Madeira is not that large a holiday destination – there is only 35 miles between the west coast and the east coast of the island, as well as a mere 14-mile stretch of land separating its northern shoreline from the southern coast.
Despite its miniscule size though, there are quite a few laws that you must follow if you are to drive safely around Madeira’s exquisite asphalted roads.
This guide should ensure you always stay on the right side of the law while seeing the Portuguese island from behind the wheel of a car.
What is the setup of a Madeira road?
Traffic travels on the right-hand side of the road in Madeira, with any overtaking being performed on dual carriageways and motorways by crossing into the left-hand lane.
Are there any limits I need to be aware of?
The speed limits enforced across Madeira are split into three distinct categories. Travel through built-up areas and urban districts and your speedometer should never go above 30mph. On open roads, you can drive at between 55 and 62mph depending on how busy the area is, while 74mph is allowed to be reached on motorways.
Like the majority of countries across Europe, the drink-drive limit of Madeira is set at 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood in your body. A side note about alcohol – people under the influence of alcohol are not allowed to sit in the front passenger seat of a vehicle on the island.
What should I pack into my car?
There is an official requirement in place across Madeira which states that both a warning triangle and reflective jacket must be present in a vehicle at all times. Drivers always need to carry photographic ID while behind the wheel on the island too.
Meanwhile, it is best to leave GPS devices that highlight where fixed speed cameras are in Madeira in the hotel room – these gizmos are deemed illegal apparatus.
How about if I have children?
It is an offence to allow a child who is either under 12 years old or less than 1.5-metres in height to sit in the front seat of a vehicle in Madeira.
On top of this, you will be in trouble with the island’s law enforcement officers if that same child is travelling in a car without being strapped into a specialist child seat.
This guide was provided by Economy Car Hire, who can offer you with a hire car from Funchal Airport in Madeira. The fact that Economy Car Hire is nominated for an award at the British Travel Awards highlights just how satisfied customers have been with the firm over the years.