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    Car Hire in Portugal – Miles of sandy beaches awaits you!

    Car hire in Portugal

    From the rugged mountainous regions in the north to the plains of the south, Portugal has a rich varied landscape with something to enjoy for everyone. During your trip ancient castles, cobbled street alleyways, miles of golden sandy beaches, and an abundance of historically rich cities, such as Porto, await you. You’ll be able to explore all of this and more with a car hire in Portugal. Relax in Faro with the warm sunshine on your face, some amazing food and a glass of Portuguese red wine, all the while you watch the world go by. Don’t forget Lisbon, Portugal’s capital city, a vibrant metropolis with lots of bars, restaurants and quaint coffee houses to enjoy along its river front.

    Portugal has long been an established tourist destination, and as such, numerous local, national and international car hire suppliers operate here. From world renowned brands, from Herts, Europcar and Sixt, to more local brands such as Rent a Star, you’re sure to find the right deal. Through us you’re guaranteed the best market price for your rental. Our frequent promotions are specifically designed to allow you to maximise your car rental experience.

    Booking a car rental in Portugal couldn’t be easier; Auto Europe has over 60 year’s car rental experience - with strong partnerships forged throughout its history with multiple car hire suppliers. We provide a large selection of vehicles to choose from, but also offer other alternatives such as motorhome hire and a luxury car hire service. Call one of our agents on +44 123 322 5114 to find out more. Why not take a look at the many Portugal car hire reviews written by our clients following their recent Auto Europe car rental experience in towns and cities all over Portugal.

    For more information on renting a vehicle in Portugal, click on the car hire related topics listed below:

    Our Car Hire Suppliers Car Hire FAQs Vehicle Options

    Where to Pick up a Car Hire in Portugal

    Auto Europe provides almost limitless pick-up and drop-off locations throughout Portugal, namely at airports, train stations and central city areas. With so many suppliers, you have a large selection of vehicles to choose from. Numerous clients decide to pick-up their car in Faro, Albufeira or anywhere along the Algarve. Other popular options include Torres Vedras, Cascais or Viana do Castelo in the north. You could even enjoy the beautiful Portuguese island of Madeira.

    When you arrive to pick-up your car rental in Portugal, simply make your way to the car hire supplier office and await your turn. Make sure you have with you a valid driving licence, your rental voucher and a valid credit card under the main driver’s name, to allow for a deposit to be held on it. On picking up the car, make sure you look for any damage, noting anything on the pick-up form. Don’t forget to also fully read the rental terms and conditions, paying particular attention to the fuel policy.

    Compare Car Hire Rates at the Most Popular Airport and Rail Stations in Portugal

    Book with the Best Car Hire Suppliers in Portugal

    With over 24,000 global pick-up locations, Auto Europe is not only present throughout Portugal, but also on the beautiful island of Madeira, in Funchal, and the beautiful Azores that are located in the Atlantic Ocean.

    Our partnership with numerous car hire suppliers allows us to provide great quotations from a large selection of vehicles. The ability to cancel your car hire booking up to 48 hours beforehand free-of-charge is one of our main benefits. We aim to provide total transparency during your booking, from our terms and conditions and fuel policies, to available add-ons and local fees.

    Guerin - Car Hire Information Budget - Car Hire Information Europcar - Car Hire Information
    Hertz - Car Hire Information Avis - Car Hire Information Sixt - Car Hire Information

    If you require further assistance when booking a car hire in Portugal on our website, then please do not hesitate to contact our award-winning rental agents by phone or e-mail and they will provide you with information such as local car hire desk opening times, out-of-hours drop-box information, our latest special offers, additional extras, excess cover and much more.

    Frequently Asked Questions about Renting a Car in Portugal

    Contact UsAuto Europe provides a wealth of knowledge and experience which allows us to fully answer any car hire related questions. Regardless of what country you are in, our local know-how will make sure you’ll always be secure on the road. Following are the most common questions in regards to hiring a car in Portugal. So whether you’re renting a car in Porto or Albufeira, feel free to call one of our reservation agents if your questions aren’t here.

