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Built-up (Urban) areas: 50 km/h = 30 mph
Other (Rural) roads: 90 km/h = 54 mph
Motorways: 120 km/h = 72 mph - (minimum 50 km/h = 30 mph)
Inside Urban area - excess of less than 20 kms = Fine up to €300.00
Inside Urban area - excess of 20 to 40 kms = Fine up to €600.00
Inside Urban area - excess of 40 to 60 kms = Fine up to €1,500.00
Inside Urban area - excess of 60 kms = Fine up to €2,500.00
Rural roads - excess of less 30 kms = Fine up to €300.00
Rural roads - excess of 30 to 60 kms = Fine up to €600.00
Rural roads - excess of 60 to 80 kms = Fine up to €1,500.00
Rural roads - excess of 80 kms = Fine up to €2,500.0
"On the Spot" Traffic Fines are now applied. Police may demand immediate payment either in cash or using a Credit Card. but will always give a receipt.
Documents relating to the car and its Insurance must be kept in the vehicle.
All passenger seat belts must be worn at all times when seated in a vehicle.
All vehicles must carry within the interior of the car a legal reflector vest. This must be worn by any person investigating or carrying out repairs when outside the vehicle and the vehicle is stationary on the road.
All vehicles must carry an authorized triangle which must be displayed on the road to warn rear approaching oncoming drivers that your vehicle has problems.
Roads and un-motorized vehicles are not well lit at night, so drive with caution.
Children under 12 years old are prohibited from sitting in the front seat unless 150cm in height and must wear a seatbelt. If in the back use the appropriate style chairs for their age in the back.
Baby and booster seats are required by law up to age of twelve and they must be used with their fastening system when travelling.
At the junction of two roads of equal size, traffic coming from the right has priority unless otherwise signified.
Vehicles already in a traffic circle have priority over those about to enter.
Vehicles parked on pavements other when permitted as indicated by signs, are subject to the vehicle being impounded for a period of one month up to one year.
Use of mobile phones when driving is illegal and subject to a fine of up to €600.00.
Throwing objects or litter out of cars are subject to a fine of up to € 300.00
Parking cars facing against the flow of the traffic is illegal.
Crossing white lines, jumping red lights, ignoring policemen signals, all are subject to losing a licence to drive from two months up to one year.
Passing another vehicle on their right side then the driver can be fined up to €1,250.00.
Drivers must remain at the scene of any accident involving death or serious injury until Police arrive.
Drivers failing to respect for "Stop" signs can lead to a fine of up to €2.500.00.
Driving below 50 Kms on Motorways can be fined up to €300.00.
Speed limits are enforced by radar traps and unmarked police cars.
A driver's blood alcohol level is not allowed to exceed 0.05 percent and the penalties are extremely stiff and high amounts may include time in prison of up to 2 years and a fine of €2,500.00. Exceeding the limit by 0.5% to 0.8 % is a fine of €1.250.00 and temporary loss of licence. From 0.8% to 1.2% is €2,500.00 plus loss of licence. Exceeding the limit of 1.5% is subject to immediate imprisonment.
Driving a vehicle without Insurance carries a fine of up to €2,500.00.
All fines are subject under law to immediate payment. At the discretion of the law officer the vehicle can now be paid by multi bank machines
This page is a guide to the driving laws in Portugal, as most of you will be aware of the Highway code in your own Country, the basics apply the the rest of Europe, the most common mistake is the driving over a solid white line or the double, the crossing of solid white lines applies to all European countries as well as Portugal, remember Just because you are on Holiday does not mean the driving laws do not apply to you, follow the basic laws below and you will enjoy your holiday and return home safely,
Driving in Portugal
For motorway information Click here
Much confusion has arisen on the correct route to take on exiting a roundabout,the diagram shown is the correct way you should give way and exit a roundabout
Accident & Breakdowns.
In the event of an accident you must leave the vehicle where it is. Once everyone is safely out of the vehicle you must wear the florescent jacket, any passenger must wait for emergency service at the side of the road not on it unless it is not safe to move them. In the event of a break down including a punctured tyre, (even if a hire car) you will be covered for breakdown cover, if you break down on a main road,put on the florescent jacket, switch on the hazard warning lights and erect the red warning triangle ( Compulsory to have) to the rear of the vehicle only when safe to do so, then call the breakdown service from the side of the road.