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Image by Hitesh Choudhary
  • 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

Image by Victor Sánchez Berruezo


  • 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.


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.

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