Finally, EASYtoll involves entering your license plate number and bank card details at a toll machine at the start of your journey and then having the fees automatically debited from your account. To hire car you must be over 21. Here are some of the key things to keep an eye out for when parking in Portugal: In addition to these general rules, you should always check signs in the area where you’re parking, as some areas require a resident’s parking permit during certain hours of the day. You must have seatbelts fitted and all passengers must wear them. You can top up anything between €5–40 online or at a post office. Don’t be surprised to be blocked by a car parked in the middle of the road while the driver has a conversation with a pedestrian. Drink-driving in Portugal is very risky, particularly during holidays (Xmas / New Year and the main summer holidays around August). While it's hopeful you'll never need to use it, the police emergency number in Portugal is 112. This can either be in the form of your title deeds (if you own a home) or your rental contract (if you rent). A lot of people are nervous about driving in Portugal for the first time, but it’s actually not that bad. Children under 12 or smaller than 150cms are not allowed to travel in the front seats of cars. Bear in mind that many vehicles in Portugal, even brand-new models, are stick-shift. If you are caught driving over the limit, the fines are severe. If you’re a foreign visitor, you can drive for up to six months without exchanging your foreign license. Haven driven right across Europe, I can say that driving in Portugal is probably the easiest of all European countries. If you want to do several of those kind of trips, it’s a good idea to rent a vehicle with four-wheel drive. The most important point is of course to have the correct driving license. Motorists pay tax annually on the date the car was originally registered, and you’ll need to keep your receipt as proof that you’ve paid. On narrow, steep, and tight mountain roads which turn into one lane, down coming traffic always has the right-of-way. Most insurers provide an around-the-clock phone number you can call immediately after an accident, and should be able to give specific advice based on your circumstances. You may need to pay a small charge if you use a credit card to pay. It’s not worth the risk. There is zero tolerance for drugs. The law in Portugal for driving on roundabouts is not like the law in many other countries: When you enter a roundabout, always give way to traffic already on the roundabout (approaching from the left). 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. Stay calm; it won’t last long because they’ll overtake you are the first opportunity, pretty much ignoring oncoming traffic. These are toll roads, and there are several options to pay. A white and blue sign with a red line across it usually signifies a no parking zone. It’s important to remember that Portugal has the metric system, so all measures are in kilometers per hour, not miles. Slow down early. Driving in Portugal is fairly easy. Before driving through Portugal, it is a good idea to be familiar with the rules and regulations of the country just to avoid any confusion. Map out your trip in advance, and you’ll know where you are going. In the country, you may also encounter sheep or cows. You must carry your driving license, road tax certificate, registration documents and IPO certificate (if you’re driving an older car) at all times. However, new cars tend to hold their premium value for longer than in other countries. It’s best to drive cautiously. Here are some tips for driving in Portugal plus important Portuguese road rules, including: The minimum age to drive a car in Portugal is 18 years. Check them out before making your choice. Venture into the mountains, and it’s a different picture. Driving in Portugal… from an American’s Point of View. Expatica uses technology such as cookies and scripts to personalize content and ads, provide social media features, and analyze our traffic. The make, model, power and age of the vehicle you’re driving also play a role. If you’re planning to drive in Portugal, you’ll find that Portuguese roads are generally good, especially in built-up areas. If you’re driving a foreign vehicle, you can either pay at the tolls using Via Verde, TOLLCard, TOLLService or EASYToll. The alcohol limit is 0.5 grams of alcohol for 1 liter of blood. There are options for languages. Parking restrictions tend to be in force in major cities, with illegal parking initially punished with fines. Certain permanent residents can use their foreign license until it expires. Although public transport in Portugal is quite good, nothing beats mapping out your own road trip. Driving in Portugal is generally fine, although be aware that the road conditions outside the main urban centres and resort areas vary dramatically and are often poorly maintained when compared to other western European countries. Drunk driving in Portugal. You can of course change your mind and withdraw your consent at any time, by returning to this site after clearing the cookies on your computer or device. I would rate The Netherlands as the most hair raising as the bicycles have the right of way over cars, and the riders certainly make good use of that.Hordes of them suddenly turn right in front of you and expect you to stop. The motorways are all quite new and so the road conditions are extremely good and if you don’t mind paying for tolls, you will get around very quickly. For example, if you’re between 30 and 60km/h over the speed limit on a rural road, you could face a fine of up to €600, but if you’re between 60 and 80km/h