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Self-drive in Brazil

Car rental Brazil

Being able to enjoy the freedom of the open road and to stop off wherever you please makes a self-drive trip through Brazil very enjoyable. Drive through small towns, have picnics on deserted beaches or park on top of a hill to take pictures. Our self-drive trips in Brazil include rental cars from a renowned car rental organisation with rental offices throughout South America.

Brazil pantanal transport zelfdrive campo grande to bonito
Brazil Olinda recife

Cruise between palms and fishing villages

Drive across vast coastal roads along the beautiful coast road from Recife to Salvador, or vice versa, and enjoy the freedom of having your own rental car. Paved with coconut trees from start to finish and dotted with fishing villages, patches of rainforest and kilometres of white sandy beaches, the ‘Linha Verde’ is one of the most picturesque routes in Brazil.

Head to the Pantanal at your own pace

Armed with a rental car and road book you’ll travel to Bonito and the southern less travelled part of the Pantanal. We’ve intentionally kept the total driving distance per day short so that you don’t have to spend entire days driving. In doing so, you’ll be free to go at your own pace whilst looking out for wildlife along the way.

Brazil south pantanal accommodation
Brazil ouro preto buildings lady views

Through colonial gold towns to Ouro Preto

This self-drive trip will take you from Rio to the baroque cities of gold such as Sao Joao del Rei and Ouro Preto before ending at Belo Horizonte airport. As you head out of Rio, you’ll travel north along well-maintained roads towards the ‘hidden’ town of Tiradentes where you’ll spend two days. Afterwards you’ll continue on to Ouro Preto, a town that became wealthy during the 18th century gold rush.

Self-drive terms and conditions

After a long flight to Brazil, it may not be in your best interest to drive on to your next destination by car right away. We believe it’s easier and safer if you take some time to acclimatise and recuperate from your flight first. Besides, road rules and traffic signs in Brazil may be slightly different from what you’re used to back home so it’s important to have a clear head while driving. We’ve put together some more information to help you on the roads in Brazil.

Brazil car hire

What’s included?

  • Mileage
  • Local taxes, including possible airport tax
  • Car
  • Comprehensive Road Book which includes maps and information
  • Drop-off charges
  • Comprehensive insurance: Full Brazil car hire CDW insurance coverage and theft insurance (TPLW) with an excess of approximately up to US$500 depending on car category
  • PAI (Personal Accident) insurance but you should still arrange full travel insurance separately
  • Additional driver (must be registered for insurance)


What’s not included?

  • Fuel
  • Optional extra facilities such as children’s car seat
  • Deposit


Helpful advice


Petrol isn’t very expensive in Brazil, it costs approximately US$1.20 per litre for petrol and $0.85 for ethanol. All cars offered by car rental organisation Localiza are ‘flex’ cars, meaning they run on both petrol and ethanol. Ethanol is a lot cheaper to purchase than petrol, however a car will run less efficiently on it and will use at least one third more of this fuel compared to petrol. Ethanol emits less pollution with a smaller impact on the environment. Make sure you fill up on time (we especially recommend keeping your tank as full as possible in more remote areas). Petrol stations often only accept cash payments. When you pick up your rental car, you’ll pay a deposit for a full tank of petrol with your credit card. The car must also be returned with a full tank of petrol. If you return a car with a full tank of ethanol instead of petrol, it may save you some money.

Drop-off fees

These are the drop-off fees that are charged if you pick your rental car up in one location and leave it behind at another. These fees are included in the price of your trip.

Recife – Salvador or vice versa

  • £383 (approximately 850km)

Rio – Belo Horizonte or vice versa

  • £203 (approximately 450km)

Additional drivers

All drivers must be added to the Brazil car hire agreement.

Extra facilities

Car seats for children are mandatory up until 6 years old. A children’s car seat can be hired for approximately US$ 7.50 per day. This needs to be included at the time of trip booking. The use of seat belts in the back seat is mandatory.

Driving licence

In order to hire a car, you must have been in possession of a valid driving licence for at least 2 years and be over 21 years old. This also applies to any additional drivers. During a self-drive you must have your driving licence with you, an international driving licence is no longer required.

Brazil Belo Horizonte church
Bite-sized trip

Gold Road to Ouro Preto

  • Rio - Tiradentes - Ouro Preto - Belo Horizonte
  • 5 days / 4 nights (flexible)
  • From £ 614.- per person (excluding flights)
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Historical town of Olinda, Brazil from above

Make Tracks Along the Coconut Highway

  • Olinda - Porto de Galinhas - São Miguel dos Milagres - Penedo - Mangue Seco - Itacimirim - Salvador de Bahia - Chapada Diamantina - Salvador de Bahia
  • 16 days / 15 nights (flexible)
  • From £ 1,799.- per person (excluding flights)
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Brazil beachscape coconut palms and fishing villages
Bite-sized trip

Coconut Palms and Fishing Villages

  • Olinda/ Recife - Porto de Galinhas - São Miguel dos Milagres - Penedo - Mangue Seco - Itacimirim - Salvador
  • 8 days / 7 nights (flexible)
  • From £ 964.- per person (excluding flights)
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Brazil Pantanal wetlands canyon ranches and rivers
Bite-sized trip

Pantanal Ranches and Rivers

  • Campo Grande - Bonito - Pantanal - Campo Grande
  • 6 days / 5 nights (flexible)
  • from £ 639.- per person (excluding flights)
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