Brazil Driving Guide
The rules of the road in Brazil may be somewhat different from those in your home country. Here is a complete guide to Safe Driving In Brazil, including driving with US license, renting a car, getting an international driving permit, alcohol limits, road signs and all to help your visit to Brazil go smooth.
Brazil’s rich culture and hospitality help it attract thousands of tourists each year. You've heard people say that transportation isn’t always convenient if you plan a trip to Brazil. To ensure that you can make the most out of what Brazil has to offer, you will need to drive a car. It will help you to explore and enjoy yourself more, stopping whenever you see something interesting.
One way to make the most out of your stay is by driving in Brazil. It might be challenging to drive in Brazil for first-timers, but it can be very beneficial if you’re looking to visit a nearby city. Many adventures await you in Brazil that make it an excellent holiday destination for anyone to drive around. But just a reminder for you not to forget when planning to drive around the country, you must have a driving license valid in Brazil.
How Can This Guide Help You?
You can get across Brazil in many ways. It will allow you to select the method that works best for your needs. Although it can be an intimidating experience to drive in a foreign country like Brazil, it could be one of the easiest ways to get around. It guarantees that you can go wherever you want, sticking to your timetable. It will also give the culture a unique perspective and make it easier for you to meet friendly locals.
A majority of tourists in the contemporary world prefer driving in Brazil. One of the best experiences is to visit tourist sites and nature, including animals, plants or vegetation, valleys, rivers, and other bodies of water as well as hills and mountains. However, this experience cannot be complete without knowledge of the driving rules in Brazil. This guide will help you find great things to do, destinations to visit worldwide, and learn the driving rules in Brazil.
This guide gives you tips, ideas, background information, and more to help you plan your perfect trip to Brazil. This guide will help make your trips enjoyable and educational, tackling history and other compelling stories of the tourist destinations. Therefore, you will learn a lot in the entire driving tour or traveling tour with this guide’s help, including the driving rules in Brazil and driving in Brazil tips.
Brazil is one of the most captivating destinations globally, with powdery white-sand beaches, lush rainforests, and exotic metropolises full of rhythms. There is Brazil's biodiversity, boasting diverse habitats. Iconic in scale, Brazil has the most massive array of plant and animal species known anywhere on earth. So before learning the driving tips in Brazil, here is a little background about its culture and history to make your trip more knowledgeable and enjoyable.
There are lots of destinations where you can have a chance to see famous Brazil species, including toucans, scarlet macaws, howler monkeys, capybara, pink dolphins, sea turtles, and thousands of other living animals. Read on these interesting facts about Brazil that most people don't know about, including driving directions in Brazil.
Brazil is located in the central-eastern region of the continent, by far the greatest portion of it. The border countries are Argentina, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela. The state has a coastline in the Atlantic Ocean, which is about 7,500 km long.
The vast country is split into 26 states and one Congressional District. Only nine are landlocked out of the 26 states. Brazil covers 8,514,877 km2 (3,287,597 sq mi), making Brazil's size the world's fifth-largest and the largest country in South America and the Southern Hemisphere. It is slightly larger than 15 times France’s size by comparison and even more extensive than that of the contiguous United States.
Portuguese is the very first language of the increasing number of Brazilians, but the national language has been extended with several international words. The Portuguese language has experienced numerous transformations, both in the motherland and in its former colonies, after it was first brought to Brazil in the 16th century.
Both countries have increasingly standardized their spellings, but pronunciations, grammar, and definitions of terms have diverged so greatly that it might now be simpler for some Brazilians to comprehend Spanish-language films from other Latin American countries than films from Portugal. Italians, Germans, and Japanese.
Spanish-speaking refugees also introduced modern terms and phrases in Brazilian Portuguese, such as the ubiquitous term tchau ("farewell"), which has been embraced by the Italian ciao. Additional words have been developed for international goods and innovations.
Brazil covers 8,516 million km2 of land. The government of Brazil has divided the country's regions into five broad territorial and statistical divisions. The geography of Brazil is large and diverse, with streams, forests, hills, and plateaus interspersed with other major features and neighboring states and areas.
Historic sites near the Amazonian villages of Santarém and elsewhere in Brazil indicate that the area has been populated since at least 9000 BC. Combined cultures of growers, fisherman, shooters, and gatherers settled in the plains of the Amazon, while nomadic tribes pervaded in the drier grasslands and peak district. At the time of Confederation in 1500, approximately two million natives Indians were living in the area.
Brazil is a democratic republic separated into 26 states and the Federal Area, including the capital city of Brasília. Since 1934, the nation has had the same suffrage. In 1988, Brazil adopted a new constitution—the eighth after independence in 1822—which repealed some remnants of the military dictatorship (1964–85), defined civil rights, and identified the functions of the executive, legislative and judicial branches.
