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Renting a Car in Uruguay: The Switzerland of South America
Uruguay, the second smallest South American country, can be found on the coast of the Southern Atlantic Ocean. It lies sandwiched between the colossal countries of Argentina to the west and Brazil to its north. Uruguay, meaning river of the colorful birds, gets its name from the Guarani language, native to several countries in the region.
If you would like to familiarize yourself with Uruguay’s cultural background (including its achievements in music, arts, and literature), then you must add a visit to the country’s metropolitan area, Montevideo – the capital city. Uruguay also boasts of having pristine beaches, efficient health services and serving excellent wine. Also, the crime rate in the country is known to be quite low, thereby making it a safer destination when compared to surrounding countries.
Uruguayan cuisine can be described as mainly Spanish with an Italian influence, as the country was home to many Italian immigrants. The dishes are not very spicy but contain rich quantities of grains, fat, and butter. On your visit, be sure to try the specialties such as chivito, which is considered to be the national dish. This is a hefty beef sandwich with plenty of extras including fried egg, bacon, ham, tomato, and mozzarella. You can also enjoy an asado, a Uruguayan barbecue, and have a drink of yerba mate, either as a tea or a soda.
If you would like to explore the varied facets of Uruguay, renting a car is the most convenient option. Taxi and bus services are also available, but then you do not have the freedom and flexibility to explore the different destinations at a leisurely pace. Also, driving through the Uruguayan countryside can be a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
Renting a Car with Ease
Hiring an automobile in Uruguay has numerous benefits. Prepare your own timetable, avoid the disorderly crowds and explore the countryside at your own leisure, halting at your chosen destinations for as long as you want – it is all possible.
Moreover, the services are available at budget-friendly rates and all efforts are made to make your journey a hassle-free one when you opt for them. You could be looking for a small-sized automobile if touring alone or a bigger one when traveling with family, the rental agencies offer discounted rates to help you make the most of your Uruguayan tour.
When to Go
If you want to discover Uruguay and are looking to travel in the peak season, then make your bookings between the summer months of October and March. However, it is more relaxed during October to December and perfect for lazing on the beaches when the sun is shining its brightest. In Uruguay, the winter sets in through the months July – September when the temperatures start dipping and the region experiences cool weather.
Nevertheless, during the off-season, you can avail low rates for your accommodations, flights and car rentals as well. Also, if you make your bookings in advance, you can take advantage of higher savings.
Car Rental Rates
Booking well in advance can see savings of $5-10 per day. Also, booking for a minimum of a week will reduce the cost. Rentals can be found for around $25 per day during the off-peak season. Here’s a round-up of some available offers:
- Chevrolet Spark or similar (mini class) – $16/day
- Renault Logan or similar (compact class) – $18/day
- Hyundai I10 or similar (economy class) – $30/day
- Suzuki Ertiga or similar (intermediate class) – $33/day
- Renault Logan or similar (standard class) – $55/day
Car Rental Savings
Opt for manual transmission cars, if you are confident driving one. Automatics will set you back considerably more.
You will have to shell out more if availing an airport pick-up for your car rentals; off-site offices will provide cheaper fares.
You have a wide choice in car hiring companies that offer cheap prices including Thrifty, Avis, Dollar, and Hertz.
It’s better to avoid dropping the car at a different location, as this will incur extra charges.
Use a roadmap to navigate through the country; the rates of cars equipped with satnav are steep.
Car Hire Requirements
Some requisites for renting a car in Uruguay include:
- Domestic country’s driving license.
- International driving permit
- Photo ID proof (passport is sufficient)
- Credit card or other means of payment for your security deposit.
Tips & Regulations
- The age limit for renting a car is 23 years or older, but most rental companies will prefer the driver to be over 25.
- The car’s headlights should be on dipper mode at all times when driving.
- The speed limit on the highways is within the range 46-68 mph (75-110 km/h); on open roads, you are permitted to drive between 30-55 mph (50-90 km/h).
- The official currency is Uruguayan peso (UYU). You can also pay with USD at some places in Uruguay, but the legal tender is mostly preferred and also, turns out to be cheaper for travelers.
- The official language is Spanish and extensively spoken in the region.
- Keep to the right side of the road; for overtaking, do so from the left side.
- Fill petrol when traveling to remote regions, fuel stations are rare in some places.