The legal minimum age for driving in Portugal is 18 years and you'll need a UK driving licence. When you pick up your Portugal car rental, the car hire company should point out a few legal details pertaining to Portugal. As already stated if you are asked to produce your passport, driving licence and car rental details by Portuguese police and you don't have them on you, you could face a steep fine. Carry passport, rental documents with proof of insurance and your driving licence with you at all times whilst out and about. Driving in Portugal is on the right and you must wear seat belts in front and back by law. Speed limits in Portugal are 120kph/74mph on motorways, 90kph-100kph/56/42 mph for main roads, and 60 or 40kph/37 or 25mph on urban roads. Watch for signs indicating slower speeds, usually where roadworks are present.
In all rental cars you should have a red warning triangle and illuminous reflective vest jacket - both of these must be used in the event of breakdown in Portugal. They can be a bit lapse car hire companies informing you about this fact! Ensure you have these in the vehicle before you drive off. Portuguese police have the authority to fine on the spot for traffic offences such as speeding, driving under the influence of either drugs or drink, using mobile phones, parking illegally and not wearing seatbelts in both the front and rear. Particular emphasis is placed on children wearing seatbelts. Fines for traffic offences are high! Check over the Portuguese Highway Code weblink right for more details, and the Foreign Office advice also linked right. The road accident rate in Portugal is higher than the UK, although efforts in recent years by Portuguese Authorities to reduce accidents have been working well. Pedestrians should also take care crossing busy roads, particularly late at night.
You can book cheap car hire on the Algarve within the main resorts easily enough, but most choose the easiest option and cheap Car Hire from Faro Airport. There's a choice of Budget Car Hire firms operating from this bustling Algarve holiday airport. Most of the car hire desks at Faro are just a short walk from the terminal building - the car hire terminal desk staff will direct you. Car Hire pickup is impressively organised at Faro Airport, the Algarve's only Airport. Good job, as budget car rental on the Algarve is extremely popular so it's well worth booking ahead to avoid disappointment (see Car Hire Algarve weblink right for the best deals online from Holiday Autos, or ring the Iknow-Holidays booking line direct.
Driving in the Algarve, as in the rest of Portugal and indeed most of Europe, is on the right. By law seatbelts, including those in the back if fitted, must be worn at all times. Random breath tests are carried out by Algarve police. Note the SOS orange telephones on main highways in the Algarve for emergency use. All Algarve car rental car hire firms have full breakdown cover and rescue services inclusive in your car hire deal. Carry with you your car hire rental documents, full driving licence and passport whilst out and about in your rental car. If you are stopped by a random police check you'll be asked for these, and if you don't have them you could face a large fine!
Lisbon budget car rental from Lisbon Airport is simple and relatively efficient. As you exit into the arrivals hall of Lisbon Airport, car hire desks are clearly marked to the right. Most Lisbon car hire tends to be done through the airport, but you can organise car hire for pick-up in any of the Lisbon Region main towns including Cascais, Sintra, Estoril and Setubal. It's well worth booking your Lisbon car rental well in advance, particularly if you're arriving in peak summer months. Call Iknow Holidays' booking line direct, or click on the cheap Lisbon Car hire weblink right for the best car hire deals.
If driving in central Lisbon, have a good map and some idea of where your hotel is before you set off. Lisbon city centre is particularly congested with traffic and a nightmare to navigate around. If you can avoid driving in the city centre then do. Pushing out to the Lisbon region by car is easier. Lisbon Airport is situated to the north of the city centre, and directly outside the airport you can easily hook into the main motorway network north to Porto, or onto one of the ring roads towards Sintra and Estoril. Follow the signs, all are well marked.
Budget Madeira Car Rental couldn't be easier from Madeira Airport. It's easy pick-up at the Airport, with easy access to Funchal via the fast motorway link (around 25 minutes). Car Rental desks are easily spotted in Madeira Airport's arrivals hall and once documentation is completed, you'll be directed down, across and down again to the car hire car parks. (note, when you drop off your Madeira car hire at the airport, follow directions for departures, as the drop off/car hire car parks are down here).
Madeira is a rugged and mountainous island, so bear this in mind if you're planning car rental. Mountainous driving can be taxing, so don't overdo it! Parking in towns can be horrendous too, and watch rush hour periods in Funchal early morning and evening, as traffic is particularly congested in Funchal during these times.
As you drive along Madeira's main southern duel carriage way, and elsewhere around the island, you'll notice the number of tunnels - a bit of a feature on the island, and a testament to the hard work put into building roads here through the mountains. Lights should be on (note signs at beginning of tunnels) through all tunnels. Forgetting to turn lights off is a common occurrence on Madeira (just don't leave them on over night!).
Car hire is available from Oporto Airport from a variety of companies. Their offices are all close to each other on the Porto airport complex and open from 6 am to midnight. Follow signs for Rent-a-Car which are clearly marked around the airport. You can book your car hire before you go to save you time.