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If you don’t have the photocard, you’ll need an international driving permit. Driving age in Portugal is 18 years old; Driving is on the right side with the wheel on the left side of the vehicle; Alcohol limit - legal limit is 50 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood; Use of cell phone - you can use only with hand-free system; Headphones are illegal; Seatbelts are compulsory for driver and passengers If you are only used to automatic, make sure you request one when making your reservation. Electronic toll roads in Portugal have existed across the country since 2012. Which cookies and scripts are used and how they impact your visit is specified on the left. It’s not worth the risk. 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. 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. If you’re planning to drive in Portugal, you’ll find that Portuguese roads are generally good, especially in built-up areas. 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. 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). Honk before driving around a bend, so the oncoming traffic knows you are approaching. Driving in Portugal; Walking and riding around Portugal; Public transport in Portugal; Personal safety while traveling; Driving in Portugal. For non-EU citizens, whether you’ll be able to exchange your license or need to apply for a new one depends on whether your home country has a reciprocal agreement with Portugal. You can top up anything between €5–40 online or at a post office. Many Americans are intimidated by driving in a foreign country. If you don’t bring your own car, which is unlikely for Americans, you will want to hire a car for your road trips. 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. It’s illegal to overtake on the right in free-flowing traffic. Imposto Unico de Circulacao is the Portuguese name for the road tax. NOTE: These settings will only apply to the browser and device you are currently using. Driving in Portugal can be a challenge or a joy, depending on how well prepared you are. Driving in Portugal with US license is possible as long as you have an international driver’s license or permit. Your motor insurance certificate 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. Wait for a little; they’ll eventually get out of your way. Rental car firms are ample in Portugal. The laws are different, the road signs are different, streets are not always named or numbered and then there are those dreaded circles or “roundabouts”. This site uses functional cookies and external scripts to improve your experience. Watch out for aggressive drivers while driving through Portugal. Road rules and tips for driving in Portugal. Drunk driving in Portugal results in significant fines. 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. 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. 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. Otherwise, you’ll be driving illegally in Portugal. 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. 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. Respect for Portugal means respect for their laws. You must have a minimum of third-party insurance and display your insurance sticker on your windscreen. Provided they don’t stay longer than six months, an International Driving License is not required. Licences issued in EU member states are valid for driving in Portugal until they expire. Portuguese police often carry portable credit card machines, so the fine is paid on the spot and your trip definitely ruined. Nearly all roads in Portugal are in good condition and well maintained. Don’t get too close, drive at their pace, and they’ll eventually veer off. If you don’t and get caught, you risk a fine of up to 2,500 euros. It’s best to drive cautiously. Americans and nationals of other European Union countries are allowed to … If you use toll roads a lot, you can also subscribe to the Via Verde system. If the roundabout only has one lane, things are simple. Expatica uses technology such as cookies and scripts to personalize content and ads, provide social media features, and analyze our traffic. A white and blue sign with a red line across it usually signifies a no parking zone. Remembering these documents should now be easier than it once was, with your car registration documents, license place certificate and the logbook now replaced by the DUA All-in-One Vehicle Document (. 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. Slip roads are often short and turn in a tight bend. It’s best to drive cautiously. Children under 12 or smaller than 150cms are not allowed to travel in the front seats of cars. Driving in Portugal Tips & Potential Hazards. For one, the language barrier will be removed as the IDP is translated into Portuguese. You must carry your driving license, road tax certificate, registration documents and IPO certificate (if you’re driving an older car) at all times. They also are prone to bumper ride. You may need to pay a small charge if you use a credit card to pay. 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. In case of an accident, call 112 and do not leave the scene until the Police arrive. The style of driving in Portugal, however, is sometimes aggressive or erratic. Requirements vary though, so some may request the driver to hold a license for five years. Haven driven right across Europe, I can say that driving in Portugal is probably the easiest of all European countries. You cannot park within 5m of a junction, 25m before or 5m after a bus stop, or within 6m of a tram stop. Private companies manage Portugal toll roads, so systems and fees vary. Certain permanent residents can use their foreign license until it expires. You can find out more about exchanging your license for a Portuguese one in Expatica’s guide to Portuguese driving licenses. Newer cars are also judged on engine power and CO2 emissions. Drink-driving in Portugal is very risky, particularly during holidays (Xmas / New Year and the main summer holidays around August). By using Tripsavvy, you accept our, Your Trip to Portugal: The Complete Guide, Approved child seat for children under 12. 