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Driving in the Azores.

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Volcanic terrain and dense forests.

The Azores islands boast volcanic terrain, luscious valleys, sweeping meadows and dense forests which combined, offer an idyllic and unspoilt location for a holiday. With such beautiful landscapes at your disposal, many activities to enjoy and plenty of sights to see, car hire is a great way to experience it all at your own pace.

Due to volcanic descent of the islands, the ground can be quite steep and hilly and you should expect to encounter hair pin bends fairly frequently. Be aware that some of the less busy roads can be quite narrow and the locals tend to drive quite fast.

Read our Azores travel guide. You may also like to view information about destinations in the Azores.

Tips for driving in the Azores

Which side of the road do they drive on?

Traffic drives on the right hand side here.

Seat belts

Seat Belts must be worn at all times, by all occupants of the vehicle.

Driving with children

Children aged 12 and under or shorter than 1.35m must have a child seat or booster seat when travelling in a vehicle.

Can I use a mobile?

The use of a mobile phone in a car is only allowed if you have either a hands free kit or a headset.

Blood alcohol limit

The blood alcohol limit is 50mg per 100 ml of blood. If you’re caught above this limit you’ll be fined up to €1,250 and have your licence suspended for 1-12 months.

Reflective vests, triangles and other essentials

A reflective vest must be kept in the vehicle at all times. This must be accessible from within the car and not kept in the boot.

ID and vehicle registration

You must also carry photographic ID at all times and the vehicle registration and insurance should be kept in the vehicle.

Horns and headlights

The use of dipped headlights during poor visibility during the day and in tunnels is compulsory.


You must park in the same direction of traffic; parking facing oncoming traffic is illegal.

What should I do if I have an accident or breakdown?

Free orange emergency SOS telephones are positioned every 3 to 5km. To use an emergency telephone, press the SOS button and wait for a reply.


If you breakdown or are in an accident, you must put on a reflective jacket and place the reflective triangles 30m behind and in front of vehicles to warn other drivers. Call the supplier who will be able to advise you.

It is recommended you contact ourselves at the same time to ensure you follow the correct procedure.


If you’re in an accident, you MUST notify the Police and the car rental supplier and get an accident report for insurance purposes. Failure to do so may result in you footing the whole bill. It is recommended that you contact ourselves at the same time to ensure you follow the correct procedure.

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