over the limit the fine could be as high as €1,500. Imposto Unico de Circulacao is the Portuguese name for the road tax. If you wish to exchange your driving licence for one issued by the Portuguese authorities, you may do so. Newer cars are also judged on engine power and CO2 emissions. If you are only used to automatic, make sure you request one when making your reservation. If you’re involved in an accident, you’ll need to provide a claims form to your insurance company with seven days. Things to Know Before You Drive New York's Thruway and Back Roads, Everything You Need to Know About Driving in Ireland, Everything You Need to Know to Drive in Israel, How to Travel From Lisbon to Madrid by Train, What You Should Know Before Driving in France, Driving in Scandinavia: Tips, Traffic Signs, and Laws, Driving in New Zealand: What You Need to Know, Everything You Need to Know to Drive in London, What You Need to Know About Driving in Doha, Tripsavvy uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. 14 comments on “Driving in the Algarve, Portugal” John — December 24, 2019 @ 1:23 pm Reply Hi it was a great blog full of good information regarding Algarve region. Wearing headphones whilst driving is forbidden. valid UK driving licence. Portugal is quite a socialist and statist country and the police may be very heavy-handed with drink driving - because that is the way they want to run their country. When in Portugal, drive on the right side of the road. The only difficulty might be in the city centres where the streets are very narrow and the roads are made of cobblestone. Car rentals in Portugal are available in major cities or from airports and are supplied by well-known international names and local companies. It’s illegal to overtake on the right in free-flowing traffic. Wait for a little; they’ll eventually get out of your way. Driving in Portugal tips & guide. US License + IDP = all set to drive in Portugal. Make use of your horn. It’s imperative to come to a full stop at a stop sign. Licences issued in EU member states are valid for driving in Portugal until they expire. This means you’ll need to have an IPO (. Deep within the Portuguese psyche is an intrinsic belief that they are all Formula One drivers trapped in pedestrian body. When renting a car in Portugal, you’ll need to pay a deposit by cash or credit card, which will be refunded when you return the vehicle in its original condition. Failure to adhere to some of these rules can result in fines: Speeding fines are charged on a sliding scale depending on how far above the limit you were driving. Understand the procedure for applying for and taking a driving test in Portugal... Driving exams are in three parts: Theoretical (Teórica), Technical (Técnica) and the Practical Driving Exam (Prática de Condução).The theory test for a Category B licence contains 30 questions to be answered in 35 minutes of which 27 must be correct. Be prepared to be cut off or met with a car that turns without indication. If you don’t bring your own car, which is unlikely for Americans, you will want to hire a car for your road trips. Using a hands-free device is permitted. If you’re repeatedly caught parking illegally in Portugal, you could be given points on your license. The TOLLCard is a pre-loaded card that works with electronic tolls. You can find out more about exchanging your license for a Portuguese one in Expatica’s guide to Portuguese driving licenses. Otherwise, you’ll be driving illegally in Portugal. For expats moving to Portugal, you must get a Portuguese driving license within 60 days after registering your residency in Portugal. You cannot park within 5m of a junction, 25m before or 5m after a bus stop, or within 6m of a tram stop. Headlights must always be used in tunnels. And as such, I suggest you don your rally gear because you’re in for an extremely fast ride! The vehicle must be properly insured and taxed. It is important to remember that having an IDP does not change the need to carry your driver’s license with you when you get behind the wheel. If you are above the limit you can receive a fine of €1,250 and have your Portuguese driving license or international driving permit suspended for up to a year. When getting your reserved car, double-check that all the documents are there and up to date. To drive a car in Portugal, your own or a rental, you must be over 18 years of age. my wife and me will be arriving in Lisbon Jan 21 for 10 days of independent travel before heading to Cadiz hopefully.Planning on heading to the Algarve region, have visited cities north of Alentejo. 1. Private companies manage Portugal toll roads, so systems and fees vary. You can’t make a right turn at a red traffic light, only if a green arrow is flashing. Your motor insurance certificate If you don’t have the photocard, you’ll need an international driving permit. The legal driving age is 18 is the legal driving age but to hire a car, the minimum age is 23 or 25 depending on the hire company. Honk before driving around a bend, so the oncoming traffic knows you are approaching. The style of driving in Portugal, however, is sometimes aggressive or erratic. If you want to turn left and there is a white line, you have to drive on to the next exit on the right, get back on the road in the opposite direction until you come to the exit you want. Respect for Portugal means respect for their laws. For Centaurauto, which has many outlets in Portugal, it’s 351 308 810 816. Nearly all roads in Portugal are in good condition and well maintained. When using Portuguese tolls, you’ll usually take a ticket from a machine when you enter the road and then hand it in and pay a charge at the toll booth (Portagen) when