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. 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. 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. For Centaurauto, which has many outlets in Portugal, it’s 351 308 810 816. These are toll roads, and there are several options to pay. 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). On narrow, steep, and tight mountain roads which turn into one lane, down coming traffic always has the right-of-way. This, in addition, affects your insurance premiums. 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. The vehicle must be properly insured and taxed. Wearing headphones while driving is also illegal. On the motorways … To drive a car in Portugal, your own or a rental, you must be over 18 years of age. Speed limits are indicated on round white road signs with a red rim and the number in black in the center. Purchasing a toll tag in advance through your rental company will allow you to whiz through the toll stations. Have a cookie 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. The TOLLCard is a pre-loaded card that works with electronic tolls. 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. 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. This can either be in the form of your title deeds (if you own a home) or your rental contract (if you rent). 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. Keep your cool and be alert at all times. Car rentals in Portugal are available in major cities or from airports and are supplied by well-known international names and local companies. Avoid these if you’re not a member. Click below to consent to the use of this technology on our website – and don’t worry, we respect your privacy. In the country, you may also encounter sheep or cows. 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. Headlights must always be used in tunnels. General Driving rules in Portugal. If you wish to exchange your driving licence for one issued by the Portuguese authorities, you may do so. There are plenty of places to hire a vehicle in Portugal. 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. Therefore it’s a good idea to get a car with GPS or bring your own. Be prepared to be cut off or met with a car that turns without indication. Petrol, diesel and LPG fuel types are all readily available at petrol stations. valid UK driving licence. The drunk driving limit is 0.49g/L. Also, old fashioned road maps are handy. 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. The alcohol limit is 0.5 grams of alcohol for 1 liter of blood. Your choices will not impact your visit. It’s important to remember that Portugal has the metric system, so all measures are in kilometers per hour, not miles. 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. Here are some of the key rules you’ll need to know before driving in Portugal. Expatica helps make your expat journey the experience you've always wanted. 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. Bear in mind that many vehicles in Portugal, even brand-new models, are stick-shift. A lot of people are nervous about driving in Portugal for the first time, but it’s actually not that bad. Take pictures of the car from every angle, so they can’t come back to you later, trying to charge you for a scratch or dent you aren’t responsible for. Driving in Portugal is fairly easy. 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. In mountain areas and on the island of Madeira, roads can be steep so take extra precautions. 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. You can find out how much Portuguese road taxes you’ll need to pay here. When getting your reserved car, double-check that all the documents are there and up to date. There are options for languages. Driving in Portugal tips & guide. 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. Although public transport in Portugal is quite good, nothing beats mapping out your own road trip. For expats moving to Portugal, you must get a Portuguese driving license within 60 days after registering your residency in Portugal. 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. Wearing headphones whilst driving is forbidden. The only difficulty might be in the city centres where the streets are very narrow and the roads are made of cobblestone. 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. 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. You may change your settings at any time. Tourists and short-term visitors can drive in Portugal for up to six months using their foreign license. The most important point is of course to have the correct driving license. This means you’ll need to have an IPO (. When in Portugal, drive on the right side of the road. If your license doesn’t have an expiry date, you’ll need to exchange it within two years of moving to Portugal. The make, model, power and age of the vehicle you’re driving also play a role. If you’re a foreign visitor, you can drive for up to six months without exchanging your foreign license. While it's hopeful you'll never need to use it, the police emergency number in Portugal is 112. Children under 12 aren’t allowed to sit in the front unless they’re over 150cm tall. And as such, I suggest you don your rally gear because you’re in for an extremely fast ride! If you want to do several of those kind of trips, it’s a good idea to rent a vehicle with four-wheel drive. If you’re an EU citizen with a license from your own country, you can drive in Portugal until it expires. 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. Americans and nationals of other European Union countries are allowed to drive in Portugal with their local driving license. 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