Car Rental in Brazil
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Why rent a car in Brazil?
With both the largest population in Latin American and its largest road network, Brazil is an absolute can’t-miss destination for adventurers. From some of the most beautiful beaches in the world to the wild Amazon Rainforest, the country has something to offer every traveler. Experience Carnival, dance to the beats of samba, float down the Amazon River, and gaze at the amazing wildlife in the Pantanal. There’s so much to experience in Brazil that you’ll have to return again and again.
Top ways to enter Brazil
Note: As of June 17, 2019, Brazil has suspended its visa requirements for citizens of the United States of America, Canada, Japan, and Australia. Visitors from these countries can now stay up to 90 days without a visa.
São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport is the busiest airport in the country and is located 25 kilometers (16 miles) northeast of Sao Paulo in the suburb of Guarulhos after which it is named. Flights arrive at the airport from numerous cities in South America, North America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Rental cars are available with major companies having desks in Terminals 2 and 3.
Rio de Janeiro- Galeão International Airport is the country’s second major international airport. It is located on the island of Galeão north of the city. While almost any traveler will want to experience the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, Rio’s central location along the coast also makes it a great place to begin one’s trip through Brazil with a rental car. Arriving passengers can pick up rental cars at the airport or at locations nearby depending on which rental company they choose.
Many travelers on a longer trip through South America may arrive from one of Brazil’s neighboring countries by land. It is, however, very difficult to take a rental car across the border. There are some rental companies in Argentina that may allow their cars to be taken to Brazil. However, advance notice is required and there will be a hefty additional fee. Furthermore, the car would have to be returned to Argentina. It is not possible to travel to Brazil with a rental car from any of its other neighbors.
Though there are no rail connections with Brazil and its neighboring countries, there are bus connections from all of them. Though almost all of the neighboring countries have bus connections with Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, most travelers will probably prefer to stop in the first major city when entering the country and pick up a rental car there. Rental cars can be picked up in cities such as Fox do Iguacu, Port Alegre, Campo Grande, and Manaus. One-way rentals are also available for an additional fee, meaning that a traveler could cross the country with a rental car and then take a bus or plane to the next country on their itinerary since rental cars can not be taken outside of Brazil.
Top cities and places to visit
- Sao Paulo - The largest city in both Brazil and South America is unsurprisingly the economic heart of the country. It is also a melting pot having seen significant immigration for over a hundred years. In fact, the city has more people of Italian heritage than any city in Italy. It also has a Japantown in the Liberdade district. Avenida Paulista is the most famous area of the city. Many parks, museums, and galleries, and theaters await travelers in the city.
- Rio de Janeiro - Brazil’s former capital is probably its most well-known tourist destination. Its Christ the Redeemer statue is a symbol of the country and the beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana are familiar to millions and millions of people. You should definitely enjoy its laid-back beach culture and, if you’re up for it, the world’s most famous Carnival celebration. Rio is unfortunately also well-known for its favelas and the violence that plagues them. If driving on your own, be sure to know where you should and should not drive. Though most of the violence takes place between gangs, it is still best not to accidentally end up lost in a favela.
- Iguazu Falls - Located on the border with Argentina and near the triple border that also includes Paraguay, Iguazu Falls is one of the most visited attractions in South America. The town on the Brazilian side of the falls is called Foz do Iguaçu, which is a great place to spend the night. The Argentine and Brazilian sides of the Falls differ, and it is worth visiting both sides. On the Argentine side, you get to see them closer up, including being right on top of them. On the Brazilian side, you get to see them in all their glory from farther away. Allow more time on the Argentine side as the many trails can take time to walk. It is impossible to take a rental car from Brazil to Argentina, therefore you will need to cross the border with a bus, taxi, or on a tour. Definitely do not miss the Argentine side, though.
- Ilha Grande - Located just off the coast of Brazil midway between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Ilha Grande is a tropical paradise. There are no cars on the island and no ferries to carry cars there. There is only one road, if it can be called a road, anyway. Most stay in the main village, Vila do Abraao, and either hike or take a boat to the island’s gorgeous beaches. Praia Lopes Mendes on the ocean side of the island is widely considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the entire country.
- Porto Alegre - The Capital of Rio Grande do Sul is also the largest city in southern Brazil. Given its location close to Uruguay and Argentina, Porto Alegre is a great cultural mix that is certainly worth the trip south. And if visiting the city, you should head 120 kilometers to the north to Aparados da Serra National Park which protects the Itaimbezinho canyon.
