Self-Drive Motoring holidays in Portugal. Tips on driving
abroad in Portugal. Motoring rules and regulations in Portugal. Portuguese motoring
and tunnel Tolls throughout Europe
Tolls in Portugal
Distances from Channel Ports
International Driving Permit
Interactive Route Planner
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Make sure you Drive Alive! Drive on
Be especially careful when setting off from service
stations or restaurants on the left side of the road.
Take care when overtaking - allow more space
between you and the car in front so you can see further down the road ahead.
has strict drink driving laws.
Seat belts front and rear are obligatory everywhere.
When approaching a roundabout give way to traffic already on the roundabout,
on your left, unless signed otherwise.
Speed limits, shown below, are implemented rigorously.
Radar traps are frequent.
Remember - Speeding and other traffic offences
are subject to on-the-spot fines.
Tolls are charged on may
In all countries a full UK driving licence is required.
As in the UK, seat belts should be worn front and rear. Below are motoring regulations
relating to Portugal.
Children in cars:
Child restraint is mandatory for all children aged to 12 and that
are shorter than 1.5m. They can only travel in front with proper restraint
and the airbag switched off. Cars with no seat belts in the back seats can't
carry children under 3 years old.
always carry your driving licence, vehicle registration document (V5), and certificate
of motor insurance. Ensure you carry your passport to validate the licence. The
MOT certificate is mandatory, if applicable. If the vehicle is not registered in
your name, carry a letter from the registered owner giving you permission to drive.
Drinking and driving: Don't
do it. Over 0.05 per cent and you could face anything from a severe fine, withdrawal
of your licence, up to imprisonment.
Fines: They have to be paid on the spot. Most Police vehicles
have a portable credit/debit card machine. Failure to pay on the spot will result
in documents apprehension and, eventually, the vehicle. In case of documents apprehension,
the Police Officer will issue an official document stating that your documents are
apprehended and allowing you to drive for a few days. In this case, make sure you
understand the address where you will pick up your documents and that you are
given two documents: the apprehensiondocument and the traffic citation.
First-aid kit is advised,
but not compulsory.
Fuel: All grades of unleaded
petrol, diesel and LPG are available as well as lead substitute additive.
- Unleaded Petrol: Gasolina Sem Chumbo (sold in 95 and 98 octanes and also
100 octanes in some places).
- Lead Substitute Petrol: Gasolina Aditivada
- Diesel: Gasoleo
- LPG: GP
It is not allowed
to carry fuel in cans, even in small amounts.
Credit and debit cards are widely accepted, although they probably won't work
at automatic pumps, which are often the only pumps open out-of-hours and at lunch-time
(from noon to 3pm) away from the Highways. It's a good idea to let your card
issuer know you will be travelling abroad. This ensures they don't suspend your
card if they spot it being used in unfamiliar places, which they sometimes do as
an anti-fraud measure.
GB sticker: UK registered vehicles displaying
Euro-plates (circle of 12 stars above the national identifier on blue background)
no longer need a GB sticker when driving in European Union countries.
It is recomended to carry a spare pair, but not mandatory.
Lights: dipped headlights
should be used in poor daytime visibility. Motorcycles must use dipped headlights
during the day at all times.
Minimum age for driving,
provided you hold a full UK licence, is 18 for a car and for a motorcycle over 75cc.
If you've got an old-style all-green licence you might find the police will
not understand them, so either get them up-dated or take an International Driving
Permit as well.
Motorcycle drivers and passengers must wear crash helmets.
Motor insurance: third-party insurance is compulsory. A green card is not
required but your insurer should be advised of your trip.
bulb set is compulsory.
Seat belts are compulsory
for front and rear seat occupants, if fitted.
are charged on many motorways in Portugal. These tolls are not collected manually
and rely on number plate recognition. Short term visitors to Portugal must either
purchase a temporary toll device, a three day ticket, or pre-paid credit. More detailed
explanation and the ability to buy online can be found at the
Visit Portugal website, where there is also a list of the electronically controlled
Visibility Vests are now
compulsory in Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, Norway, Portugal and Spain (and likely
to become compulsory throughout the EU). The rules vary from country
to country concerning number of vests required and whether they should be carried
in the car or boot. Common sense suggests that there should be a vest for every
occupant, and that the vests should be carried in the car, and put on before getting
out. Do this and you will not have a problem.
Warning triangle is compulsory.
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All information on this page is provided as a service
to our clients. It is intended as a guide to the more important rules for the different
countries to which we offer driving holidays. It is not meant to be a comprehensive
document. We try and keep the information on this page up-to-date, but we cannot
be held responsible in any way for any consequences arising from any inaccuracies.
If you find a mistake or would like to send us some additional information, please
email us. Your co-operation is appreciated.