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Portugal & Spain's Electronic Tolls..

Travelling with 2 kids under 11, a car rental for our 25 days trip (arriving in Lisbon, Carvoeiro, & Almunecar and departing from Madrid) is not debatable for us. We need flexibility! The drop off fees with Sixt's rent-a-car was insanely outrageous, so we have 2 reservations in 2 different countries with Sixt! Picking one up in Lisbon with a drop off in Faro's Airport, the other is in Seville, then dropping it off in Madrid. Can anyone tell us if we can take both rentals in and out of both countries with the Electronic Toll System but paying in the other country? I was told that they are no more toll booths to "pay as you go" in Portugal! There are no convenient AM bus schedule from Faro airport to Seville, so we will have to go pick up our Spanish car rental a day ahead and return to Faro with both cars. Our day trip to in Seville for lunch is fine but it will be a long day, especially a longer drive the next day to the Costa Del Sol! Anyone has a better solution?

Posted by
2521 posts

I find it hard to believe that driving one car to Sevilla, two cars to Faro and one car to Sevilla plus going to Sevilla "a day ahead" beats an inconvenient bus schedule. 6+ hours driving, cost of tolls and fuel. Here's a link to bus service from Rome to Rio. There are two companies, Alsa and Damas, with various departures from Faro. Go to their websites to check their schedules.

For two adults and two kids, I punched in a mid August date on the Alsa website and non-refundable fares for four were €60-80. Departures 10:45, 15:45, 16:15.

Posted by
150 posts

I gather from your post that you are not planning to spend any time visiting Seville, other than for lunch on your shuttle day. That would be a big loss, If you haven't visited Seville previously. Regardless, rather than driving back to Portugal with two cars, you could all take the bus to Seville on "shuttle day", and spend the night there, then head to Costa del Sol the next day. You'd already be at least a couple hours closer than if you left from Faro.

As for your other option, I'm not sure what a "convenient" AM departure time is, but I see buses from Faro Airport to Seville, departing at 9:45 (Eva/Damas bus lines) and 10:45 (Alsa bus lines). The earlier one gets into Seville at 13:15 (which is 12:15 Portugal time) and the later one at 14:30. Either one still leaves you enough time to pick up your car and drive to the Costa in time for dinner.
Regarding the tolls, when I drove in Spain last year I did not use an electronic transponder- all toll stations had a self-service lane, where you could pay on the spot. In Portugal, I saw very few such stations- a transponder was essential, and was an add-on to my car rental (I took the bus from Seville to Faro Airport, where I picked up my Portugal car). About two weeks after I returned the car in Lisbon, my credit card was charged for the tolls, and the bill was much less than I expected.

Posted by
2 posts

Unfortunately the coach bus that Saturday in smacking mid July are all sold out @9:30 and 10:45am... I'm
not too keen on doing the 1:30am milk run nor the 3:30 late pm one! Anyone has a private car company that we can hire for the transfer from Faro Airport then?

Posted by
16791 posts

If your travel date is July 15, I see tickets for sale for the 10:45 bus, 100 euros for four passengers to either the Plaza de Armas bus station or the Santa Justa train station.

Posted by
312 posts

My husband and I rented a car from the Lisbon airport. We had our teenage son with us too. Our route was to Lagos then onto Seville, Granada, and Malaga. We then stopped again in Seville and then back to Lisbon.
The car had the electronic toll machine in it. Had to request that it be activated. Only works in Portugal. In Spain, I believe we had a couple of tolls, but they had at toll booth.

At the "toll" areas in Portugal, I believe the machine in the car made a small noise or a light blinked. No issues when we returned the car. The tolls were added on the bill.

Have a wonderful adventure!