Choosing the Right Rental Car in Portugal: A Traveller's Handbook

One of the finest ways to see Portugal is on a road trip, where you may travel to rural locations you might not otherwise see.

Despite its modest size, Portugal has an abundance of breathtaking coastal and mountainous scenery, picture-perfect towns, and charming villages hidden away that appear to have escaped the passage of time.

You had the opportunity to see most of Portugal during your more than two years there, from the great capitals of Lisbon and Porto to the quaint Algarve beach resorts and little villages in Central Portugal.

Renting a car will enable you to see and do as many incredible things as you desire. 

Travelling in Portugal is not just about visiting its magnificent sites; it's also about relaxing in small towns, meeting friendly locals, enjoying homemade food, and taking beautiful road drives. Create your journey in this incredible nation, and you will want to come back again.

It will cover everything. However, there are a few things to remember. To learn how to rent a car in Portugal, continue reading.

Take a Perfect Rental Car Tour of Portugal and Begin Your Adventure Now!

Overview of the Portugal Car Rentals Market

In 2023, the business and Portugal car rental markets are expected to generate annual revenue of EUR 320.38 million and EUR 311.66 million, respectively. Business rentals saw a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of -10.25% from 2017 to 2021, while leisure rentals saw a CAGR of -9.19%. The yearly revenue from business and leisure rentals is predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.25% and 21.93%, respectively, throughout the forecast period of 2021–2026. By 2026, these revenues are estimated to reach a value of EUR 874.70 million and EUR 839.93 million.

In addition, the report provides information on the fleet size—the total number of operational cars that can be rented for a short time for travel, business, or insurance replacement—for the years 2017 through 2026, as well as the utilisation rate and average daily revenue from the car rental industry in Portugal.

The study is vital for businesses already operating in Portugal or intending to enter the market. The report's extensive statistics guarantee sound business decisions based on industry model predictions and historical patterns and shed light on the market's operating environment.

Why Should I Rent a Car in Portugal?

While you can get around Lisbon and Porto's big cities without a car—in fact, you don't even need one—private vehicles are frequently necessary for visiting smaller towns and venturing into the nation's more remote regions. The most excellent way to experience Portugal's breathtaking beauty is to take a road trip around this diverse nation. 

Here are some reasons, supported by my own experience, for picking up a car rental in Portugal and taking a road trip:

  • Portugal is a safe and fun place to drive. The roads outside Lisbon and Porto are excellent, with very little traffic. There are also very few accidents and courteous drivers. 
  • Additionally, renting a car in Portugal allows you to go at your own pace. Having your wheels also makes visiting out-of-the-way locations, untamed beaches, and smaller towns with limited or cumbersome public transportation possible. 
  • It is particularly true of Portugal's northern region, which includes the Douro Valley, Gerês National Park, isolated mountain towns like Monsanto, and the Alentejo Coast and its unspoiled beaches.
  • For day trips to neighbouring attractions like the picturesque seaside town of Azenhas do Mar, the beaches and hiking of Sintra National Park, or the westernmost point of Europe—Cabo do Rocca—a rental car in Lisbon may also be helpful. These places are easier to get to by car than by public transportation.
  • Lastly, if you visit Portugal in the off-season or shoulder season, you can rent a car for a meagre price. Even in the summer, costs are reasonable. See my comparison of prices for automobile rental in Portugal. 

Where to Rent a Car in Lisbon, Portugal?

Most major Portuguese cities rent automobiles, including Lisbon, Porto, and several Algarve towns.

The differences aren't significant, although airport rentals can be slightly cheaper than city centre rental companies. The locations of the three international airports are Faro, Porto, and Lisbon.

Lisbon is, without a doubt, the city with the most selection and lowest cost. Renting a car in Lisbon after taking a flight there is your best option.

Nothing is better than QH Rent a Car if you want to rent a car in Lisbon.

In the end, though, you should have no issue locating rentals close to any of Portugal's major airports—that is, unless you plan to rent a car at the last minute in the summer.

Reservations made in advance are the best alternative, no matter where you decide to rent a car.

When you reach your destination, go to the automobile rental company. If you wait until the last minute, you will pay much more!

