Rent a Car in Chile

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car rental in chile


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Driving in Chile

Renting a car and driving in Chile is, generally speaking, easy and convenient. Santiago streets are well organized with street signs, but, like in any big city, driving during rush hours can be stressful. Drivers normally drive fast although traffic rules are respected, especially the STOP and YIELD signs, as well as pedestrian crossings. Urban buses, called "Micros" are a menace, try to avoid close contact with them, they are easily spotted, as they are painted yellow and white.

You should always carry your driver’s license and vehicle registration, since police check frequently. Most countries driver’s licenses are honored by car rentals and police controls, although strictly speaking an international license is required.

A seat belt is mandatory for the driver and companion. Just as it is the use of special seats for children under four years, traveling in light vehicles. Those who must travel in the back seat. Smoking, using a cellular phone or a Walkman is prohibited for the driver. Chilean policemen (Carabineros de Chile) will schedule an appointment for you to speak with the local Judge in case of an infraction and the driver’s license is always taken. Carabineros are always polite and comprehensive especially with foreigners.

Driving under the effects of alcohol is a severe offense. You could be fined or arrested depending on the level of alcohol intoxication. Speeding is also punishable. The maximum speed, unless otherwise stated, is 120 km/h (75 mph) on highways and 70 km/h (45 mph) in urban areas.

There are many agencies that rent cars on an hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly basis. They generally require the driver to be over 21 years of age, have a valid national or foreign driving license, and a major credit card as a guarantee.

Requirements for Car Rental

Driving in SantiagoAlthough the requirements for renting an automobile in Chile can vary depending on the rental agency, there are some general measures to which the majority apply.

  • The person renting the car has to be at least 25 years old and younger than 75 years old.  For an additional charge some rental agencies will lease to persons younger than 25.  Some companies do not enforce the age limit.
  • A current passport or other valid identification must be presented in order to rent an automobile.
  • The driver must have a current driver's license from his or her native country.
  • The driver must show a credit card or leave a check guaranteeing proof of credit at the time of leasing the car.

Things to consider

There are some things that should be considered when renting a car in Chile.

  • Automobiles are generally leased by category not by specific make or model.
  • In some rental agencies, if at the time of rental the desired category of vehicle specified while making the reservation is not available, the agency will lease a vehicle of a superior category at no additional charge.
  • In some rental agencies it is possible to return a vehicle in a different city than the one in which it was rented; however, there is usually an extra charge.
  • At the time of rental, the automobile contains a specific level of fuel. Generally, the driver should return the vehicle with the same amount or otherwise pay an extra charge to the rental agency.  If the contrary applies where the amount of fuel in the tank exceeds the initial amount at the time of rental, the driver will not be reimbursed.

What services are included in an automobile rental?

Rental agencies offer various services included in the price of renting automobiles.  In addition, there are optional services for an additional charge.
The most common services include:

  • Unlimited mileage
  • Accident insurance with deductible which varies according to the company
  • 24-hour reservations
  • Safety seat for children
  • Airport drop-off
  • Luggage rack
  • Ski rack
  • Chains for the snow
  • Map

Optional services usually offered include:

  • Chauffeur, in some cases bilingual
  • Permission or civil liability insurance to go to Argentina

Traffic and tolls

Ministry of Public Infraestructure

Tolls in Chile: Prices and Location

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