Renting a car in Brazil is fairly straightforward. The downside is that it can be a sizeable weight on your travel expenses. To make things easier for yourself you should book in advance, since higher rates tend to be charged over the counter, and also to ensure that you get the type of car you want, especially during periods of high demand.
Where to rent
The airport is where you will find the widest selection of car companies to choose from. Since most international airports in Brazil tend to be located several kilometers from the city, renting at the airport can cut the cost of travel from the airport to the city. Available at most airports are multinationals such as Hertz, Avis, Europcar and Budget and a handful of local companies. If you want to arrange pick-up in one city and drop-off in another, be sure to notify the company beforehand to see if this would be possible.
Rates do not tend to vary much between companies and you are most likely to pay a rate of about R120 a day (€36) for a small simple car with air conditioning; this may or may not include comprehensive insurance.
Things you should consider before making a final decision are insurance options, cancellation penalties, drop-off charges, and sub-charges which could add significantly to your costs. When you pay using a credit card, it may cover insurance valid for 30 days, but be sure check with the car-rental company. You can also consider third-party insurance options. If you need extras such as car seats for children or GPS, be sure to request them at the time of booking.
Requirements for renting a car in Brazil
In order to rent a car you must firstly present a credit card under your name together with a full, valid driver’s license. some companies, such as Avis, will rent out to anyone who is 21 or over.
Although this is all you need for car rental, it is worth noting that authorities may question the validity of your foreign driver's license. By having your passport on you at all times when driving, you could save yourself a lot of unnecessary explanation.
For information on travelling around Brazil by car please see: Driving in Brazil.