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The Portuguese drive on the right-hand side of the road and the driver sits on the left-hand side of the vehicle, the opposite of how you drive in Australia. It can take some time to get used to driving on a different side of the road so take time to familiarise yourself with the vehicle and controls before driving off.
The minimum driving age in Portugal is 18, however, most car rental companies impose a minimum driver age of 21. Driving must hold a full Australian driver's licence and most rental suppliers charge an additional fee for driver's under 25 years of age to cover higher insurance premiums. A very popular option for drivers under 21 is to lease a vehicle on our Peugeot Lease Program. The minimum age to drive a Peugeot is 18 years with NO young drivers surcharge to pay. Most suppliers have no upper age limit providing you hold a full drivers licence.
International Driving Permits are not required for holders of Australian licences for periods under 6 months. For visitors staying longer than 6 months, it is required to exchange your licence for a Portuguese permit. International Driving Permits are required for some European countries, so if you plan on driving across borders, check whether you will be required to have this document.
Travelling with children is a popular option for our Australian clients. Children under the age of 12 years and less than 1.35m tall must travel in the back of the car using an appropriate child or booster seat. Feel free to take your own or we are more than happy to arrange one to be available with your rental vehicle on arrival.
Border Crossings are simple thanks to tourism VISA waiver programmes and the evolution of the EU. Internal borders are fading and it is now very straightforward to drive throughout all of Western Europe with very little complications. There are restrictions in place on crossings borders by some suppliers and on some vehicle types, such as luxury cars. Check at the time of booking if your itinerary is permitted with the supplier and car type you would like to rent. Additionally, if you are planning to drive your car to Eastern Europe there may be restrictions and/or additional costs, and you must say at the time of booking and picking up the car from the supplier. The costs are usually to cover increased insurance premiums.
Driving times and distances in Portugal are important to know when planning your self-drive holiday. Our top driving tip when planning a self-drive holiday in south-west Europe is to take your time and do not attempt to do too much in one day. There is plenty to see, but there is no need to rush, so relax and enjoy!
The following driving times and distances should be useful;
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