Renting a car is expensive, but it gets even more costly when you try and add a baby or child car seat to your order. Prices vary from company to company, but most car rental companies charge somewhere in the region of €10 per day. Sometimes that’s actually more expensive than the cost of renting the car.
If you don’t want to pay those prices – and most people don’t – you have a couple of options.
- Bring a car seat on the plane with you.
- Rent a child car seat from a specialist baby equipment company here in Portugal.
- Buy a car seat here in Portugal.
Tip: If you don’t need to hire a car, and only need the car seat to get from the airport to your accommodation, why not book an airport transfer instead? Welcome Pickups operates in Lisbon, Porto, and Faro, and has an option to request baby or child seats when placing your order.
Bringing a car seat with you
Many airlines (including Ryanair, Tap, and Easyjet) allow you to bring a child or baby car seat onboard with you. Some airlines also allow you to bring strollers, and some will let you bring both.
The exact terms and conditions vary from airline to airline, so you’ll need to check their website for more information. Note: Although car seats are rarely checked, most airlines have criteria for which car seats they allow. Make sure your car seat meets the criteria, particularly if you’re bringing a car seat from outside of the EU.
If your usual car seat is quite bulky, you may decide to buy a smaller, lighter one that you’ll use whenever you go abroad. Given that car hire companies usually charge around €10 per day to rent a seat, this will normally pay for itself in 1 trip.
There are also a few specialist alternatives out there like BubbleBum, an inflatable child booster seat aimed at ages 4-11. There’s also Boosapak from Trunki, a car booster seat that converts into a backpack. This is suitable for children ages 3 years and up.
Renting a car seat in Portugal
There are several specialist companies that rent out car seats as well as strollers and prams, cots, cot mattresses, stair gates, and high chairs – basically everything a parent could ever need.
- Lisbon Airport: Rent-A-Stuff and UPABABY both rent out car seats as well as all the other child gear that you might need for your trip to Portugal. Neither are that much cheaper than the car rental companies for trips of 10 days or less but get more affordable the longer your trip is.
- Faro Airport (Algarve): Little Rascals Algarve offers affordable car seat rental. They also rent out pushchairs, highchairs, cots, and anything else you might need for your family trip to Portugal.
- Porto Airport: UPABABY has child and baby car seats for rent along with other baby gear essentials like strollers and high chairs. The savings seem to only be marginal for trips of 1 week or less, but get more worthwhile for trips of 10 days or more.
- Madeira Airport: No specialist rental companies in Madeira. Best to bring one or rent from the car hire company.
- Ponta Delgada Airport (Azores): No specialist rental companies on São Miguel. Best to bring one or rent from the car hire company.
Buying a car seat in Portugal
Another option is to buy a car seat when you get to Portugal. Amazon Spain is a popular choice for parents as they have many car seats that can be delivered to Portugal in 1-2 days.
Many hotels and guesthouses will take a delivery on your behalf, so you may even be able to get the car seat sent in advance.
Alternatively, it’s worth looking at Norauto, a car parts company, and Zippy Kidstore, a specialist shop for parents. Both Norauto and Zippy Kidsstore have stores throughout the country, including stores near Lisbon, Porto, and Faro. See: Norauto store locations and Zippy Kidsstore store locations.