Portugal is not only a great destination for those who love beaches, it will also fascinate those who like to travel by car.
Here you will find the oldest cities in the world, scenic villages, a variety of monasteries, ancient castles in the unique Neo-Manueline style, beautiful mountains and of course the most beautiful beaches for every taste. Renting a car in Portugal to see it all for yourself is not just a good idea, it's a great idea.
You can pick up and drop off your rental car in the city or at the airport. A rental agent will meet you at the appointed time and take care of all the paperwork.
It is quite comfortable to drive around the country. The toll sections of the roads are in excellent condition, the toll-free sections are in good condition, the traffic is not too dense, and the traffic police take a rather lenient approach towards tourists.
Book a car on our website and go on an amazing journey around beautiful Portugal.
5 reasons to rent a car on Localrent.com ↵
- Our website brings together the best offers from local car rentals. You can compare them quickly and easily and choose the perfect one for you.
- You don’t need to make a full payment in advance to book a car. The advance payment on booking is only 15-20%, and you pay the remaining amount when you pick up the car.
- No hidden charges, the order amount at the time of booking is exactly the same as the order amount at the time of picking up the car.
- The standard insurance is already included in the price.
- Friendly customer support throughout the entire rental period.
What you need to rent a car
- ID or passport.
- Driving license.
- Bank card.
Before booking a car, make sure all your documents are not expired.
If you are booking a car for two drivers, the same experience and age requirements apply to the second driver. The second driver's driving licence and passport or ID will also be required for the paperwork.
The right way to choose a car
To choose the most suitable car for your journey, you need to plan your trip roughly first.
For trip around the city, choose a compact or a mid-size car. This will make parking easier.
On mountain roads, it's better to have a powerful engine with a capacity of 1.6 litres or more that can handle a steep climb and air conditioning at the same time. A manual transmission is also highly recommended.
Fill up with plenty of fuel before travelling to the mountains. When driving up steep hills, fuel consumption increases dramatically, and petrol stations aren’t frequent in the mountains.
A convertible is perfect for driving on beautiful roads between the ocean and the mountain peaks. Your pictures will be stunning; that’s why so many car brands shoot their ads here. Just remember that a convertible is a car for two. It’s very windy at the rear seats.
A minivan is perfect for a large family or group of people with similar interests. It is strongly recommended that you plan your trips well in advance. It may be more convenient to rent two cars.
Picking up and dropping off a car
To pick up a car, you need to bring your voucher (you can have it on your phone), your driving licence, and your passport.
The right way to pick up a car:
- Inspect the car carefully and mark any scratches on a special chart.
- Take detailed photos or videos of the car from all sides.
- Read and sign the rental agreement.
- Check with your rental agent at once if you don't understand something.
- Pay the remaining amount of the order price and the deposit.
This procedure usually takes less than 20 minutes.
The drop-off is even easier and quicker:
- You arrive at the meeting point on time; the car must be clean and filled to the level it had when you picked up the car.
- The rental agent collects the keys, inspects the car, and signs your copy of the drop-off report.
It all takes about 10 minutes.
Traffic regulations in Portugal
The local regulations do not differ much from those in Europe, but they do have their peculiarities. And the most important one is that the locals absolutely hate to observe the traffic regulations. Of course, we do not recommend to follow their example. The traffic police monitor the traffic situation and punish infringements.
- 50 km/h in the city
- 90 km/h outside the city
- 100 km/h on highways
- 120 km/h on expressways
Drivers should switch on the daytime running lights only in tunnels and in low visibility conditions.
All car occupants must wear their seat belts.
Children under 12 years of age and less than 135cm tall may only ride in the rear seat in a child restraint system.
Do not talk on your mobile phone without a hands-free system.
The permitted blood alcohol content is 0.49‰.
There are free and paid parking spaces in Portugal. You will see all information about the cost of a particular parking space and the free parking time on a nearby sign.
Be sure to pay for parking and watch the parking time carefully. Fines are issued instantly.
You pay for parking in advance at a parking meter with coins and place the receipt under your windscreen. Parking meters do not give change.
Toll roads in Portugal
There two types of toll roads in the country. Some can be paid by card, cash, and electronically, while others can only be paid electronically.
The toll varies depending on the length of the toll section. But it’s about €1/10km.
Interesting places to visit
Portugal offers an excellent beach vacation. Beach lovers come to the south of the country and often stay in the town of Lagos. All the best beaches are conveniently located at the same distance from this town. Those are such beaches as Praia de Porto de Mós, Praia de Dona Ana or Praia da Falésia.
And you should definitely visit Lisbon. Make sure to drive on the longest bridge in EU, the Vasco da Gama Bridge. It connects the north bank of the capital to its south bank. It’s best to walk around the historic centre of Lisbon leaving your car at a parking place.
Those who love parks, palaces, and old Moorish fortresses should visit the town of Sintra.
You should also visit Porto, the second most important city in the country. Apart from the architectural masterpieces, you should also visit the wine plantations. The Alto Douro Valley is a journey back in time. Wine is still made by hand here like hundreds of years ago.
Lovers of nature's beauty will enjoy a trip to the Peneda-Gerês National Park. It is a mountain reserve with rivers, waterfalls, and authentic villages built of grey granite.