It restricted the President's power to legislate, barred the government from undermining the arts, rejected the use of torture, prohibited extradition for political crimes, set the minimum voting age at 16, and allowed the federal government to engage in state and local affairs. The Constitution has been revised several times since its promulgation, but some of the changes have been temporary for a fixed period.
Tourism is an expanding sector in Brazil, which gets over three million international tourists every year. Even then, Brazilians visiting other countries invest far more cash than tourists heading to Brazil. The majority of visitors in Brazil go to Rio de Janeiro as well as other conveniently accessible places in or near metropolitan centers with well-established hospitality sectors.
Salvador and other regions of Bahia are popular tourism destinations, and more tourists are traveling to other coastal towns of the North. Environmental spots are fairly common in the Amazon zone, while the coastline of Santa Catarina attracts huge numbers of tourists from Argentina to the south.
An international driver’s license or IDP is a document that translates your local valid driver’s license information into 12 languages. If you obtain a driving license that’s valid in Brazil, you can drive in Brazil for up to 180 days. You will find out what you need to know about driving in Brazil in this guide.
Do I Need an IDP in Brazil?
You can drive a car if you obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) within your first 30 days in Brazil. You should not drive in Brazil if you do not have an IDP unless you have acquired a permanent Brazil Driver's License. Within the first 30 days in Brazil, you must apply for an extension of your IDP at the Motor Vehicles Office. You must apply for an IDP only if you’re planning to visit the country because it is prohibited to drive without an IDP.
Drivers who hold such licenses usually have to obtain an international driving permit to drive in Brazil for a period of up to 6 months from the date of entry into the country. Moreover, a holder of such a license is not required to pass the driving test in Brazil.
Why Carry an IDP While Driving in Brazil?
In more than 150 countries worldwide, your IDP is a valid form of identification and contains your name, photo, and driver information in the 12 most widely spoken languages in the world. For most local officials and authorities of the countries you visit, it is understandable.
It translates the important information about your identification into 12 languages, so it speaks the language even if you don't. In Brazil, it is highly recommended to have an International Driving Permit, and you are not allowed to drive a vehicle without a valid permit. This is in respect of visitors or drivers in Brazil with driving licenses who follow driving laws in Brazil.
Is Driving In Brazil With a UK License Valid?
If you’re visiting Brazil, you are allowed to be driving in Brazil with a UK license. If you intend to drive a private vehicle as a visitor or drive on a highway in Brazil, you should check that you’re covered under the vehicle’s insurance. All other nationalities must also obtain an International Driving Permit, which is available in your home country. Same in the UK, you are allowed to drive in the UK with a Brazilian drivers license.
Who Can Apply for an IDP?
Anyone with a valid driver’s license can apply for an IDP. You should always remember that an IDP is just a translation of your native license. It is a way for local traffic enforcers to know if you’re competent to drive a vehicle. So before getting an IDP, secure a local license first from your home country. Also, a temporary license is not eligible when applying for an IDP. So, just wait until you get a valid license card. You don’t need to go to a driving school in Brazil to get an IDP.
If you’re ready to apply for an IDP, visit the International Drivers Association’s application page and choose an IDP package. Here are the requirements for your application:
- Valid Government Issued Driver’s License
- Passport size image of yourself
- Passport Copy (if needed)
Is It Valid Driving in Brazil Without an International License?
You would need to get a Foreign Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in Brazil. From Post Offices, you can get the IDP over the counter. You will need to carry your passport, IDP, and passport photograph to the nearest Car Registration Department while you are in Brazil and apply for a driver's license visa, which will then be secured with your IDP.
You must get a local driving license to comply with local laws and regulations if you live in Brazil for a more extended period and want to travel. The exchange of the driving license for a local driving license is not available. Do not drive a car without a valid license.
Renting a Car in Brazil
Renting a car in Brazil is one of the best ways to explore as much of the country as possible. From the natural beauty of beach vibes, renting a car in Brazil allowed you to see it all! Here’s the process that you will need to obtain a rental car and driving in Brazil with a UK license.
Car Rental Companies
You would want to rent a car while traveling around Brazil. When you pick which attractions you want to visit and what schedule you retain, it will spare time. There are many locations where you may be able to see and drive rental cars in Brazil. However, going to the airport may be the most convenient spot. There's a wide variety of rental companies to choose from in Brazil. Many individuals would be acquainted with the famous companies available.
You would be able to locate Hertz and Budget Rentals, for example. In Brazil, though, the leading rental car company is Localiza. Rental cars in Brazil can run on both petrol and ethanol in most situations, however, you can confirm this with the rental firm, though.
You would be required several documents to rent a car. Next, you will need to demonstrate that you have a legal passport and license. You would also need to show a legitimate payment form, such as a credit card, for the vehicle. You will need to fill out several forms when you apply to rent a car. Stuff like signing a tenancy lease and insurance forms will be used. Remember that you have to keep a copy of these documents. These may be significant later when you will show that you are allowed to drive the car.
