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Driving Tips in Portugal

Driving in Portugal Tips

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Depot Information

We search & compare rates on a wide range of vehicles with our suppliers in Lisbon. The suppliers are conveniently located at the Lisbon Portela Airport terminal and downtown depots located in the city. Lisbon Portela Airport is located just 9 kilometres from the city centre, approximately 15 minutes drive. Click here for more information.

Driving Distances

Driving Licence

A full valid driver's licence is required for a minimum of 2 years. An International Drivers Licence is required for Australian drivers licence holders.

Age Restrictions

Generally the minimum age is 21 years, but can vary between the car hire company and location. Maximum age limits apply in some locations, a young/senior driver surcharge may apply. Please check terms & conditions when making an enquiry or booking.

Rules and Regulations

General driving rules and regulations in Portugal:


The following equipment are required to be carried in the vehicle and which are to be used in the event of an incident, accident or breakdown:

Child Safety Seats

Passengers under the age of 12 years old must only be seated in the back seats of the vehicle, if suitable a proper child seat should be used as well.

Speed Limits

Speeding fines and any other traffic infringement must be paid on the spot which aren't cheap. Be sure to follow the speed limits advised to avoid any sort of mishap. Below are the speed limits in Portugal, unless signed otherwise.

Drink Driving

The legal blood alcohol content (BAC) in Portugal is 0.05mg/ml. Those found over the limit face very heavy fines or imprisonment.


A toll fee is payable on most motorways in Portugal. Fee's are determined on distance travelled, drivers are to collect a ticket upon entry onto the motorway then present the ticket at a toll booth when exiting the motorway, where a fee can be calculated.

Road Signs

Road signs in Portugal are very similar to the signs used in other European countries but with some differences. Signs will be shown in the countries local language, however English is also used on most major signs. Signs with symbols are used the most in Portugal which makes it much more easier to read and understand.


Parking regulations in Portugal vary depending on the time of day, day of the week and location. Be sure to check signage and markings in the area for parking restrictions. In areas marked as blue zone a parking disc will need to be obtained, discs are to be displayed on the front window of the vehicle with the arrival time. In other parking areas metered parking is used, motorists are to pay for parking at an automated ticket machine and display a ticket on the front windscreen.

Visa Information

Visa, passport and entry requirements for Australians visiting Portugal:

Winter Driving

There are no specific rules or regulations regarding snow tyres, however drivers need to pay due care and attention on the roads in winter and be able to adapt to changing conditions.

All information provided is to be used as a guide only. Distances and time may very according to the route taken. The information shown on this page may have changed since the date of publication. Please refer to the countries local tourist office for up-to-date advice. Last updated: November 2016.