Portugal is an absolutely stunning country with so much to explore. This makes it a fantastic place for a road trip!
We spent 10 days road tripping Portugal and had the most amazing time. There’s some beautiful landscapes and scenery to check out along the way.
As you know, we are huge campervan fans, but if you’re after something smaller and more compact, hiring a car is the way to go.
There are some fantastic car rental options in Portugal, no matter what your budget!
Here are our top 10 recommendations ...
Car rental is a minefield these days - long gone are the days where there were just a few options to choose from!
It can be hard to know where to even begin which is why we’d recommend using a car rental search firm like Rentalcars.
They’re a leader in the world of online car rental, operating in over 10,000 locations across 145 countries.
Rentalcars gives you a chance to compare lots of the top car rental firms to see which is the best fit for you.
And unlike other companies, there are no hidden fees!
All prices are inclusive of compulsory fees, taxes and any extras so there won’t be any surprises when you come to pay.
Rentalcars negotiate their prices directly with hire car companies so can offer lower prices for customers.
Here are a few more great reasons to choose Rentalcars:
Rentalcars is super easy to use. Simply search your availability in your location and see what comes back. Then you can easily compare your options and choose the best car rental for you.
Green Motion prides itself in eco-friendly car rental, with an environmental policy in place to use as much renewable energy and to recycle as much as possible.
Established in 2007, Green Motion have worked tirelessly over the last 16 years to make people a world leader in the provision of lower CO2 car and van rental.
Each rental location endeavours to reduce energy consumption with measures such as low energy lighting with sensors.
No matter the size and type of vehicle you go for, Green Motion promises that your vehicle will be low CO2.
The smallest vehicle on offer at their Portugal depots is the Fiat 500, perfect for a couple wanting to explore the country.
For families or groups looking for a large vehicle the Peugeot 2008, or the Citroen C4 Cactus are great choices.
There are four different rental packages that Green Motion offers, each with different benefits. Check out each one before you book to see which is most suitable for your budget and your needs.
As one of the best car rental firms in the world, Hertz provides a huge variety of vehicles from budget-friendly to luxury. They’re also a great provider of electric car rentals, with one of the largest EV fleets in the world.
Plans changed last minute? No worries, Hertz offers free cancellation up to 48 hours before your rental pick-up.
Hertz have a huge variety of vehicles to suit their varied client base. They make it easy to search for your perfect vehicle by grouping all cars into collections.
You can find all their family friendly vehicles, green vehicles and premium vehicles grouped together.
Whether you’re after a basic hatchback, or a luxury sports car, Hertz have got something for you!
Hertz offers both manual and automatic rentals, so check this before you book. You can also compare the mpg of rentals to see which vehicles are more economical.
OK Mobility promises competitive rates on premium fitted vehicles, as well as customer service 365 days a year.
Starting off 10 years ago, they now have 60 service points across 15 countries.
Ok Mobility has different rental packages at different prices, all including different features and benefits, so you can tailor the rental to both your needs and your budget.
OkMobility promises a new fleet, with 90% of their vehicles no older than 6 months. There’s a whole host of vehicles of different shapes and sizes, from a compact Fiat 500 to a family-sized Peugeot 3008.
They also have 7 and 9-seater vehicles ideal for larger families or larger groups.
Or if you’re after a really compact rental, then check out Ok Mobility’s range of scooters and motorbikes!
Turisprime has 3 airport locations and one city depot across the country. They are part of the Avis Budget Group,
They have a partnership with Galp which offers customers a €0,06/litre discount on petrol across 700 service stations.
Turisprime has a huge fleet, so there is something for everyone. It’s easy to search for the vehicle you are after, as they are all organised by type.
They have anything from minis and compacts, to SUVs and minibuses. The majority of vehicles are manual but there are some automatics and hybrids on the fleet.
Their largest vehicles have space for 7 and 9 passengers, as well as plenty of luggage space.
Sixt definitely know their stuff when it comes to rental. With over 2000 branches all over the globe, in 105 countries they’re a great choice for Portugal car rental.
Sixt is also a great choice for long term car rental in Portugal as they offer a 10% discount on rentals over 4 weeks.
The Sixt app means the car rental experience is fully digitised, and you can get on the road as quickly as possible.
There’s 56 cars on the their Portugal fleet, including convertibles, saloons, SUVs and vans. The largest vehicles have space for 7, but the majority are 5 seat vehicles.
The full fleet is available to drivers over 30. Younger drivers are limited to only some of the fleet. When searching the vehicles, enter your age to see which vehicles are available to you.
Just over half the fleet is manual, with 23 automatic vehicles.
What sets Valpirent apart from other rental firms is their unique locations across Portugal. They’re available in over 40 different counties, and aim to provide car rental to areas that aren’t usually serviced by rental firms.
This gives not only tourists the opportunity to explore lesser known areas and regions of Portugal, but also offers great rental services for locals living in these areas.
