Heading to Portugal in a hire van? Firstly, we’re jealous, but, secondly, we’ve got some advice you’ll need to keep firmly at the forefront of your mind.

Driving in a foreign country can be a really enjoyable, rewarding experience, but it’s often rather different to motoring in the UK.

Thankfully, you’ve found this blog, which contains everything you need to know about driving in Portugal.


Age concerns

First things first: if you want to drive in Portugal, you need to be at least 18 years old.

You’ll also, obviously, need a full driving license.

The good news? If you’re heading over there in a Squab hire van, you’re well covered, because not only will you have that full license – you’ll also have to be 23 or older to drive our vans.


The paperwork

Yes, it’s not the most glamorous aspect of driving abroad, but while in Portugal, you will need to make sure you have the relevant paperwork to hand.

You probably won’t need it, but make sure you have your driving license, proof of ID, motor insurance certificate, and confirmation of the hire.

You’ll need a GB sticker and a green card, too.


Staying safe

Chances are, you won’t encounter any issues while out on the road in Portugal, but it’s always best to be prepared.

That’s why you’ll need reflective jackets (these are mandatory), a warning triangle, and headlamp beam deflectors. Make sure they’re packed safely in the van before you head off.\


Picking the right side

In Portugal, you’ll need to drive on the right-hand side of the road. You’ll also need to give priority to vehicles approaching from the right.

This can take some getting used to, so just take your time when you first get there.

Speed limits are slightly different to ours, too. Firstly, they’re all in KM/H and the standard limit in built-up areas is 50km/h. Outside built-up areas this rises to between 90 to 100km/h and increases to 120km/h on the motorway.

There are also speed restrictions related to certain types of vehicle in specific areas, so it’s important to check what they might be for you before you set off. Fines for speeding range from €60 to €2,500, depending on the speed you were doing – so it really is worth paying attention!

As you might expect, the Portuguese police are just as strict when it comes to other motoring offences. For instance, if you’re caught driving under the influence of alcohol or without registration documents, the vehicle could be confiscated. The same goes if you refuse to pay an on-the-spot fine.

As always, it pays to do your homework if you’re heading out onto foreign roads – particularly if you’re in a hire car. We, therefore, hope the above tips have proven useful, but if you’d like to talk to the Squab experts about driving a hire van abroad, just get in touch today!