What is Needed in Portugal to Rent a Car?

Three items are required to rent an automobile in Portugal.

A Licence to Drive

It's crucial to remember that most rental businesses demand that your driver's licence be valid for at least a year when you pick up your automobile (for some companies, this is 2 years).

A request for an international driver's licence will be required for some people.

The prerequisites are as follows:

  • EU nationals are free to utilise their existing EU driver's licence.
  • It also covers Switzerland's citizens and other European Economic Area members.
  • Visitors from outside the EU may use their driver's licence for six months if it is in English or Portuguese. An EU licence will be required if they plan to stay in Portugal for an extended period.
  • Everyone else must apply for an official translation of their present licence or an International Driving Permit (IDP). You must always carry the paperwork with your original driver's licence.

An ID card or passport

Along with your driver's licence, you must show your passport or ID card while picking up your car.

Remember that many Portuguese rental businesses charge an additional price for individuals under 25. When making a reservation, this young driver's cost is displayed.

A Credit Card

Most businesses demand that the driver's name appear on the credit card. Mastercard and Visa are frequently used.

The majority of businesses also take American Express. Prepaid and debit cards are typically not accepted.

Nonetheless, there are a few outliers. It implies that a debit card can be used to rent a car.

Tips To Choose Rent a Car in Portugal

Some helpful advice for hiring a car in Portugal can be found below.

  • Because rentals are billed in 24-hour increments, you will be charged for two days if you take up your car at 8 a.m. and return it at 9am the following day.
  • Remember to ask about parking when you check-in.
  • Waze or Google Maps can be used to navigate about.
  • Be careful to download maps in advance if you need mobile service, or consider renting a GPS gadget.
  • The gas tank should be complete when your car is delivered; if not, ensure it's recorded so you may return with the same amount of gas.
  • In Portugal, you must be at least 18 to rent a car, yet some firms will only rent to people older than 21.

Are you prepared to see Portugal at your speed? Learn more about automobile rentals and start with QH Rental automobile to organise your amazing trip right now!

What Is the Price of a Car rental in Portugal?


Portugal offers low prices for car rentals, especially during the off-season. There are sales from January to March with prices as low as 20 EUR for seven days.

When hiring a car in Portugal, you can find some excellent deals throughout the shoulder season, especially the off-season (November to April and even May). Portugal's off-season automobile rentals are five to seven times less expensive than summer ones. Portugal's car rental prices soar to above 30 euros daily throughout the summer.

A car rental for six days may cost almost twice as much as one for seven days; conversely, an eight-day rental may cost about thirty per cent less than a seven-day rental. When using automobile search aggregators, strange pricing is displayed. Having said that, comparing rates with +1 or -1 day before your intended rental time is worthwhile. You can rent for a longer time and return your automobile earlier if it is less expensive.

QH Rent a Car Can Enhance Your Portuguese Travel Experiences

QH Rent a Car is the best option to enhance your travels when you tour Portugal by vehicle. You can choose from various cars to get the ideal vehicle. Also, you can drive with confidence thanks to their comprehensive insurance options. It's not just about the vehicle, though; QH Rent al Car's top-notch customer support guarantees a stress-free experience from beginning to end.


Renting a car may enhance your journey in Portugal by offering ease and comfort, flexibility, access to distant regions, and local help and knowledge. It lets you personalise your trip and maximise your time in this stunning nation.

This comprehensive 2023 car rental guide includes everything you need to make your vacation to Portugal unforgettable, regardless of experience level. Thus, begin organising your journey right now and get set to go over one of Europe's most stunning nations.


Is renting a car in Portugal worth it?

A car rental is your best option if you want complete freedom to explore any region that piques your interest.

Is a car necessary for travelling in Portugal?

Yes, travelling throughout Portugal without a car is relatively straightforward. Nearly all of Portugal's tourist destinations are connected by trains and buses, which comprise the country's dependable and comprehensive public transportation network. 

How much does it cost to rent a car in Portugal? 

Portugal has extremely cheap automobile rental rates, especially in the off-season. There are deals with seven-day pricing as low as 20 EUR from January to March.