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Car Hire Lisbon.

Updated on October 27, 2011

Car hire in Lisbon does not have to be a nightmare. If you aim to hire a car from one of the car hire groups situated within the airport, you'll not go far wrong. The problem is identifying them via the online car rental sites. A time consuming task at best.

However as I've lived in Lisbon, and also flown back and forth to Portugal on many occasions, I've used Lisbon car rental groups many a time. I've also had family and friends over, using the same companies, so I know which car hire company is where.

I've also realised which place is the better to collect your car from - the most convenient for one and the easiest to find for another. After a plane journey you need to be able to collect your luggage - and then get on with your holiday, not waste time wandering around a city trying to locate your car.

Lisbon Portugal

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Lisbon - a stunning cityBelém - down at the estuaryThe beautiful Rossio Square
Lisbon - a stunning city
Lisbon - a stunning city
Belém - down at the estuary
Belém - down at the estuary
The beautiful Rossio Square
The beautiful Rossio Square

However long you're wanting to use a Lisbon car hire for - the hardest part of finding what you want is ... finding it. Which group to hire from versus price and/or availability of the type of car you’re looking to hire – all considerations.

And let’s face, it you also want convenience included. Who wants to hire a car them find that on landing at the airport, they’ve got to trek around the city to collect it?

My advice is that you are better off using car rental at Lisbon airport. It’s far easier, especially if you don’t know Lisbon, and not knowing where to go can involve a fair bit of stress. But – which car hire group to use?

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Which car? Which car hire company?
Which car?
Which car?
Which car hire company?
Which car hire company?

Cheap Car - Rental Lisbon

The best way of searching several companies at once is by way of a hire car aggregator. Any/all of these websites simply ‘scrape’ information relating to your search query from the car hire groups that fall into your designated categories. They aren’t necessarily going to return you the cheapest price but they will give you a ‘foundation price’.

Next, (assuming you’ve used several different ones by this stage) check against the direct sites that appear of your returned search. This way you are likely to see if there’s a price difference – often there is, even if it’s only a minor one. Don’t forget – aggregators charge a small fee for providing you with your results.

Consider your options and how to search in order to secure the best price
Consider your options and how to search in order to secure the best price

Car Rental - Size Is Important!

Don't overlook the boot or trunk space!
Don't overlook the boot or trunk space!

Car Rental Portugal -Tips

Once you’ve homed in on what you want, decide on whether that’s the price you want to pay. Remember, surfing can and does pay but – don’t pass up on a reasonably good price in order to try and slash it in half. You won’t. You’re more likely to lose out and end up paying more than you wanted. The key is to be sensible. A few tips that will help you grab the best car hire price:

  • Initially, use aggregator sites

  • Check against direct sites price wise

  • Use several tabs – or windows – to compare one against the other

  • The older you are, the lower the price will be

  • Check on additional drivers – included or not?

  • Do look closely at the insurance details – sometimes you’re better to pay a little extra for fully comprehensive insurance. Lisbon drivers are not slow coaches!

  • Check collision damage and loss waivers – some are a little bit high on closer inspection

  • If you require child safety seats – again check the price/what’s included

  • Compare the cost of ‘unlimited mileage’ against returning the car with a full tank of fuel. I always opt for unlimited mileage – it’s always been the cheaper option

  • This is a common oversight – the boot space. Maybe you only need a four seater but how much luggage are the four cars’ occupants going to be bringing? Boot space is very much at a premium in smaller cars. Don’t end up standing staring at a boot made for two suitcases when you’ve brought the kitchen sink!

  • The less flashy the car – the less you’ll pay. Pure math. It’s only for getting you from A to B – so don’t inflate the price by wanting what you don’t need

  • Consider booking your hire car when you book your flights. Many operators give a discount

  • Finally – you can always contact the company direct and haggle. Sometimes it does pay to do so

We've come a long way since we invented the wheel. And car hire companies abound on the internet. Search more than one -after all, there's plenty to choose from
We've come a long way since we invented the wheel. And car hire companies abound on the internet. Search more than one -after all, there's plenty to choose from

Car Rental Sites

Car hire aggregators:

  • Travel supermarket (.com)
  • Car rentals (
  • Car rental hire (
  • Any car hire (.com
  • Economy car hire (.com)
  • Car hire search (
  • Easy car (.com)
  • Kayak (.com)

These are but a few that I use – there are many more on the internet. Any of the above will suffice or just search ‘car hire’ ‘car rental’ ‘hire car’ via google.

