Driving In Portugal – A Complete Guide About Travelling Portugal

Though public transport in Portugal is relatively good, nothing beats mapping out your road journey. Driving in Portugal could be a challenge, otherwise a joy, dependent on how well organized you are.

This guide provides you all the info you need about license necessities, rules of the street, how to rent a car, driving in the country, features of Portuguese drivers, and where to get help in case of breakdown otherwise accident.

If you’re in the mood for some scenic Portugal driving, then you’ll be happy to know that the country has some of the best roads in the world! Whether you’re looking to escape the crowds and enjoy some peaceful countryside, or you’re just looking for a scenic drive with lots of twists and turns, Portugal has got you covered. In this blog post, we’ll take you on a journey around some of Portugal’s best roads, so be sure to check it out.

Driving In Portugal

Etiquette For Driving In Portugal

Etiquette For Driving In Portugal

If a driver flashes a car’s lights, it typically means that they want you to give way. You should not beep your horn at nighttime, and if you do, it must only be to signal threat. On-the-spot penalties are common in Portugal, plus expect to have toward shell out in cash. Note: You will merely accept penalties in Euros.

Portuguese drivers do not have the most outstanding reputation – persons are often impatient, thus driving very close behindhand other cars plus overtake without cautioning, so keep your intellects about you!

Know More: Best Time To Drive To Florida From New York


Continuously carry your driving license, car registration document (V5), plus certificate of car insurance. Third-party insurance is obligatory. If the car is not recorded in your name, carry a letter from the registered proprietor giving you consent to drive.

The license may be a minor problem in Portugal as an old-style green; otherwise, the non-European license must complement an International Driver’s License. An EC format pink/green certificate is moreover accepted. Confirm you carry your passport toward authenticating the license.

Speeds And Fines

Use of mobile phones, however driving. The use of a mobile phone while driving is only permitted if you have either a hands-free kit otherwise a headset. You might face a penalty of up to €600 for not using this apparatus.

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Blood Alcohol Limit

Portugal has severe drink driving rules. The blood alcohol bound is 50mg for every 100 ml of blood.  If you are caught above this border while driving your rental car, you will be fined up to €1,250 plus have your license deferred for 1-12 months. If you assess positive among 80mg and 1.2g/L, the fine upsurges to €2,500. 

As well as, you will be facing a driving prohibition of up to 2 years. Testing above 1.2g/L is an illegal offense. You would face up to one year in jail and a three-year driving prohibition.


The lowest motorway speed boundary is 50kph or 31mph.


Various on-the-spot penalties are issued to fight the well-known hostile driving customs of local drivers.  If you obtain on-spot fines, you should pay in Euros. Numerous traffic police cars have moveable ATMs for instant payment but anticipate paying money. You should get an authorized receipt.

If you refuse to pay, you will be asked for a deposit toward covering the maximum penalties for the crime committed.  Related: How Long Does It Take To Drive Across Rhode Island?

In addition, refusal permits the 1qpolice to seize your driving license and/or registering document, plus in some cases, they could seize the vehicle.

You can be penalized up to €300 for dropping litter from the rental car. You could be fined for having radar finding equipment in the rental vehicle irrespective of whether it is in use or not. You are not permitted to use dash cameras.

If you are trapped speeding by a fixed camera in a rental car, they will send the hire car supplier the ticket. This cost will be compensated by you together with an extra administration charge.


Cars previously on the roundabout have the right to wait your turn before you set off.  It is also against the regulation to travel in the farthest right lane, except you plan on taking the first exit, making sure you’re traveling in the right lane for where you are aiming to come off. If you do not follow the instructions, you might face a fine.

Treat Yourself To A Toll Road

You frequently choose a good road, otherwise a lousy road while getting from place to place. An instance is a journey between the Algarve and Lisbon.  You could drive on the A2 – an attractive, perfectly surfaced street that’s frequently incredibly silent. Or take the IP1, a chaotic, potholed nightmare that shifts from four lanes toward two and back over repeatedly. T

he cause for the difference is that the A2 is a toll road (estimate around €20 each means for that trip). The IP1 is free. Thus you do, quite literally, pay your cash and take your choice.  The thickness of the Algarve is alike, offering the option of the A22 toll road, otherwise the free (and notorious) EN125.


Concerning parking It is free to park in maximum towns and villages; however, you may have to pay for meters in the larger cities. So make sure you check the Parking Constraints when you park up. Parking in Portugal is pretty cheap (both meters plus car parks) in contrast to the UK. Thus it pays to park up in a Car Park if you are uncertain. It is also safer.

