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Renting a car in Lisbon is a very smart choice; it is easy to move around the city and to navigate through the main traffic routes and its costs are pretty low: parkings, gas, and the price of the rental service itself will not have a major impact on your budget.
Most of the tourists land at the Lisbon international airport; here there are most of the offices of the main international rental car companies, such as Hertz, Avis, Rentalcars, Budget e Europcar as well as local and Spanish companies such as Guerin, Goldcar or Rhodium.
It would be exciting to drive along Vasco da Gama or 25 de Abril bridges to see the city from a different point of view, or to go to the Park of Nations, the district of Expo 1998, without having to spend so much time on the metro, or even to move around the Belem Tower neighborhood, where there is also the Jeronimos monastery, one of the most beautiful attractions of Lisbon.
Above all, renting a car in Lisbon is the right choice to discover Portugal. Whether you decide to go on a day trip to Sintra or Cascais, or to reach the beaches of the Algarve region or even to go all the way to Porto, which is located less than three hours drive from Lisbon.
Whichever your choice is, you can easily rent a car online; just follow a few simple rules and everything will work just fine.
The first tip is to rent a car at the airport. Here is where you can usually find the best available rates. The airport is far from the city traffic, so you can start your trip straight away without stressing too much. Whether you wish to rent a car as soon as you land to Lisbon, or you wish to return it on your last day in Portugal, the airport is by far the easiest place where to pick up or return your car.
First of all, having a credit card is mandatory in order to rent a car. The reservation needs to be done by using the credit card of the person who is driving the car. You can’t use your dad’s card, unless he is driving.
Debit or prepaid cards are not completely useless when it comes to renting a car; they can still be used for your online reservation. However, when it comes to pick up your car you will be asked to use a traditional credit card.
Booking the car online is highly recommended if you wish to find the best rates; booking online and in advance allows you to compare prices and choose the best car for your needs. It would be a pity to rent a car once reached your destination.
This way you would also run the risk of having to choose among other customers’ leftovers: what would happen if only superior or very small cars were available?
After choosing to rent a car online and after finding the best offer, you need to pay attention to a couple of details: first of all to the gas policy. It is possible that a price that may look very convenient includes the “full/empty” tank policy, which means that you will be charged for a full tank of fuel plus expenses, often at very high prices. You will have to return the car to as near empty as possible, which is not really possible when you rent a car for a short period.
Lastly, pay attention to the insurance: the initial price usually covers a basic insurance, which doesn’t include a series of services available only at extra costs. We recommend you to choose the insurance that protects your excess while making your online booking, which is much cheaper than the one offered by companies when you pick up the car.
The rules, limits and everything you need to know about driving a car in Lisbon are the same as in Portugal: find out more in the Driving in Portugal section.
The following models are some examples of the cars that you can rent in Lisbon.
Here are some quick answers to the most common doubts about car rental in Lisbon.
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 Lisbon were forced to reduce their car fleet to reduce operating costs.
When tourism in Lisbon 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 Lisbon a credit card or debit card is sufficient. However, when you go to collect the car, you will need:
The car rental companies in Lisbon 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 Lisbon always includes:
Any extras or additional insurance coverage are separate.