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    Car Hire Portugal

    See the best of Portugal with Car Hire

    With over 60 years' experience in car hire, get the industry's best service and know that we have got everything covered. Find quick quotes and compare the leading suppliers for car hire in Portugal, so you can save time and money!

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    Driving in Portugal

    Which Side?

    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.

    Driver's Age

    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 Permit

    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

    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 

    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 Distances 

    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;

    • Lisbon to Porto (316km approx. 2hr 50mins)
    • Lisbon to Faro (278km approx. 2hr 30 mins)
    • Faro to Lagos (91km approx. 1hr)
    • Porto to Evora (412km approx. 3hr 40mins)
    • Faro to Vilamoura (25km approx. 30mins)

    Car Hire in Portugal with Auto Europe

    Book your car hire in Portugal with Auto Europe over our safe, reliable and secure online booking system. Our exceptional customer service and Beat Rate Guarantee assure the best savings and quality of service on your car hire. For more information, read our Car Rental FAQ page, read our Terms and Conditions, or Contact Us.

    Top Portugal Car Hire Locations

    Auto Europe is proud to offer car hire in every major city in Portugal. No matter where your travel itinerary brings you, Auto Europe has a local supplier with the best prices. Find your chosen city below or enter your details in the search form above.

    Car Hire Lisbon Lisbon Car Hire Porto Porto Car Hire Faro Faro Car Hire Lagos Lagos

    Portugal Driving Inspiration

    To make your Portugal self-drive adventure that little bit easier we have a range of resources to assist! You can download Auto Europe's Portugal Travel & Driving Guide for free which provide useful information and touring ideas to create your own holiday itinerary or for the latest and greatest in Portugal events and itineraries check out our blog.

    Portugal Driving Guide         Portugal on the Blog                                                      

    On the Road

    Speed Limits

    Speed limits vary in Portugal depending upon the type of road you are travelling.
    - The speed limit on Motorways is 120km/hr
    - The speed limit on main intercity roads is 100km/hr
    - The speed limit in other built up areas ranges between 50 - 90km/hr
    - Some city centres have reduced speed zones of 20km/hr

    Tolls and Motorways

    Tolls and Motorways are common in Portugal. There is a widespread implementation of an electronic toll system, similar to the eTolls system in Australia. Traditional motorways have the tolls booths where payment is made by cash or card, as well as a Via Verde, or Green Channel, where vehicles fitted with the electronic devices can drive through and have the payment made by debit. There are some motorways which are exclusively the electronic toll system. At the entry to these motorways, there are signs saying 'Electronic Toll Only'.

    Many rental vehicles are now fitted with the electronic toll device and you can use the Via Verde lanes, otherwise, In order to use some Motorways in Portugal, a temporary electronic toll device (DEM) or the pre-payment of tolls is required. Either contact us or your rental supplier for more information on electronic tolls.


    Roundabouts are common on Portuguese roads. In theory, internationally recognised rules apply, meaning drivers approaching the roundabout have to yield to drivers on the roundabout. You should indicate to leave the roundabout and only use or move in to the outside lane to take the next exit. In practice, however, taking a roundabout in Portugal may not be quite what you are used to. Many drivers in Portugal use whichever lane they happen to be driving in, regardless of the exit they intend to take. Some good advice is to always check your mirrors when changing lanes or exiting the roundabout, and beware of drivers in lanes which you might not normally find them.


    Signposts in Portugal are similar to what you will find in Australia, with most being designed to European recommendations. Signs inside a red circle are generally prohibitive, signs with a blue background and generally directive, and signs with a red triangle are usually warning signs.


    Fuel types are generally the same as throughout Europe. The main 3 types of fuel available are;

    • Diesel(Gasóleo)
    • Unleaded 95 octane gasoline (Sem Chumbo 95)
    • Unleaded 98 octane gasoline (Sem Chumbo 98)

    We recommend you choose a diesel vehicle where available. Diesel is cheaper to purchase and more economical to run. Fuel stations can be found in all cities and towns along the main highways as well as in supermarkets. You will often find that Supermarket brands are cheaper to purchase fuel from than fuel stations along the major roads.


    Parking rules and regulations vary depending on the time of day and day of the week, and each town and city may have different rules. No parking signs ( Estacionamento Proibido)are often white or blue with a red line across. Yellow or red painted signs and lines next to the curb also indicate that parking is prohibited. If parking along the side of the road, always park in the direction of traffic, particularly on one-way streets. Parking in the major cities, including Porto and Lisbon, can be a hassle and it is easier and safer to park in secured car parks for the day.

    Top Portugal Car Hire Locations

    Auto Europe is proud to offer car hire in every major city in Portugal. No matter where your travel itinerary brings you, Auto Europe has a local supplier with the best prices. Find your chosen city below or enter your details in the search form above.

    Car Hire Lisbon Lisbon Car Hire Porto Porto Car Hire Faro Faro Car Hire Lagos Lagos
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