The thing that bugs us the maximum is all the ‘unauthorized parking attendants’ in Lisbon who are waiting toward ushering you into free spaces visible to you are forced to provide them some cash. You always feel grateful, of course, hopeful that your car would be safe and not hurt on your return. 

We hand out cash to the vulnerable frequently, but we’re genuinely against this kind of bullying method, and nothing appears to have indeed been done to put an end to this over the years. 

Please moreover note that these persons may not be helping you into a ‘free’ parking space – do check the limitations, or they might even hold your car/towed away.

We must also mention you could be fined if you are parked facing the reverse direction, so we recommend you park properly on the right-hand side. Do not park on pavement either. Again you might be fined, clamped, otherwise towed away as well as impounded.

Disabled Parking

If you are visiting from a European country, your blue disabled symbol is valid in Portugal. Thus display it in your car while you park. However, if you are traveling from outside of Europe, you will require to obtain a provisional card to park – your home country’s permit will not work. A blue wheelchair sign visibly marks parking spaces kept for disabled badge holders.


You’ll discover fuel stations dotted around the country, but be conscious that hardly any of them stay open 24 hours a day. Maximum open at 7 am plus close at either 10 pm otherwise midnight, so if you are driving over the night, be conscious of wherever your fuel points are.

The fuel charge in Portugal tends to vary around €1.40 per liter for diesel and €1.60 per liter for unleaded petrol. Usually, you could pay for your fuel by credit and debit cards, however, note that there’s frequently a €0.50 charge toward doing so.

Emergencies Plus Accidents

While it is hopeful you’ll never find requisite to use it, the police emergency number in Portugal is 112. In addition, there are choices for languages. If your car breaks down, set the hazard lights plus your reflective jacket on as well as call the assistance number you will positively have contracted while renting your car. 

For Centaurauto, which has numerous outlets in Portugal, it is 351 308 810 816. In case of a mishap, call 112 and do not leave the scene till the Police arrive.


There are a few diverse ways for foreign visitors to pay:


This is an automatic payment system that links your bank card by your number plate, which is read as you pass over the toll, subtracting the fare from your bank account. 

To sign up, you insert your bank card by one of the Welcome Point tolls, and the procedure is automatic, linking to the number plate for 30 days. It charges €0.74 to sign up, plus there is a €0.32 charge on top of the fare with every journey.


This is a prepaid card which you start using your phone. Drivers could buy a card preloaded by €20, €40, €5, €10, from the post office, online, otherwise at several service stations (counting all on the A23 as well as A24).

Toll Service 

This is furthermore a prepaid choice. However, you purchase a €20 card that is effective for infinite use for three days, otherwise a card for a precise date and trip (handy if you drive from Spain toward either Porto otherwise Faro airport). 

You can purchase the cards at Cepsa service station in Viana dos Castelo (A28), and Olhão (A22), Abrantes (A23), at Porto Airport, by post-offices otherwise online.

Provisional Via Verde Device

This device permits fares to be inevitably debited from your account without any management charges. The device has a primary cost of €27.50 plus costs €6 for the first week, then and there €1.50 for the following weeks (enduring for up to 90 days). You could purchase one in Via Verde stores otherwise online, and it permits you to drive in green tracks on the 

Rules Of The Road

Rules Of The Road

Thank you for your question! The following are the rules of the road in Portugal:

  1. All vehicles must have a warning triangle and a red light on the upper left corner of the windshield.
  2. It is illegal to drive without due care for other drivers and pedestrians.
  3. It is illegal to pass on the right, even if you are driving in a built-up area.
  4. It is illegal to use a cell phone while driving.
  5. It is illegal to park in a bus stop or loading zone, or to stop on the shoulder of a highway.
  6. It is illegal to park in front of a fire hydrant, ambulance, or police car, or within 10 meters of any crosswalk.

Simple And Flexible

Simple And Flexible

Portuguese is the official language of Portugal. However, English is also widely spoken and understood, so don’t worry if you can’t speak Portuguese well! Just be sure to use caution when driving and follow the rules of the road carefully. Thanks for asking! Word Choice (100 Words)

My personal opinion: The formal rules of the road are long, flat, and dull – boring. And it interrupts your flow when you’re reading about an exciting trip around Portugal — make for a good news story but not so much in a writing piece. So I’d cut/delete that section without losing any parts of interest if possible.

