The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Brazil

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Brazil is becoming a very popular country for many tourists. Whether they want to spend time on the beach, or they want to visit the rainforest, there is plenty to do and a veritable treasure trove of attractions to enjoy. Some of the places you might want to visit include Iguazu Falls, the gorgeous and fun city of Rio de Janeiro, Parque das Aves, the Municipal Theater, and Carneiros Beach.

Rent a vehicle

If you want to see as much as possible on your vacation, you should consider renting a vehicle for your trip. It is a convenient way to get to where you need to go with more comfort and less hassle than public transportation. Always get the phone number and emergency number for the rental agency.

Road conditions and safety

Brazil has the largest network of roads in Latin America, measuring more than 1.6 km. Most of the roads you will find in the larger towns and cities, as well as the highways, are paved and in good condition. The is true in the north and south parts of the country. There aren’t generally potholes, cracks, or other potential problems that could cause issues with your car. However, Brazil is a large country, and there are plenty of areas that have unimproved roads and dirt roads, particularly around the Amazon area. If you plan to go into any of the rural locations, be sure you have the right vehicle for the job.

You need to have your national driver’s license, as well as an international driving permit. Drivers have to be at least 18 years old to drive, but most of the rental companies will not rent to anyone who is under 21 years old.

Drivers are not allowed to use mobile phones while they are behind the wheel. Turning at red lights is not allowed. The only time you can turn on red is when there is a sign that has an arrow pointing to the right and the words Livre a Direita on it.

There are a number of checkpoints through the urban areas where drivers are randomly chosen to take a breathalyzer test. At night, drivers should make sure to keep the windows up and the doors locked, even when they are in the vehicle, as there is a high instance of robbery and carjacking at traffic lights.

The drivers in Brazil do not always pay attention to the traffic laws. They will often turn or change lanes without signaling. They may cut you off, stop without warning, and go well above the posted speed limit. You have to be careful when driving, so keep an eye out for what the other drivers are doing.

The traffic flows on the right side of the road, and you need to use seatbelts while in the vehicle. Children from seven to 10 need to be in the backseat and they need to be wearing seatbelts.

Speed limits

Always follow the posted speed limits. In Brazil, the typical speed limits are as follows.

  • Highways – 120 km/h
  • Countryside – 80 km/h
  • In the cities – 60 km/h

Renting a vehicle can be a fantastic way to see more of Brazil on your next vacation.


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Number of Reviews

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Rating Summary
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10,490
331
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85

Richard

15 years of experience
60 reviews
Richard
15 years of experience
Ford F-150 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Fremont, California
Excellent communicator, walked me through the fixes and even gave me an idea of what might be next on the fix list.
Dodge Grand Caravan - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Union City, California
quickly diagnosed the problem but knew it would take longer than appt time to fix. since we had appt the next day for brakes he rearranged his schedule to do it all together the next day. very knowledgeable, friendly, and professional.

Tung

14 years of experience
285 reviews
Tung
14 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Mableton, Georgia
Very detailed and customer service oriented. Did an amazing job fixing my back brakes and even set-up a schedule of future appointments for my car!
Ram 1500 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Marietta, Georgia
Tung showed up on time and was very friendly. Changed my brake pads in about 30 minutes and gave me recommendations on when to change the rear pads. Will ask for him by name next time.

Horus

9 years of experience
103 reviews
Horus
9 years of experience
Land Rover Range Rover - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - San Antonio, Texas
Horace worked on my Land Rover today. Showed up on time and was professional and courteous. Replaced front and rear break pads. Great job!

Juan

11 years of experience
37 reviews
Juan
11 years of experience
Dodge Avenger - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Mountain House, California
Was very thorough in explaining the condition of the car and how the repairs will impact it’s service.

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