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    Driving in Portugal

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    Driving Information Portugal

    Driving Licence Requirements

    Please keep in mind that to drive around Portugal you must be at least 19 years old (age may vary by car category) and have held your license for 1 year.

    Age Restrictions

    Drivers under the age of 25 may incur a young driver surcharge. This depends on the suppliers age restrictions. To learn more, please check the Terms and Conditions when making an enquiry on one of our destination pages, such as Porto or Faro.

    Driving Distances

    • Albufeira to Faro - 46kms (40 mins)

    • Almada to Lisbon - 12kms (20 mins)

    • Evora to Faro - 287kms (2 hours 45mins)

    • Lisbon to Porto - 318kms (3 hours)

    • Porto - Tondela - 140kms (1 hour 35mins)

    Road Rules and Petrol Station

    General Portugal driving laws rules and regulations:

    • Driving in Portugal is on the right hand side of the road.

    • Overtaking is on the left hand side of the road.

    • Drivers must yield to disembarking tram passengers.

    • Seat belts when driving a hired car in Portugal are mandatory.

    • On the stop fines can be issued by the traffic police and must be paid in Euros. Most traffic police vehicles are fitted with portable ATM machines.

    • Drivers are to carry at all times while driving photo identification when driving in the capital, Lisbon, or any other city in Portugal.

    • Dipped headlights must be used in tunnels and when there is poor daytime visibility.

    • Petrol stations in Portugal are open from 7am to 10pm with some stations in major cities and on the highway open 24 hours.

    Tolls

    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. For more information about Portuguese tolls, click here.

    Parking Information

    'Blue zone' parking exists in many Portuguese towns. You can obtain a Portugal parking disc, free of charge, from either the police or local motor club offices. Central Lisbon offers very little on-street parking.

    One-Way Car Hire

    Domestic one-way rentals are unrestricted and free of charge on mainland Portugal. There are fees for international one-way car hires, and not all vehicles are allowed.

    If you plan to drive with a Portugal car hire you can pick it up in one location and return it to another location but there are some restrictions that you need to check with your car hire supplier. If you have any questions you can call our car hire team on 0800 358 1229.

    Useful Links

    Portugal Airport Information

    Portugal Travel Information

    Portugal on Wikipedia

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