If you’re planning a trip to Portugal and want to explore the country by car, there are a few important things you need to know before hitting the road. While Portugal is a beautiful destination with much to offer, driving in the country can be quite different from driving in the UK.
Driving on the Right Side of the Road
One key difference is that in Portugal, like most other European countries, you drive on the right side of the road. This change can take some getting used to, so it’s important to exercise caution and remain aware of your surroundings while on the road.
Driver’s License and Documentation
To drive in Portugal, you must be 18 years or older and hold a full valid driving license. The paper counterpart of the license is no longer required. You do not need an international driving permit, but having proof of insurance coverage for your vehicle is necessary. Additionally, carry important documents such as the V5 registration document or ‘logbook,’ personal ID or passport, and MOT certificate if applicable. Your vehicle should also display a ‘UK’ sticker or badge.
Speed Limits and Fines
Speed limits in Portugal are displayed in kilometers per hour (km/h). In built-up areas, the limit is 50km/h, while out of town it rises to 90-100km/h. Motorways have a limit of 120km/h. It’s crucial to adhere to these limits and be aware of any restrictions for motorhomes or vehicles towing trailers. Speeding fines can be hefty, ranging from €60 to €300 for exceeding the limit by less than 20km/h, up to €2,500 for more than 60km/h over the limit.
Blood Alcohol Limits
The maximum blood alcohol content (BAC) permitted while driving in Portugal is 0.5 grams per liter. Commercial vehicle drivers and new drivers with less than three years’ experience have a lower limit of 0.2g/l. It’s important to note that police have the right to perform random breath tests, especially in the event of an accident. Refusing a breath test will result in a blood test at a police station.
Parking regulations in Portugal can vary, so it’s important to be mindful of where you park. Look for designated parking areas or use paid parking facilities to avoid fines or having your vehicle confiscated.
Driving in Portugal can be an enjoyable experience, allowing you to explore the stunning coastlines and historical sites at your own pace. By familiarizing yourself with the rules and regulations beforehand, you can have a safe and hassle-free driving holiday in this beautiful country.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What side of the road do they drive on in Portugal?
In Portugal, like most other European countries, they drive on the right side of the road.
2. Do I need an international driving permit to drive in Portugal?
No, an international driving permit is not required to drive in Portugal. A full valid driving license is sufficient.
3. What are the speed limits in Portugal?
In built-up areas, the speed limit is 50km/h. Out of town, it is 90-100km/h, while motorways have a speed limit of 120km/h.
4. What is the blood alcohol limit for driving in Portugal?
The maximum blood alcohol content (BAC) permitted in Portugal is 0.5 grams per liter for regular drivers. Commercial vehicle drivers and new drivers with less than three years’ experience have a lower limit of 0.2g/l.
5. Can I park anywhere in Portugal?
No, it’s important to be mindful of parking regulations in Portugal. Look for designated parking areas or use paid parking facilities to avoid fines or having your vehicle confiscated.