The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Chile

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Chile is a fascinating place to visit, and you can find quite a few attractions to enjoy while you are there. You might want to head to the Torres del Paine National Park, Lago Todos Los Santos, Parque Araucano, the Colchagua Museum, and the Museum of Pre-Columbian Chilean Art.

Rent a vehicle

If you are going to vacation in Chile and you want to see everything you can, having a rental car is a good idea. Consider where you will be going so you can choose the right type of rental. If you stay in the urban areas, a small car is a good choice. If you are going to venture to the rural areas, a 4WD is essential. When you rent the vehicle, make sure you get the phone number and emergency number for the rental agency in case you run into any problems. You need to have insurance for your rental vehicle, which you can get through the agency.

Road conditions and safety

The major roads in Chile are generally in good condition with few potholes or other problems. However, once you get outside of the cities and into the rural areas, you will find that the secondary and mountain roads are often very rough and poorly maintained. If plan to head out of the city, you will need to be careful, and you will want to rend a 4WD vehicle.

When you are renting a vehicle in Chile, you are supposed to have an international driving permit. In some cases, the rental company may rent a vehicle to someone who does not have a permit, but if the police check, they will fine you. To avoid this, make sure you get an international driving permit.

Right turns are prohibited at red lights unless there is a sign saying otherwise. You will drive on the right side of the road and overtake on the left side. If you want to rent a car in Chile, you need to be at least 21 years old. Seat belts are required for the driver and for all passengers in the vehicle.

It is not a good idea to drive at night, especially in the rural areas due to the thick fog that often permeates the area.

It is very important to note that the main roads in Santiago often switch direction during the morning and evening rush hours.

  • Morning rush hours – 7 AM to 9 AM
  • Evening rush hours – 5 PM to 7 PM

The drivers in Chile do not always abide by the laws of the road. They do not always signal that they are changing lanes, and many will go well above the speed limit. It is a good idea to maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and other drivers.

You are not permitted to use a mobile device without a hands-free system, and you cannot listen to headphones while driving. In addition, while you are driving, you are not allowed to smoke.

Speed limit

Always pay attention to the posted speed limits, which are in km/h. The speed limits for different types of roads are as follows.

  • Outside towns – 100 to 120 km/h
  • Inside towns – 60 km/h

When you visit Chile, having a rental vehicle to use can make getting around much easier.


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Pardeep

20 years of experience
652 reviews
Pardeep
20 years of experience
Ford Fusion - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Fremont, California
Again 5 star service. And already scheduling him for my next appointment. Highly recommend Pardeep for your car needs.
Chevrolet Camaro - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Jose, California
Great knowledgeable mechanic and fast great work. I will use Pardeep and your services again. Thank you

Theodore

15 years of experience
1137 reviews
Theodore
15 years of experience
Toyota Camry - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Everett, Washington
Theodore arrived on time, he did a great job replacing my brakes on my Camry, I will definitely work with him again.
Subaru Outback - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Renton, Washington
We have had previous work done by Theodore. Really appreciate his thoroughness and professionalism!

Matthew

32 years of experience
734 reviews
Matthew
32 years of experience
Jeep Wrangler - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Yorktown, Virginia
We've been using Your Mechanic services for a few years, for a few reasons. The convenience of having an expert mechanic "on-call," the great pricing and transparency for services (saving 10% - 25% at times), most of all Matt is our go-to guy who is highly qualified, knowledgeable in the work and knows how to explain it to us in detail.
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Matt's technical knowledge of his profession is incredible! He is prompt, thorough, friendly, professional, engaging, and completes the job to 100% perfection! Thank you, Matt for the most outstanding auto repair service in all my many years!!!

Jason

31 years of experience
162 reviews
Jason
31 years of experience
Nissan Altima - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Mateo, California
Jason was very professional and friendly. He provided extremely honest and helpful advice on issues with my Altima that would require proactive future maintenance.

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