Rental Car Portugal
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Are you looking for affordable car hire in Portugal? Now a day’s it is very popular to rent a car, the majority choose to pick up a car at the airport. With car rental you and your family have the opportunity to take pleasant day trips in the areas surrounding, also you will not be dependent on public transport. By comparing prices of car rental from several players, you can save a lot of money. If you prefer to retrieve the rental car in the city center, this is also possible.
The country offers great natural and cultural experiences. It is advisable to book your car rental well before departure, so you’re sure to get just the car that suits you, at the lowest price. In certain periods there may be high demand among rental companies, and the cheapest cars are usually taken first.
Portugal short guide
Portugal (10.7 million inhabitants in 2009) located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. The country is bordered by Spain to the east and north, and has coastline on the Atlantic Ocean in the south and west. Portugal also includes the archipelago Azores and Madeira in the Atlantic turistøya.
The country’s longest river is the Tagus, which flows from Spain in the east to the Atlantic Ocean in the west.
Portugal has hilly mountainous north of the Tagus and plains in the south. In the east – on the border with Spain – is Portugal’s highest mountain range, Serra da Estrela. The country has temperate Mediterranean climate, where the southernmost parts of the country have warmer and drier summers and milder winters than the northern areas.
The capital Lisbon is the country’s largest city with 500,000 inhabitants (2008). Lisbon is located on the west coast – where the river Tagus flows into the Atlantic Ocean. The town is situated on seven hills, and among the most popular tourist attractions are the fortress Torre de Belém, as well as the medieval castle Castelo de Sao Jorge. The city also national theater, opera, museums and one of the world’s largest city parks.
Other major cities in Portugal’s Porto, Coimbra, Braga, Faro, Portimao, Evora and Leiria.
The country has significant tourism – particularly on the Algarve coast in the south. It has beautiful, long sandy beaches, amazing rock formations and inviting swimming conditions. Algarve also has 3000 hours of sunshine a year.
RentaCarBestPrice.com offers a wide range of hire cars in Portugal at cheap prices. Some car hire companies we compare at the popular destinations Faro and Lisbon are Avis, bid, Europcar, National and Alamo.
Traffic and Driving Tips Portugal
Driving is the best way to travel through Portugal. When you drive, you can see not only cities, but also beautifully villages and picturesque beaches. Many of Portuguese traffic rules are similar to the rest Western European countries.
– on motorways (Autoestrada) – max 120 km/h
– on main trunk roads – max 100 km/h
– on built-up areas – max 50 km/h
– on rural and secondary roads – 50 km/h unless other signs
If driver has held his driver license less than 12 month, his/her speed limit is max 90 km/h (55mph).
Rules to know:
The legal blood-alcohol limit for driving is 0.5 grams alcohol per one liter of blood. If a driver has from 0.5 to 0.8 grams alcohol per liter of blood, his license may be suspended from one month to one year and his fine will be between 250 and 1,250 EUR. A driver with alcohol level between 0.8 to 1.2 grams may have a fine from 500 to 2500 EUR. If find more than 1.2 grams alcohol, the driver will be imprisoned for one year and deprived of the right to drive for three years.
Traffic moves on the right side of the road.
Overtaking is on the left side.
The minimal driving age is 18 years.
Drivers and all passengers must wear seatbelts. A driver is responsible for passengers; if passengers don’t wear seatbelts, he will be fined.
Children under 12 years may only ride in the back seats of the car in special child seats unless they are taller than 150 cm.
It is forbidden to carry children under 7 years on the motorbikes.
Driving and using a cell phone without a hands-free system is illegal.
Driving with earphones connected to any sound devise is forbidden.
Using radar detector is illegal.
In moving vehicles, dogs must be restricted.
In tunnels, headlights are always required.
Each vehicle must be equipped with one red reflective warning triangle, spare bulbs and the required tools, a spare wheel, reflective danger jacket (red, orange, or yellow).
When driving, a driver must have a valid driver license. A driver license from any European Union country is accepted in Portugal. Foreigners from non-European Union countries must have their National driving permits and International driver licenses. Foreign drivers can drive with their National driving permits accompanied by International Driver Licenses for three months (90 days).
If a vehicle is alder than four years, it is required to have a valid IPO certificate about roadworthiness; the corresponding sticker must be placed in on the windshield.
Parking 25 meters before and 5 meters after a bus stop and within 5 meters of a road junction and 6 meters of a tram stop is illegal.
Parking facing oncoming traffic is illegal.
For using a toll road, driver must take a ticket at the start of the road and carry for the route and pay at the end of the route at the toll booth with an electronic device, or by credit card, or cash. For foreign-registered vehicles, electronic devices may be rented from some post offices or motorway service stations. They are designed for using no more than 90 days.
The police phone number is 112.
Generally, roads in Portugal have good conditions; the biggest cities are well served by highways. It is possible to drive from the North to the South of the country without leaving the highway. But, driving in Lisbon and Porto for tourists who don’t speak Portuguese is hard. Other cities are much better in spite of the fact that they have narrow roads.
Portugal is a small country, and distances affordable. From Faro in the south to Porto in the north is the distance 553 km, which is equivalent to 4.5 hours of running time. With a rental car, you can experience great natural landscape with picturesque villages, vineyards, castles and magnificent beaches.
The historic town of Sintra is located west of Portugal, and has nearly 10,000 inhabitants (2011). Sintra is situated about 12 km from the Atlantic coast, and 33 km northwest of the capital Lisbon. Sintra is a popular destination and is famous for its unique atmosphere and its beautiful historic buildings.
