Car & Van Hire in Leiria

Enterprise car hire locations in Leiria

Leiria is around 110 km from Lisbon Airport. This is the largest airport in Portugal, with many international connections. Enterprise Rent-a-Car has an office at the airport, where you can pick up your car and drive off on an adventure!

What to do and see in Leiria

Leiria is a university town with all the buzz and nightlife you'd expect. Visit in the summer months, and you'll find a quiet ghost town, while the rest of the year, it has a cool, youthful vibe. Whenever you visit, Leiria's beautiful monuments and intriguing history are waiting for you. In summer, it makes a good base for exploring the nearby Atlantic coast with its refreshing beaches.

High on a hill overlooking the town, Leiria Castle makes a great starting point for would-be explorers. This castle has been renovated several times over the years, marking different phases in its history. It was first built during the Reconquista, intended to strengthen the Portuguese defences against the Moors. Years later, it was transformed into a grand royal palace, a getaway for the Portuguese monarchs when they wanted a change of scenery. Today, it houses several of the city's most fascinating museums, including the Film Museum, which was built to mark a century of cinema in Portugal.

Leiria Castle survived the devastating 1755 earthquake that destroyed most of Lisbon. So did the city's cathedral, but it suffered extensive damage. For this reason, as you look at the cathedral today, it has an unusual number of buttresses and supports. They were put there to defend against any future natural disasters. As a result, the resilient cathedral does not have the graceful air that you might expect from such a large religious building. Inside, though, you'll find plenty of exquisite art, including a dazzling altar built in the Baroque style.

Another old building to see with car or van hire in Leiria is the Moinho do Papel, a 1411 paper mill. This was Portugal's first recorded paper mill. Remarkably, the restored mill is still in use today. Watching paper being made may not sound that interesting, but it's actually a fascinating process. You can watch recycled pulp, mulch and old fabric being churned together by the powerful waters of the River Lis, eventually emerging as crisp sheets of paper. It's a surprisingly exciting way to spend your morning and a great way to inspire kids to learn more about science and engineering.

Car hire in Leiria lets you visit one of Portugal's UNESCO World Heritage Sites, just 15 minutes from the town centre. The Monastery of Batalha was built in 1385 and is truly spectacular. It's easy to spend a full day here, admiring every corner of this elaborately designed monastery. Whatever you do, don't miss the Founders' Chapel. This is where King John I, one of Portugal's greatest kings, is buried. His son Henry the Navigator, the explorer who first led the Portuguese on voyages of discovery, also lies here.

Driving in Leiria

You will not be able to drive in the historic centre of Leiria. Luckily, there is plenty of parking available, much of it free. If you are visiting in summer, you might want to opt for the underground car park on Praça Goa Damão e Diu. This way, your vehicle won't sit in the baking sun all day.

In Leiria, as in many other Portuguese towns, you'll see locals parking anywhere they want. Indeed, cars parked in frankly dangerous locations - on the edge of a roundabout, for example - is a common sight. Don't join them. Portuguese towns have plentiful free, designated parking spaces for you to use, so why take a risk?

If you're visiting during the academic year, be aware that Leiria is a university town. This means that there are two hazards to look out for on the roads: an increased number of pedestrians and many bicycles. Take particular care when exiting your vehicle, as bikes often whizz by at high speeds.

You may be visiting Leiria as part of a larger road trip across Portugal. When driving between cities, you have two options: you can take the highways, which are all toll roads, or the country roads. Both choices have their pros and cons. Portugal's highways are modern and well-maintained, and tolls are cheaper than in many European countries. However, the toll system can induce headaches, as there are two separate kinds of toll to take into account.

In the south and the area around Lisbon, traditional toll booths are more common. You can pay for these with cash or a card. In the north, electronic toll booths have been introduced. To pay for these, you will either need to fit your vehicle with a transponder or pay after the event. In the latter case, you have a window that starts 48 hours after you cross the toll line and finishes 5 days later. You will need to go to a post office to pay your toll.

With such a complex system, you might find it easier to stick to the country roads. These may be badly maintained and are often very narrow. It may take you a very long time to reach your destination. On the plus side, you'll save money and probably enjoy better views along the way.

Car and van hire in Portugal with Enterprise

Enterprise Portugal offers a range of car and van hire services including one-way, long-term and short-term vehicle hire. Commercial clients can speak to our award-winning business rental team who will tailor a mobility solution for your needs and budget.

We are part of the Enterprise group, the largest transportation solutions provider in the world. Our global network covers more than 90 countries and over 9,500 locations, allowing us to serve your mobility needs, wherever you’re going.

We are committed to providing the best service possible and exceeding our customers’ expectations for quality and value.

Car hire in Leiria

If you are travelling with your family or in a big group, you may find a 7-seater or a people carrier will give you more space to travel comfortably with your luggage. For a city trip, a handy hatchback that’s easy to park may suit you better. For business trips or long drives an executive car will combine comfort and performance.

Whether you prefer automatic to manual transmission, no problem. If you want a petrol, diesel or hybrid engine, we’ve got you covered. You may also need GPS, a child seat or want to add another driver to the contract, let us know and we’ll arrange it for you.

Van hire in Leiria

Should you need to hire a van while you’re in Leiria, all our vans can be driven on a standard licence and are modern, clean and easy to drive. Just ask and one of our branch team will happily show you around your hire van to make sure you are comfortable with it before you head off.