you leave. Children under 12 aren’t allowed to sit in the front unless they’re over 150cm tall. Avoid these if you’re not a member. Driving on the motorway is straightforward, but it can get tricky when you venture into the countryside. Provided they don’t stay longer than six months, an International Driving License is not required. For one, the language barrier will be removed as the IDP is translated into Portuguese. TOLLService works slightly differently. On the motorways … To drive a car in Portugal, your own or a rental, you must be over 18 years of age. Which cookies and scripts are used and how they impact your visit is specified on the left. Don’t get too close, drive at their pace, and they’ll eventually veer off. If your car was registered before 2007, how much tax you pay will depend on the age of the vehicle and its capacity. Speed limits are indicated on round white road signs with a red rim and the number in black in the center. With this system, you’ll pay a monthly fee and an electronic device will be attached to your windscreen, which will automatically register you going through the toll. This guide gives you all the information you need about license requirements, rules of the road, how to hire a car, driving in the countryside, idiosyncrasies of Portuguese drivers, and where to get assistance in case of break down or accident. Electronic toll roads in Portugal have existed across the country since 2012. If your license doesn’t have an expiry date, you’ll need to exchange it within two years of moving to Portugal. Slip roads on and off dual carriageways are sometimes the wrong way around, which means that while you’re busy slowing down and indicating to pull off, new cars will be trying to enter the flow of traffic. While it is not required by law, it may be a good idea to have an IDP to go along with your domestic license if you are in a traffic accident or pulled over by local police. Portugal is a country where wine is consumed at practically every meal and where liquors have a higher alcohol content than you might expect, so don’t get carried away. When applying for car insurance in Portugal, you’ll usually need to provide details about where you live and your job as part of the risk assessment. Driving in Portugal is pretty much the same than in other countries in Europe Examination of the Highway Code in Portugal You should normally attend all the theorical lessons in order to be able to understand all the topics of the Portuguese Highway Code. Import duty: Regardless of whether you’re importing from an EU/EEA or non-EU country, you might need to pay import duty on your vehicle. 2. As a foreign buyer, you’ll need to show your official residence permit and proof of your address. Purchasing a toll tag in advance through your rental company will allow you to whiz through the toll stations. Here is a list of the documents you have to carry with you before you can drive off: These are the emergency and safety items you are required by Portuguese law to carry in your car: In Portugal, you drive on the right and overtake on the left. By using Tripsavvy, you accept our, Your Trip to Portugal: The Complete Guide, Approved child seat for children under 12. NOTE: These settings will only apply to the browser and device you are currently using. Watch out for them. Seats belts are compulsory in both front and back seats. Petrol, diesel and LPG fuel types are all readily available at petrol stations. Here’s a checklist of things to consider before driving in Portugal, including information about Portuguese road rules, car rentals, tolls, road signs, and driving license requirements. We've got a host of helpful tips and advice so that you can be prepared with a taste of what driving abroad is like and what you'll need to get before you go. Have a cookie If you don’t and get caught, you risk a fine of up to 2,500 euros. No-claims bonuses (Premio Bonus Malus) exist in Portugal and offer favorable rates for drivers who haven’t been involved in any accidents since their policy started. Get comprehensive insurance, not just third-party, in case you scratch the car parking in a tight spot. Also, old fashioned road maps are handy. How much you’ll need to pay for car insurance depends on your age and driving history. Your choices will not impact your visit. Drivers in Portugal must be at least 18 years of age (at least 21 to hire a car) and must carry their driving licence and photo ID with them. There are several motorways in Portugal which will take you fast from North to South and East to West before you venture further into the countryside. It’s illegal to use a mobile phone unless you have a hands-free system. Additionally, headphones and mobile phones are banned, unless used in hands-free mode. If your car breaks down, put the hazard lights and your reflective jacket on and call the assistance number you will hopefully have contracted when renting your car. Slip roads are often short and turn in a tight bend. Watch out for aggressive drivers while driving through Portugal. Driving in Portugal - on Motorways, in cities, in the countryside or in the mountains - More info at: https://www.zigzagonearth.com/driving-in-portugal/ You must have a minimum of third-party insurance and display your insurance sticker on your windscreen. This is perfectly exemplified by the sprite centurion ta… It’s illegal to cross a white line or double white lines. Although Portugal does not require that foreign drivers carry this permit, if you are driving to a neighboring country, such as Spain, it could be a requirement. Yellow or red signs painted on the curb also signify areas where parking is prohibited. The government’s, Registration: