Portuguese Flag

This is a TISPOL country driving guide to help drivers visiting Portugal.

Visitor Information: 
  • Portugal is situated on the western side of the Iberian Peninsula, in the extreme south-west of Europe.
  • Cape St Vincent, in southern Portugal, is the south western- most point of mainland Europe.
  • Portugal shares a 1,214 km-long international border with Spain
  • There are more than 2,600 km of motorway and freeway in Portugal.
  • The Portuguese word for motorway is 'Auto-estrada'.
  • Regional road signs are portrayed in white, with black lettering.
  • Toll payments on Portuguese motorways are done electronically using the Via Verde system, which has won international accolade for the speed and efficiency of its use.
  • The international vehicle identification code for Portugal is P.
Collision & Breakdown Information: 
  • If your car breaks down, you must park it the safest way you can. Put on your reflective vest and put the car sign at least 30 m before your car and visible at least from a distance of 100 metres away. Place yourself in a safe position far away from the road and the traffic. Call for assistance. The national emergency number is 112.
  • Police must be present after a collision if there are injured people. If not, try to solve things using the appropriate insurance papers and procedure. If you¹re not able to do it, than call the police.
Useful Phrase 1 - English: 
Call the Police!
Useful Phrase 1 - Destination: 
Chame la polícia!
Useful Phrase 2 - English: 
How do you say that in English?
Useful Phrase 2 - Destination: 
Como se diz isso em inglês?
Useful Phrase 3 - English: 
The car has broken down.
Useful Phrase 3 - Destination: 
O carro está avariado.
Useful Phrase 4 - English: 
I have run out of fuel.
Useful Phrase 4 - Destination: 
Estou sem gasolina.
Useful Phrase 5 - English: 
I am lost!
Useful Phrase 5 - Destination: 
Estou perdido/perdida!
Useful Phrase 6 - English: 
Thankyou (very much)!
Useful Phrase 6 - Destination: 
(Muito) obrigado/obrigada!
Road Traffic Policing: 
  • The National Road Safety Authority (ANSR) is a central service of the direct administration of the State with administrative autonomy. ANSR's mission is planning and coordinate at national level and to support the Government's policy on road safety, and the application of the road code. Contribute to the development of policies in the field of traffic and road safety;


- Develop and monitor the National Road Safety Plan, as well as key documents related to road safety, and well as promote their study, including the causes and factors involved in traffic accidents;

- To promote and support civic initiatives and partnerships with public and private entities, particularly in schools, as well as to promote information and awareness actions that promote a road safety culture and good driving practices;

- Elaborate studies in the context of road safety, as well as proposing the adoption of measures aimed at the planning and traffic discipline;

- Oversee compliance with legal provisions on transit and road safety and ensure the processing and management of the case raised by breaches of the Highway Code and supplementary legislation;

- Standardise and coordinate supervisory actions of other bodies involved in road matters, by issuing technical instructions and approval of control and traffic surveillance equipment and exercise such other powers as the law, namely the Highway Code and respective legislation further, committing him concerning;

- Contribute financially, in collaboration with the General Directorate of Infrastructure and Equipment Ministry of the Interior, for the acquisition of equipment and applications to be used by the MAI entities involved in road matter, according to higher guidance.


Road Traffic Enforcement: 
  • The enforcement of traffic and transportation rules is committed to GNR and PSP which are both nationwide police forces. They are responsible for the execution of the laws and dispositions related to terrestrial traffic and highway transportation.
Individual limits and specific driving requirements: 

For more information about driving in Portugal please see the European Commission Road Safety website - 'Going Abroad':