Portugal Driving Information

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Car Rentals Worldwide

Portugal Car Rental and Driving Information

Driving Overview | Tips for Driving | Driving Laws | Portugal Map

Driving Overview

General Information

Portugal lagged behind other countries in Western Europe in developing a national highway system, and as a result superhighways are more limited. A four-line highway, or 'auto estrada,' runs about 360mi/590km from Lisbon to Porto. Two-lane highways of good quality connect the rest of the country.

Speed Limits

Speed limits in Portugal are as follows: City 35mph/56kph Open Roads 55mph/88kph Highways 75mph/120kph

Rules of the Road

Traffic travels on the right. In traffic circles, vehicles inside the circle have the right of way. While driving in Portugal you must yield to disembarking tram passengers.

Portugal Driving InformationGas

Gas stations are open from 7am to 10pm and many stations located on the highway are open 24 hours.


There is a toll highway, the 'Auto-Estrada,' that goes from Lisbon to Porto.


'Blue zone' parking exists in many Portuguese towns. You can obtain a cardboard disc, free of charge, from either the police or local motor club offices. Central Lisbon offers very little on-street parking.

Tips for Driving in Portugal

Portugal is truly a wondrous place to visit, and touring this beautiful and culturally rich nation by car gives you the freedom to explore - not just the tourist hotspots, either, but also the hidden gems. Behind the wheel, you will be your own tour guide. And unlike those travelers who are stuck on a tour bus, you will be free to follow your muse and experience the real Portugal, however you see fit.

  • When Tailgated, Keep Your Cool

    Bumper riding or tailgating is a bit more common in Portugal than elsewhere. Just keep your cool. Don't drive faster than you are comfortable traveling. The tailgater will take the first opportunity to pass, so just give them room.
  • Don't Pass on the Right When Driving in Portugal

    Portugal has strict regulations against passing on the right. You can be fined more than 1,000 Euros for doing so. If you find yourself in a situation where you must pass, be sure to do so on the left.
  • Portugal Driving InformationSignal, But Don't Expect It From the Driver in Front of You

    The Portuguese are not big on the use of turn signals. By all means, use your own, but don't be surprised if the car ahead of you signals left before making an abrupt right turn.
  • Hang Up the Phone Before You Drive

    The Portuguese do not tolerate conversing on a mobile device while operating a vehicle. The fine? 600 Euros. Better pull off to the side and park, instead.
  • Be Sure to Have a GPS

    Many phone GPS have trouble functioning properly, or at all, when traveling abroad due to inconstant cellular and WiFi coverage. Plan ahead and rent a GPS through Auto Europe for $1 USD a day.

Driving Laws in Portugal

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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Fluorescent vests and road triangles must be carried in the vehicle, to be used in the event of engine trouble. Fortunately, all car rentals in Portugal include this gear at no extra charge.
  • Wearing sunglasses while driving though tunnels is illegal in Spain.
  • Insurance and other related documents must be kept in the vehicle at all times.
  • Portugal Driving InformationVehicles must not be parked opposite the flow of traffic.
  • 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.

Portugal Map

Whether you have come to explore Lisbon, the country capital, or prefer to make your way to smaller towns in Portugal, our useful Portugal map page is just what you need to make your time in the country simple and easy. Whether you choose to download the map images featured on the right of this page or prefer to plot directions or zoom in on your location using the Google map of Portugal at the bottom of this page, this resource will allow you to find top attractions, hotels, landmarks, roadways and restaurants as a way to plan your trip, or navigate Portugal from the road. We are European travel experts who have been helping travelers make their trips amazing for over 60 years, and our Portugal map page is a new resource and one more way we go the extra mile to help you plan your trip to Europe. A map of Portugal is one of the most important tools that you can have while you are traveling in Portugal and it's a great compliment to a GPS rental. The map below make it easy for all guests, regardless of what you've come to enjoy, to find all of the things that they love in Portugal.