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Car Hire (etc) in Portugal

Car Hire (etc) in Portugal

Old Jul 24th 2020, 8:17 am
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Default Car Hire (etc) in Portugal

My plans are going forward to visit Portugal and I'm about to book a flight on Turkish Airlines to arrive in Faro on August 3. My plan is to stay for at least a month to try to gain residency, and to that end I have been in touch with an agent on the Algarve that will process all of the paperwork for me (residency, driving licence, NHR, bank account etc) for the sum of Euro 600. While I would rather not spend Euro 600, if everything goes well and I gain residency and NHR I will consider it an investment. A friend who has a time share on the Algarve told me yesterday that car hire is "as cheap as chips". Well, I've just googled several companies and the best that I can find for a one-month hire for even a modest car is about GBP 1,000 for the month. Maybe the chips down there are more expensive than elsewhere... Are there local companies that provide better rates for month-long hires?
Thanks in advance...
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Old Jul 24th 2020, 8:43 am
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Default Re: Car Hire (etc) in Portugal

What kind of vehicle are you looking for sport? A quick quote through Kayak app suggests you can pick up a VW Polo for 17€ per day for the dates you say. Car hire is cheap as chips in the winter for sure when the companies don't have enough parking spaces to park them all in as there's no demand but not so peak season. There are still lots parked in fields because of covid now though.
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Old Jul 24th 2020, 8:48 am
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Default Re: Car Hire (etc) in Portugal

This is a company that family have used over the years, but not recently .... They are very local to Faro (not a national or international group) but seem quite efficient and cheaper than some. Unfortunately you have chosen the highest part of high season for your visit so will have to get a quote (ask for weekly rates x 4 for your month) for August. website - Faro Car Hire > Algarve Car Rental in Portugal.
Note that an added complication in Portugal is the electronic toll system on the motorways and that you will make an arrangement with the hire car firm for payment via their provided gizmo reader that they will have placed on the windscreen of the car. Different companies use different means, usually your credit card details, to recover the motorway tolls,
Also make sure you read the fine print about use/replacement of fuel, insurance excess cover, use of your own insurance etc - all touched upon on previous threads on the forum.
Good luck, and enjoy your stay !
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Old Jul 24th 2020, 9:31 am
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Default Re: Car Hire (etc) in Portugal

call a non-airport local office and haggle, a lot of offices away from the airports are franchises and happy to negotiate directly, rather than lose a cut to an internet booking
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Old Jul 24th 2020, 9:42 am
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Default Re: Car Hire (etc) in Portugal

Sorry for my mistake in arrival city. I've just checked with Turkish Airlines and although they claim to fly to Faro, they do not (possibly during the pox crisis). The schedule goes Istanbul, Lisbon, Faro (on TAP). I won't do that is it's a 15-hour trip. I will instead pick up a car in Lisbon and drive down. Noted on the toll roads etc. Thanks and apologies for misleading.
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Old Jul 24th 2020, 6:17 pm
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Default Re: Car Hire (etc) in Portugal

If you have never driven in Portugal before I STRONGLY advise against your first experience being in a hired ( thus unfamiliar ) car starting off in Lisbon.
Esp. when this will be inevitably after a long a tiring journey.

Portugal has a number of attractions ~but the quality of the average driving is not one of them.

You would be far better advised to either accept the TAP add on to Faro, or if preferred transfer to the train ( a 3 hour journey costing less than 40 Euros first class ).

Then hire either in Faro or somewhere local at your destination.

You don't have any flight option to FAO which just involves one change, eg at AMS or LHR ?


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Old Jul 24th 2020, 6:19 pm
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Default Re: Car Hire (etc) in Portugal

PS: Big mistake in my view to come in August.

The heat likely to be overpowering.

September is a much nicer month, and plenty of time to start sorting the rental and all the rest.

In fact some of the offices you / your adviser will need may well be closed in August.
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Old Jul 25th 2020, 3:11 am
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Default Re: Car Hire (etc) in Portugal

Originally Posted by riv View Post
PS: Big mistake in my view to come in August.

The heat likely to be overpowering.

September is a much nicer month, and plenty of time to start sorting the rental and all the rest.