You’ll need to provide a tax certificate, your original receipt, a certificate of compliance and a certificate of roadworthiness when registering your car. You’ll also need to adhere to the following additional rules of the road that apply to foreign vehicles: Attach a sticker stating which country your vehicle is from, Carry a valid insurance and registration document, Always have proof of ID with you, as Portuguese police can issue on-the-spot fines, ID card showing name, date of birthday and address. This, in addition, affects your insurance premiums. General Driving rules in Portugal. Green lanes on motorways are reserved for drivers using the automated payment systems. The style of driving in Portugal, however, is sometimes aggressive or erratic. Expatica helps make your expat journey the experience you've always wanted. Road rules and tips for driving in Portugal. Driving England to Portugal by car is a mission indeed but it can also be broken up and turned into an extended adventure. However, it’s a good idea to have one together with your local license in case you are pulled over by Police or involved in an accident. Therefore it’s a good idea to get a car with GPS or bring your own. Tourists and short-term visitors can drive in Portugal for up to six months using their foreign license. As impatient as drivers may be on motorways and two-lane roads, they seem to have all the time in the world in the country. Americans and nationals of other European Union countries are allowed to drive in Portugal with their local driving license. Portuguese drivers are known to be impatient and not overly fond of using turn signals. Here are some of the key rules you’ll need to know before driving in Portugal. Driving in Portugal. Decorated with elegantly stamped numbers, they dot the tree-lined thoroughfares with reserved beauty and trace amounts of social significance. Drunk driving in Portugal results in significant fines. You’ll also need to provide the following documents when organizing your car rental in Portugal: Buying a car in Portugal can be an expensive matter. Click below to consent to the use of this technology on our website – and don’t worry, we respect your privacy. Driving in Portugal Tips & Potential Hazards. Driving to Portugal can be a bit daunting, especially if you've never done so before. If you are resident in Portugal and your UK driving licence is lost, stolen or expires, you will not be able to renew it with the UK Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). Rental car firms are ample in Portugal. Wearing headphones while driving is also illegal. You can find out how much Portuguese road taxes you’ll need to pay here. Alcohol limits are low, and police controls are frequent. Bear in mind that alcohol tolerance depends on many factors, like sex, weight, or age, but as a rule of thumb, one large glass of beer or wine might keep you just below the limit. The drunk driving limit is 0.49g/L. Seatbelts are mandatory for the driver and front-seat passengers. You should always park in the same direction as traffic on a one-way street. Cars driving on a roundabout have the right of way, and on crossings without stop signs or traffic lights, vehicles from the right have preference. If you’re an EU citizen with a license from your own country, you can drive in Portugal until it expires. The best way to avoid trouble is to designate a non-drinking driver for the day. If you use toll roads a lot, you can also subscribe to the Via Verde system. Driving in Portugal can be a challenge or a joy, depending on how well prepared you are. Using your mobile phone whilst driving is illegal and will result in a fine. Sure, indicating isn’t all that common, people do drive bumper-to-bumper, and Portugal does have one of the highest accident rates in Western Europe, but it’s actually alright. This site uses functional cookies and external scripts to improve your experience. A new dual carriageway is under construction, which for the moment, is an obstacle to driving, as there are intermittent roadworks and quite a lot of works traffic in places, which slows the journey down a little. After this point, you must renew it for a Portuguese driving license. Driving in Portugal, some other British drivers will tell you, is not for the faint of heart. In mountain areas and on the island of Madeira, roads can be steep so take extra precautions. Road signs are quite good, but many won’t show up at night unless you shine a full light on them. Don’t count on leniency from the Police. There are plenty of places to hire a vehicle in Portugal. Talking about pedestrians: Except in the cities, there aren’t many sidewalks, so people walk in the street. In Portugal, it’s important to note that speed limit signs are perceived as geometric art. Keep your cool and be alert at all times. In case of an accident, call 112 and do not leave the scene until the Police arrive. Driving in Portugal with US license is possible as long as you have an international driver’s license or permit. It’s best to drive cautiously. You may change your settings at any time. Enter the roundabout then take the exit you want to. To hire car you must be over 21. A saying you often hear in Portugal is that the locals never hurry unless they’re behind the wheel of a car.In our experience, however, it’s fine once you’re used to it! If the roundabout only has one lane, things are simple. This site uses functional cookies and external scripts to improve your experience. I read the report about the tragic accident on the A22 near Boliqueime, but obviously the cause of the accident will be determined by the authorities. 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