Some rules and relevant information for driving in Portugal:

  • Right-hand traffic;
  • Speed limits in Portugal, if not otherwise indicated by traffic signs, are: 50 km/h in urban areas; 70-90 km/h in roads outside urban areas; 120 km/h in highways;
  • Blood alcohol concentration limit is 0.5g/L (0.2g/L for specific drivers), the offence is considered criminal;
  • Using the mobile phone while driving is forbidden, unless you use appropriate speakers;
  • In case of accident, it's usual to sign a "friendly declaration" – Declaração Amigável – which is an insurance form where you report the facts and draw the position of cars; it must be filled in and signed by the drivers involved; each of them will keep a copy and forward it to the corresponding insure company. In case it isn't "friendly", leave the vehicles where they are till the arrival of the police;
  • The seat belts must be worn by all passengers in the front and back of the car;
  • Children under 12 are not allowed to sit in the front passenger seat. Babies and young children must be secured in a homologated infant/child seat, appropriate to each child’s size and weight;
  • On the circles and roundabouts, the driver already engaged on the circle has priority;
  • Pedestrians on zebra crossings have priority (or when waiting on the sidewalk near the zebras);
  • When driving you need to keep the following valid documents with you at all times, to be shown to the police upon request: identity document, driving license, vehicle insurance policy (+ insurance policy coupon affixed to the windshield), vehicle registration document, document proving compulsory inspection of the vehicle if applicable. If you hold a foreign driving license, please read the Driving license section; If you plan to drive a vehicle with a foreign license plate, please read the Importation of Vehicles section;
  • Each vehicle has to carry a warning triangle, to be placed behind the vehicle (at least 30m far) and reflective vests to be worn in case of accident or breakdown.
  • Motorcycle riders and passengers must use protective helmets;
  • Extra care is recommended, especially on rainy days, when the dust and the rain make roads more slippery;
  • Speed reduction traffic lights are installed along many roads. If sensors pick up a car going faster than the speed limit, these lights automatically turn red. Failure to stop is, of course, a traffic offence.

Contact Us