Are there any special requirements for driving or hiring a car in Chile?
In Chile driving is on the right with overtaking on the left. You give way to vehicles on the right, however all corners will have street signs telling you what to do. You must stop at red lights. Driving is also relatively sane for a South American country. Drivers do tend to go fast though and you should stay clear of the white and yellow Micro mini buses. Most of the roads in the major urban areas of Chile are in good shape. However some streets outside the city centre are not so well maintained so you must drive very carefully.
Avoid rush-hour at all costs as traffic can be bad between 7am and 9am and between 5pm and 8pm. If you are driving in remote areas always carry plenty of water and a spare tyre. Also make sure that you refuel when you can as petrol stations can be few and far between. Remember that distances between destinations in Chile can be huge. The main highway in Chile is the Pan-American Highway. The Automóvil Club de Chile in Santiago can supply comprehensive road maps of Chile and you can contact them by phone on (02) 431 1313 or via their website at www.automovilclub.cl. If you are using car hire Chile then you need to have a credit card as a guarantee. A 20% tax is added on all rental vehicles. Visitors should be aware that Chile suffered from a massive earthquake in 2010 and so this may have affected many roads, although all major raods affected have now been restored.