- Curitiba - If traveling from Rio or Sao Paulo to Iguacu Falls, Curitiba makes a nice stopover (the drive takes more than 13 hours). One of its highlights is the Oscar Niemeyer Museum, a modern art museum famous for its annex that looks like a huge eye. The Serra Verde Express also makes for a great day trip from Curitiba. The train descends through the Atlantic rainforest to the town of Morretes. It leaves daily in the morning from Curitiba and returns in the afternoon.
- Florianopolis - Due to its beaches, Florianopolis is an extremely popular destination. The city is partly on the mainland and partly on the island of Santa Catarina. The island has multiple postcard-worthy beaches. It is no surprise that it is popular with both Brazilian and foreign tourists. It is located roughly midway between Curitiba and Porto Alegre.
- Salvador - The center of African culture in the country, Salvador is a unique place that should be on every visitor’s itinerary. The city’s old town is the perfect place for an afternoon stroll. You also shouldn’t miss the market down below, but be sure to take the elevator down instead of walking. The city has some nice, if crowded, beaches. However, you should certainly head up the coast to find more tranquil, yet stunning beaches to lay your towel on.
- The Amazon Rainforest - Perhaps what Brazil is most known for, the Amazon Rainforest is an extremely large area in the northern part of the country that is remote and difficult, though not impossible, to reach by car. You’re more likely to get around the Amazon by boat, though. You can even reach Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru by taking a boat up the Amazon River. Ecotourism is the thing to do in the rainforest. Take a tour through the jungle and stay at a lodge in the forest. Manaus can serve as the main gateway for this.
- Manaus - The confluence of the Amazon River and the Rio Negro just to the east of the city is one of the world’s natural wonders with two of the largest rivers in the world flowing side by side for 6 kilometers without mixing. Manaus is an amazing place as it is home to 2.5 million people in the middle of the Amazon rainforest. It serves as a great base from which to make tours into the rainforest to see the plants, wildlife, and how the indigenous people there live.
- Pantanal - One of Brazil’s primary tourist destinations, the region of Pantanal is known for its wildlife and landscapes. It can be accessed from Campo Grande or Cuiaba. The area is the largest tropical wetland in the world and is teeming with many different species of animals. The most popular way to experience the region is to stay at a cattle farm. The best time of the year to go is the winter when the waters a low. Note that both of the roads leading into the area, the Transpantaneira in the north and the Estrada Parque in the south, are dirt roads with some wooden bridges and a ferry crossing (on the Estrada Parque). Your best chance of seeing Jaguars is at the end of theTranspantaneira in Porto Jorfe. You should probably have a four-wheel-drive vehicle with high-clearance to make it down these roads, especially in the rainy season.
Driver license requirements
Drivers must be at least 19 years old to rent a car in Brazil. Different rental companies have different minimum ages, though. Drivers over 21 can rent from any supplier available through our website. Those between 19 and 21 can rent from Movida or Foco, national chains in Brazil.
Unlike in some neighboring countries, an International Driving Permit (IDP) is not required in Brazil for drivers with licenses written in the Latin alphabet.
Note that driving in Brazil is similar to driving in the rest of South America. Expect some aggressive drivers and keep in mind many may be armed so its best to avoid getting involved in any incidents of road rage.
Brazil has some unique laws when it comes to driving. These include laws against driving with flip flops on and running out of gas. The latter can be especially difficult once you get more than a couple of hundred kilometers away from the coast. Be sure to use every chance you have to fill up.
Although Brazil shares a land border with 10 different countries, it is not possible to take a car that was rented in Brazil to any of these countries as Brazilian rental cars are not allowed to leave Brazil. The country is so vast that any traveler should be able to find plenty to explore without having to leave the country.
From neighboring countries, it is only possible to bring a rental car to Brazil from Argentina and only if renting from certain rental companies. Even then, there is an extra fee and the car must be returned to Argentina.
On the other hand, one-way rentals are possible in Brazil. This will incur an added fee, though, and the fee will depend upon the distance between the pick-up and drop off locations.
There are many toll roads in Brazil. Many of the roads have been privatized which has drastically improved their state of repair. Unfortunately, though, the only electronic system is in the city of Sao Paulo. This means that you will have to stop at physical toll booths to pay tolls often. As credit cards are generally not accepted, be sure to carry small change to pay the tolls.
Taking the Via Dutra, the busy highway that connects Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, as an example, there are six tolls totaling R$59.70 ($14.75) as of August 2019.
Top driving routes
Many of the more adventurous roads in Brazil are unpaved. Most are passable in the dry season but can become a muddy mess in the rainy season. Most rental companies will not allow travel on unpaved roads. The only exception may be if you rent a 4x4 vehicle.