    How old do I have to be to rent a car in Portugal?

    If you plan to rent a car in Portugal then you must be a minimum of 18 years old. In addition, you must have held your licence for at least a year. Although this is the general rule, individual car hire suppliers may also impose their own age limits and restrictions. If this is your first car hire then don’t worry, Auto Europe is here to guide you. If you are under the age of 26, suppliers can charge a younger driver fee. These rates can be found during the online booking process or are stipulated on the terms and conditions on your voucher after you’ve made the reservation.

    In Portugal, Avis and Budget are two of our long standing suppliers who rent out cars to clients 18 years and older. Other suppliers such as Guerin and Europcar will provide car hire to young drivers 19 years and older. It is vital to be fully aware of the age requirements when making your booking, entering where appropriate your actual age, so that both Auto Europe and your supplier is made aware. By doing so we are able to inform you of any restrictions.


    Can I pick up my car rental in Portugal in one place and drop it off in another?

    Yes, it is possible to pick-up your car hire in Portugal at one location and drop it off in another. Although there can be some restrictions and certain fees may apply. The process is known as a one-way car hire, with the fee prominently displayed during the online booking process. Although many car hire suppliers in Portugal allow one-way rentals for free, some do charge, whilst others prohibit it all together. When restrictions are applied this is generally due to vehicle categories, minimum rental duration and destinations.

    A car hire supplier in Portugal can allow you to drop off the car in another European country without additional fees; this normally applies only to neighbouring countries or within Western Europe. However, restrictions do apply to luxury cars due to insurance regulations. If you are hiring a car in a Western European country, and plan to drive it into an Eastern European country, then you will more than likely have to pay a fee and adhere to certain restrictions.

    If a one-way fee applies, then this will be either included in your online quotation, or if not, will be debited by your supplier during pick-up – the process differs between suppliers. Auto Europe does not charge for this, but because we believe in providing total transparency so that our clients can make an informed decision, one-way fees are displayed without VAT and can be viewed on our online booking engine under the Rate Details. A benefit of booking through Auto Europe is the ability for the customer to cancel the whole booking free-of-charge up to 48 hours before pick-up.

    When making an online reservation you must enter all the countries that you wish to drive into. The voucher will then contain a list of the countries that you wish to enter. The local supplier then needs to provide authorisation for every country you wish to visit. Locally, they may charge a small fee, which can be found during the online booking process under inclusive package, then terms. These costs will also be contained in the rental voucher, once you’ve booked.


    Do I need a credit card to rent a car in Portugal?

    A valid credit card under the main drivers name is mandatory for leaving a security deposit during pick-up. The car hire supplier will place on hold a certain amount which will be returned promptly upon returning the vehicle in the same condition as it left. The actual local suppliers do not accept debit cards. You will therefore need a valid credit card with enough funds for the deposit. Failure to provide this will mean not being able to collect the car and losing your booking. For luxury cars the supplier may ask for an extra credit card in the main driver’s name, in other wards you will be required to provide two credit cards.

    Visa, Mastercard, Diners and American Express are the most commonly accepted forms of credit cards by the local suppliers. Further information can be found in our credit cards and deposits section. To confirm which credit cards are accepted for your booking, you can view this under supplier payment policy information, which is found during the online booking process, under Rate Details.


    What are the most important driving rules in Portugal?

    Driving in Portugal is similar to any other western European country. Therefore make sure you fully obey that country’s road rules and regulations. In summary, driving is on the right hand-side of the road, with overtaking on the left. The speed limits vary from 35 mph in the city, to 55 mph in less built up areas, and 75 mph on motorways. All passengers must wear seat belts whilst the car is moving, with children having to use an appropriate car seat. Under 12 year olds cannot sit in the front seat, unless they have reached a minimum height of 135 cm. Likewise, booster seats are required for children in the back seat up to the age of 12, unless they have also reached the minimum height of 135 cm. It is also important to carry always within the car all necessary vehicle documents - this is a legal requirement – plus, everyone must have access to a yellow vest. A triangle, should you break down, must also be present, so confirm this is available before driving off.

