Portugal has the 10th most expensive petrol prices in the world. Diesel fuel is cheaper, and LPG is less than half the price of petrol.
Apart from some up-coutry areas (Alentejo and Beira Interior) there are plenty of petrol stations around. Portuguese highways have usually a petrol station every 40km to 50km, although the prices are a bit higher. Those located on highways are also always equipped with a rest area, a food court and bathrooms and most have a rapid charger for electric cars.
Type of fuels available
There are plenty of fuel types to choose from in Portugal. First, as mandated by our government, there are fuels without any additives (called Combustíveis Simples, roughly translates to simple fuels) or with additives. The idea was to make fuel cheaper, but it's still very expensive.
LPG does not have this distinction as there are no special additives with this fuel type.
Petrol is available with 95 and 98 octane, although not every fuel station now carries 98 octane fuel as it is very expensive (up to €1,80 per liter in some cases).
Usually 95 octane fuel is E5 and 98 octane fuel is E10. Diesel is B7.
Pretty much every fuel station allows you to use any debit card in the Visa network. If you use a credit card there is usually a service fee of €0,50 and you might see a €100 payment on hold on your credit card statement. Fuel companies say this is a security measure in case there are not enough funds to allow you to fill up your car. Eventually, up to 7 days, the hold is removed and only the amount you actually filled up is withdrawn. Be aware.
You can always pay by cash but some fuel stations after a certain hour will only be available if you pay directly at the pump with a credit or debit card. If possible the pay at the pump method is the best as the instructions are given to you in your language of choice.
Also some fuel stations will be blocked and you need to pay first, if you want to fill it up you need to use the payment at the pump or ask the clerk to unlock the pump. And if you are on a motorcycle the fuel pump will be locked unless you prepay. Also you are not allowed to fill your motorcycle with your helmet on if it covers your face.
Finding the cheapest fuel
Petrol stations on highways have their prices visible 2km before, comparing those prices with the next fuel stations. Usually the prices are all the same, so no need to bother.
If you really want to find the cheapest prices you need to use the website Mais Gasolina
The website is in Portuguese, but if you go to "Navegar mapa de postos" you can see the fuel stations on a map, or in "Postos mais baratos" you can find the cheapest fuel stations by county. Gasolina is petrol, gasóleo is diesel and GPL is LPG.
Also if your car runs on LPG make sure to check the map and choose only the LPG stations as not all stations have LPG available.
Charging your electric car
If you have an electric car be aware that you need a card from Mobi.e to be able to charge your car. Rapid charging and charging in some shopping centers is paid. Other charging points are free but will be paid by the end of the year.
To pay for your charge you need a card issued by one of the portuguese companies (CEME) like Prio, Galp or EDP to name a few. The caveat is you need a portuguese fiscal number and address and the card might take a few weeks to be issued. It's advisable to contact one of the CEME to check if they have any solution for tourists with electric cars.
There are a lot of charging stations, but the majority is malfunctioning or simply not working. You can check out the website Electromaps or the Android app to check the feedback from users about each charging station.