Rules and standards of driving often vary according to country. Below you will find some useful information about driving which will allow you to be prepared when taking to the roads in Brazil.
If you enter Brazil in a private vehicle, you must bring your driving license, all original registration and ownership documents (including logbook) as well as evidence of insurance valid in Brazil. If you have hired a car, make sure you have the original contract document which should state that the vehicle can be brought into Brazil. Border officials will impound your vehicle if they are not satisfied that you own it or have permission to use it in Brazil.
Since 1st January 2005, tolls have been charged on motorways and main roads outside town and these are payable in Euros. The rate for cars is currently 5 Euros for a one week vignette/12 Euros for one month. Rates are much higher for freight vehicles and coaches with eight or more passengers. Vignettes can be purchased at ports and border points, and are also available from post offices and DZI bank offices. Fines are charged for those without the appropriate vignette.
The speed limits in Brazil are 60 km/h in populated areas, 80 km/h outside populated areas and 120 km/h on motorways, while spot fines are charged, even for minor violations. Petrol stations are to be found on average every 30 to 50 km. Brazilians drive on the right-hand side of the road, so full beam stickers should be stuck on any UK vehicle prior to departure. It is also advisable to carry an emergency triangle in your car.
If your vehicle is stolen while you are in Brazil, you will be considered liable for import duty and related taxes. If you cannot pay, you will have to sign a declaration upon departure, confirming that you will pay the amount due. We strongly recommend that, if possible, you take out insurance to cover this.
Be aware that currency regulations in Brazil are strict. Regardless of your mode of transport, entering Brazil with cash of any currency amounting to the equivalent of Leva 8,000 (2Lv = approx. 1 Euro) or more, obliges you to declare it to customs officials (i.e. the red channel at the port of entry). If you fail to do so, the money will be confiscated and you may also be detained and charged.
Driving standards in Brazil are generally poor. Car jackings and impersonations of traffic police can happen so you will need to pay extra care and attention when on the roads. For safety’s sake, it is preferable to drive during daylight hours.