In order to rent a car in Portugal, one must pay attention to the following : - you must be at least 21 years old (age may vary by car category) and have held your license for 1 year. Drivers under the age of 25 may incur a young driver surcharge. Seatbelts are mandatory. Child seats are mandatory for children up to age 4.

When renting cars, be aware of the "excess damages" deposit requirements. It has become common in Europe that a “excess” security deposit n the range of €1500 will be charged against your credit card (and it must be a credit card, not a debit card) and refunded when the car is returned. Any damages up to this €1500 will be withheld from this deposit refund. The rental company will normally offer you the opportunity to buy “insurance” to reduce this amount.

Also be wary of being forced by the rental company to use their 'take it with a full fuel tank, return it empty policy'. They use an inflated fuel price (almost 10% higher than gas station rates) and in some cases charge for more fuel than the vehicle can take. As a current example (July 2014) Europcar charge €72 for a Smartcar tank, based on 40 litres at €1.78/litres. The car's handbook specifies that the tank only holds 33 litres plus a 5 litre reserve, ie a possible volume of 38 litres, if one was prepared to risk running the car to the bottom of it's reserves (definitely not recommended on the busy streets or highways of Lisbon).

Speed limits in Portugal are as follows: City 30mph/50kph Open Roads 55mph/90ph Highways 75mph/120kph. Traffic travels on the right. In traffic circles, vehicles inside the circle have the right of way. Drivers must yield to disembarking tram passengers. - Gas stations are open from 7am to 10pm and many stations located on the highway are open 24 hours.

Taxis in Lisbon are beige or black and green . Green light on top means available; yellow or red means in service; no light means out of service (during day-light is almost impossible to disguise it). On service you'll see numbers 1, 3, 5 or letters C and P, this is for fiscalization to know if they're on the right tariff (1 means they're inside of there city boundaries, 3 means they're outside of there boundaries and the customer will not return, 5 means they're outside of there boundaries, but the customer will return to the city they belong, C means Contract service, P means previously combined Per course.

There are 2 different fares, 1st one starting at 3.25€, during business days between 6am to 9pm; the 2nd starts at 3.90€, on Saturday, Sunday, holidays and from 9pm to 6am. You'll have 3 extras they can charge you 1,60€ for all the luggage the boot can take, 1,60€ for pets and 0,80€ for calling a taxi by phone. The total of extras if you bring all this extras is 1,60+1,60+0,80=4,00€. This values have to be all visible in the taximeter, if they turn the taximeter off before you see the price don't pay call the police. 

Note : Make sure you don't forget anything as it is so hard to find that taxi again and, if you do, it's very rare to get your things back. If you demand for a receipt at least you have the phone number of the company and the number plate (always confirm if the receipt checks with number plate, sometimes they use phony receipts, mainly the airport arrivals drivers).

The "taxi voucher" sold by the Lisboa Tourism booth for 20.40 euros is not a good deal as most taxi fares into the city will be around 11 euros.

Rule of thumb: from the airport to the centre or to Amoreiras is about €11 . From Rossio to the docas is €7. To Belem is under €11.

Car rental Companies:

There are many car rental companies; the following list comes without further recommendation (please keep the list in alphabetical order!)


Auto Europe (Broker)


Budget Rent a Car 

First Rent



Sado Rent

Sixt Car Rental


 Check the Trip Advisor forums for reviews on various companies so you can make an informed decision before you book!