Surf trip in Portugal: Best options for car and van rental


Preparing your surf trip in advance will help you to make the most of your time and contribute to your focus on one thing during the trip: find perfect waves !


The car is one of the main elements of any surf trip: without it it will be difficult to move between beaches and find the best spots. If you don't have a driving license, then it's best to choose Ericeira or Peniche as your final destinations, since the distance between the various beaches with good waves is short and you can do it on foot. Another option is to sign up for a surfcamp, which usually includes accommodation and transport to the beach.


But if you want to explore more spots along our beautiful coast, then the best thing is to rent a car. But in which stand? Don't worry, we'll help you with that!

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I'm sure you've heard of Europcar, as it's spread across 140 countries worldwide. And the coolest part is that after your trip, you can return the car at any of the Europcar locations. For example, you can rent the car in Lisbon (you have 9 stations to choose from) and return it in Faro. Or extend the trip to Spain and return the car only in Bilbao! 🇪🇸

How does it work?

Start by selecting the date and place you want to pick up the car (you get a discount if you book online) and the date and place you want to return it. There are several models to choose from and the price varies depending on the specific details of each car. 

Besides the various extras available, we draw your attention to the insurance, since the basic insurance, already included in the initial price of the vehicle, protects you in case of theft and in case of damage to the vehicle itself, but does not include insurance for personal accidents, damage to the windscreen, headlights and tyres in normal use, nor does it include cover for personal accidents and luggage. The Medium protection package includes all the situations described except the last one. The Premium protection package is the most comprehensive: it includes all of the above. For more details on the different packages, check out this page.


Once you have chosen whether you would prefer basic insurance or a more complete package, click on booking. If you have never booked with Europcar before you will have to fill in the form provided with your personal details and payment method. 


⚠ Please note that Europcar does not accept virtual credit cards such as those you create on Mbway as a payment method. 


In addition to the payment of the rental amount, you will also have to pay a deposit, which will be blocked on your credit card but returned at the end, if the car is delivered in the same condition in which you rented it. View deposit policy here

Discover Cars

Apart from Europcar, there are many other dealerships: more or less known, more or less cheap. Discover Cars is the platform that allows you to find out which dealership best suits your needs!


The platform allows you to add filters, which will make your search much easier. For example, which platforms do not ask for an additional deposit when booking.


You also have the ease of being able to book directly on the platform.

How about adding the experience of travelling in a van or RV to your surf trip? 

That is what you will find on this platform, where not only can you rent a van (of all shapes and sizes and from various prices) but you can also earn some extra money by renting your own van.

How does it work?

Consult the conditions of each rental by clicking on the motorhome in question. Pets? Trips abroad? Payment of deposit? You can find all this information on each seller's page. 


The platform also ranks the sellers, awarding those who meet all the requirements the title of "Best Owner", i.e. those who have verified:

  • Identity
  • Phone number;
  • E-mail address
  • Certificat of the plate
  • The technical inspection.


This is very useful because it helps you trust the seller!
In addition to the reviews from previous users that the platform also makes available.

As for the booking itself, it's quite intuitive: just enter the dates you want to book, your date of birth, the kilometre package per day and that's it, you're ready to make a rental request with no obligation.

Extra tip: where to put the car key

You get to the beach, put on your suit and put some sun cream on your face. You're ready to catch the first waves of the day. The only problem is... where do you put your car key? 

This is a classic problem for any surfer! Either you take it with you and risk damaging it by contact with sea water, or you hide it under one of the wheels of your car... 

And you run the risk of having neither key nor car when you get back! 😬

The solution is a keylock with a code where you can keep your keys and attach them to your car. 

There are several models available, this one from Decathlon is worth only 30e.

Ready to rent the car that will take you to the best waves?

As you see you have many options of car, van or motorhome to take you on your surf trip! 


Whether you prefer to opt for a reliable brand such as Europcar, find the ideal dealership through the Discover Cars platform or have the experience of living in a van by renting through Yescapa - the important thing is that you plan ahead and read carefully all the details regarding the booking such as payment, insurance and security deposit.


Finally, remember that your trip will be much more pleasant if the beaches are clean and people respect the surrounding nature, so do not forget to do your part: do not throw rubbish on the ground, recycle whenever possible and respect the signs on the beaches, regarding not stepping on the dunes, for example.

Nature and the local residents thank you! 💚


Now that you know where to hire the car... are you missing the surfboard? Find second-hand and good quality surfboards (plus wetsuits, lessons and surf shops) at!

Vemo-nos na praia! 🌊


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