You would want to make sure that the model of car that you want is selective. The kind of car you select will also depend on the kind of environment you plan to ride in. If you want to remain in the area, for instance, you could be better off choosing a smaller vehicle. Alternatively, if you want to go off-road, it may be safer for you to pick an SUV. It'll provide you with more stability. You will need to make sure you book early to guarantee that you have the kind of car you want.
Car Rental Cost
Based on the kind of car that you want to drive, the prices can differ considerably. In general, however, for around R$100 and an SUV for R$200, you will be able to get a smaller vehicle. In the event you harm the car, these charges will also include the insurance policies. There are clever forms that you can reduce these expenditures further.
You might want to read the policy carefully, for instance. It may also provide essential facts, such as whether you need to return a full tank of gas to the car. You will decrease the number of rental payments that you will expect to pay by knowing this. Also, before you leave, you can make sure any pre-existing damage is reported. It's going to mean you're not left to suffer for someone else's mistake.
You need to make sure in Brazil that you have various pieces of equipment in the car. If you've had a breakdown or incident, it will guarantee that you will remain safe. You're going to have to make sure you've got a first aid kit and a fire extinguisher. Before you leave the house, you may want to make sure that the rental company has provided this equipment. You must also make sure you know how to access them.
The driving age in Brazil can be a bit complex. When applying for a license, Brazilian residents would need to be at least 18 years old. There are some regions, though, including San Paulo, where the driving age is 21. For this reason, the majority of rental firms can only lend their cars to people above the age of 21.
You must first show a credit card with a full, legitimate driver's license under your signature to rent a vehicle. Some firms, including Avis, can rent to someone who is 21 or older. Although this is all you need to rent a vehicle, it should be remembered that the authorities can dispute the legitimacy of your international driver's license. You will save yourself a lot of needless excuses by keeping your passport with you at all times while traveling.
Car Insurance Cost
Like other countries in the globe, insurance costs are affected by the features of the vehicle and the driver, and also the site where the vehicle is held. The prices are higher for luxury vehicles and others with automobile modifications such as alloy frames, fog lamps, and more as they draw robbers and carjackers. Brazilian vehicles operate using gasoline, petrol, diesel, and natural gas, but the form of energy consumed has no significant effect on prices.
The more probable your vehicle is to be robbed, the more costly the insurance. Some Brazilians are more concerned with their vehicle being robbed than they are about to get into a road accident. It does not mean necessarily that luxury vehicles have higher costs for insurance. The Volkswagen Gol, one of the least in-stock vehicles in Brazil, is very expensive due to the worth of the vehicle owing to the cost of its pieces on the black market.
Other considerations that affect the price are where the car is held. Is it parking in a lot, on the roadway, at residence, at a workplace, or university? Garaged vehicles are better. Driver attributes that influence the vehicle's rate includes driving experience, driving distance, number of users, and the history of car accidents.
Car Insurance Policy
You may get your car broken into while driving in Brazil, and valuable things are stolen. You would need to closely read the insurance policy on the vehicle for this reason. Whether or not you will be responsible for this kind of harm will be your reference. Charges may not appear to differ significantly between firms. For a compact car with air conditioning, you are more likely to pay a premium of around R120 a day (EUR 36); this may or may not include comprehensive insurance.
Insurance options, cancellation fines, drop-off rates, and sub-charges that may add substantially to the expenses are things you can remember when making a final decision. It can cover insurance valid for 30 days when you pay with a credit card, so make sure to verify with the car provider. You should also explore plans for third-party insurance. If you need additional options, such as children's car seats or GPS, make sure to order them when booking.
Renting a car might not be worth the hassle if you are just planning to remain in one place. Drivers tend to be reckless in big cities, and they do not always comply with traffic laws. That being said, access to a car will prove especially useful if you intend to leave the area, whether it be for a day trip to the beach or a historic place.
Renting a car is pretty easy in Brazil. The downside is that on your travel costs it can be a significant weight. You should book in advance to make it easy for yourself as higher fares appear to be paid over the counter, and ensure that you get the type of car you want, especially during high-demand times.
Can I Rent A Car In The Airport?
The airport is where the broadest range of car firms to pick from can be found. Since most of Brazil's international airports tend to be situated a few kilometers from the capital, renting an airport will minimize the cost of traveling from the airport to the city. Multinational firms such as Hertz, Avis, Europcar, and Budget, and several small companies are available at most airports. If you plan to schedule a pick-up in one town and drop-off in another, make sure you contact the business in advance and see if this is feasible.
