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Turn on the engine and start discovering the landscape and artistic variety of Portugal. Drive on the Marginal, the national road connecting Lisbon to Cascais, or get lost among the narrow streets of the several old villages scattered all over. Leave the crowded beaches behind and go find a secluded bay in the Algarve region and admire the terraces of vines driving slowly along the Douro valley.
These are just some of the unforgettable experiences that you will enjoy by renting a car in Portugal. Renting a car is the best way to enjoy the landscape beauties of this country: take your time, make a stop to take photos whenever you spot a panoramic view, stop to grab something to eat at a traditional restaurant along the way.
In order to rent a car in Portugal you must be 25 years old. Some companies rent to drivers under the age of 25 charging an extra fee; some other companies have the minimum age of 30 years old without extra fee. Older drivers (over 65 or 70 years old, according to the company), may be charged an extra fee, too.
Renting a car at the airport is usually the best solution, because it allows you to start your holiday as soon as you get off the plane. You won’t have to wait to take a shuttle bus or a taxi! Also, by renting a car at the airport you will be sure to find staff members who speak different languages.
At the airports of Lisbon, Porto, and Faro, you will find the following companies: Avis/Budget, EuropCar, GoldCar, Guerin, Hertz, Sixt. These same companies, along with the local company Rodavante, are available at the airport of Madeira, while at the airport of Ponta Delgada (in the Azores islands), there are Autatlantis, Ilha Verde, Hertz, and Varela Rent-a-car. EuropeCar is available at the small airport of Beja, in the Alentejo region.
According to the national tourism board, there are about a dozen international car rental companies in the city of Lisbon. Some of which have their offices in the city center. Be careful, though: unskilled drivers may have difficulty driving around the city center due to the many one-way streets and some very narrow or uphill streets. And it could be difficult to find a parking spot. An alternative that combines practicality to safety is to park the car at the hotel and use it to go on a day trip while moving around the city by public transportation or foot.
Renting a car along the coast is a very popular option: some of the most beautiful beaches can’t be reached by public transportation. In the Algarve region you can find car rental offices at Faro airport and in the city center of Faro, Albufeira, Lagos, Vilamoura and Portimão.
Renting a car on the islands of Madeira or in the Azores is very easy. Besides the companies available at the airports of Madeira and Ponta Delgada, you can find some international companies and several small local companies in all the islands.
There might be less options, but you can still rent a car in other areas of Portugal. Car rental offices are located in the Alentejo, in the region of Lisbon, in the central regions, in the Douro area (in Porto). Also in this case it is advisable to rent in advance.
The best way to save on your car rental is to book while you are still in your country through our search module: online rates are more convenient. Renting from the same agency once in Portugal will be more expensive.
Driving in Portugal will be a beautiful experience. You will have the opportunity to admire some stunning landscapes, to go through different kinds of landscapes, from the isolated countryside to the cliffs along the coast, from lush vineyards to medieval villages and the wild coast of the south of the country.
Within the last few years Portugal has launched a program for the modernization and conservation of the road network. Roads, bridges, tangential roads and highways have been renovated. If until a few years ago driving in Portugal was a real adventure, today tourists who choose to move by car will be pleasantly surprised.
- Police is very active and very strict about enforcing traffic rules and speed limits; we advise you not to go too fast in order to avoid very expensive fines and often the seizure of the vehicle.
- The roads where you should pay more attention are IP4 and IP5, which are considered the most dangerous roads of Portugal; here there is a bad signage and many tracts are without guard rail.
The police is very strict about traffic rules and we advice you to respect them in order to avoid unpleasant surprises.
The following models are some examples of the cars that you can rent in Portugal.
Here are some quick answers to the most common doubts about car rental in Portugal.
More and more people are choosing to rent a car to reduce contacts and increase social distancing, avoiding the often crowded public transport.
Car rental companies are committed to higher hygiene standards to minimize the risk of transmitting the virus.
All the safety measures we are accustomed to are taken at the rental desks and the cars are disinfected after each rental, especially the areas most at risk, such as seats, gearboxes, handles and steering wheel.
Undoubtedly yes. During the pandemic, almost all car rental companies in Portugal were forced to reduce their car fleet to reduce operating costs.
When tourism in Portugal has restarted, due to the crisis in raw materials and electronic components, they have not managed to buy back enough cars.
The consequence is that today every company has far fewer cars than in 2019 and cannot cope with the high demand. This leads to higher prices and less availability, especially during the high season.
The advice we give you is therefore to book the car well in advance, both to get the best prices but above all to be sure of having a rental car.
To reserve a car in Portugal a credit card or debit card is sufficient. However, when you go to collect the car, you will need:
The car rental companies in Portugal allow to rent a car to all those who are between 21 and 70 years old. However, there is an additional cost for under 25 and for those over 70.
A car rental in Portugal always includes:
Any extras or additional insurance coverage are separate.