- Serra do Rio do Rastro - Definitely, not for the trepid, SC-390 is a snaking mountain road located in the state of Santa Catarina that crosses the Serra do Rio do Rastro mountain range. Though the road is only 35 kilometers (22 miles) long, it takes roughly an hour to drive, though you should definitely leave more time to take time to see the road you are about to travel on from above.
- Trans-Amazonian Highway - This highway was built to connect the Amazon region and its plantation and ranches with the rest of the country and its ports. The road begins outside of Joao Pessoa on the eastern coast of the country and continues to Labrea in the middle of the state of Amazonas (it was envisioned that it would reach Peru) more than 4,000 kilometers away. Currently, you are not likely to be able to tackle the whole road in a rental car. This is changing, though, as the road is currently being paved throughout despite the environmental impact that will have. As of now, you can make it from the coast as far as Itaituba on a paved road. You can also take a detour onto 163 to reach the city of Santarem on the Amazon River.
- BR-101 - Stretching 4,615 kilometers (2,868 miles) along the Atlantic coast from Touros north of Natal to Rio Grande in the south, BR-101 is by far the longest road in the country. Traveling the entire road also will take travelers through most of the important cities and sites of the country.
Car Rental Prices
- Station wagons - from $50 per day
- Large cars - from $40 per day
- Medium cars - from $32 per day
- People Carriers/Vans - from $55 per day
- Premium cars - from $42 per day
- Small cars - from $23 per day
- SUVs - from $48 per day
Top 20 Most Popular Cities in Brazil
Car Rental in Rio de Janeiro from $9.72 per day
Car Rental in Sao Paulo from $16.69 per day
Car Rental in Guarulhos from $9.60 per day
Car Rental in Recife from $9.91 per day
Car Rental in Porto Alegre from $10.84 per day
Car Rental in Curitiba from $9.24 per day
Car Rental in Salvador from $8.90 per day
Car Rental in Goiania from $10.70 per day
Car Rental in Florianopolis from $10.84 per day
Car Rental in Brasilia from $11.59 per day
Car Rental in Maceio from $9.20 per day
Car Rental in Fortaleza from $9.95 per day
Car Rental in Belo Horizonte from $12.74 per day
Car Rental in Vitoria from $12.74 per day
Car Rental in Natal from $9.20 per day
Car Rental in Belem from $13.04 per day
Car Rental in Campo Grande from $10.43 per day
Car Rental in Aracaju from $11.59 per day
Car Rental in Confins from $10.48 per day
Car Rental in Teresina from $13.04 per day
Top 20 Most Popular Locations in Brazil
Car Rental at Guarulhos Airport from $9.60 per day
Car Rental at Recife Airport from $9.91 per day
Car Rental at Rio de Janeiro Airport Galeao from $9.72 per day
Car Rental at Sao Paulo Airport Congonhas from $13.04 per day
Car Rental at Rio de Janeiro Airport Santos Dumont from $12.74 per day
Car Rental at Porto Alegre Airport from $10.84 per day
Car Rental at Curitiba Airport from $9.24 per day
Car Rental in Sao Paulo (Downtown) from $13.40 per day
Car Rental at Rodoviaria Tiete Bus Station from $16.69 per day
Car Rental at Goiania Airport from $10.70 per day
Car Rental at Salvador Airport from $8.90 per day
Car Rental at Brasilia Airport from $11.59 per day
Car Rental at Florianopolis Airport from $10.84 per day
Car Rental at Fortaleza Airport from $9.95 per day
Car Rental at Maceio Airport from $9.20 per day
Car Rental at Belo Horizonte Airport from $12.74 per day
Car Rental at Vitoria Airport from $12.74 per day
Car Rental at Natal Airport from $9.20 per day
Car Rental at Belem Airport from $13.04 per day
Map of Car Rental Locations
Which is the cheapest month to rent a car in Brazil?
What’s the average rental length in Brazil?
What’s the most popular time for renting a car in Brazil?
Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers
|Movida||Fiat Novo Uno||4||2||Small cars|
|Unidas||Fiat Mobi||4||1||Small cars|
|Movida||Nissan Versa||4||3||Small cars|
|Movida||Chevrolet Onix||4||3||Small cars|
|Movida||Hyundai HB20||4||4||Medium cars|
|Movida||Hyundai HB20s||4||4||Large cars|
|Unidas||Renault Sandero||4||2||Small cars|
Top 10 Suppliers in Brazil in 2020
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