And so – that’s the basics of hiring the car covered. Now which car hire group to hire from? Lisbon airport contains quite a few. Auto Jardim, Avis, Europcar, Álamo/National, Hertz, A A Castanheira, Budget. I have previously used Hertz and Europcar. My family has used Budget, Avis and Europcar.

Europcar Car Hire And Rental

My personal recommendation is Europcar. I’ve used them to hire a car here as well as over in the UK. They are better (pricewise) if you book flights/car hire together. The service provision is prompt and efficient. The cars have always been as described and immaculately clean. The staff that I’ve met or spoken to via the telephone have always been competent, helpful and polite.

Further, I was overcharged (accidentally) on one occasion. I didn’t realise the mistake until I was back in Lisbon. I had to visit an office here to deal with the problem. In short, my money was returned plus compensation for my ‘trouble’. For my trouble, I was repaid half of the cost of the week’s car hire plus the extra I’d paid for unlimited mileage and fully comprehensive insurance.

Lisbons' public transport infrastructure is a little more sophisticated, trust me!
Lisbons' public transport infrastructure is a little more sophisticated, trust me!

Final Word On Car Hire

On a final note, what I’d like to say is this: do you really need to hire a car at all? Lisbon is awash with public transport, not to mention hail and stop taxis. You can travel just as quickly to the beaches and surrounding areas via train and bus. It’s also cheap and very very efficient. There is also the hassle of finding somewhere to park. Further Lisbon is notoriously difficult to negotiate, in terms of driving around and looking for the various tourist spots and attractions. And don’t get me started on the Lisboettas’ driving abilities …

In short – if you do decide to car hire, aim for one of the groups that can be found within the airport. Second – search using the tips. And third – enjoy your holiday!


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    • profile image

      Guesty 8 years ago

      I have used Enjoy Car Hire, check them out, they are much the same as the sites you mentioned but my word they are cheaper!

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 8 years ago

      Pisa - well that's high praise coming from a car hire firm -thankyou very much!

      Anyone that reads this, Pisa Car Hire look like a good quality car-hire firm, here's the link, they're in all the major airports in Portugal:

    • profile image

      Pisa Car Hire 8 years ago

      Great page about Lisbon and car hire, I like these types of pages.

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 8 years ago

      may - lol yep big words are part of the service. And yes, you can rent bikes here. In fact you can rent cars, bikes, motor scooters, elctric vehicles and even segways ...

    • mayhmong profile image

      mayhmong 8 years ago from North Carolina

      Aggregator? Sounds like aggrivated? You keep bringing in the best vocabularies! BTW, is it possible to rent a bike?

    • profile image

      Janetta 8 years ago

      EEEEE!!! Now you're going to have send me a tee!!!!

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 8 years ago

      Janetta - maybe it's time 'someone' sent you a frogdropping tee. Big, bold and plastered front and back. I should spot you that way ...

      *and sneak quietly away* ;)

    • profile image

      Janetta 8 years ago

      Well perhaps if I wander aimlessly wearing my I heart Lisbon tee and snapping pictures, something will jog my memory....hmmm, if only I could find a local to bug :D

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 8 years ago

      Badco - I wish I knew. I've two half complete. Two complete. My work. Simões to adore (which I enjoy btw) and lots and lots of lilypad type housework to keep on top of ... lol it could be worse, I could be a mummy to a whole host of tadpoles ... *thinking Monty Pythons meaning of life*

    • profile image

      badcompany99 8 years ago

      Where do you get the time from girl, great hub as always !

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 8 years ago

      Janetta - aha! - T'was thee!!! Culprit and caught dead bang :) Now you just have to find the correct statue ...

      Sixty - cold ... way cold. Try harder!

      Janetta - now what did I say about remembering hotel names...

      Jerilee - thankyou. And yes ... I wouldn't bother (again). It's very easy to navigate via the Lisbon metro, train and bus system. In fact you've given me a mind to edit and insert the public transport links - thankyou :)

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 8 years ago from United States

      Good tips and good conclusion, sounds like public transportation is a whole lot less stress.

    • profile image

      Janetta 8 years ago

      Now if I could just remember the name of my hotel....

    • sixtyorso profile image

      Clive Fagan 8 years ago from South Africa

      Near the big circle next to the coffee shop with the blonde in shades drinking coffee!

    • profile image

      Janetta 8 years ago

      I think they left my car by the statue of the guy on the horse...

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 8 years ago

      sixty - you're welcome. It's a time consuming aspect of pre-holiday planning most of the time :)

    • sixtyorso profile image

      Clive Fagan 8 years ago from South Africa

      More great tips on Lisbon Thanks.


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