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Driving in Portugal

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Driving in Portugal
Photo by Thomas Huber (Pixabay)


Written by  Staff Writer
Saturday, 14 October 2017 08:08

Just like driving in most countries, Portugal driving rules are very similar to others in Western Europe. In the past few years Portuguese traffic cops are not as lenient as they once were. So be wise and follow the rules of the road as you would not like to face fines, or even worse be involved in an accident.

Basic Rules & Regulations

  • In Portugal we drive on the right side of the road
  • To drive in Portugal you need a valid driving license
  • You can only get a driving license in Portugal is you are older than 18
  • It is illegal to drive with headphones connected to a sound device
  • Mobile cellular telephones may only be used with a hands-free system
  • It is compulsory to wear seat belts (both front and back seats if fitted). It is the driver's responsibility to ensure all passengers wear their seat belts (and it is the driver who will be fined if the passengers are not belted)
  • Children under 12 years of age may not ride in the front passenger seats unless they are over 150cm tall. If possible special child seat belts should be used
  • It is forbidden to carry devices used to evade police vigilance (radar detectors, for example)
  • Dogs must be restrained in a moving car
  • Suitcases and baggage carried on the vehicle's roof must not exceed the vehicle's length by more than 45cm at the rear and 55cm at the front
  • Headlights must always be used in tunnels
  • It is illegal to overtake on the right in free-flowing traffic
  • It is illegal for a motorbike to carry passengers under the age of seven
  • If you get involved in a car accident the driver is obliged to stop and help injured people, collaborate in avoiding danger and other possible accidents and call the police if there are injured people or the vehicle is blocking the road and cannot be moved (Police Tel: 112)

What you must always have in your car

It is obligatory to carry the following items in the car at all times. Not having any of them can result in a fine if pulled over by the police. Fines vary, but can go up to a few thousands Euros.

  • The original or certified copies of your IPO and Insurance papers
  • A yellow, orange or red vest must be accessible without leaving the car reflective danger jacket
  • Each car must carry one red reflective warning triangle
  • Spare bulbs and the tools required to fit them
  • A spare wheel, inflated and the tools necessary to change it
  • Approved child seats for children under 12 and/or 150cm


Drive safely in our roads and have a safe journey always.



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