Rent a Car for Travel in Lisbon

Renting a car can be an excellent way to explore Lisbon and make convenient side trips to surrounding regions and coastal towns. Navigating Lisbon’s hilly streets by car may seem daunting but this guide will walk you through everything you need to know about renting a car for travel in Lisbon.

Rent a Car for Travel in Lisbon

How to Rent a Car in Lisbon

Follow these key steps for a smooth rental car experience:

Compare Rental Companies

Research rates and policies across major agencies like Hertz, Avis, Europcar, Budget, Enterprise, and local outfits. Consider:

  • Rental costs
  • Vehicle options
  • Pickup/dropoff locations
  • Inclusion of insurance, taxes, fees

Reserve Your Rental Car

Once you’ve selected a company, reserve your car rental providing:

  • Pickup/dropoff dates
  • Pickup/dropoff branches
  • Vehicle type
  • Any extra equipment rentals
  • Driver details and payment

Book early for best availability and cheaper rates.

Know the Requirements

Typical requirements for renting a car in Portugal are:

  • Valid driver’s license from your home country
  • Minimum age, usually 21-25 years
  • Credit card for deposit
  • International Driving Permit recommended but not legally required

Pick Up the Rental Car

Arrive on time at the branch with your documents, inspect the car, and drive away.

Driving in Lisbon

Here are some key tips for navigating Lisbon’s streets and roads:

Getting Used to Driving

Lisbon has narrow, winding streets and hills. Get comfortable first before long trips. Useful tips:

  • Use navigation apps like Google Maps
  • Watch for pedestrians and trams
  • Follow speed limits and signs closely


Finding street parking in central Lisbon can be extremely difficult. Understand regulations:

  • Metered zones have maximum stays
  • Parking garages available at a daily/hourly rate
  • Find a spot before checking into accommodations


Portugal has tolls on its highways. Rental cars use an electronic tag system for automated payments as you drive.

Road Rules

Follow Portugal’s driving laws:

  • Legal alcohol limit of 0.05%
  • Mandatory seat belt use
  • No mobile phone use while driving
  • Yield to pedestrians at crossings

Where to Rent a Car in Lisbon

Major rental companies have branches across Lisbon including:

Lisbon Airport

Counters for all major companies located in the airport arrival area. Open 24/7 for pickup/dropoff.

Downtown Locations

Branches in central areas like Avenida da Liberdade, Rossio Square and Marques de Pombal.

Train Stations

Rental desks at hubs like Entrecampos, Sete Rios, and Santa Apolonia stations.


Many major hotels have partnerships with rental companies for easy pickup service.

Peripheral Locations

Look for rental car pickup in areas outside city center like Parque das Nações district.

Types of Rental Cars in Lisbon

Consider these popular rental car choices:


Small cars like Renault Clio, Peugeot 208, Citroen C1. Good for Lisbon’s narrow streets. Basic features.

Compact Sedans

Roomier options like Renault Megane, Seat Leon, Opel Astra. Comfortable for 2-4 people and light luggage.

Standard Sedans

Full-size models like Mercedes C-Class, BMW 3-Series, Ford Mondeo. More powerful for highway driving.

SUVs and Vans

Citroen Berlingo, Renault Captur, Peugeot 5008 for extra cargo/passenger space. Ideal for families.

Luxury Vehicles

High-end models like Porsche, Aston Martin, Maserati available but expensive. Include amenities and services.

FAQ About Renting a Car in Lisbon

1. Is driving manual or automatic better?

Manual transmission cars are more common and better suited for Lisbon’s hills. Reserve early if you need an automatic model.

2. What side of the road do the Portuguese drive on?

Portugal drives on the right side of the road, same as most of mainland Europe. Use caution as a pedestrian.

3. What insurance should I get?

Third-party liability is legally required. Also consider collision coverage and personal accident protection.

4. Can I take the rental car to other countries?

Yes, you may drive to Spain and elsewhere in Europe. Inform the rental company beforehand about your itinerary.

5. Are infant/child car seats available?

Yes, reserve car seats for babies and children in advance. Stock is limited so book early. Verify rental costs.


Renting a car enables you to easily visit top attractions in Lisbon as well as scenic side trips to Sintra, Cascais, and more. Booking the right rental car along with attentive driving will ensure you have a convenient experience. Don’t miss out on the freedom of exploring the Portuguese Riviera.


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