The fleet at Valpirent consists of both passenger and commercial vehicles. The fleet is constantly being updated, so the average age of their vehicles is less than 11 months.
Their passenger vehicles are larger 7 and 9 people vans, so Valpirent is the perfect choice for families and groups.
Rent-a-Star specialise in the rental of Mercedes-Benz and smart cars, so are the perfect choice for those after hiring a luxury car in Portugal.
Rent-a-Star ensures the luxury experience isn’t just down to the vehicle, with quality and prompt customer support and booking services.
Comfort is guaranteed with every rental, with Rent a Star exploring tailor-made solutions for their customers, to make this Portugal car hire experience a special one.
The Rent-a-Star fleet specialised mainly in premium Mercedes Benz vehicles, however there are a few Smart cars on the fleet for those after a vehicle which is super compact and easy to manoeuvre.
The smart cars are perfect for couples, whilst the large Mercedes Vito and Sprinter models have more spaces for families or groups travelling together.
All vehicles on the fleet are manual.
Alamo has been renting cars for nearly 40 years! Founded in 1974, the aim is to offer low rental rates, and a hassle-free experience.
They’re known for being one of the best cheap car hire companies in the world, with 1100+ car rental locations worldwide.
Their app makes it easy to reserve a car, modify your booking, get directions to your pick-up location, and also suggests fun activities to do whilst you’re on the road.
You can also check in for your pick up on the app by entering information like your date of birth and driving licence number, to speed up the process at pick up.
You can rent a vehicle from Alamo if you are under 25, but additional fees apply.
There’s a really broad variety of cars at Alamo which doesn’t just stop at compact vehicles and family cars.
Some of their Portugal fleet is premium sports cars and convertibles, so you can really explore Portugal in style.
They don’t have any cars larger than 5 seats, and only have one smaller vehicle (Fiat 500) in the Portugal fleet.
Now I’m sure you’ve all heard of Enterprise. With 9500+ locations across 30 countries it’s hard not to have heard of Enterprise!
Enterprise has over 20 locations spread across Portugal, including 5 airport locations.
You must be 25 to hire a vehicle from Enterprise, and damage waivers are included in the price.
Like lots of other well established car rental firms, Enterprise has a ton of cars on offer including compact, SUV, economy, mini, intermediate and premium.
Vehicles can seat anywhere between 4 and 9 people, and there’s a mixture of manual and automatic cars, so you’ll definitely find something that’s right for you at Enterprise.
WayGo has exceptional ratings across the board whether it’s for their quality of vehicles or customer service.
WayGo depot is ideally situated just 3 minutes from Lisbon airport, and they provide a shuttle service to get you there.
If you’re travelling into the city by other means, it’s only 8 minutes from Lisbon train station to the Waygo depot, and 10 minutes from the city centre.
All cars on the WayGo fleet are less than two years old. They’ve got lots of different vehicles including small, medium, estate, SUV, people carriers and automatic cars.
Some of the cheapest car rental in Portugal can start from as little as £3.50 per day!!!
The price of car rental in Portugal will depend greatly on the time of year you are travelling and the type of car you want to hire.
On average the cheapest month to hire a car in Portugal is January with prices at around £14.80 for an Economy class car. The most expensive month in which to hire a car is July with prices for a similar vehicle costing around £60.
The prices of car hire across the country vary from city to city too. For example car hire in Lisbon and Faro is cheaper than car hire in Madeira or Guimaraes.
Also remember that there are other fees to take into account when hiring a car such as tolls and petrol.
Although the legal driving age in Portugal is 18, you must be over 21 to hire a car.
However you will likely incur young driver fees if you are under 25 (or senior driver fees if you are over 65).
Yes! Portugal recognises all valid foreign driving licences that are written in a Latin alphabet.
If you are planning on staying in Portugal for longer, bear in mind that if you are in Portugal for more than 6 months you are legally required to obtain a Portuguese driving licence.
You must have had your licence for at least 2 years, and ensure you carry your driving licence with you at all times!
If you are only planning on visiting cities like Lisbon and Porto, then there is no need for a car, but there are so many more amazing places to visit in Portugal!
Once you venture outside of major cities public transport options are limited so car rental is a great idea.
There are so many amazing areas to visit in Portugal including historic attractions like Sintra, surfers' paradises such as Peniche and Nazare and the stunning Algarve beaches.
In order to get the full experience of what Portugal has to offer and fully explore areas, car hire is the best option.
Now you’ve got an idea of some of the best rental cars in Portugal, it's time to get planning for your Portugal road trip!
As I mentioned before, the country really has so much to offer, and is certainly one of the best places to visit in Europe!
From cities and historical sites to amazing beaches and coastline, it can definitely be overwhelming knowing where to start and what to prioritise.
We spent 10 days exploring Portugal and saw some of the best things to do in Portugal during our time there.
If you think you’d like to take your accommodation on the road with you, check out our guide to the best campervan rentals in Portugal.