car hire in portugal

Car hire that goes the extra mile

A frequently stunning mix of rolling plains and unspoilt beaches - there's so much more to Portugal than resorts and golf. Fancy diving in the Azores? Or perhaps a little archaeological expedition in the Alentejo. Like an island-shaped tub of neapolitan ice-cream out in the Mediterranean - Portugal has something for everyone. Experience it all with the best car hire Portugal has to offer and let us at find it for you. Enjoy!

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Car hire recommendation for Portugal

Car hire in Portugal - Car hire choices

Europe's West Coast is yours for the taking. Portugal itself is 218 km wide and 561 km long, so it's fair to say you'll need a fairly capable vehicle whilst out and about.

So if, of course you're planning to be out and about both the climate and geography can be varied, so we recommend a hire car with a little extra comfort and air con. provides car hire at hundreds of locations across Portugal. Here are just a few:

Towns and cities

Portugese Airports

Lisbon, Sintra, Porto, Faro, Lagos, Funchal, Vilamoura, Coimbra, Madeira, Albufeira

Lisbon - Portela Airport (LIS), Oporto - Dr. Francisco S Carneiro Airport (opo), Faro Airport (FAO), Funchal, Madeira Airport (FNC), Ponta Delgada, Azores - Joo Paulo II Airport (PDL)

Driving in Portugal

winding road

As with any foreign country, it's vital to familiarise yourself with the rules of the road before setting off. In European countries alone - road rules and etiquette are as changeable as Elton John's wardrobe. Be smart, be safe, and enjoy the experience!

  • Vehicles drive on the right in Portugal.
  • Unless otherwise indicated, vehicles coming from the right have priority in squares and at intersections.
  • At junctions with roundabouts, vehicles already on the roundabout have right of way.
  • Road signs comply with international rules.
  • It is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol level of 0.5 grams per litre or more.
  • All vehicle occupants must wear seat belts.
  • The Portuguese Highway Code forbids the use of mobile phones while driving, unless you're using hands-free equipment or an earphone.

There are a number of helpful resources online too. Check out the helpful folk over at Drive Alive! for essential info on driving in Portugal.

Helpful hints to save you time and money

  • If you're driving, make sure you carry your driving licence and car rental documents with you at all times. Otherwise it could prove an awkward situation when asked to show your documents on the spot by a Police officer.
  • On the spot fines are routinely issued for motoring offences.
  • In the event of a serious road accident, wait for the local police to arrive. Meanwhile, ask for the other driver's (or drivers') details, including name, address, insurance company details and policy number. And insist (politely) of the police that they take statements from both (or all) parties - and that everyone involved is breathalysed.
  • Always park on the right, your car must not face on-coming traffic.

Did you know?

Portugal has a history diverse enough to match its ever-changing landscape. Take the opportunity to amaze (or bore) your family en route with these handy facts:

local culture
  • Portugal has a long association with England: in 1308 they signed the Treaty of Friendship; 1386 saw another Alliance and the 1654 Treaty of commercial cooperation was accompanied by British aid for independence from Spain.
  • The island of Madeira was claimed for Portugal in 1419. Its name comes from the Portuguese word for wood because it is heavily forested.
  • The Portuguese established a trading post in Goa, India, in 1510.
  • Funchal, the main town of Madeira, is named after the herb, fennel (funchal), which grew wild on the island.
  • Since the eighteenth century it has been illegal for the bull to be killed in Portuguese bullfighting.
  • Portugal was an ally of Britain in the First Word War and during the Second World War the Azores were used by the British as a military base.
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