We'll all agree that driving in São Paulo is not an easy thing: constant traffic jams, weak public transportation system... Buying or renting a car may be an appealing alternative, especially if you live far away from work.


Requirements to drive a car in Brazil


Having an international driver's license allows you to rent or to buy a car in Brazil. After 180 days, you have to ask for a Brazilian license at the DENATRAN « Departamento Estadual de Trânsito » .


How to rent a car in Brazil?


If you want to rent a car there are many international agencies in Brazil such as Avis, Europcar, Hertz, which can be found at the airport, or Brazilian agencies like Unidas.


Buying a car: a more economic option?


Many dealerships give you the opportunity to buy your own car. However, you must take into acount that foreign cars are very expensive and can cost you twice as much as in your home country.



feet out of car window


If you can, try and negociate a business car before your expatriation. The best option is to buy a French car such as Renault or Peugeot, as they are built in Brazil and this reduces prices considerably..


We recomand that you aks for the help of a despachante that will take care of all the administrative process.


How much does gasoline cost in Brazil?


In Brazil, most people use ethanol, made of sugar cane, produced in Brazil. Ethanol is a more economic and environmentally friendly than any othe fuel.

More than 20 million cars in Brazil use ethanol but you can also find a mix of gasoline and ethanol at the gas station for cars with "flex fuel" motors. Due to heavy lobbying from PetroBras, hybrid cars still don't exist in Brazil and probably won't for the next few years.


Driving a car in São Paulo


Given the number of cars in São Paulo, the municipality has established a system called rodizio. Once a week, every driver is forbidden to drive his car during the rush hours from 7-10 am and 5-8pm. If your license plate finishes with a 1 or 2, you can't drive on Mondays etc.