Parking in Lisbon is an issue. There are too many cars and too few parking spaces. Just how bad is the issue? In the city of Lisbon, there are 200,000 parking spots, but there are 750,000 vehicles coming in daily. I’d say that’s a significant issue. If you are moving here, I would encourage you to consider making sure that your place has a designated parking spot for you to save tons of euros and heartache,
If you’re a tourist or an expat – digital nomad – immigrant – whatever you call yourself and can’t read Portuguese…you may come back to your spot and find that your car has been booted or towed. Here’s a list of what to do if your car is towed in Lisbon.
Why Are Cars Booted or Towed in Lisbon?
Cars are booted or towed for a variety of reasons. Here’s a breakdown:
- If they are blocking pedestrian or bike pathways that are marked as such, on sidewalks, or on walkways for the elderly or handicapped.
- If they are parked or broken down in areas that, for safety, public order, distress or emergency, justify their towing.
- If they are in a no-parking zone.
How to say Boot (as in my car has been booted): O Bloqueador da roda is the actual boot, to say my car has been booted: “O meu veículo foi bloqueado”.
Useful Portuguese Phrases and Words
Find Out Who Booted or Towed Your Car
If your car was booted or towed in Lisbon, you need to find out which entity handled that. In order to get this information, send an SMS to 3838. The SMS should say:
REBOQUE + space number + vehicle registration.
Then wait for the reply. If you don’t have a Portuguese phone, you can find out where your car is towed on this site.
When you get a reply, it will tell you who booted or impounded your car. There are three possibilities: the PSP (The Public Security Police – Polícia de Segurança Pública), Municipal Police or Lisbon’s Public Municipal Parking Company (EMEL).
Once you know who booted or towed your car, you can call them to figure out where to go to pay your fees to get unbooted or get your car out of the Lisbon tow yard.
How Much Does it Cost to Get a Car Unbooted in Lisbon?
Price to “Unlock” your car: depends on the type of vehicle; 36 € for mopeds and motorcycles; 68 € for light cars and 133 € for heavy vehicles.
Boot Removal Rate: The price depends on where the tow yard is located (inside or outside the city).
- Light vehicles parked within the city, you pay 84 €. If it is outside the city or town, within a maximum of 10km, the fine increases to 101 €. If the car parking space is in 10km or further from the city, each extra kilometer will cost 7 €.
- Motorcycles are cheaper; 36 € in the city, 52 € outside of the city; with 6€ extra added for each kilometer that exceeds the maximum limit of 10km.
- Heavy vehicles cost the most; 165 € within the city, 198 € outside, and 8 € extra for each kilometer after 10km.
Are There Extra Costs for Booted or Towed Cars?
There can be. Here’s the breakdown:
Storage Fee: If your car has been not merely booted, but towed, you will have to pay a storage fee every 24 hours. Each day costs 20 € – in the case of light cars and 36 € for heavy vehicles.
If you try to free your car without authorization you can be fined an extra €300 to €1,500.
***NOTE: These prices may change. Usually, they are updated each year in March, but just remember, these can change at any time. Make sure you have enough to pay extra if needed.