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Popular car rental cities in Brazil
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Car Rental in Brazil: driving the gorgeous South American countryside
The largest country in South America, Brazil is a vibrant destination that enthralls its visitors with its gorgeous landscapes, diverse wildlife, and thrilling parties. Make the most of your visit by booking a rental car and travelling beyond the city into the jaw-dropping countryside!
Portuguese is the official and most widely spoken language of Brazilians, though over 180 indigenous languages are also spoken throughout the country. English is rarely spoken outside of areas that see frequent tourism; many Brazilians can understand, if not respond in, Spanish.
The currency in Brazil is the real (R$); ATMs are widely available in large cities, though it is recommended to only use ATMs located in banks. You will want to consistently have some cash on hand for transactions at local shops. Currency exchange can also be a challenge, particularly outside of major metropolitan areas and from currencies other than US dollars and euros.
Automobile hire is available in the majority of Brazilian cities, though you’re likely to find the best deals in the major metropolitan centers and at the airports of Rio De Janeiro, Salvador, Fortaleza, Natal, and Sao Paulo.
Brazil regulates foreign entry reciprocally, meaning that visas are issued to visitors from foreign nations in the same way that Brazilians are issued visas by these foreign nations. Citizens from most other South American countries can visit Brazil with an ID card for up to 90 days, and many citizens from Europe and countries across the world are permitted entry visa-free with a passport for the same length of time. Canadians, US Americans, and other nationalities will face fees and may be required to visit a Brazilian embassy well in advance of their arrival. You will also be required to have evidence of your booked means of departure upon entry.
Driving in Brazil
With almost 2 million kilometers of roadway, Brazil is a country best explored via rental car. Highway networks and road conditions are especially good in eastern and southern Brazil; if you’re planning on exploring other regions of the country, particularly the Amazon, renting a four-wheel drive automobile is recommended. Driving defensively is generally recommended, whether between or in cities; keep an eye out for quickly changing road conditions and the erratic behavior of others on the roads!
- Traffic proceeds on the right-hand side of the road throughout Brazil.
- Drivers ahead of you will indicate that it is safe to pass by turning on their right turn signal; a left turn signal warns not to pass.
- In cities: 30 km/h (18 mph) in residential areas and 60 km/h (37 mph) on larger avenues
- On urban highways: 80 km/h (50 mph)
- On rural highways: 110 km/h (68 mph)
- Traffic will be especially congested in the hours around morning and evening rush hours, and highways into and out of cities can become quite backed up during holidays.
- Street parking is generally available in Brazil’s cities, though your car will be safer in paid parking lots.
- While an international driver’s permit or translation of your license is no longer mandatory to drive a car in Brazil, it is recommended to carry one with you in addition to your valid domestic driver’s license.
- Toll roads throughout Brazil typically cost between R$1.50 and R$20.00; tolls are payable at toll booths.
- Brazilians must be a minimum of 18 years old to drive, and you have to have at least a full year of licensed driving experience to rent a car. Drivers between 18 and 25 are likely to face young driver surcharges.
- Some paved roads may give way to gravel roads without significant indication; particularly for long-distance treks, get to know the road conditions along your path before you set out.
- It is good practice to lock your doors while driving throughout Brazil.
Cheap Car Rental in Brazil
Automobile hire in Brazil typically starts between $18 and $30 a day, depending on the availability of local car agencies at your preferred pickup location. Here are some of the best deals in Brazil:
- Nissan March or similar (economy class) – $19/day
- Ford Ka or similar (mini class) – $19/day
- Renault Clio or similar (economy class) – $21/day
- Fiat Uno or similar (economy class) – $26/day
- Chevrolet Prisma or similar (compact class) – $27/day
Note that prices vary depending on the availability of each specific car and the season in which you rent. For the most accurate offers, use the search bar above.
Tips for Renting a Car Inexpensively in Brazil
Rental will be slightly less expensive in the off-season of December to February, though only by a Euro or two.
Airports are generally the most inexpensive places to book and pick up your rental car in Brazil, as they offer the most variety of rental car agencies. The airport in Fortaleza offers particularly inexpensive rental options.
Don’t hesitate to book a car for an immediately upcoming trip; you may find that prices are cheaper the closer to your travel date, particularly if you can book from budget rental service FOCO.