Enjoy the awesome aura of the Algarve from behind the wheel of your very own car hire. You will find that the roads in the region are very good, with much of them catered for tourism. A small two-wheel drive car will be sufficient to explore the region, as it is relatively flat and easy to drive across. You might benefit from having a smaller car in the urban areas, such as Faro, so that you can navigate the narrow streets and find parking easier. If you want to soak up the fresh sea air and the warm climate in the Algarve, then a convertible might also be a good choice too.
It is important that you stick to the laws of the road when you are driving in the Algarve so that you do not get prosecuted by local authorities. If suspected of drink-driving, then you will be requested to do a breath test by the police. The legal limit is 0.5 mg of alcohol per ml of blood, so ensure you are not over this. It is also a requirement that everyone in the car is wearing a seat belt, otherwise they risk being fined. Children under the age of 12, or smaller than 135 cm, must also be in a suitably sized child seat too. It is prohibited to use mobile phones when driving unless you are using a hands-free kit.
You can ensure that you help your surroundings when you get your hire car and opt for an eco-friendly option. With hybrid cars, which run on a combination of petrol and electricity, and fully electric cars available, you will be able to reduce your carbon footprint as you go. Before you go for an electric car, check there are suitable charging points close to where you are staying as they can be few and far between in remote areas. Although in urban areas you will be able to locate a place to charge your vehicle. There are also lots of petrol stations throughout the region, should you have a hybrid.
FAQs about hiring a car in Algarve
You should hire a car in the Algarve so that you can set the schedule for your holiday rather than relying on the schedule of public transport such as buses. For example, if you are staying in Faro and you want to take a trip to Sagres Fortress, a spectacular fort on the cliffs facing the Atlantic Ocean, then you can drive there in approximately 1h 30min. This journey takes at least double the time if you go via public transport. Whilst a return taxi to this tourist hotspot would be a very expensive journey to say the least.
When you are driving in the Algarve you will find it different to when you are driving back in the United Kingdom. Firstly, you will be driving on the right side of the road rather than the left, which also means that you will go around roundabouts the opposite way. Secondly, the steering wheel is on the left side of the car so you will change the gears with your right hand. The speed limits in the region are similar to that of the UK though, so you should know not to drive too fast in certain areas. In urban areas you can reach speeds of 50kph (31mph), in rural areas you can go as fast as 90kph (56mph), whilst on motorways the upper limit is 120kph (75mph).
You need to make sure that you are the correct age to hire a car in the Algarve, so check with each agency individually before arrival as their policies might vary. In general, you need to be 18 years of age to hire a car in the Algarve, but some agencies will only allow older drivers to do so who have held their license for a minimum of a year. Drivers below a certain age, often 25, will be made to pay a surcharge in addition to the cost of hiring a car. Those below a specific age will have a limited selection of vehicles to choose from as companies reserve cars with more powerful engines for drivers with more experience.
On average a car hire in Algarve costs $230 per day.
Compact (Fiat Tipo Wagon or similar) is the most frequently booked car hire type in Algarve.
In the past 72 hours, the cheapest car hires were found at Budget ($192/day) and Sixt ($283/day).