    Driving in Portugal can seem aggressive but if you keep the following in mind you should be ok. When driving you must use dipped headlights in tunnels and when visibility is poor. It is common practice to tailgate in Portugal, so don’t be over alarmed, simply, allow them to overtake when it is safe to do so. Do not expect much indicating, so take extra caution. Undertaking, also known as passing on the right, is not allowed and you can receive a fine of up to 1,000 euros. Likewise, the use of mobile devices without an appropriate hands-free kit is illegal. Fines of up to 600 euros and even disqualification are handed out. When parking, make sure you do not park against the flow of traffic; doing so can also lead to a fine.

    It is important to know that you must give way to passengers disembarking from trams, which mainly happens in the cities. If you’re looking to fill up the tank, then numerous petrol stations are available throughout the country. Generally, you will find these open from 07:00 until 22:00, with some city and motorway petrol stations open 24 hours. If you are stopped by the authorities, then make sure you carry with you identification and plenty of cash to pay any potential on the spot fines. Some Police patrol cars contain an ATM inside the boot of the vehicle – for your convenience.

    Any fines obtained during your car hire are passed onto you via the car hire supplier, plus administration costs. Likewise, your details if they are required to do so by the law. Lastly, it is prohibited to drink and drive, with strong fines and even disqualification awarded if caught. The legal limit is 0.5 grams per litre of blood, if you have 1,2 grams per litre then expect to do some jail time.


    Do I need to pay tolls when driving my car hire in Portugal?

    Yes, tolls are present in Portugal on motorways. You are charged from the moment you enter the motorway until the time you leave. When you arrive at the traditional booth you simply collect a ticket and present it when you leave. Traditional style motorways have toll booths in which you can pay by cash or card. Other lanes also exist for card only and a “Via Verde” fast lane for those vehicles with transponders fitted to their windshields. Across both bridges in Lisbon another lane exists called the “Via Card”, this is for registered users only and should be avoided.

    New tolls, known as e-tolls, require your car to have a transponder on its windshield. Car hire companies in Portugal will activate these upon request during pick-up, for a small fee. Transponders are linked to your credit card or bank account and charged accordingly. Some e-tolls have pay machines located on lay-bys along the motorway, although these are generally only located in the Algarve. If you pass an e-toll without a transponder, your number plate will still be registered. You will then need to make payment at an authorised post office within five days, but no sooner than 2 days.

    Electric transponders are a fast and efficient way to pass through tools - both traditional through “Via Verde” and at e-tolls. There an excellent way of avoiding traffic congestion by not requiring you to stop and providing free flow of traffic. For further information on tolls in Portugal you can view the terms and conditions, local fees section during the online booking process.For more information on on tolls or if you wish to calculate the cost of your route, please visit the official website of the Portuguese Department of Infrastructure.


    What kind of insurance do I need for my car hire in Portugal?

    If you plan to book a car rental in Portugal, it is good to know that all the rentals from Auto Europe come with Liability Insurance and Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) included in the base rate. In addition, Theft Protection cover (TP) is also included in the base rate. Depending on the supplier you choose, you may or may not have to pay an excess if you’re involved in an incident or if the vehicle is stolen. It is important to note that CDW never covers damage or loss to car tyres, mirrors, wheels, glass, interior, roof, engine or undercarriage. Damage to locks or loss and damage to keys is also not covered.

    For added peace-of-mind, for an additional fee you may consider taking the Auto Europe Full Protection cover. This will provide cover for car mirrors, glass, roof, undercarriage, towing costs, key damage and loss, any applicable administration fees and misfuelling. The Full Protection cover fee is dependent on location, supplier, rental duration and car category.

