Azores Driving Tips

Are there special requirements to drive or rent a car in the Azores?

Update:Please Consult new Flyer for Driving Tips in Azores

Regarding driving rules in mainland Portugal, in the Azores the great difference that exists is the maximum speed limits, which are lower than in mainland Portugal.

The maximum speed allowed on the roads of the island of the Azores is 100 Km / Hour.

In all other respects, the driving rules are national.

Driving Rules

Seat belt laws

The legislation on seat belts in Portugal makes it mandatory for the driver and all passengers to wear safety belts while the car is in motion.

Failure to do so will incur fine.

Drink and drive

The maximum level of alcohol allowed in the Portugal is 50mg per 100ml of blood. That means even a single drink can push you to the limit.
For this reason and in order to avoid problems, we recommend that, if you drink, call a taxi.

Documents always with you

You should always have your valid identification document, valid driving title and all documentation that has been delivered with the vehicle.

Speed Limits

50 km per hour, within the localities
80 km per hour, out of localities
100 km per hour on the expressways

Be aware that speed limits are controlled by unrated cars and unidentified radars.

Minimum driving age

To drive a car in the Azores must be 18 years of age minimum, but to rent a car the minimum age is 23 or sometimes 25.

You can still rent a car, under the age of 23, paying a fee.

Radar Warning Devices

Radar warning devices are illegal in Portugal and, even if caught with one, connected or not, will be confiscated and fined.

Safety rules for children

No child under the age of 12 may sit in the front, and when in the rear of the car, must have a suitable restraint system that complies with EU regulations. When renting your car with us you can ask for chairs and safety seats for children.

Safe Insurance

All rental cars have insurance with third-party protection, but we recommend extra protection from All-risk Insurance or Zero Franchise.

Rules on the road

Give priority to those who follow to their right, unless otherwise indicated.

When entering a roundabout should give priority to those already in it.

Whenever you stop, do not forget to turn on the flashers.

On poorly lit roads you should drive slow and carefully.

Whenever there is a breakdown on the road, do not forget to turn on the four blinkers, wear the safety vest before getting out of the car and immediately place the warning triangle on the road.

Do not overtake over continuous lines.

Mobile Phones and Drive

The fines for using a mobile phone while driving are high - 600 euros in many cases. So do not use the phone while driving.

Parking and Parks

Rules of Parks

It is forbidden to park less than five meters before or after a crossing.

You should not park on entrances or garages that give access to properties. If you do, your car may be towed.

Pay Parks

In urban centers you will find paid parking areas, using parking meters with automatic payment, in order to avoid fines, you should always pay their parking lots.


The application of parking rules is done by agents of the parking company itself. Any resulting parking penalty in the rental period will be sent to your address of residence, so we recommend payment on time in order to avoid fees and other costs.

Parking for people with reduced mobility

In the Azores you find special parking places for people with disabilities, you should always look for the signal or ask any agent.

Traffic Lights

Portuguese traffic lights follow the conventions of the Vienna agreement and so should be familiar to most drivers. You cannot turn right on a red light unless indicated and you should also be aware that many local drivers run red lights. 

Toll Roads

In the Azores islands there is no road or highway with tolls or payments.

In Case of Emergency

The emergency number for the Azores / Portugal is the European standard 112.

What to do in an emergency ?
If you have problems with your rental car, you should immediately contact the PSP (Public Security Police) which is the competent authority in case of accidents by the number 112.

In the event of a breakdown, you should find a safe place to stop the car, before leaving the car wear the safety vest and place the fault signal, then you must call the Travel assistance number found on the Insurance Policy. Safe.

In no case should you stop calling the authorities, or accept friendly agreements without the presence of a police authority.

Common Phrases in the Azores

  • Rental car – Carro de Aluguer
  • Motorway – Auto Estrada
  • Thank you – Obrigado
  • Toll Road –  Portagem
  • Police - Polícia
  • Breakdown - Avaria
  • Fire service – Bombeiros
  • One way – Sentido Unico
  • I have broken down - Tenho avaria
  • Where is the police station? - Onde é a estação da polícia? 
  • I have a flat tyre - Eu tenho um pneu furado
  • I have been in an accident - Eu tive um acidente
  • Where is? - Onde está? 
  • Where can I buy petrol? - Onde posso comprar a gasolina
  • Stop – Pare
  • Main road - Estrada principal
  • Unleaded Petrol – Gasolina sem chumbo
  • Diesel - Gasóleo
  • I don't understand - Não Percebo
  • What does this cost? –  Quanto Custa?
  • Speed Limit – Limite de Velocidade
  • Brakes - Travões