Before driving in Portugal, it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the rules of the road. Whether you are planning to stay along the Atlantic Coast, go south to the beaches of the Algarve, or north to wine country, these driving tips will help you be on your way in Portugal with confidence.
Rules and Regulations
- Everyone in the vehicle must wear seatbelts.
- Children under 12 and less than 4 foot 9 inches in height cannot travel as front-seat passengers. They must travel in the rear in a proper seat. Children under 3 can be seated in the front passenger seat if using a suitable child restraint, but only if it is facing the rear away from an airbag.
- The blood alcohol limit is 0.05% to 0.08%. Those testing higher could face a fine and withdrawal of their driver’s license for a minimum of one month to a maximum of 2 years. The police also have the authority to test drivers for narcotics.
- The use of dipped headlights is required when there’s poor daytime visibility and in tunnels.
- Third-party insurance is required.
- The use of mobile phones when driving is illegal in Portugal and subject to a fine of up to €600.
The speed limits in Portugal are similar to those in other European countries. Just be aware that the police may stop you if you exceed the speed limit.
|Urban areas||50 km/h (31 mph)|
|Outside built-up areas||90-100 km/h (55-62 mph)|
|Freeways||120 km/h (74 mph)|
What to Bring Along
- It is a legal requirement when driving in Portugal that everyone carries an ID at all times.
- You should have a reflective jacket and warning triangle in the trunk in case of a breakdown or other emergency.
- Temporary Electronic Toll Device (DEM) or Pre-Paid Tolls – A DEM or the prepayment of tolls is required to use many motorways in Portugal.
Rent a Car with SIXT in Portugal
SIXT has many branches across Portugal, including stations in major cities and airports such as Lisbon, Porto, Faro and on island destinations such as Funchal. We offer a wide selection of vehicle categories such as compact cars, convertibles, and 4x4s, any of which come with Loss Damage Waiver and Third Party Protection included in the price as standard. Still unsure about the Portugal rules of the road? Our friendly branch staff will happily answer any questions you may have when picking up your vehicle.