Driving in Brazil varies from other countries so make sure that you know some road rules if you are planning on driving there. Sixt has provided a guide to help our customers out and provide you all with some useful driving tips.
Rules & Regulations
Please make sure that you read our guide to driving in Brazil before you start your road trip.
- Drive on the right hand side and over take on the left.
- Drink driving is illegal in Brazil as the blood alcohol content allowed is zero.
- Use of mobile phones is not allowed apart from with a hands free system.
- It is compulsory for all occupants of the vehicle to wear a seat belt.
- If a child is too small to use a seat belt then a child seat must be fitted.
- Right turns at red lights are prohibited unless indicated by a livre a direita sign
- It is an offence for a person to drive wearing flip flops or with their elbow resting on the window sill and protruding from the vehicle
- Vehicles entering a roundabout have to give way to vehicles already on the roundabout
- Running out of petrol is against the law, whether the immobilised vehicle constitutes an obstacle for other traffic or not.
- Park in the direction of traffic flow and not facing it
- The use of indicators, other than for signalling intention to change direction, can mean: left- it’s unsafe to pass, right- it’s safe to pass
- Headlights flashed at oncoming traffic can indicate danger ahead, such as an accident or perhaps the presence of police
- Please make sure that you are aware of all the road regulations before you start driving in Brazil.
The 2 standard speed limits are:
- 50 km/h in rural areas
- 100 km/h in built up areas
- A useful driving tip to know when driving in Germany is that on the Autobahns there are no limits to the speed which you can travel as long as you are in full control of the vehicle.
Things to Bring Along
It is a legal requirement to carry the following in the car at all times:
- Driving licence (Carteira de Habilitação)
- Vehicle licence papers (Certificado de Registro e Licenciamento do Veículo – CRLV)
- Road tax documents (IPVA)
- A first-aid kit
- Fire extinguisher
International licenses are recommended and may avoid the need for an official Portuguese translation at the local Department of Transport office (DETRAN)
Make sure you have a road map of the area that you are driving in as well as sat nav.
Due to the high incidence of car-jacking and robbery at traffic lights, it is tolerated for drivers to not stop at red lights at night in major cities such as São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro
Drivers should keep doors locked and windows closed, particularly at junctions and especially at night
Be careful when driving in rural areas as some roads are in bad condition and may contain potholes.
Brazil does have some toll roads particularly in the state of Sao Paulo as well as Bahia, Parana, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul, Minas Gerais, and Santa Catarina.
If driving in Sao Paulo be warned that the city is renowned for traffic jams and has some of the worst congestion in the world.
In Brazil, it is not uncommon to see cars driving without their headlights on at night.
Always drive cautiously as some drivers in Brazil disregard the road rules and drive dangerously.
Sixt has many branches located in Brazil including the major cities of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Recife and Porto Alegre.
Wherever you decide to go make sure you use Sixt car rental in Brazil, helping you to make the most of your time.
Check out some of the other great destination we have covered, these include Cayman Islands, Barbados and the Costa Rica.
* Please note: All information was correct at the time of publication.