The town sits on a hill 300 meters above sea level and top thrones the Moorish castle “Castelo dos Mouros” from 900s. Another attraction is the castle “Palacio da Pena” from the 1800s as well as the royal palace “Palacio Nacional de Sintra” from the 1500s.
The historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Nearest international airport is Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS), located 37 km east of Sintra. A number of international car rental companies have their branches here – Avis, Hertz, Goldcar and Enterprise.
With car hire in Sintra you have many options for pleasant excursions in Portugal. It is a short distance to the capital Lisbon – which has countless great sights and great shopping.
Estorillkysten in Portugal has a long and beautiful beaches, and a drive to the most popular beach “Praia De Carcavelos” recommended. The beach is 25 km southeast of Sintra, and has golden sand. There is ample parking space at Carcavelos and beachfront are several cafés / restaurants.
It is also recommended to stop at the small coastal towns of Estoril and Cascais, located just west of the beach in Carcavelos. Estoril is famous for its beaches, its golf course – and has also Europe’s largest Casino. Cascais also has several small swimming coach – in addition to elegant pedestrian streets with fashionable shops, restaurants and bars.
The port city of Porto is located northwest of Portugal by the river Duoro, approximately 7 km from the Atlantic Ocean. The city is the second largest with its 240,000 inhabitants. Porto is a busy and commercial city, and was named as European Capital of Culture in 2001. The city is also known for its production of Port Wine.
Porto is one of the oldest cities in Europe, and has been inhabited since 300 BC The historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and here you can see the Cathedral – originally from the 1100s and Bishop’s Palace from the 1700s. The popular district on the River Duoro has many cafés, restaurants and bars. The city has otherwise a number of interesting museums – including “Fundacao Serralves” – Museum of Contemporary Art. The local beach in Foz do Douro is located 7 km west of the city and is a popular seaside resort in summer.
The city’s international airport – Porto Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO) – located 12 km north of downtown, and is the 3rd busiest airport. At the airport rental car operators Europcar, Avis, Budget, Hertz Guerin and its affiliates. With a rental car it is popular to take a drive to the charming town of Guimaraes, located 55 km northeast of Porto. Guimaraes has about 54,000 inhabitants (2012), and has one of the best preserved historic center. Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city was named European City of Culture in 2012.
The most popular attractions Guimaraes is the fortress from the 1000’s, the church of Sao Miguel from the 1200s, the church Sao Francisco Church from the 1400s and the palace “Paco Dos Duques” from the 1400s. Another driving tip is to take a day trip to the port city of Aveiro, located 80 km south of Porto. Aveiro has ca. 60,000 inhabitants and is famous for its canals and arched bridges. The city becomes the reason often called “Venice of Portugal”, and is a popular tourist destination.
On the way to or from Aveiro, you can stop at the castle “Castillo de Santa Maria da Feira” – that was originally built in the 11th century. The castle has 4 towers, and was restored in the 1400s. Castillo de Santa Maria de Feira is 37 km south of Porto and 50 km north of Aveiro.
Lagos is a historic city located in southern Portugal’s Atlantic coastline, more specifically in the western part of the Algarve region. Lagos has 31,000 inhabitants (2011), and is a popular tourist town.
Lagos is famous for its beautiful beaches and coves that idyllic occasionally dramatic cliffs – including “Meia Praia” beach. The city is also known for having a lively nightlife in summer, and in the old town, you can stroll the narrow, bustling streets. Sights in Lagos among others the imposing fortress from the 1600s, the city walls from the 1300s and churches Sao Sebastiao and Santo Antonio – both from the 1600s. The latter has a small town museum also recommended a visit. On the square “Praca da Republica” is the historical slave market from the 1400s, which is also one of the city’s sights.
With car hire in Lagos you can take exciting excursions, and see more of the region at your own pace. A driving tip is to visit the small town of Silves, located 38 km northeast of Lagos. Silves has 11,000 inhabitants (2011), located on a hill above the Arade River. The Moorish fortress “Castelo dos Mouros” sits at the top of the city, and the oldest parts dating from the 8th century. Cathedral of Silves is also a well-visited site, and was erected in the 1400s. It is called the most important Gothic building in the Algarve region. If you want big city with shopping, bustling cafelive, museums and monuments, you can take a day trip to the capital Lisbon, located 300 km north of Lagos. Lisbon has something for everyone, and the ride takes about 2 and a half hours.
Faro / Faro Airport
Funchal / Funchal Madeira Airport
Horta / Horta Airport
Lisbon / Lisbon Portela Airport
Porto / Porto Francisco de Sa Carneiro Airport
Ponta Delgada / Ponta Delgada Joao Paulo II Airport
Pico / Pico Airport
Porto Santo / Porto Santo Airport
Santa Maria / Santa Maria Airport
Lajes / Lajes Field
The main airport in Portugal is Lisbon Airport, located 4 km northeast of the capital. It is one of the largest airports in Southern Europe.
Popular Destinations Portugal
Albufeira – Alcobaca – Almada – Almancil – Amadora – Aveiro – Beja – Braga – Cascais – Estremoz – Evora – Faro – Faro Airport – Felgueiras – Funchal – Funchal Airport – Guarda – Ilha Terceira – Lagos – Lisbon – Lisbon Airport – Maia – Mirandela – Montijo – Oeiras – Penafiel – Peniche – Pombal – Porto – Porto Airport – Santarem – Setubal – Sines – Tavira – Tomar – Vila Do Conde – Vilamoura – Viseu