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Getting Around by Car

Driving can be a pleasant and efficient way of traveling around Chile. Chilean drivers are generally more conscientious than elsewhere in South America, and the main Chilean highways are in good condition.

That said, renting a car in Chile is quite expensive, especially because many destinations are on unpaved roads and only accessible with a costly 4x4 vehicle. Rental costs are frequently higher in the Lakes District and Patagonia, and there are significant surcharges for one-way rentals. Members of the Automobile Club of Chile (, however, may be eligible for a rental discount.

One alternative to renting is buying a car and then re-selling it at the end of a trip, but you should be mindful of inspection dates and tax responsibilities.

You can also drive into Chile (see the Chile Border Crossings section).

However you get your hands on a set of wheels, remember that driving in Chile is on the right, speed limits are strictly enforced and an international license can make dealing with the Chilean police and rental agencies much easier. Avoid driving at night. Finally, driving in Santiago is restricted on especially smoggy days.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Chile: Getting Around Punta Arenas, Getting Around Porvenir, Getting around, Getting Around, Getting Around , Getting Around Osorno, Getting Around by Bus, Getting Around by Taxi, Getting Around Iquique and Getting Around Viña del Mar.

By Nick Rosen
A staff-writer here at V!VA's offices in Ecuador, I came to Quito after having worked on public health and development projects in Africa. Naturally,...
20 Apr 2009

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