Road Rules in Brazil
When visiting any country, you should take the time to know the basic driving laws and regulations to avoid fines and penalties while on a trip. You need to be familiar with the driving scene in Brazil. Tourists like you visiting Brazil need to know basic driving laws. To help you accompanied, here are some things to remember:
Driving is pretty straightforward in Brazil. It's better not to pick up your rental car right away if you feel a bit apprehensive, but instead, take a taxi to your hotel and get acquainted with the street signs and speed limits.
There are stringent speed limits and many radar speed signs in most significant Brazilian towns. Be aware that Brazil’s metric system is used, so velocity limits are shown in km/h (kilometers per hour). 100 kph or 60 mph, for comparison.
Brazilian road law is strict when it comes to driving under the influence of alcohol. The cap is 0.04 milligrams of alcohol, which may be equal to a can of beer for certain people. Brazilian policy is very tight. For every liter of your blood, you are only allowed to contain 200 mg of alcohol, which means that even a can of beer might leave you unable to drive legally.
Animals on The Road
Many street animals in Brazil will wander on some of Brazil's inter-city roads. For cyclists, this may be a major distraction. In certain situations, to stop them, you may need to be willing to take extra precautions. If you are driving on certain roads, it is a big challenge. For instance, in 2017, there were about 1,000 animal deaths on BR-262. It is becoming Brazil's most dangerous path.
Parking on The street
In Brazil, parking in a convenient place is the easiest. In malls or parking garages, it can involve leaving your home. Leaving your car on the street unattended can be risky, with the possibility of being robbed. If you normalize road parking, you can find someone to watch the place for you. They would want a tip of R$5 to R$20 in return for guarding your car. In certain situations, if you don't agree with this price, they may behave violently, destroying the car.
Brazil could have major traffic delays. This can extend for about 111 miles (180 kilometers) in some situations and take hours to clear. When more individuals access the route, the worst periods for traffic delays are also during holidays or important events. Alternatively, it may have been a hurricane that disrupted other roads in the area.
That's why you have to leave plenty of time for yourself to reach your destination. You will want to have a nice book with you too since it is strictly forbidden to use your cell phones when behind the wheel. The best technique, though, may be to get relaxed. You may want to wear moccasins manufactured in Brazil, for example. When caught in traffic, it will make it easy to breathe.
When driving in Brazil, you will need to make sure that you are looking out for pedestrians. In the afternoon, colleges appear to let them out. This means that it is common for groups of kids to be on the road. In certain situations, in a traffic jam, they may switch between the vehicles. For some, they might stand in the middle of a road to wait for a traffic break.
You will need to slow down and be alert to avoid an injury. However, stop braking unexpectedly, unless necessary, as this may cause a collision with the car behind you. The police could act as crossing guards for some busier schools. You can comply with their instructions if this is the case.
Unfortunately, robbery is a major challenge to Brazil. Sometimes the larger the car is, the more targeted you will be. You will need to stay vigilant to reduce the threats. You will need to keep the windows rolled open to ensure that the vehicle is safely parked.
Even when you leave the car, you will need to take some important goods with you. At night, the largest threat will arise. You should aim to stop using the roads at this time for this reason. After 8 pm, you can even ride through red lights to make sure criminals don't target you. However, you will need to step carefully when doing this.
Variable Road Conditions
You should also be mindful that Brazil's road conditions can be incredibly unpredictable. Any highways, for example, would be very well-maintained, with asphalt and plain markings. However, there may be large potholes in some situations, which may severely damage the vehicle. You can also have certain roads that have a lot of mud and rubble and need an SUV to reach them safely. Sticking to toll routes is the easiest way to drive across the world.
Finally, the Brazilian government has sought to curb entry to tackle overcrowding on Brazilian roads. On certain days, you might not be allowed to drive your car at certain times. This can be decided by the final number on your license plate in most cases. For starters, if your license plate finishes with the number 5, you can not be allowed to drive on Wednesdays.
There are stringent laws regarding texting and driving in Brazil. And if your handset is hands-free, you are allowed to take calls. It is deemed a serious crime to contact or keep the phone. You need to pull over to the left and turn the engine off if you need to use your phone. You should still be mindful that even though you're caught in a traffic jam, you will still get charged for using the machine.
You may find on certain occasions that the car in front of you is blinking its headlights. In Brazil, this is a common symbol. It also means that on the road ahead, there is a risk. You should lower your speed when you spot this and remain vigilant. Alternatively, it can indicate that they are about to overtake while you are on the highway and the driver behind you flashes their headlights.
Finally, you might want to make sure you look out for speed bumps that are used by several smaller towns to control vehicle speeds. If you go through this too fast, the suspension on your car might be harmed. They may be outlined with yellow road paint or signs in some situations. There may, however, be no specific warning signals in smaller cities.
When you are driving around a Brazilian city, there won't be much space options for parking. You should know that there are unique parking spaces for elderly people and people with disabilities if you choose to park on the street and not be able to park there. You will be able to park your rental car only in public parking spaces, and these are marked on the street with a white line. Yellow means you're unable to park at any time.
