Guide to Driving In Portugal - Drive Safe in Portugal

With our Drive Smart guide you're fully prepared to hire a car in Portugal and stay safe on unfamiliar roads.


50 kph

More info  


90 kph

More info  

motorway speed limit

120 kph

speed limit
More info  

Drink Drive Limit


drink and drive limit
More info  
You drive in Portugal on the Right side  
The currency in Portugal is EUR €
To rent a car is  23 years and to drive is 18 years of age
Current fuel price in Portugal 1.44 €/Ltr

Driving Laws in Portugal

Driving in Portugal
Pocket guide to driving in Portugal
Driving in Portugal
SPEED: (kph)
Speed limit in Portugal
Rush hour in Portugal
Speed cameras in Portugal
Fuel prices in Portugal
Drive RIGHT in Portugal
Min driving age in Portugal
Blood alcohol content
Drink driving in Portugal
Emergency phone number in Portugal
Driving documents in Portugal
Hands free only
Mobile phone driving in Portugal
Seat belt in Portugal
See here for current child seats law in Portugal

Are there any special requirements for driving or hiring a car in Portugal?

In Portugal, driving is on the right with overtaking on the left and you can be fined more than 1,000 Euros if you pass a driver on the right. On the motorways there are three lanes with the middle one being for overtaking. At night in rural areas look out for horse drawn carts. When a tram stops and there is no island for passengers to disembark at, drivers must give way to them. Avoiding rush hour traffic in the cities is to be advised.

Road Sign to Faro Portugal

It is safest to drive defensively in Portugal, which has one of the less impressive driving safety records in Europe. You can find interactive online maps of the country at

Rules of the road

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Emergency Services Numbers

Police Police: 112

Police Fire: 112

Police Ambulance: 112


Fuel Prices in Portugal by Month

Parking Information

Parking regulations

Parking regulations
No parking is indicated by white or blue signs with a red line across them. The signs can sometimes be red or yellow or there can sometimes be red or yellow lines painted on the kerb. 
It's illegal to park closer than five metres from a junction, 25 metres before or five metres after a bus stop or six metres from a tram stop. 
You mustn't park across driveways that give access to property. If you do, your car can be towed away.
Paid parking
Some places require you to use a blue disc for parking. They are indicated on signage and the discs can be obtained from local police stations. In the big cities you'll find parking meters or ticket machines as well as many areas which are for residents only.
Enforcement of parking is done by attendants in uniform. You will receive a ticket and can get points on your licence which can be transferred to the UK.
Disabled parking
Portugal recognises the EU blue badge disability scheme but as with any country, it's best to check locally what the badge will entitle you to. 

Emergency Information

Emergency Information

Police Police: 112

Police Fire: 112

Police Ambulance: 112

The emergency number for Portugal is the European standard 112.

The British embassy in Portugal is at Rua de São Bernardo 33, Lisbon, 1249-082, and the main switchboard number is 351 21 392 4000.

The US embassy is at United States Embassy, Avenida das Forças Armadas , 1600-081 Lisbon, and their phone number is 351-21-727-3300.

What to do in an emergency

If you have trouble with your hire car, contact the number given to you when you collected it. If driving your own car, contact the number of the Portuguese representative of your emergency assistance organisation. 

If you are involved in an accident, minor damage can be setlled between the parties concerned. If there is substantial damage, a dispute over fault or if someone is hurt, you must call the emergency services and wait until they arrive. Leaving the scene of a serious accident is a crime in Portugal. Whilst waiting, take the names and addresses of those involved and witnesses, photograph the scene and if safe to do so, leave vehicles where they are.

Handy Guides

World Driving Guides

Road Signs

Handy Phrases

  • Rental car – Aluguer
  • Motorway – Auto Estrada
  • Thank you – Obrigado
  • Portagem – Toll Road
  • Police - Guarda Nacional Republicana
  • Breakdown - Avaria
  • Fire service – Bombeiros
  • Border - Fronteira
  • One way – Sentido Unico
  • I have broken down - Tenho dividido
  • Where is the police station? - Onde é a estação de polícia? 
  • I have a flat tyre - Eu tenho um pneu furado
  • I have been in an accident - Eu estive em um acidente
  • Where is? - Onde está? 
  • Where can I buy petrol? - Onde posso comprar a gasolina
  • Stop – Pare
  • Itinerario principal – Main road
  • Unleaded Petrol – Gasolina sem chumbo/ Gasolina sin plumbo
  • Gasoleo - Diesel
  • I don't understand - Nao Percebo
  • What does this cost? –  Quanto Custa?
  • Speed Limit – Limite de Velocidad
  • Brakes - Breques

Portugal Fuel Price History

Fuel Prices in Portugal by Month
Month, YearDiesel €/ltrUnleaded €/ltr
Jan, 2021 1.29 1.44
Dec, 2020 1.26 1.40
Nov, 2020 1.21 1.38
Oct, 2020 1.21 1.39
Sep, 2020 1.22 1.39
Aug, 2020 1.24 1.39

Hiring a Car

With our Drive Smart guide you're fully prepared to hire a car in Portugal and stay safe on unfamiliar roads.
Kellie Hodge
Posted by Kellie Hodge
About the Author -

Travel writer, customer service guru, Kellie knows the ins and outs of car rental and always happy to share her knowledge on our blog. Favourite country to visit: Spain.

Visitor Comments

  • 28/03/2019

    Ian Hamilton

    How do they indicate that a speed limit is finished in Portugal?

    This is the sign that shows when a speed limit has finished

    End of Speed Limit Sign Portugal
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