Car Hire advice
Supremevillas.com would like to bring to your attention some current issues regarding car hire in the Algarve. The A22 motorway which stretches from Castro Marim (nr. Vila Real de Santa Antonio) in the east to Bensafrim in the west is a toll road. The problem is that there are no payment booths on the road and the tolls have to be paid in one of 2 ways:
The first method is to pay at either a post office or a ‘Payshop’ which is designated as a motorway toll pay point. The registration number of the vehicle reveals the cost of the tolls. This can take up to 3 days to register on the system. This is extremely inconvenient for holiday makers due to opening hours, foreign language barriers, changeover days and how to visit an outlet to pay for any previous days’ travel when you have already left the country?
2. The larger well known car hire companies (Avis, EuropCar etc) tend to have electronic transponders fitted to the vehicles which can deduct the tolls directly from an account which is possibly linked to your credit card or will be totalled and deducted once you return the vehicle, the details of which your specific car hire company may already have access to. Smaller, cheaper companies may well not have these systems in place and will deduct any toll charges from your card after you have left Portugal. Late payments incur fines so if there is a delay in their paying the toll you may well find a hefty amount being taken from your card after your holiday.
Our advice is to avoid the A22 altogether. The older toll-free national coast road, EN125 provides access to all the Algarve’s wealth of attractions throughout the region and whilst it can get quite busy during peak season, as you are on holiday and not in any particular hurry, is the less-stress option. Both our villas are in the heart of the Algarve’s ‘Golden Triangle’ with all the usual tourist requirements. Car hire, whilst not strictly necessary, is recommended for larger groups to explore the many other facets of the Algarve region. There are many ‘hidden’ treasures to explore to enhance your summer holiday getaway into an unforgettable time spent at our luxury villas in one of Europe’s premier destinations. If you do plan on using the motorway during your stay we advise that you consult your car hire company in advance regarding their payments policy and directives.
Update March 2019
We have been advised that the tolls can also be paid via Portuguese MultiBanco (MB) ATM machines, not EuroNet cash machines and also online. However, we believe that this is mainly intended for Portuguese nationals and businesses with Portuguese bank accounts which is not applicable to short term holidaymakers.