Car Rental in Porto

A Useful Guide Toward a Successful Car Rental in Porto

Porto Car Rental

Porto car rentals are a widely preferred transit option among the city’s visitors. Verily, they come with many advantages, being highly convenient when compared to the public transit means and time-saving and affordable in comparison to Porto taxis. Hence, several car hire providers are present in Porto. Both international companies and local agencies provide their services in the second-largest Portuguese city. As a result, the services are high-quality, and the cost tends to be competitive.

Is it Worth Having a Car in Porto?

The included-in-Unesco’s-World-Heritage-List historical center of Porto is a walkable part of the city. Verily, its streets are narrow, while many of them are one-way, making rides complex and tedious. On the other hand, Porto is so much more than its old town, while its nearby areas are also worthy of a visit. Thus, a Porto car rental is the ideal way to explore the national parks, the wine regions, and the popular beaches that surround Porto. All in all, if you plan on staying within the city limits, renting a car in Porto would be a controversial -still handy- option. Conversely, if you intend on leaving Porto and traveling to the nearby sites and attractions, a rental car would certainly be the ideal transit option.

​How to Rent a Car in Porto Portugal?

The most difficult part of the car renting process is to make up your mind concerning the ideal car hire company and the perfect car model for you. Thus, you should spend some time checking and comparing the options. Apart from the prices, you should also contrast deals providing extra amenities you may be interested in out of charge or including full insurance coverage. Once you have reached your decision, all you’ll have to do is fill out the booking form.

Is it Easy to Rent a Car in Porto?

Renting a car in Porto isn’t a difficult task. Still, you can make it a 100% success story. How?

  • You should opt for an in-advance reservation. In that way, you’ll secure lower prices and more available vehicles.
  • If you need feedback, you can always check previous customers’ reviews.
  • It is always advisable to take some pics of the vehicle before picking it up so that you won’t be asked to pay for already existing damages.
  • Porto car rental companies charge per 24 hours. Please make sure to return the vehicle during that time frame to avoid paying for an extra day.
  • The fuel-to-fuel policy is a smart way to save money on your Porto car rental, as car hire agencies usually overcharge fuel.
  • If you want to add any extra amenities (child seat, GPS, additional driver), you should expect a higher final fare.
  • Many Porto car rental providers allow after-hours drop-offs. Still, some of them may charge extra for the provided service.
  • One-way car rentals are also an option, at least when it comes to the major Porto car rental companies.

What Documents do I Need to Hire a Car in Portugal?

If you want to rent a car in Porto, you’ll have to hand over your ID or passport, your driver’s license, and a credit card in your name. Please note that some car rental companies may accept debit cards as well (in that case, they will withdraw the entire car rental fare), but this is not a rule.

Do I Need an International Driver’s License to Rent a Car in Portugal?

In general terms, citizens from countries of the European Union and US citizens don’t have to issue an International Driver’s Permit. You’re going to be definitely asked for an IDP if your driver’s license isn’t written in Roman characters. In any case, an IDP can be proven necessary, especially if you are planning to cross the Portuguese borders.

How Old do you Have to Be to Drive a Rental Car in Porto?

The legal age to rent a car in Porto is 18. Still, 18-year-old drivers can only rent compact, mini, or economy cars. Furthermore, they have to pay an extra fee. On the other hand, drivers between 18 and 24 years of age are still charged with an extra fee. However, they can opt for other car types as well. Finally, the maximum age limit to rent a car in Portugal is 80.

What Type of Car should you Rent in Porto?

The most popular car rentals in Porto are the economy and mini cars, as they are easily maneuverable and facilitate the parking process. As a matter of fact, Fiat 500 and Renault Clio are two of the most preferred car models by Porto’s visitors.

How Much is Car Rental in Portugal?

The price of a Porto car rental varies depending on several factors. Thus, the time of the year, the duration of the car rental, the car class, and any add-ons certainly affect the final cost. In general terms, the average price of an economy rental car in Porto is 38€40$.

What is the Speed Limit in Porto?

You should at all times respect the speed limits in Porto. Otherwise, you risk getting a stinging fine. Hence, the speed limit in urban areas is 50km/h (30mph) and 90km/h (55mph) on regional highways. What’s more, it is 100km/h (62mph) on expressways and 120km/h (75mph) on motorways.

Do Rental Cars Need Full Insurance?

Minimum insurance is provided when renting a car in Porto. Still, if you want to be fully covered in case of accident or damage, you should opt for a Collision Damage Waiver with zero excess. In any case, please bear in mind that many credit cards cover damage to the rental vehicles.

Where to Park a Car in Porto?

If your hotel doesn’t offer parking services, or you are looking for a parking spot near a major attraction, you’ll find out that the most hassle-free option is to park your rental car in one of the various parking facilities scattered around the city. Porto has a wide range of parking lots -private and public, open or covered. Alternatively, you can opt for street parking. As a rule, street parking in Porto has a time limit, ranging from 2 hours to 10 hours, and is paid. That being said, street parking is usually free from 07:00 pm to 09:00 am on weekdays, from 04:00 pm to 11:00 am on Saturdays, and on Sundays and public holidays. Still, the parking spots are limited.

More Tips and Hints about Car Rentals in Porto

  • If you are visiting Porto during summer, you should definitely opt for an air-conditioned vehicle.
  • A circular highway runs around Porto, providing exits to various parts of the city and connections to major motorways.
  • The traffic levels are usually higher from 08:00 am to 09:00 am and from 05:00 pm to 07:00 pm.
  • Porto drivers drive on the road’s right side.
  • You should check if the car rental company is registered in the e-toll payment system. If so, you’ll be able to use the green lanes at the toll booths and pay for your toll fees as soon as you drop off the vehicle.
  • You aren’t allowed to use your smartphone while driving. However, you can use headsets or hands-free devices.
  • All passengers must wear seatbelts.
  • Children up to 12 years of age and shorter than 1.35cm/4′ 5″ have to sit on child seats.
  • The legal alcohol limit in Porto is 0.5.
  • The European emergency phone number is 112.