Renting a Car in Faro: A Complete Guide

Faro, a charming city nestled in Portugal’s Algarve region, is a sun-soaked haven with a rich history and a laid-back lifestyle. From the quaint, cobbled streets to the stunning Ria Formosa Natural Park, there’s an adventure at every turn. 

With all this to explore, car hire in Faro is a great idea. With so many affordable car rental deals available, the whole of this magnificent city is at your fingertips.

So, whether you’re here to soak up some sun or delve into the rich history of Faro, keep reading for tips on renting a car in Faro.

You’ll learn how to find the best rental deals, which vehicle to choose, and some stunning destinations you can easily visit with your rental car in Faro.

Do you need to rent a car in Faro?

Faro is less busy than Lisbon, and traffic is quite reasonable – so exploring the city by car is a sensible option if you’re not a fan of public transport. 

For exploring beyond Faro, renting a car makes it a lot easier, opening up a world of exciting day trips that would be difficult with public transport.

With a car, the beautiful Algarve region becomes your playground, with the freedom to visit quaint villages, serene beaches, and alluring vineyards at your own pace. 

There are other reasons, too:

  • Traveling in a group or with heavy luggage is much easier when you have a rental car.
  • Compared to pricey taxis or public transport fares, car rental could actually be the cheaper option overall.
  • You have complete travel freedom – no stressful public transport schedules.

I still remember the trip from Faro to Sagres. We took off along sun-drenched roads towards the southernmost point of Portugal.

Driving along the breathtaking cliffs of Sagres was a sight to behold, and exploring the quaint fishing village was quite the experience. 

An affordable rental car is a game-changer for trips like this – that’s why I used Discover Cars. This let me compare deals from all the rental companies in Faro, so I could get the best price on a great little hatchback. 

Travel guide to Renting a car in Faro, Portugal.

What requirements are there to rent a car in Portugal?

When it comes to renting a car in Portugal, there are a couple of things you’ll need, the most important being a valid driver’s license.

To pay for your car rental, you’ll need a debit or credit card, as few places accept cash. If you use Discover Cars, you can even pay via Paypal.

Something you have to be careful about though, is the deposit. You’ll need a credit card for this, not a debit card.

This credit card is used to hold the money for your deposit when you pick up the car. This money is released when you return the car. 

So make sure you have a credit card! And be careful – the name needs to match your passport.

Portugal Car Rental Checklist

Here’s a full checklist for renting a car in Portugal:

  • A driving license from your home country – at least a year old.
  • Over 18 years old.
  • Possibly an International Driving Permit (IDP) – if your license is not in Latin characters.
  • Your ID (passport).
  • Credit card, debit card, or PayPal for payment when booking the car online.
  • A credit card in your name (not a debit card) for the deposit on arrival.
  • Extra insurance if you prefer.

Tip: Getting insurance when renting a car in Faro is a smart decision. You’ll have peace of mind during your travels, as any accidental damage will be covered. 

What are some road trips from Faro?

With its central location in the Algarve region and closeness to many destinations, Faro is an excellent starting point for various road trips in Portugal.


Venture towards the edge of Europe in Sagres. This stunning town provides breathtaking ocean views and a serene atmosphere.

The journey from Faro to Sagres takes around 1.5 hours each way.


Experience the blend of traditional charm and vibrant nightlife in Lagos, home to some of Portugal’s most beautiful beaches and historical landmarks.

Lagos is roughly an hour’s drive from Faro.

Porto de mos beach in Lagos, Portugal.

Praia do Beliche

A 1.5-hour drive from Faro brings you to Praia do Beliche, a hidden gem with spectacular cliffs, golden sand, and clear turquoise waters perfect for surfing or just relaxing.

Ponta Ruiva and Vila do Bispo

Journey to the unspoiled beauty of Ponta Ruiva and the charming village of Vila do Bispo.

These picturesque spots are about a 2-hour drive from Faro.


Immerse yourself in the rich history and cultural charm of Tavira, an ancient Moorish town that’s just a 30-minute drive from Faro.

Explore its fascinating architecture, and sandy beaches, and enjoy the local cuisine.

How much does it cost to rent a car in Faro?

The cost to rent a car in Faro ranges from about €20 per day for a basic car, up to €150 for luxury models.

You can choose the cheapest rental cars or splurge on a luxury vehicle – the choice is yours.

It’s a good idea to book your rental car in Faro early as you’ll often get a big discount. 

And booking ahead is especially important during the peak tourist season from July to August. Car rental demand spikes at this time, so book well ahead to get the best deal.

Tip: The daily price of car rental lowers when you rent for longer periods. Renting a car for five days might only cost slightly more than renting for just two or three days.

Where should I rent a car in Faro?

When it comes to where to rent a car in Faro, you have lots of options:

  • Faro Airport: Located just outside the city, it’s convenient if you’re flying into Faro. Book ahead, and you can pick up your car as soon as you arrive. 
  • Faro City Centre: A great choice if you’re already in the city – there are plenty of car hire companies. Some even drop off at your hotel.  
  • Faro Train Station: Perfect if you’re arriving by train. Start driving as soon as you disembark.

I recommend booking ahead using a comparison site such as Discover Cars. Not only will you get the best price, but your car will be waiting for you at your chosen pickup spot when you arrive!

What type of car is best to use in Faro?

The best type of car to use in Faro depends on your specific needs.

Compact cars are ideal for navigating Faro’s narrow streets and finding parking easily. 

If you’re planning some great day trips, a convertible might be a good option so you can feel the Atlantic breeze. 

For larger groups or families, a minivan or SUV will provide the extra space you need.

Tip: Most rental cars in Faro are equipped with a manual transmission. If you need an automatic transmission, book ahead to secure one.

Is driving in Faro difficult?

Driving in Faro is generally more relaxed compared to bustling Lisbon, but can still be a bit hectic during the peak tourist seasons. Outside of these periods, traffic in Faro is much lighter. 

There are some things you need to be careful about. Faro has narrow streets, which might be challenging for inexperienced drivers.

You should also drive very carefully around pedestrians – there’s a casual attitude to traffic here, and locals sometimes step into the road unexpectedly. 

When it comes to exploring the Algarve region, the good news is Portugal has orderly and well-marked roadways.

Driving in this area is facilitated by roads like the A22 motorway, a toll road typically free of heavy traffic, and the N125 highway, an alternative, non-tolled route.

There are some key laws that Portugal enforces very strictly. Always wear your seatbelt, don’t drink and drive, avoid crossing solid or double white lines, and keep your driving documents handy for potential checkpoints.

Is it a good idea to rent an electric car in Faro?

Renting an electric car in Faro can be a great idea. It’s eco-friendly, often providing a quiet, smooth ride, and Portugal has been steadily increasing its network of charging stations, making it more practical.

While the upfront rental cost for electric cars can be higher, you may save on ‘fuel’ costs, as charging is often cheaper than petrol or diesel.

Plus, driving an electric car gives you the opportunity to try out the latest technology.

However, remember that charging an electric car takes longer than filling a petrol tank, so it’s a good idea to plan any charging stops before you set off. 

Tip: Most rental companies in Faro have a limited supply of electric cars. If you’re set on an electric vehicle, make sure to book well in advance so you won’t be disappointed. 

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