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Rental car in Portugal

My husband and I are returning to Portugal in October and don't wish to repeat the rental car experience we had at the Lisbon airport. We used Avis and booked our reservation from the Seattle area and while the reservation was found by the desk agent, it took 2 plus hours and a lot of standing in many different lines, first to present our paperwork at the airport kiosk and then standing in another line at another place to actually receive the car. While I love a bargain, I don't mind paying for a smoother rental car experience. Does anyone have a positive rental car experience to share in Lisbon? Should we look outside the airport?

Many thanks-

Posted by
916 posts

While I've never rented a car at the airport, I have noticed the long lines! I rented a car in Coimbra and dropped it off in Cascais with no problems. If you are traveling outside of Lisbon to drive (which you should due to traffic in Lisbon and parking problems), why not take the train outside of town and then pick up your car? A lot of the smaller towns have car rental offices and then you skip the airport rental issues. I've used Auro Europe for many years with good results.

Posted by
760 posts

Hi,
We book a car at the Lisbon airport and had a great experience. I have seen ads that quoted $7/day for a car but never got close to that price until this April. We used Sixt car rental and booked directly with the company not through a search engine. I tried both and found the lowest priced offer was straight from Sixt.

I don't recall exactly but it was something like 18 days for $100 plus $20 to rent their automatic electronic toll device (which was worth every penny). No lines, pleasant staff, and a car. they tried to get us to upgrade to a BMW for 5 Euro per day, but we declined.

wayne iNWI

Posted by
11 posts

Thank you for the helpful tips. This is our second trip to Portugal and I find the taxi system our best option in Lisbon. We will be heading back to Evora and enjoy the flexibility of a car in the countryside to visit local wineries and explore. Thank you again for your suggestions.

Posted by
916 posts

Just an FYI - I recently took the train to Evora then picked up a rental car to use while there. Again I used Auto Europe and was pleased with the car and service.
If going to Evora, you might want to check out the Megalithic Tours. It's the number one tour on Trip Advisor and with good reason. It was the highlight of our trip to Evora.

Posted by
760 posts

Hi,
While staying in Evora you might consider visiting the megalithic standing stones and the cave with prehistoric wall drawings. Both are to the west of Evora. The standing stones, especially the ring of stones is signposted to a degree. The cave visit takes a reservation, not because of crowds but because the person who guides the tour is in a hamlet a few miles away.

For as remarkeable as these sites are the tourist office in Evora gives them little notice.
wayne iNWI

Posted by
2518 posts

True that the megalithic sites are not really publicized. The only reason I got to enjoy them is that David, at the very quaint and wonderful Pension Policarpo in Evora, recommended a visit. I highly recommend a visit to this city.

Posted by
72 posts

We rented from Hertz but from the downtown Lisbon location not the airport. And it went very smoothly and the counter agent was really nice - gave us some recommendations of "don't miss" places.

I also highly recommend getting the toll booth device - it will save you lots of time and scrambling for euro's as there are a lot of toll booth stops in Portugal. With this device we could just fly through.

We dropped the car in Faro -- and again that went very well without a hitch.