A seat belt must be worn by everyone in the vehicle; this includes the driver. And there are certain rules that you would need to obey if you have kids with you. Second, to sit in the front seat, a child has to be over ten years old.
The tallest kid has to sit in the front if the back seats are loaded. Often, they must sit in a rear-facing seat if the kid is under 1. Finally, safety seats are to be used for children aged 4-7. You could face a substantial penalty if you don't meet these regulations.
General Standards of Driving
Although there are many benefits to renting a vehicle, there are also some road and driving rules to be aware of, such as the following:
- Never drive an automobile that does not have a legitimate identification number that complies with the law. Failure to do so is a serious offense in Brazil, punishable by a hefty fine as well as the confiscation of your vehicle for up to three months.
- Driving activities that threaten people's lives are specifically prohibited. Similarly, failure to stop after causing an accident that results in injuries or death is a substantial felony offense that is dealt with accordingly.
- Because of Brazil's status as a multinational transportation and freight hub, heavy vehicle drivers have a special responsibility to drive safely and risk harsh penalties if they do not.
- Car windows are only tinted up to 30% of the time, with the remaining 70% becoming partially transparent.
Brazil’s speed limits are displayed in km/h (kilometers per hour) instead of mph (miles per hour) in the metric system. Cities will generally have a speed limit of 40 km/h (25 mph) to 60 km/h (37 mph), and highways will go from 60 km/h to 100 or 110 km/h (68 mph) around suburban areas.
Depending on circumstances, such as steep gradients or winding roads, or near schools or hospitals, lower boundaries can apply. They will be given a fine if a person is arrested for speeding. Road fines will be directed to Banco Do Brasil or when the annual road tax is renewed.
Driving through Brazil's land area is easy if you work out how to navigate roads and hire cars. Traveling along this road is no longer as unsafe and hazardous as it was back in the days, but there are still a few useful things to consider before you travel. If you're driving through Brazil or its other cities, you can use the mapping tool that provides a free, up-to-date trip master plan.
Traffic Road Signs
Road signs are intended to help you, whether driving or walking on highways, you should ensure that you abide by traffic rules. As someone else driving in the same street, the traffic regulation serves to safeguard you on the route.
People should recognize the basic indications and rules that should be followed while running any car on the highways. Due to the multiple blind spots generated by the wide size of the automobile, people driving bigger vehicles need to be extra careful.
Right of Way
In Brazil, cars approaching the roundabout must give way to cars that are at the junction. If you get to the junction, you have to wait and let the vehicles within drive first. Always make room for cars coming from the right if there have been no indications or warnings in sight.
Legal Driving Age
The driving age in Brazil is not below 18 years old. If you are not still 18, you are not allowed to drive. Only those who took a driving test in Brazil and those who have IDP can drive around. Drivers with no valid license and drunk driving in Brazil are not allowed to drive. Even if you have a valid license but are not accompanied by an IDP, it’s best if you let someone take the wheel.
Laws on Overtaking
Road users in Brazil are warned against illegal overtaking, which could lead to serious penalties and revocation. Overtaking others needlessly and recklessly could result in a fine for the guilty drivers. Two-lane paved roads may be found in busy areas, and most of them have straight lines painted along the center or dashed lines.
Brazil's road rules state you must always operate on the right side of the track. It is required to comply with what the government has placed in law, in particular its road traffic regulations. If you're moving at a faster speed, use the outermost lane and keep your head on the way ahead.
Driving Etiquette in Brazil
As long as you know the regulations and proper driving etiquette, driving in Brazil is as enjoyable as driving in your home country. You can become a better and more courteous driver by learning patience and practicing defensive driving.
Car problems may occur at any time, particularly in vehicles that are not regularly checked. Even when rental vehicles from known rental agencies are routinely inspected, car failures are not unstoppable. If your car breaks down, probably move the car beside the road. Use your warning indicator lights to notify the cars behind. Then get in touch with the towing service provider to get your car off the lane.
Due to illegal deeds and rampant drunk driving, there are police inspections in the country. Police can't force you to hit the breathalyzer if they stop you, but if you're drunk, they can arrest you, and you can face criminal charges. Refusing to blow into the breathalyzer means that you will receive a steep fine for refusing to comply with a law enforcement officer, and the car will be impounded all the same.
Most Brazilians can communicate In English, so it's convenient for you to inquire for directions. When you ask for help, move to the roadside and call a person nicely. Be as polite as you may. Start by greeting, then proceed to ask for directions.
Police efforts have improved to reduce the number of people driving under the influence, but the number of drunk drivers is still high due to the shortage of nightly public transport. The presence of police in Bohemian neighborhoods and big cities that receive many tourists during the holidays is relatively high. Expect to see numbers of checkpoints in the country.
