Driving Tips in Portugal - Sixt rent a car


Driving in Portugal is different from the UK so in order for you to travel safely Sixt recommends that you read our guide for the rules, regulations and advice when in Portugal.

Driving Tips Portugal
Driving Tips in Germany

Rules & Regulations

Here are some rules and driving tips that you should make yourself aware of before you start your road trip in Portugal:

  • When driving in Portugal remember that you have to drive on the right hand side of the road.
  • Compulsory for front and rear seat occupants to wear seat belts, if fitted.
  • Children under 12 and less than 1.50m in height cannot travel as front seat passengers. They must travel in the rear in a special restraint system adapted to their size, unless the vehicle has only two seats, or is not fitted with seat belts. Children under 3 can be seated in the front passenger seat if using a suitable child restraint however, the airbag must be switched off if using a rear-facing child restraint system.
  • You must be aged 17 or older, however visitors under the age of 18 years may encounter problems even though they hold a valid UK licence.
  • Drinking and driving limits - If the level of alcohol in the bloodstream is 0.05 per cent to 0.08 per cent, you could face a fine and withdrawal of the driving licence for a minimum of one month to a maximum of one year; more than 0.08 per cent, fine and withdrawal of driving licence for a minimum of two months up to a maximum of two years. The police are also empowered to carry out testing on drivers for narcotics.
  • Use of dipped headlights is compulsory in poor daytime visibility and in tunnels.
  • Third-party insurance is compulsory.
  • Use of mobile phones when driving is illegal in Portugal and subject to a fine of up to € 600.00.

Please make sure that you are aware of all the road regulations before you start your trip in Portugal.

Sixt rent a car Speed Limits Advice

Speed Limits

The standard legal limits for driving in Portugal, which may be varied by signs, for private vehicles without trailers are as follows:

  • In built-up areas 31 mph (50 km/h)
  • Outside built-up areas 55 mph (90 km/h) or 62 mph (100 km/h)
  • On motorways 74 mph (120 km/h)
  • The minimum speed on motorways 31 mph (50 km/h)
  • Motorists who have held a driving licence for less than one year must not exceed 55 mph (90 km/h) or any lower speed limit.
Papers Bring Along - Sixt Driving Tips

Things to Bring Along

Here are some of the essential pieces of equipment and documentation that you should take along with you when driving in Portugal

  • It is a legal requirement when driving in Portugal that everyone carries photographic proof of identity at all times.
  • Reflective jackets are compulsory for residents and recommended for visitors.
  • Temporary Electronic Toll Device (DEM) or Pre-Paid Tolls – A DEM or the prepayment of tolls is required, before using many motorways in Portugal.
  • Carrying a warning triangle recommended as the use of hazard warning lights or a warning triangle is compulsory in an accident/breakdown situation. A warning triangle is compulsory for vehicles registered in Portugal.
Driving Tips from Sixt rent a car

Additional Information

With so much on offer in Portugal you’ll be spoilt for choice when driving around in your Sixt car rental. Make sure your first stop is the capital city of Lisbon, right near the Atlantic coast, so that you are only a short drive away from many sunny beaches. For a bit of history and culture check out the Castelo Sao Jorg where you’ll get a great view of the city or the Se Catedral dating back to 1147.

When using your Sixt car rental in Portugal you might also want to drive around Porto, another fantastic city next to the coast with some dazzling architecture and famous for its great wine. With many other locations around Portugal you will always be near a Sixt car rental branch helping you to get the most out of your road trip.

Now you have read our tips for driving in Portugal why not read of the other countries we have covered including Denmark, Russia and Switzerland.

* Please note: All information was correct at the time of publication.