Fines and toll roads in Portugal
It is illegal to use a mobile phone whilst driving in Portugal and if caught you will be fined €600.
Seat belts must be worn at all times by the driver and passengers failure to comply will result in a fine of €120.
If caught throwing litter from a car you will be fined €300.
Undertaking on the motorway will result in a fine up to €1250.
In Portugal, the following speed limits apply:
The penalties for speeding:
In populated areas:
On the highway and freeway:
At the start of the toll road section a ticket is take, which must be presented to pay when leaving the toll road. Failure to take the ticket, or if you lose it, then you will pay the highest possible rate. If your car is not equipped with an electronic recorder (transponder), do not drive through the gate with a green sign marked "V" (Via Verde) as you will have to pay a fine. If you enter this gate by mistake, then drive through - DO not stop at these gates and back up (the penalty will be 5 times higher than the toll)!
Beginning in 2010 several highways (including the A22 - the main traffic artery of the Algarve) in Portugal were updated to an electronic fare collection system (SCUT). Instead of the traditional toll booths there are overhead monitors to record each vehicle passing through the various toll sections.
This data is collected by a computerised system and after 48 hours (but not later than 8 days) after passing through the SCUT you can pay the toll due at any post office.
In Portugal there are a number of speed control systems such as "cooling traffic lights." The operating principle is simple, the traffic lights are equipped with radars that measure your speed and if it is higher than normal, the lights switch to red. These traffic lights always have a warning sign before you reach them “Velocidade controlada” (speed controlled).
Be careful when filling! Diesel cars are typically marked DIESEL on the filler, and diesel fuel is called GASÓLEO. Petrol in Portugal is called GASOLINA. The two are easily confused, so be careful – remember black for Diesel and Green for petrol. The price of petrol is about €1.60 / litre and diesel is about €1.40 / liter.
ATMs in Portugal are called CAIXA MULTIBANCO and usually have a sign marked with the logo of "MV".
A distinctive feature of Portugal and, in particular, the Algarve, is the presence of roundabouts which will not be unusual for UK visitors. Also worth noting is the absence of signs stating "main road", and an abundance of signs stating STOP. Generally drivers in Portugal are courteous with clear road markings so drive with pleasure.
We wish you a good holiday with enjoyable motoring!