The intention is to keep it secure. In certain situations, though, actions to keep you healthy are also to be considered. It's secure to drive to Brazil if you continue to obey these rules. Here are few relevant protection reminders:
How Should You Merge?
Merging is the most common among accidents. Sit in your lane until it's time to merge, then take turns to get traffic going with cars in the other lane. When you're waiting to drive into traffic, make sure there still is ample room and time.
As another car is camped out in the left lane doing just the speed limit, no one likes getting held up on the highway. Switch over to the center or right lane and let traffic get by quicker. And if anyone makes way during heavy traffic for you to merge in, give them a smile or a wave. This kind of appreciation indicates gratitude and could inspire them in the future to be more courteous. It would, in the very least, brighten their day.
How Fast Should You Drive?
Being a passenger in a vehicle that's driven so quickly can be nerve-racking: you're not the one at the wheel, and you have no control over your safety, in essence. Be cautious with the comfort levels of your passengers when you're the driver. Often, you set the mood in the car as the driver. Ask if anyone is all right with the weather, radiofrequency, or station. Ask when repair areas approach or check in every hour on long trips, or see if someone wants a rest.
How Should You Pullover?
Rubbernecking is insensitive to the injured, hindering those attempting to assist, and an excellent way to cause a traffic jam, slowing to a crawl to seek out a crash. Yes, you must slow down, so you don't put anyone at risk, but keep going.
It is polite to pull off to the side of the street before the vehicles have gone if you meet a funeral procession. The principle is to do what you can to keep the cars united in the parade. Even while there are ear-piercingly noisy sirens and bright blinking lights in ambulances, fire engines, and police vans, some drivers pretend not to hear and refuse to pull over to clear a route for these emergency services.
If a stoplight is coming, slow down, and don't use the phone while waiting. You'll be keeping up with other commuters who have places to be if you're busy and didn’t notice that the light has turned green or the traffic ahead of you has passed on.
What Should You Do During An Accident?
Never leave the scene if you are involved in an accident. If it's a minor accident, you and the other driver might stop talking somewhere to avoid causing a traffic jam. The other driver can but is not likely to speak English, so it is always best to call the police (dial 190) to resolve the situation. You must contact an ambulance if there are victims.
According to Brazilian law, the fault is always yours if you rear-end someone, except when the other car leaves a parking garage. The driver with the larger vehicle is also responsible for ensuring that the driver and passengers of the smaller vehicle are safe and tended by a trained first responder in the case of an accident. This includes if you hit a motorcycle with your car, you are responsible for ensuring that they are not hurt and, if they are, you are responsible for calling an ambulance.
Driving Conditions in Brazil
The traffic norms in Brazil can sometimes be unpredictable and risky. Always be alert, especially when going around blind corners, to approach cars driving in your path. You are not recommended to drive until you are familiar with conditions in cities or medium-sized towns.
The road Brazilian safety update report 2013 claims that more or less 44,000 people are killed in a year due to driving accidents in Brazil. Road accidents are the most cause of fatalities, damage, and mortality, leading to huge financial costs. Car accidents triggered by overspeeding are frequent in Brazil, most of which include private transport.
The Volkswagen Gol is by far the most common car in Brazil. Regular cars are more often seen in rural places as well as on main highways. On the urban roads, you can often see four-wheel-drive vehicle as the most fitting cars on rugged paths.
When there are tolls around, roads in Brazil can be very well-kept, so this tip is that you look for toll roads when planning your road trip. The price varies from state to state, but paying for maintenance and road support will be worth it. If the car breaks down, some tollways offer roadside assistance, which is a huge safety bonus, and the only thing you have to do is call for help.
Some of Brazil's freeways are also exceptionally well-kept, but the likelihood of that happening is much lower. Road signs are scarce at times, and so is gas station and restaurant where you can stop for a snack or a bathroom break.
In terms of consistency, there's a variety of road types in Brazil, differing significantly from city to city. It is also easy to witness drivers doing otherwise prohibited actions, such as driving on the shoulder, going above the speed limit, and overtaking in dangerous situations. This may be caused by adequate highway/traffic police staff, but this does not apply to most drivers. On the right path lane, with the steering wheel on the left side, Brazilians drive. Many cars are manual, but automatic cars are becoming more and more prevalent.
There are well-kept streets and roads around larger cities, so there's not much to worry about. There may be maintenance problems with some streets far from the city center, but the chance of you having to drive anywhere near them is meager.
Driving is often the best way to travel around Brazil because of the low quality of public transit in most cities. Any immigrant with a driving license from their country is entitled to drive up to 180 days before it expires sooner. After 180 days, to get a Brazilian license, you must know how to get a driving license in Brazil. Due to the poor visibility caused by foggy roads, driving at night may be dangerous in less developed areas.
