Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Driving from Portugal to Spain and back to Portugal - any border problems?

Driving from Portugal to Spain and back to Portugal - any border problems?

Old Jan 25th, 2010, 03:33 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,882
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Driving from Portugal to Spain and back to Portugal - any border problems?

I have heard that there can be what someone described as "border hassles." Has anyone had a problem with this? We plan to rent a car in Faro and tour both countries.

Thanks in advance for your replies.
muskoka is offline  
Old Jan 25th, 2010, 04:07 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 17,471
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 1 Post
Hi; We had no problem; While it may not be required, get an International drivers 'permit from AAA, with photo for about $22. [Not sure exactly the cost, but spend the money]. Going to Spain form Portugal, we were stopped at the border, gave both my IDP and drivers license and we were on our merry way. On the way back from Spain to Portugal never encountered any border potrols. Richard
iris1745 is offline  
Old Jan 25th, 2010, 04:30 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,882
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks, Richard. I hate hassles on vacation. We have already applied for the IDP.
muskoka is offline  
Old Jan 25th, 2010, 04:40 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 26,710
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
None.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Old Jan 25th, 2010, 05:42 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 49,560
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"applied for the IDP"??? What do you mean applied for? You go to AAA and just buy it and walk away with it.

There are no border issues among EU countries anymore. You typically just drive right across them. No one's even there to "hassle" you.
StCirq is offline  
Old Jan 25th, 2010, 07:02 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,882
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
In Canada, StCirq, one sends in an application with two photo IDs. I am unfamiliar with the U.S.'s procedure.
muskoka is offline  
Old Jan 25th, 2010, 09:32 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 8,247
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
As StCirq said, there are no regular checks for border crossings between Schengen countries anymore.
The only "hassles" could result from your individual rental contract, not allowing you to take the car outside of PT.
So far, all my rentals from Portugal included unlimited kilometers in the whole Iberian peninsula, i.e. always included Spain. But it may be worth checking the fine print/ terms of the company you plan to rent from.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Old Jan 25th, 2010, 11:19 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,711
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
no problem at all, in many passes signs of "border" have even disappeared. Free transit, no hassles.
mikelg is offline  
Old Jan 26th, 2010, 12:58 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 93
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I rented car in Portugal just this month and was not asked for an international permit. I rented many times in the last 12 years and have never been asked. I did get one this trip. You must have one if there is an accident or any problems with the police.

In April 08 I drove from Lisbon to Sevilla. We stopped at the "border"crossing to take pictures of the old buildings and border signs. My wife prefers Spain & I Portugal. We had our own border war there. Not another soul around.

BTW I've had good luck with the Portuguese car rental company Auto Jardim. Check out their website.

Boa Viagem
tico is offline  
Old Jan 26th, 2010, 06:18 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,882
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for your replies. I will check out Auto Jardim, and fine-tooth-comb the rental contract. It came as a surprise to me that an acquaintance had been stopped for a lengthy check, however, that seems to be a rare occurrence.

I'm really looking forward to this trip, especially for its photographic and culinary aspects.
muskoka is offline  
Old Jan 26th, 2010, 06:32 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 8,351
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Make sure the car is insured for Spain. Not just the compulsory third party insurance (green card) but that all extra insurances cover Spain too.

Occasionally there are cross border checks within the Schengen zone, but they are rare. The most common spot for them is actually along the Dutch border with Belgium where they check for drug tourists quite frequently.
hetismij is offline  
Old Jan 26th, 2010, 06:45 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 17,471
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 1 Post
Hi again; We hired a car with Sixt.com It is always good to check with the company when going across a border. It was no problem when I asked Sixt. But I did ask for an e-mail to confirm. Richard
iris1745 is offline  
Old Jan 26th, 2010, 07:47 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 2,505
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"It came as a surprise to me that an acquaintance had been stopped for a lengthy check, however, that seems to be a rare occurrence."

It is not unusual where I live (a few miles from the Spanish border). There are checks by the Police and by customs officers on both sides of the border looking for illegals, drugs, cigarettes, etc..
Pvoyageuse is offline  
Old Jan 26th, 2010, 07:51 AM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,882
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
All valuable suggestions! This is the first time I am going to rent a car for travel in two countries. Faro is my pick-up place with drop-off in Lisbon after seeing a bit of Spain, as well.
muskoka is offline  
Old Jan 26th, 2010, 08:10 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 26,710
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We just did last summer at a bridge that connects Galicia and Portugal and there was no form of inspection. In fact I am trying to remember if there was even a sign to indicate that we were in a different country.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Old Jan 26th, 2010, 10:42 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 8,827
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The only problem you're likely to encounter when crossing the border from Spain to Portugal is that the time zone changes. Portugal is one hour behind Spain, in the same time zone as the UK. If you're too late for lunch in Spain, you can always head to Portugal. This works best when traveling in southern Galicia along the Minho River.

And yes, there is a sign when you cross the bridge at Tui because it's the main highway, but some of the other crossing don't have signs, or they are too small to notice.
Robert2533 is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2010, 11:54 AM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,882
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Update: I want to thank everyone for their really helpful responses, and I have bookmarked them for next year.

Unfortunately, we were unable to book the flight we needed for the Portugal/Spain trip and have decided to take that time and apply it to areas of France with which we are unfamiliar - le Massif, Burgundy and Alsace-Lorraine.

Next year - Portugal and Spain.
muskoka is offline  
Old Feb 28th, 2010, 10:15 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 6,994
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We have done this several times, not since about 4 years ago when we went from the Algarve to the Alhambra, stayed overnight and drove back, also more recently from Via do Costello north into Spain, and never had a problem, as long as you have proper papers, etc..not anything like trying to get into Canada or back.
clarasong is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
golyn
Europe
15
Jul 10th, 2016 12:28 PM
travel333
Europe
5
Apr 2nd, 2010 12:26 PM
lobo_mau
Europe
5
Jul 13th, 2006 04:47 AM
nanoose
Europe
10
Feb 27th, 2003 04:01 AM
Susan
Europe
4
Jan 10th, 2003 12:08 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -