Guide to Driving In Chile - Drive Safe in Chile

With our Drive Smart guide you're fully prepared to hire a car in Chile and stay safe on unfamiliar roads.

URBAN SPEED LIMIT

50 kph

urban
More info  

RURAL SPEED LIMIT

100 kph

rural
More info  

motorway speed limit

100-120 kph

speed limit
More info  

Drink Drive Limit

 30mg

drink and drive limit
More info  
urban
You drive in Chile on the Right side  
urban
The currency in Chile is CLP
urban
To rent a car is  21 years and to drive is 17 years of age
urban
Current fuel price in Chile 1.09 €/Ltr

Driving Laws in Chile

Are there any special requirements for driving or hiring a car in Chile?

Driving in Chile
Pocket guide to driving in Chile
Profile:
Chile
Santiago
CLP
Driving in Chile
SPEED: (kph)
50
100
100-120
Speed limit in Chile
Holiday:
Rush hour in Chile
Cameras:
YES
YES
Speed cameras in Chile
FUEL:
1.09
0.82
EUR/Litre
Fuel prices in Chile
DRIVE:
RIGHT
Drive RIGHT in Chile
MIN AGE:
17
21
Min driving age in Chile
DRINK:
30mg
Blood alcohol content
Drink driving in Chile
EMERGENCY:
131/132/133
Emergency phone number in Chile
DOCUMENT:
Driving documents in Chile
PHONES:
Yes
Hands free only
Mobile phone driving in Chile
SEATBELTS:
Yes
Yes
Seat belt 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.

Chile Destroyed Road

Rules of the road

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Emergency Services Numbers

Police Police: 133

Police Fire: 131

Police Ambulance: 132

Notes:

Fuel Prices in Chile by Month

Parking Information

Parking regulations

Parking regulations
 
Parking is rather haphazard throughout Chile and is only really formalised in the big cities. Even there, cars wil park on the pavement or in ridiculous places. Play safe and find clearly marked parking areas or a public parking lot.
 
Paid parking
 
Some of the big cities have parking meters or ticket machines near the commercial districts but parking is still reasonably cheap. There are a number of big parking lots, covered and uncovered which charge more but are usually more secure. Elsewhere it seems you can park where you like but try to do it sensibly otherwise you'll generate an argument and potentially escalate it to the police being involved!
 
Enforcement
 
Enforcement of parking is done by the police and may involve a fine or your It's usually the police who deal with parking infringements and usually with a ticket and fine. Occasionally your car will be towed but it's not that common.
 
Disabled parking
 
EU blue badges mean nothing in Chile but there are dispensations for disabled drivers. It's worth taking your badge with you as it may help to ease your passage to a more accessible spot. 

Emergency Information

Emergency Information

Police Police: 133

Police Fire: 131

Police Ambulance: 132

The emergency services number is 133 for the police, 132 for the fire department and 131 for an ambulance or medical services.

What to do in an emergency

For breakdowns, call the emergency number given to you by the car hire desk when you collected the car. If you are involved in an accident but there is little damage, you can sort it out amongst the parties involved.

If there is major damage or someone has been hurt, you must call the emergency services. You will be asked to provide a blood test for alcohol. Whilst awaiting the emergency services, take photographs and ensure that the vehicles aren't moved unless they are causing an obstruction or danger. 

Handy Guides

World Driving Guides

Road Signs

Handy Phrases

Carabineros de Chile – Chilean Policemen
Rutas Nacionales - National routes/ highways
Relaciones de Pasajeros - Passenger Relations document for cars brought into Chile
Peajes – Tollbooths
Avenida - Avenue
Give way - Ceda el paso
Right of way – Prioridad
Exit – Salida
Danger – Peligro
No parking - Prohibido aparcar
Slow – Despacio
Lane – Un carril
City centre – Centro ciudad
Roadworks – Obras
Where is the nearest petrol station? – ¿Donde es la gasolinera la más cercana?
Excuse me, I’m lost – Por favor, estoy perdido…
Go straight on – ‘Siga todo recto’
Turn right – ‘Toma el giro a la derecha’
Turn left – ‘Toma el giro a la izquierda’
Detour - Desviacion
Toll Road – Carretera de Peaje
Road Closed – Cerrado.
Road Open – Abierto
Motorway – Una autopista
One way street – Direccíon unica
 

Chile Fuel Price History

Fuel Prices in Chile by Month
Month, YearDiesel €/ltrUnleaded €/ltr
Jun, 2019 0.79 1.09
May, 2019 0.81 1.11
Apr, 2019 0.80 1.08
Mar, 2019 0.79 1.05
Feb, 2019 0.79 1.06
Jan, 2019 0.82 1.09

Hiring a Car

With our Drive Smart guide you're fully prepared to hire a car in Chile and stay safe on unfamiliar roads.
Phil Partridge
Posted by Phil Partridge
About the Author -

Travel writer, car rental guru, Phil has rented cars all over the world and shares his knowledge and experience on the Rhinocarhire.com Blog. Favourite country to visit: France.

Visitor Comments

  • 11/02/2018

    Steve

    US state department strongly advises to carry an international drivers license when in Chile
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