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Driving in Portugal | Car Hire Guide Portugal

Driving Guide PortugalTo avoid any confusions and problems regarding driving within Portugal, it is best to learn some of the rules and regulations regarding driving within the country; this will enable you to have a peaceful drive and enjoy the landscapes and scenery.

Checklist for travelling in Portugal:

  • Driving license (if you have an old green or non-European license, you may also need an additional International Driver’s Permit).
  • Vehicle registration document (V5)
  • Certificate of motor insurance
  • Third party insurance
  • When the vehicle is not registered in your name, you must carry a letter from the registered owner which gives your permission to drive.
  • Your passport
  • A reflector vest within the interior of the car (not the boot). This should be worn by passengers and drivers outside the vehicle.
  • An authorised warning triangle (this is displayed to warn oncoming drivers that you are stopped/having problems with your vehicle).

Speed Limit

These are implemented rigorously within Portugal so make sure you are aware and stick to them:

  • 50 km/h in Built-up areas
  • 90-100 km/h on the Open roads
  • 120 km/h on Motorways (with a minimum speed limit of 50 km/h)

Seating arrangements for Children

Children under 12 should not be seated in the front of you vehicle. Also it is legal requirement that you should use a baby and booster seat for children of this age.

Fines and Penalties

If you have been issued with a fine, the police have the ability to accept payment straight away due to their portable credit/debit card machines. If you do not pay on the spot, this could result in the holding of your documents and eventually the vehicle. Such things which will result in fines and penalties are;

  • Crossing white lines, jumping red lights and ignoring policemen signals. All these result in losing your licence for two to twelve months.
  • Passing another vehicle on their right side can result in a fine of up to €1,250.00.
  • If you do not respect the “Stop” signs, this can lead to a fine of up to €2.500.00.


There are also some other things to consider when driving in Portugal. These are;

  • The use of mobile phones are banned and illegal, if you do so you will be heavily fined.
  • Portugal has strict anti littering laws and prides itself on it cleanliness. If you do not stick to this, you can face fines of up to 300 euros.
  • There are some tramways in Portugal, if you are behind a stopping tram, you must make way for disembarking passengers.