Tips on car hire in Portugal

Here we have put together some tips on what to consider when looking for a rental car in Portugal.

Book your rental car online

Looking for, searching for and booking a rental car online is cheaper, easier and takes less time.

Compare prices from several companies

Compare many companies and sites to find the best price. compares several companies in one search. We compare prices from about 52 rental agencies in cities, airports, vacation resorts, train stations and destinations in Portugal. We do not own any cars, we only compare prices at different companies such as: Firefly, MadeiraRent, Surprice, Rodavante, Orbita, Hertz, Auto Turistica, Rent a Star, Europcar, Rhodium, Payless, Dollar, Keddy By Europcar, 2Rent, Guerin, Enterprise, InterRent, Yes Car Hire, BENErent, Auto Rent, Sixt, Bravacar, AirAuto, Micauto, OPORent, Drive & Go, Thrifty, Goldcar, National, Zitauto, SadoRent a car, Flizzr, Varela Rent a Car, CAEL, Autoclick, Best Deal, Drive4Less, Drive on Holidays, Autatlantis, Turiscar, Autocunha, InsularCar, Hertz Dream Collection, Ilha Verde, 296 Rentacar, Budget, Centauro, Alamo, Angrauto, Turisprime, Avis and Discovery etc.

What’s the difference between different car rental companies in Portugal?

Check how much the deposit is! What often differs between cheap companies and larger global companies is how much the deposit is. Also read the terms carefully as to how to return the car. Smaller local companies may have an administrative fee if the car is to be returned with an empty tank. Any extra fees can be found in our terms and conditions when you search.

Take a close look on the refueling regulations! If the company has pick up full tank, leave empty, there may be an administrative fee for refueling. Any fee will be shown during booking. It is often the cheaper companies that have pick up full tank, leave empty.

How long do you have to wait at the Return Desk, Rental Cars Center, Car Hire Desk, Car Rental Office, Service Desk, Car Rental Desk? What the difference is between cheaper or more expensive companies is how long you have to wait for your car. Sometimes there can be queue. Be prepared that it may take some time before your car is ready. During peak season and at major airports like Porto Airport, Madeira Airport, Lajes Field, São Jorge Airport, Lisbon-Portela Airport, Faro Airport, Ponta Delgada-João Paulo II Airport, waiting times may be longer at all companies.

Book as early as possible

Book as early as possible, it becomes more expensive if you wait too long. In large cities like Braga, Coimbra, Porto, Cacém, Queluz, Setúbal, Lisbon, Funchal, Amadora, Vila Nova de Gaia, the prices often increase the closer you get to the date you need your car. It can also be difficult to find cars at large airports such as São Jorge Airport, Porto Airport, Ponta Delgada-João Paulo II Airport, Lajes Field, Madeira Airport, Lisbon-Portela Airport, Faro Airport, if you wait too long, especially during peak season.

Read carefully through terms and conditions

Check and read the terms and conditions for renting before you book the rental car. offers rental cars from multiple rental car companies and the terms and conditions may differ between different companies, the differences are quite small though.

Carefully read through the contract

Check and read the contract when you collect your rental car. offers rental cars from multiple rental car companies and the contract may differ between different companies, the differences are often quite small though. If there is something you do not understand in the contract make sure you ask a company representative when you collect your car.

Is free mileage included?

Most commonly free mileage is included. But small local companies may have other conditions. Check the terms and conditions to make sure free mileage is included in the rental price. If free mileage is not included, check that you have enough mileage in the contract.

Is there more than one person who will be driving?

If more than one person is going to be driving, you must state that when booking or to the company on arrival.

Fill the car up before returning it

Different companies have different terms and conditions about fuel. If the car is to be filled up before returning it, make sure to do so to avoid extra fees from the rental car company. How much will I need to pay for fuel? The fuel policy are in most cases dependent on the rental duration. The most common fuel policies are: pick up full, return empty, pick up full, return full and pre-purchase fuel with partial refund.

Make a quick check-up when collecting the car

Make a check-up and examine the car when collecting it. Check that all eventual damages, scratches and dents are in the condition report.

Insurance conditions

Size of the deposit may differ between different groups of Premium, Luxury, Minivan, Compact, Economy, Cargo van, Convertible, 5 seat minivan, Mini, Standard, 9 seat minivan / Minibus, Moped, Intermediate, SUV / Jeep, Fullsize, 7 seat minivan, Estate.