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Driving In Portugal

Below you will find information regarding driving in Portugal which will help you avoid potential problems when taking to the Portuguese roads.

When driving in Portugal you may find the road habits to be quite different from those “back home”, and this includes driving on the right hand side of the road.

Be aware that Portugal has one of the highest rates of car accidents in Europe – on Portuguese islands narrow cobbled streets, blind bends, unprotected embankments, herds of cows in country roads and speeding drivers are just some of the hazards awaiting unsuspecting drivers. However, improvements to the road infrastructure and police intervention are going a long way to reduce the risks, while fines for driving offences are substantial and usually charged on the spot to foreigners. Should you be unlucky enough to be fined, make sure you receive an official receipt from the officer collecting the fine. Increasingly, particularly on mainland Portugal, police radar records traffic offences and offenders receive fines in the post.

Drink driving

Portugal has strict drink driving laws. The limit is 0.05% and penalties range from a severe fine, withdrawal of your licence to imprisonment.

GB stickers

Euro plated vehicles do not need to have a GB sticker when driving in European Union countries.

Speed limits:
Motorways120 km/hr
Open roads90-100 km/hr
Towns50 km/hr


You will need to carry your driving licence, registration document (V5) and insurance documentation. In addition, if you have no photograph on your licence, you will need to have your passport with you. Finally if the car is not in registered in your name, you will need to carry a letter from the owner stating you have permission to drive the vehicle.


Headlamp converters are compulsory in Portugal. Dipped headlights must be used in poor daylight and motorbikes must use dipped lights during the day at all times.

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