Portugal by Car

A journey around Portugal by car can be very exciting. The most important thing is to prepare well and learn all the nuances. This section was created to answer all the questions and help to prepare for your trip.

Portugal by Car

Speed limits

Passenger cars without a trailer:

  •  50 km/h or 31 m/h in the city;
  •  90 km/h or 56 m/h out of the city;
  •  100 km/h or 62 m/h on highways;
  •  120 km/h or 74 m/h on the motorways;

Speed limits in Portugal

Gasoline in Portugal

Gasolina sem chumbo 95 — gasoline with the octane number of 95

Gasolina sem chumbo 98 — gasoline with the octane number of 98

Diesel/Gasóleo — diesel fuel

GPL — gas

In addition, there are many places in Portugal for charging electric cars. In the case of Lisbon, they can be found in almost every parking lot.

place for charging electric cars

The cost of gasoline in Portugal

The cost of gasoline depends on oil prices in the world. In January 2016, when the oil price was low, the price of 1 liter of Gasoline 95 was as low as 1,2 Euros. It's worth noting that the price of fuel is lower in Madeira and the Azores.

gas station in Lisbon

The current average prices for gasoline, diesel fuel and gas can be found in this PDF.

This chart shows prices in all European countries.

You can easily see that gasoline prices are higher in Portugal than in neighboring Spain and France. That is why many local residents living near the Spanish border, go to refuel to their neighbors in Spain.

Road map of Portugal and navigation

It's highly recommended to connect to the Internet and use Google maps. It is one of the best options to calculate the route and time of the trip. I had no complaints before, and I use it constantly. The map is always up-to-date and doesn't require updates. These days you can download Google maps in advance and use them without an Internet connection. However, the accuracy of determining your location will be lower.

Mandatory equipment and documents

  •  Reflective vest (you have to pay a fine of 60 - 300 Euros if you don't have one);
  •  Emergency stop sign;
  •  Identity document with a photo;
  •  Valid insurance policy;

Mandatory equipment and documents

The driver must have an international driving license.

Recommended equipment and other rules

Spare wheel — it's recommended, but not required;

Fire extinguisher — it's recommended, but not required;

A set of spare lamps — it's recommended, but not required;

It is forbidden to use spike winter tyres.

Seat belts are mandatory for the driver and all passengers in vehicles with the seatbelts installed by the manufacturer. The driver is not obliged to control adult passengers. Every person has to pay their fine on their own. The driver is responsible for the seatbelts of all children. The fine varies from 120 to 600 euros.

The use of radar detectors is prohibited. The fine varies from 500 to 2,500 euros.

Rules for transporting children in a car in Portugal

Children under 12 years of age and lower than 1.35 meters, have to be on the back seat in a child seat that is appropriate for their height and weight. Exceptions are made only for cars, which are not equipped with seat belts.

What to do in the event of an accident or breakdown of the car

First of all, you should wear a vest before you get out of the car. After doing so, you have to install the emergency triangle.

The use of a reflective vest and an emergency triangle is mandatory. This is very important because these violations are punished by extremely expensive fines. Furthermore, they are independent and you will pay more for violating two different rules.

You will be fined both for the lack of a vest and the sign. The fine varies from 120 to 600 euros for each violation, thus you have to pay from 240 to 1,200 euros. In addition, the amount of the fine will be the maximum, if you violate these rules on the motorway!

Emergency numbers

The emergency number is 112

I want to note that it's forbidden to talk on the phone while driving in Portugal unless you have a loudspeaker or an earphone. It's not allowed to use the phone while waiting in front of the traffic light or in front of the STOP sign.

There were many cases when drivers were fined for using the phone in a car that was parked on the side of the road. The fine varies from 120 to 600 euros.

In this section, we highlighted the main things, which you need to know before making a trip to Portugal by car. We wish you an astonishing trip!

Alberto A. Serra Tchudov

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DiscoverPortugal is a online travel guide to Portugal. We collected the most interesting and useful information.

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