Because of the risk of being robbed, it is always best to avoid stopping at red lights. However, before testing that no other vehicles are approaching the junction, try not to do this. You can stop if other cars around you do until you see someone suspicious approaching your car. There may be street racing or lone drivers on highways at night that enjoy speeding: drive carefully and try to keep your distance from them.
A lot has been said about Brazil’s safety, but our main tip for a safe trip to Brazil is to be aware of where you are at all times. Most of the time, it is safe to drive around Brazil. Every day, Brazilians go to work and school by car, bus, metro, and train, but they have learned to pay attention to their environment. If you are a bit anxious about it, just drive at night with the windows closed and avoid leaving the city's tourist areas.
Most of the severe and unsafe things you see in the Brazil news aren't happening as you'd imagine all the time. In Brazil, tollways are generally very secure, even at night. However, you may notice that while on the road, there are many trucks. The primary mode of transport for consumer goods in Brazil is via roads and trucks to expect many of them.
When Should You Use Signals?
If the oncoming vehicles start blinking their lights on you, they might warn you of potential dangers ahead of you. For example, it is normal in rural areas that domestic animals are left on the roadside, and often they walk into traffic. Some often use this to warn officers to checkpoints, known as blitzes, but this activity is unlawful.
By lifting your arms up and down outside the windshield, if oncoming drivers warn you, it means you can decrease your speed as there are potential dangers ahead. The driver asks you to get out of their way while driving in the quickest lane of a highway, and the vehicle behind you shines its lights or flips the left blinker on.
Any drivers will bring their hands out of the car and make a "slow down" gesture while crossing lanes or approaching main avenues and streets. This suggests that they are prepared to get in the way, and you should just let them in.
How’s Traffic in Brazil?
Traffic is something you must bear in mind. If you're driving around major cities like São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro during rush hours, it's generally advised that you slow down. Moving from a point to another can take twice or even three times as long to increase the number of cars and motorcycles on the route.
To avoid rush hours, plan and look for an excellent nearby restaurant to have dinner, relax, and return to your hotel without stress!
Things I Can Do in Brazil
If you find Brazil an excellent place to visit and make money, you can apply for residency and seek employment opportunities. In Brazil, the government only issues limited work permits periodically. However, there are no work permit limits for professional and personal services.
Drive As A Tourist
Foreigners are permitted to drive in Brazil if they have a local driver's license, passport, and an International Driver's Permit. It is essential to have an IDP with you in case the police decide to verify your records during traffic stops to prevent delays on your journey.
Work As A Driver
It can be a bit challenging getting a work permit in Brazil. You need to get a work permit to legally work as a driver in Brazil and to legalize your visit. There are two distinct legal issues, and they should not be confused. You can legally remain in Brazil by getting a visa or residency permit, but that doesn't guarantee you can work.
You require a work permit to work in Brazil lawfully, and they issue this certificate based on a recommendation from your prospective employer. In other words, you can't qualify for a work visa. As you first need to find a job and an employer that can recruit you, this is the most tricky aspect of the equation. You must also obtain the needed documents before you can drive.
Work As A Travel Guide
You can work as a travel guide in Brazil. Let's presume you've found an employer that's willing to hire you, and your stay is legal, either based on a visa you've obtained or on a residence permit. Your prospective employer has to fill out a work permit document that involves the organization’s name that employs you and your upcoming working description within this company to get a work permit.
But your work permit is only valid for the given organization and place. It has vast ramifications. Job permits are from a local government head and require the duration of stay needed to do the work stated in your employer’s declaration. You ought to sign into a contract with the contractor that applied for the permit for the work permit to be valid.
Apply for Residency
More and more ex-pats chose to search for a job each year to seek a career in Brazil. The reasons for this vary, but the unemployment rate is low while the average income in Brazil is rising. As for the costs of living, it remains very low. Applying for residency is quite simple and convenient. There are a few options to get a specific residency visa. Besides, there are alternative paths that you can lawfully follow to work in Brazil.
You should stop reading here and start searching for a job or start dreaming about starting to work in Brazil if you are a fortunate citizen given the opportunity.
The Top Road Trip Destinations in Brazil
Host to some of the biggest parties in South America, the best beaches, and some stunning natural scenery, Brazil might just be the right location for your next adventure. But if you’re a low-budget traveler, will it be too expensive for you to visit? Is it allowed to drive in Brazil with a US license?
Or what if you want to splash out: what's at your mercy for guests who wish to have a 5-star experience? Fear not, while Brazil has traditionally been ranked as home to some of the world's most expensive cities, the country is now much more accessible to all budget travelers.
On a budget, Brazil can be an incredibly satisfying country to visit. Spending two weeks here is around $280, with an average cost of about USD 20 a day, a downright frugal adventure. Things like cafe food and public transit are cheap, and you'll never lack things to do. However, you’ll need to know first how to get a driving license in Brazil first.
