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Portugal car hire tips

  • Where to pick up your car

    There are over 95 car hire locations in Portugal, and the most popular city is Lisbon.

  • Top car rental brands

    The most popular car rental brands in Portugal are Goldcar, Guerin, Sixt, Thrifty and Budget.

  • Best time to hire a car

    The cheapest months to pick up your car hire in Portugal are February and November.

  • Local currency

    Euro (EUR)

  • Side of road

    Right

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Hire a car in Portugal

There's a lot of driving territory to choose from in Portugal.

Some of the world's best beaches are in the Algarve, while some of the world's best roads are in the Douro Valley. The size of Portugal means it's perfectly reasonable to visit more than one destination during your visit, and most major sights aren't ever more than a few hours away by car.

easyCar is one of the biggest car hire comparison sites. We compare car hire brands across Portugal, so you can pick the best deal for you with ease.

Top destinations in Portugal

Lisbon

Car hire pick up point Prices fromAverage price
Lisbon Airport£2.50 per day£22.90 per day
Lisbon Downtown£4.20 per day £22.70 per day

Cheapest month / most expensive month Average cost per day of car hire in Lisbon*
November£9.00
August£34.70
(*based on a 7+day rental)

Neighbourhood guide

Lisbon is split into many neighbourhoods, each with their own characteristics. Here are our top picks:

Alfama – the famed old town is perhaps the most unforgettable stop in Lisbon. Wear some good shoes, stroll the cobbled streets and grab a pasteis de nata – they are to die for!

Chiado – a popular area to stay in the city, Chiado is a great place to spend time if you want to be in the centre of shops, cafes, hustle and bustle.

Bairro Alto – hilly streets and faded facades make up the highest district in Lisbon. Full of character, this area comes to life at night.

Docas de Santo Amaro – views of the Tagus and the stunning 25 de Abril Bridge, head here for an afternoon drink in a converted warehouse on the water's edge.

Local tips
1. Praça do Comércio is the main square and you'll find the tourist information office here. Plus, visit the top of the Arco Triunfal da Rua Augusta for just a few Euros to see lovely views of the city.
2. If you want to take the historic Alfama Tram 28, head down early so that they aren't too crowded.

The Algarve

Car hire pick up point Prices fromAverage price per day
Faro Airport£2.60 per day£20.60 per day
Albufeira Downtown£4.30 per day£19.90 per day

Cheapest month / most expensive month Average cost per day of car hire in Lisbon*
February£7.50
August£34.70
(*based on a 7+day rental)

Off the beaten path – road trips from Faro

Most know Faro as the gateway to the popular resorts of Albufeira and Vilamoura, but take the car out and you'll discover so much more.

Tavira, 30 minute drive – Pretty, charming and unspoilt is the small fishing city of Tavira. Historic sights include a Roman bridge and Moorish castle, and animal lovers can go flamingo watching in the wetlands.

Sagres, 1hr 20 mins drive – Hiking trails, fishing trips and surfing are all commonplace on this attractive cape. Plus, you can visit one of the brightest lighthouses in Europe.

Mertola, 1hr 25mins drive – A small, castle-dominated town in the middle of Guadiana Valley Natural Park. A great base for trekking and exploring the nearby countryside.

Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park, 1hr 40mins drive – Undeveloped and wild, Portugal's West Coast is a fantastic slice of nature where you can beat the crowds.

Local tips
1. If you decide to pick up from a Portuguese airport such as Faro, you may be subject to a 15 Euro surcharge introduced by the Portuguese authorities in 2015.
2. The most popular length of a car rental with pick up at Faro Airport is seven days.

Azores

A surreal escape

The mystical landscape of the Azores archipelago, hidden deep in the mid-Atlantic, is still a place undiscovered. Vivid green hills, hot springs, volcanic craters and waterfalls define the islands.

If you're considering a trip to this natural haven, note that public transport and access between the islands is tricky. Hire cars end up in such great demand (as it's the only real way to travel) that they often run out completely during the popular months.

Tips for visiting the Azores:

1. Bring old swimwear as the thermal springs (as lovely as they are) can stain your clothes.
2. The weather is seriously unpredictable so prepare for all eventualities.
3. The islands are a great place to go dolphin and whale watching.

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Other Portuguese cities

Points of interest in Portugal

  • Ericeira

    Great for surfing, great for seafood, Ericeira is not far from the Palace of Mafra.

  • Sintra

    Covered head to toe in fantastical palaces and glittering forests, Sintra is unforgettable.

  • Óbidos

    Small town with an impressive Buddha garden. Try the local cherry liqueur served in a tiny chocolate cup.

  • Monsanto

    It's said villages don't get much more Portuguese than this, however this extraordinary town is as quirky as they come.

  • Guimarães

    A UNESCO World Heritage Site, there are many significant and well-preserved buildings here.