Here is what I would do instead:  More generally “Driving laws” sounds too repetitive here to me; English speakers will know whether they are allowed on highways or which side they drive because there will be an “on” or “off” sign; every other detail can be described in more colourful language with Portuguese equivalents.

A nearly identical sentence is at the start of driving safety tips, so I think it would make sense to move that starting point up a paragraph and have those two sentences link off of it (for example): Driving laws are nearly always the same anywhere in the world.

Essentials To Know Before Driving In Portugal

Essentials To Know Before Driving In Portugal

Before you hit the open road in Portugal, it’s important to familiarize yourself with some of the essentials of driving. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Speed limits – Portuguese law states that drivers must adhere to the speed limits set by the government. These limits vary depending on the type of road and the time of day, but they generally range from 50 km/h (31 mph) on rural roads to 100 km/h (62 mph) on expressways.
  2. Traffic signs – In Portugal, traffic signs are strictly enforced. You must always obey all instructions given by the sign, even if you don’t understand them. This includes stopping at stop signs, turning at intersections, and changing lanes when necessary.
  3. Seat belts – Portugal is a driver’s license country, so it’s mandatory for all drivers to wear a seat belt while driving. If you are involved in an accident and are found guilty of not wearing a seat belt, your license may be suspended or cancelled outright.
  4. Pedestrians – When crossing a street, always look both ways before stepping into the road. If there is no crosswalk in sight, look for a pedestrian crossing guard or flag person to guide you safely across the street. And remember: never try to cross a busy street on your own!

Hopefully, these tips will help you get started on your Portuguese driving experience without any accidents!


I hope now you understand every important fact about driving in Portugal.

Driving in Portugal is a fun experience, and it’s one that is well worth taking for a vacation. The roads are scenic, and the drivers are skilled. You’ll never have to worry about getting lost, and there are plenty of places to stop for lunch or dinner. Plus, the weather is mild year-round, so you can wear whatever you please. If you’re looking for a great driving experience, check out Portugal!


1.How To Stay Safe On Portugal’s Beaches?

Ans: There are a few general tips that can help you stay safe on Portugal’s beaches:

  1. Stay aware of your surroundings – When swimming, walking, or sunbathing, always be aware of your surroundings and stay alert for any potential dangers. Try to stick to well-known areas and avoid beaches that are unfamiliar to you.
  2. Stick to the rules – Portugal’s beaches are legally protected, which means that there are certain restrictions on how you can behave. For example, you cannot touch or molest any wildlife, and you must keep a respectful distance from the coastguard and other lifeguards.
  3. Follow the instructions of local authorities – If you encounter any difficulties while swimming or sunbathing, contact the local authorities for instructions. They will be able to help you out and ensure that you enjoy your time in Portugal safely and without worry.

2.Who Can Drive In Portugal?

Ans: Generally, anyone over the age of 18 can drive in Portugal. However, there are a few exceptions that must be taken into account, such as having a valid driving license from your home country or having a valid driving license from another EU/EEA country.

3.What To Bring Along?

Ans: When driving in Portugal, it is important to keep a few things in mind. First and foremost, make sure that you have your valid driver’s license with you. Additionally, be sure to pack some snacks and drinks in case you get stuck on the road for a while – there’s nothing worse than starting to feel hungry or thirsty while driving! And lastly, remember to bring along your vehicle registration document (compare prices here) so that any accidents can be properly documented.

4.Should I Visit Portugal In Winter?

Ans: While Portugal is typically a beautiful country to visit in any season, winter is special. Not only does it boast wonderful scenery and weather conditions, but the roads are generally safer than they are in other months. Additionally, many attractions (such as Holy Week religious celebrations) close down during the coldest parts of winter, so it’s definitely worth keeping this in mind when planning your trip!

5.Can I Drive In Portugal With A UK Licence?

Ans: Yes, you can drive in Portugal with a UK licence. However, your driving privileges may be restricted depending on the type of licence that you have. For example, if you have a full UK driver’s license, your driving privileges may be as follows: You are able to drive vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes and buses carrying more than 15 passengers – both of which are allowed throughout Portugal

However, if you only hold a provisional or national driver’s license (like many Australians), your driving privileges will likely be much narrower: You are only able to drive cars up to 1.5 tonnes and buses carrying more than 15 passengers – both of which are restricted to specific areas of the country. Please note that foreign licences (such as a Canadian driver’s license) are not accepted in Portugal.

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