National Park da Bocaina
Only north of the park is Cuña, the town we loved for its pottery workshops. They are not one huge commercial, the market form of manufacturing, but small-scale ateliers with true artists who all have their pottery style and features very well. It's a lovely trip, not adventurous in the serious, but instead of taking the regular highway that runs north of the park, we considered it a good way to drive from São Paulo to Rio de Janeiro. It's a mountainous area with fantastic scenery, and it's worth trying out a couple of waterfalls.
- From GRU Airport, head north on BR-610.
- Take the exit toward Estacionamento Motos.
- Keep left and merge onto BR-610.
- Use the left lane to take the ramp to Arujá/S. J. Campos/R. Janeiro.
- Continue straight to stay on BR-116.
- Av. Francisco Bicalho turns slightly left and becomes Viaduto dos Pracinhas.
- Continue no Viaduto dos Marinheiros.
Things to Do
If you want to explore the area, here’s a list of the available things to do in the place.
1. Discover history
During the 18th century, the wealth produced purchased the services of the finest artisans and artists of the time and filled the cities with splendid baroque architecture, churches, chapels, and government buildings. From Diamantina, about 250 km north of Belo Horizonte, the Estrada Real-Royal Road runs to Paraty, which lies on the coast west of Rio de Janeiro.
2. Have a meal
You can enjoy the stunning views atop the observation deck and enjoy a meal with your family or friends at one of the restaurants in the building. Have a taste of their best cuisines and delicacies. The best chefs are hired to prepare your meal.
3. Go camping
The path meanders mostly through Minas Gerais State and has a great deal of natural beauty. There are fantastic places for rugged camping and a few dozen stunning colonial cities with a rich architectural history.
It used to be a road between Porto Velho and Manaus, but its construction was poorly carried out. All stretches were swapped away during the heavy rainfall season, and until today, most transport, including all trucks, takes the ferry between the two cities. His sense of adventure is the only reason for driving the BR319. As well as extensive cattle ranches, it traverses the Amazon rainforest.
- From GRU Airport, head north on BR-610.
- Take the exit toward Estacionamento Motos.
- Keep left and merge onto BR-610.
- Use the right lane to take the BR-116 ramp to Dutra.
- Take the left lane to turn slightly right onto Av. Brasil/BR-116.
- Continue onto Av. Progresso.
- Turn left onto R. Dr. Alberto Torres.
Things to Do
If you want to explore the area, here’s a list of the available things to do in the place.
1. Enjoy the landscape
The Pantanal, part of a UNESCO site, is the best biodiversity location on the continentof South America, except perhaps of the Galapagos Islands. During a 6-year stay in South America, this has become one of many favorite areas. The landscape is made up of open grasslands and therefore has vast views. Several macaws, toucans, lots of waterfowl, caymans, and capybaras have been seen.
2. Go swimming
One of the most fantastic nature's wonders worldwide, Iguazu Falls, straddles the Argentine-Brazilian border. It is in comparison to Victoria Falls and Niagara Falls with a staggering scale and size. Surrounded by an endless series of cascades and dense forests stretch for almost three kilometers, making it the most extensive waterfall system worldwide.
3. Explore the culture of Brazil
The Transamazônica is one of the best ways to see indigenous communities in the Amazon, Brazil's extensive cattle ranching, and learn about the conflicts between these parties. Just driving is an adventure. It provides culture as it reveals an important part of Brazil’s diverse forms of life and its efforts to conserve nature and the ancient ancestral ways of life.
Salvador, located on the coast of the Bay of All Saints, has beautiful beaches ideal for surfing, swimming, and sunbathing. Stella Maris, Flamengo, and Porto De Barra are among the most famous. When driving in Brazil, make sure you meet the International Driver's License for Brazil specifications and always carry your International Driver's Permit with you.
- From GRU Airport, head north on BR-610.
- Take the exit toward Estacionamento Motos.
- Keep left to stay on BR-381.
- Merge onto Av. Campo de Ourique.
- Continue onto Av. Mario Leal Ferreira.
- Merge onto BR-324.
- Keep left to stay on Av. Pres. Castelo Branco.
Things to Do
If you want to explore the area, here’s a list of the available things to do in the place.
1. Discover the top destinations of Brazil
It is a historic old town with a vibrant community, gorgeous beaches, and one of the world's biggest Carnival festivals for all fashion Salvador into one of Brazil's top tourist destinations.
2. Go to festivals
Salvador is the capital of the state of Bahia and Brazil's third-largest city. It is also one of the oldest cities in America. One of Salvador's biggest major shows is its annual Carnival festival. The lavish festival, which includes music, dancing, parades, costumes, and street parties, is one of the world's largest.
3. Discover the nature
Besides the river and rainforests, Manus also offers public parks, a botanical garden, and a zoo. Several beaches are here, such as Ponta Negra, with several restaurants, bars, and hotels.
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