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 overtake on the left.
- Give way to drivers already on a roundabout when entering one.
- Drink driving is illegal in Brazil as the blood alcohol content allowed is 0.2 g (about one beer).
- 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 direct sign
- Do not run out of petrol (it’s illegal to drive on an empty tank!)
- 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
- Park in the direction of traffic flow and not facing it
- The use of indicators, other than for signalling an 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.
- Residential/local streets: 30 km/h
- Avenues: 60 km/h
- Highways (urban areas): 80 km/h for cars and motorcycles, 60 km/h for buses and trucks
- Highways (rural areas): 110 km/h for cars and motorcycles, 80 km/h for buses and trucks.
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 potential crime, it is tolerated for drivers not to stop at red lights at night in major cities.
Drivers should keep doors locked and windows closed, particularly at junctions at night as a precaution.
Be careful when driving in rural areas as some roads can be very uneven.
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.
In Brazil, it is not uncommon to see cars driving without their headlights on at night.
Wherever you decide to go make sure you use Sixt car rental in Brazil, helping you to make the most of your time.