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Tips for driving in the Algarve, Portugal

July 25, 2008

Portuguese roads have one of the highest accident rates in Europe. However if you take some sensible precautions the chances of having an accident will be significantly reduced.

If you are travelling to the Algarve or anywhere in Portugal this summer for a holiday, here are some useful driving tips:

  1. Drive more slowly than you would in your home country – you may need more time to react to situations
  2. Ensure all car paperwork is with you in the car (including driving licence)
  3. As a general rule, stay to the right initially, you will be in the slower lane
  4. With the steering wheel on the left hand side, ensure that you allow enough room on the right hand side of the car to pass stationary/moving vehicles (it is easy to under-estimate the clearance on the passenger side)
  5. Don´t assume that other drivers will give way to you.
  6. Remember that on roundabouts you have to give way to the left (the opposite to the UK)
  7. Multi-lane roads (dual carriage-ways) often have traffic lights to allow traffic to cross
  8. The heat in summer in Portugal is intense. Air conditioning from May to September is recommended
  9. Sun glasses are recommended for driving due to the light intensity, especially in summer and always have a bottle of water in the car
  10. The legal limit for alcohol is lower in Portugal than in the UK (20mg per 100ml max)


For more information on driving in Portugal please visit the website