g / l is considered a crime, punishable by imprisonment up to 1 year or fine up to 120 days beyond the disqualification for a period of 3 months to 3 years.The use seatbelt is always mandatory.


When driving in Portugal is always more advantageous to use the car parks because there are a number of strict laws concerning parking on public roads. If you park on the street, the car must be parked on the right side rather than face traffic. Always obey all parking signs, since there fines and mounting tires for cars that are parked in an area where it should not be parked or whether the time has exceeded the meter.


All vehicles in Portugal are required by law to maintain the minimum connected on motorways. Motorcycles and scooters should keep their headlights on all the time, whatever the type of road. The maxima may be used on roads outside towns and when no other vehicle is facing.


The cars must overcome on the left. Overtaking on the right is permitted only if the vehicle ahead signals its intention to change direction to the left.

High Visibility Vests

Portugal is one of the EU countries where it is mandatory to have high visibility vests in the boot of the car. The high visibility vests should be used in situations where the driver has to pull over to the side for one reason or another, and that has to be immobilized for some time. It is also mandatory to have the car a red warning triangle to warn other drivers that the car is stopped on the side. Unlike some other European countries, first aid kits emergency are not mandatory, but highly recommended, as well as a spare tire and the tools to change it.

Drinking and Driving

Drinking and driving is strictly prohibited in Portugal and the rest of the European Union. If a driver is pulled over for driving drunk and has a blood alcohol level above the legal limit, which is 0.05, the driver can be fined or even be subject to imprisonment.


At any intersection, drivers must give way to traffic coming from your right you. At intersections with a stop sign or signal priority, the driver must give way to all other vehicles.

Mobile Phones

In Portugal it is forbidden by law to use mobile phones while driving a vehicle. Fines are applied to drivers who are caught by the local police to talk to your phone, holding the phone. When using a mobile phone while driving, please use the hands-free technology appropriately, including headsets and Bluetooth.

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