Visitors to Portugal face being hit by new car-hire tax

Travellers to Portugal are being warned they face an additional charge when they pick up their hire cars.

Holidaymakers are set to be hit by a fee of €15 (about £11) if they collect their cars from airport car parks.

The ANA, Portugal’s airport authority, will introduce the charge from March 1. This will apply only to airports on the mainland, but it could later be introduced in Madeira and the Azores, too.

Car-hire firms that have desks within airport terminals will not be affected, but the charge is still expected to hit hundreds of thousands of people.

“Holidaymakers have recently been landed with a new toll charge for using the A22 to cross the Algarve, and now many will have another €15 snatched from them by Portuguese airports,” said Rory Sexton, of Economy Car Hire.

“Portugal relies heavily on tourism to prop up its ailing economy, and if it wants to encourage more Brits to travel there this summer, it’s got a funny way of showing it.

“Portugal is a fabulous place to visit but if it starts to get a reputation for squeezing tourists for their holiday euros before they’ve even got out of the airport car park, holidaymakers will simply go elsewhere.”

Mr Sexton said people landing at Faro airport would be particularly affected, as four in every five cars rented there are collected from the airport’s car parks.