In fact some of the offices you / your adviser will need may well be closed in August.
It's been almost 40C here for the past two months plus punishing humidity so the temperature in Portugal is not really a concern. What is of MAJOR concern is the comment that some of the government offices might be closed, and if this is correct then I'm wasting my time visiting as planned. Basically I'm trying to follow the advice of others on this forum who have said to get there ASAP and get on with the residency process.

With regard to driving in a foreign country, I've driven all over the world and regularly drive left-hand drive cars when doing so. I would agree, however, that driving after long international flights (HK-Istanbul 11.5 hours, Istanbul to Lisbon another five hours) could present problems. The driving standard here in HK is pretty dire so I'm seldom shocked by what I see in other countries. Thanks to all for the intel. Much appreciated.
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Old Jul 25th 2020, 7:13 am
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Default Re: Car Hire (etc) in Portugal

I agree with the concept of ' getting on with it ' in terms of all the stuff you have to arrange.

However, September would be plenty time to start : weather much more pleasant, and the start of the period when you might get a cheapo rental deal in one of the seaside resorts.
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Old Jul 25th 2020, 8:04 am
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Default Re: Car Hire (etc) in Portugal

Originally Posted by sportpix View Post
My plans are going forward to visit Portugal and I'm about to book a flight on Turkish Airlines to arrive in Faro on August 3. My plan is to stay for at least a month to try to gain residency, and to that end I have been in touch with an agent on the Algarve that will process all of the paperwork for me (residency, driving licence, NHR, bank account etc) for the sum of Euro 600. While I would rather not spend Euro 600, if everything goes well and I gain residency and NHR I will consider it an investment. A friend who has a time share on the Algarve told me yesterday that car hire is "as cheap as chips". Well, I've just googled several companies and the best that I can find for a one-month hire for even a modest car is about GBP 1,000 for the month. Maybe the chips down there are more expensive than elsewhere... Are there local companies that provide better rates for month-long hires?
Thanks in advance...
Gold Car are the cheapest until you take it back. Then you are in for a nasty surprise..

Last edited by sagalaut; Jul 25th 2020 at 8:10 am.
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Old Jul 25th 2020, 8:40 am
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Default Re: Car Hire (etc) in Portugal

Originally Posted by sportpix View Post
What is of MAJOR concern is the comment that some of the government offices might be closed, and if this is correct then I'm wasting my time visiting as planned.
Dunno where that's come from.

They would normally only be closed for public holidays (of which there is one in August and it falls on a Saturday this year) or in the case of industrial action.
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Old Jul 25th 2020, 11:43 am
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Default Re: Car Hire (etc) in Portugal

At least the advantage of Lisbon Airport is that it sends you driving out directly onto the main highway across the north of the city, then heading for the Algarve you would go over the northern bridge over the Tejo (Tagus) river and get onto the motorway system fairly easily, without the hassle of going into the centre of a big city. Get Google Maps onto your smartphone and follow .... Motorway tolls to Algarve from Lisbon ARE EXPENSIVE and avoiding the motorways would involve a long and weary journey on not very good road surfaces! - so frankly the option of the train to the Algarve might be worth exploring ... I believe the train station is actually AT the airport ...
If you could move your dates towards the end of August, and then into September you might benefit all round - car hire, rental places, pleasant admin staff, but still with some holiday activity in bars and hotels etc.
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Old Jul 25th 2020, 1:37 pm
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Default Re: Car Hire (etc) in Portugal

Never heard of Government offices closing(unless public holiday ,as said before). They don't even close for lunch nowadays.
Re driving ...once out of Lisbon area on to the VASCO DA GAMA bridge it's plain sailing. Make sure you get a sat nav/air con.
I would think the best government offices to visit are away from the large towns and tourist areas. We live near Santarem and never had too long a wait.
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Old Jul 25th 2020, 1:38 pm
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Default Re: Car Hire (etc) in Portugal

There's the final stage of Champions League football coming to Lisbon in August if you fancy keeping your photography eye in ....
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Old Jul 25th 2020, 1:55 pm
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Default Re: Car Hire (etc) in Portugal

The cheapest car hire from Lisbon airport may not be the best....I booked the cheapest 1litre car through my flight provider to find that that model is no longer available (sold out in October??) but an equivalent was...that is another 1litre car but at a much increased price....I argued that it was not then an equivalent but failed. conclusion...go to the car hire with the biggest que....people vote with their feet.
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