Home ][ Travel Information ][ Shop ][ Contact Us ]
Select a country from the list below to see more specific information relating to the rules and regulations regarding driving in that country.


Portuguese Flag  PORTUGAL – drives on the right

Please read the general notes in conjunction with those below.

Essential Safety Equipment

  • Warning triangle
  • Reflective vest
  • Headlamp converters
  • GB plate (see note 1)

Recommended Safety Equipment (by Portugal and/or

  • Fire extinguisher
  • First aid kit
  • Spare bulbs (see note 2)
  • Torch

Seatbelt Requirements
The wearing of front and rear seatbelts is compulsory when fitted.

Children Passengers
No children under 12 may occupy the front seat unless using an appropriate restraint.

Drink Driving Limits
50mg/100ml (UK 80mg/100ml)

Minimum Driving Age
The minimum driving age using a full UK licence is 18

Speed Limits


Urban kph (mph)

Open Road kph (mph)

Motorway kph (mph)


50 (31)

90 (56)

120 (75)


50 (31)

70 (43)

100 (62)

Minimum speed limit on motorways: 40kph (25Mph) (unless otherwise indicated)

Drivers who have held a full licence for less than a year must not exceed 90kph (56mph)

In Lisbon watch out for the 25 de Abril Bridge (linking Lisbon with the south bank of the Tagus River at the end of the Vila Franca de Xira motorway), as the speed limit when crossing it is 30-50kph (18-31mph).

Dipped headlights should be used in poor visibility.

Petrol stations are open from 7am to 10pm and many stations located on the motorway are open 24 hours. LPG is not available. Carrying spare fuel in a can is not permitted.

Most auto estradas are toll roads.

"Blue zone" parking exists in many Portuguese towns. You can obtain a cardboard disc, free of charge, from either the police or local motor club offices. Central Lisbon offers very little on-street parking.

The police are empowered to issue on-the-spot fines.

Mobile Phones
Don’t use your mobile, even if you have a hands-free kit. Reportedly Portugal also has a ban on the use of hands-free kits in cars.

Emergency Numbers
Dial 112 anywhere in the EU to reach the emergency services.

Other Useful Information
The Portuguese Highway Code has been revised. It came into effect on 24 March 2005. Fines have been increased across the board, and infringements such as speeding, driving under the influence of drink or drugs, the use of mobile phones whilst driving and illegal parking are heavily penalised. Special importance is also given to the use of child safety seats and seat belts in the rear of the vehicle. The full version can be found at:

The green lanes on auto estradas are reserved for local traffic who subscribe to an automatic payment system

Give way to trams overtaking you or approaching from the right. Do not pass stationary trams at a tram stop until you are certain that all passengers have finished entering or leaving the tram.

Useful Words and Phrases

Car hire

aluguer de carros












auto estrada



Motor oil

oleo de molar


via rapida



Petrol station

estacao de gasolina



Police station

estacao de policia



Toll road

estrada con portagem

Unleaded petrol

gasolina sem chumbo

Embassy Details
British Embassy
Rua de São Bernardo 33
1249-082 Lisbon

+351 21 392 40 00

Email: - Consular - Information  

Office Hours:
GMT: (Local Time = GMT)
Summer: 0900-1300 and 1430-1730
Winter: 0900-1300 and 1430-1730 


Note 1: UK registered vehicles displaying Euro-plates (circle of 12 stars above the national identifier on blue background) no longer need a GB sticker when driving in European Union countries.  Countries outside the EU still require national identification.

Note 2: Regardless of local requirements it is always a wise precaution to carry a spare set of vehicle bulbs and adjust headlamp beams for driving on the right. A spare bulb kit will not prevent a fine if you are travelling with faulty lights, but it may avoid the cost and inconvenience of a garage call out. On some cars it is inadvisable or impossible for anyone other than a qualified technician to change a headlamp bulb or lamp unit e.g. high intensity discharge (HID) headlamps and carrying spare bulbs is not an option. However, it is recommended that spare bulbs are carried for any lights which may be easily and/or safely replaced by the owner/driver. Do not forget to ensure that you also carry any tools that might be required to change the various bulbs.

EUroadlegal has made every effort to ensure that the information contained on this page is accurate and up-to-date.  In most instances the information has been collated from either an official document from the country concerned or from two or more reliable sources.  EUroadlegal cannot be held responsible for any actions resulting from the adherence to or ignoring of the information contained on this page. If you would like to contribute by adding, removing or modifying the data on this page based on your own experience, please us.

National Speed Limit Sign Go to Top Stop Road Sign
Country Specific Pages
Austria  | Belgium  | Cyprus  | Czech Rep  | Denmark  | Estonia  | Finland  | France  | Germany  | Greece  | Holland  | Hungary  | Ireland  | Italy  | Latvia  | Lithuania  | Luxembourg  | Malta  | Norway  | Poland  | Portugal  | Romania  | Slovakia  | Slovenia  | Spain  | Sweden 
Copyright © 2015 All rights reserved.