    Our car hire coverage page has in depth explanations in regards to all coverage options. You can view applicable fees on the Rate Details during your online booking results. Here you’ll see the full coverage amount of that offer, including CDW deductible, Theft protection deductible and Liability coverage. Information is also available on your bookings Terms & Conditions.

    You may be offered insurance by the local supplier when you arrive to collect your car. This is optional and if you have already purchased the Auto Europe Full Protection, chances are you won’t need this. Any insurance purchased locally with the supplier, Auto Europe cannot refund. Suppliers may offer other insurances such as Personal Accident Insurance (PAI), Personal Effects Coverage (PEC), Super CDW, Seguro Relax Insurance, Road Side Assistance and more. These are normally charged on a daily basis and are optional.


    Can I use my UK licence to drive my rental in Portugal?

    Yes, currently a UK Driving Licence is accepted when you hire a car in Portugal. The licence must be presented during pick-up with identification and proof of address. This also applies to any additional drivers. You must have held your UK Driving Licence for a minimum of two years and it must be in the Roman alphabet. Currently there is no need to provide an International Driving Permit to drive in Portugal. Although, this may change and if so, an International Driving Permit is only valid if presented together with your UK Driving Licence.

    As of the 8th June 2015, some rental companies might require you to provide a DVLA code upon collecting the vehicle so that the car hire supplier can check your licence for any endorsements.


    Can I add an additional driver to my rental car in Portugal?

    Yes, you are able to add an additional driver to your car hire if desired. Some car hire suppliers in Portugal allow you to add an extra driver free of charge. Other suppliers may charge a daily fee for an additional driver. This is paid directly to the supplier upon collecting the vehicle. Auto Europe also offers regular promotional offers for additional drivers at selected destination. All drivers, including additional drivers need to be registered on your rental agreement. Failure to do this can make any insurance or coverage options void. Meaning any damage or theft to the car, whilst under their care, may make them liable for the full incident. They must also present the same documents as the main driver, including identification, driving licence, proof of address, etc.

    If applicable, additional driver fees can be viewed during the online booking stage under Rate Details, located below the car information section. Once you select the supplier, click on driver information, select category and car type. The rental voucher will also contain this information

    Additional Vehicle Rental Options in Portugal

    Auto Europe provides a quick and easy way to compare rental costs for all car hire suppliers in Portugal. We offer a large selection of vehicles to choose from, from numerous local and international car hire brands. Our vehicle categories reflect our commitment in providing you the right car for the right occasion. From our Mini to SUV car categories, we offer you plenty of choice.

    For those with larger families, or a group of friends, we also provide vans, making it easier to explore the vast Portuguese coastline. Our convertible cars are ideal for those looking for a little glamour and to enjoy the Portuguese weather. If more internal room is what you need, then our economy and intermediate car categories provide excellent legroom but without diminishing fuel efficiency.

    For further information consult our Portugal fleet guide where you’ll find detailed explanations of all our available options.

    Luxury Car Hire Portugal Hire a Van in Portugal Campervan Rentals in Portugal

    Luxury Car Hire Portugal - Our luxury car category provides you with the chance to explore Portugal in a glamorous vehicle. The category in Portugal includes such cars as a Mercedes C Class, Volvo V90 and a BMX 5 Series, to name but a few. Across other locations you can expect to find at your disposal cars such as Maserati, Lamborghini, Audi and Porsche.

    Van Hire Portugal - An ideal option if you are travelling with a large family or group of friends, a van hire is especially popular amongst business users and those planning on attending business events or conferences. The internal space provided is excellent for large amounts of luggage, but still providing plenty of legroom and comfort for passengers.

    Campervan hire Portugal - Portugal is the perfect country to explore with a motorhome. It is both small enough to explore, yet large enough to keep you entertained and interested. From north to south, the landscape is extremely varied. The north is mountainous and with plenty of forests, whilst the south is more arid flat lands.

    Useful links

    Travel Inspiration and Information for Your Trip to Portugal

    Driving and Traffic Information for Portugal