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Whether you plan to explore the vineyards of the Douro Valley, the historic hinterland north of Lisbon or the windswept beaches and tiny fishing villages of Estremadura, hiring a car in Portugal is a great idea.

Like most other popular holiday spots, car hire in Portugal is cheap and hassle-free, while the country’s highways are also pleasantly clear of traffic most of the time.

Language: Portuguese | Currency: Euro (€) | Avg. Flight time: 3 hrs

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FAQs

What age do I need to be to hire a vehicle in Portugal?

You need to be at least 18 years old to hire a car in Portugal, but many rental companies set their own minimum age, usually at 23 or 25. Expect to pay a ‘young driver surcharge’ if you’re under 25.

What do I need to hire a vehicle in Portugal?

As a minimum, you need a valid driving licence, a passport and a credit or debit card to hire a car in Portugal. Some rental firms also ask for proof of address, proof of insurance, or a DVLA check code. Make sure you find out from your car hire company before you travel.

Do I need car hire excess insurance in Portugal?

No, you don’t need to have car hire excess insurance to drive in Portugal. But purchasing a policy can be a good idea, as it covers the excess (which can cost from €500 to €2,000) if you get into an accident. Consider a third-party policy as they are generally cheaper than those offered at the rental desk.

Can I rent a car with a debit card in Portugal?

Many car hire companies in Portugal accept debit cards, but do check before you book, as some will require a credit card. If you’re paying with a debit card, make sure your name is on it, and that you have enough funds to cover the deposit.

Which rental companies are available at Portugal’s Lisbon Airport?

Car hire companies at Lisbon Portela Airport include: Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Europcar, Firefly, Goldcar, Guerin, Hertz, InterRent, National, Sixt and Thrifty. Rental desks may be in a different terminal to the one you arrive in, so check your terminal. Some providers will only accept online bookings.

Which rental companies are available at Portugal’s Faro Airport?

At Faro Airport, you can hire a car from Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Europcar, Firefly, Goldcar, Guerin, Hertz, InterRent, National, Sixt and Thrifty. Major rental companies have desks in the arrivals hall; smaller local firms are in the P4 car park just outside the terminal.

Is it cheaper to rent a car at the airport or off site in Portugal?

In Portugal, it’s often cheaper to hire a car off site, but if you compare online in advance, you can usually get a good deal from companies in the airport terminal.

Can you rent a car in one Portugal city and drop it off in another?

Yes, many major car rental companies in Portugal offer one-way car hire, so you can pick up at one location and drop it off elsewhere. Know that one-way car hire usually carries an additional fee.

Can you rent a car the same day in Portugal?

Yes, you can rent a car on the same day. While it’s usually possible to walk straight up to a rental office or desk to book, you may be better off comparing online for a better deal – and to guarantee the type of car you want.

Can I hire a vehicle at 21 years of age in Portugal?

Yes, you can generally hire a car at 21 years of age, but this varies by company, who may set an older minimum age. It may also be possible to hire some vehicles from the age of 18 if you’ve held a licence for at least a year. As ‘young drivers’, it’s very likely that you will need to pay an additional fee.

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