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    Portugal Driving Laws and Child Safety Rules

    If you're going to be driving in Portugal, getting to know the country's driving laws is definitely a smart idea. Here, we'll talk about the rules and regulations you'll need to obey, including many of Portugal's driving laws, if you want to avoid landing yourself in legal trouble.

    Portugal Driving Laws: Minimum Age and Rules Pertaining to Children

    • The minimum driving age in Portugal is 18, but if you're under 23 years of age, be prepared to pay an extra "young driver" fee for each day of your rental.
    • Children under 12 years of age may not sit in the front seat of the car unless they are at least 150cm (59") tall.
    • Booster seats are required for children riding in the back seat up to age 12.

    Driving Insurance and Other Safety Rules

    • Insurance and other related documents must be kept in the vehicle at all times.
    • Don't drive in Portugal without insurance. It can cost you up to 2,500 Euros.
    • Fluorescent vests and road triangles must be carried in the vehicle, to be used in the event of engine trouble.
    • When driving in Portugal, seat belts are required by law. Failure to fasten safety belts may result in a hefty ticket, not to mention serious injury in case of an accident.
    • Talking or texting on a mobile device while operating a motor vehicle carries a fine of up to 600 Euros.
    • Do not pass other drivers on the right-hand side. In Portugal, this is a very serious offense, and carries a substantial fine.
    • Driving under the influence is not tolerated in Portugal. The legal limit is .05%. Exceeding the limit is subject to stiff fines and even imprisonment. Don't risk it.

    Other Portugal Driving Rules

    • Vehicles must not be parked opposite the flow of traffic.
    • Solid or double white lines on the roadway must not be crossed. Violation of this law could result in revocation of your driver's license.
    • Failure to stop at a red light or stop sign can result in a fine of up to 2,500 Euros, or the confiscation of a driver's license.
    • Littering from a vehicle can cost you up to 300 Euros, so hold on to that wrapper until you find a garbage can.
    • In Portugal, the locals often exceed posted speed limits. Don't be tempted to join them. Speed limits are enforced by radar traps and unmarked cars, so you never know when you might get caught.
    • At intersections, traffic coming from the right has the right-of-way, unless otherwise indicated by signage.
    • On roundabouts, stay in the center lane until you find your exit. Then, carefully merge to the outside lane directly before exiting.
    • Traffic citations are subject to immediate payment, so have a payment method on hand when driving in Portugal, just in case.


    Return to the Portugal Driving Guide

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