Portugal Getting around by car

Road rules

In Portugal you drive on the right side. Most cars have manual transmission (stick).

Speed limits

Unless otherwise posted, the speed limits for cars and motorcycles are as follows: 120 km/h (74 mph) on motorways, 120 km/h (74 mph) on expressways, 50 km/h (31 mph) in all built-up areas and 90-100 km/h (55-62 mph) on undivided highways.

Turn on red

Right turn on red lights is strictly forbidden unless an additional green semaphore arrow allows it.


It is illegal to drive with blood alcohol content higher than 0.05%.

On the road


Petrol (unleaded) gas options are called gasolina or Sem chumbo (95/98). Petrol costs about €1.40 ($1.72) per liter.

Diesel option is called Gasóleo.

Petrol stations

Most popular petrol stations in Portugal are Repsol, Intermarché, Jumbo, BP and Galp.

Traffic news

Road assistance is available at 808 22 22 22 (Automovel Club de Portugal (ACP)) or null (Estrada24). For general news on Portugal's traffic use Estradas – PT. For news on Portugal’s motorways and tolls use Portugal Tolls.

Driving license

IDP is required

An International Driving Permit (IDP) is required alongside your original license. IDP can be issued by your local automobile association before you leave home.

Rent a car

In order to rent a car:

  • you must be over 25
  • must hold a full license for at least a 1 year
  • almost always have a credit card (Visa & MasterCard are the best)
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