Our new Driving Tips series gives you the need-to-know advice for driving abroad!
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.
Speed Limits in Portugal
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. 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||50 km/h (31 mph)|
|Outside built-up areas||90 km/h (55 mph) or 100 km/h (62 mph)|
|On motorways (maximum)||120 km/h (74 mph)|
|On motorways (minimum)||50 km/h (31 mph)|
Portugal Rules and 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.
What 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.
Rely on Sixt for your car hire needs in Portugal
With many branches across Portugal, including stations in major cities and airports such as Lisbon, Porto, Faro and on island destinations such as Funchal as well as many more. We offer a wide selection of vehicle categories such as compact cars, convertibles, and 4x4s; many 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.
Passionate about travel, Katie likes to eat her way through as many different countries as possible.