Car Rental in Rio De Janeiro
This information is correct as of July 2015.
Where to rent a car in Rio De Janeiro
There are several car rental companies that can be found within the city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, aside from the ones that are located in the airport. They are mainly found along the Atlantica Avenue, near the Windsor Plaza, near the Rua Figueiredo de Magalhaes, in the area of Botafogo, and along the Rua Hadock Lobo. Major car rental agencies serving the city include Sixt, Avis, Hertz, Thrifty, Europcar, and Enterprise, while local ones include Udrive, Actual Car Rental, Telecar, and others to name some. Although not entirely popular in the area due to the presence of other economical transportation options, several locals and visitors to Rio De Janeiro seek these car rental companies to drive at their own pace and enjoy the city and its surrounds.
Upon booking, prepare to present valid identification documents, driver's licence, and payment confirmation. In some cases such as that for non-Brazilian travellers, passports, international driving permits, and proof of nationality through government-issued identification cards may be required. All bookings can be done online or more popularly through the respective trunk lines/landlines of the car rental company that you're booking with, with some even allowing bookings upon arrival or by walk-in.
What to expect when renting a car from Rio De Janeiro
Unlike major cities that cram all their businesses and services at one point, Rio De Janeiro's is different. Within the city, several 'districts' handle services, and main residential areas are located in areas as designated. Particularly busy are the areas along the Avenue President Vargas, the University Area and the RJ-071, the roads near the beaches, certain sections of Av. Governador Carlos Lacerda, the RJ-104 in the Niteroi Area, and others. It is best to avoid driving to and within these areas during the rush hours, and should keep in mind that during the weekdays, some roads do not function as two-way traffic roads. Every Sunday too, the highway that is closest to the beach is closed to allow pedestrians, cyclists, skateboarders, and others to exercise. Outside the city, driving is pretty much pleasant and diverting, as spectacular views can be seen. Going to far beaches like Grumari can be an extra adventure, so it is a must-try.
Getting to your destination
Known as the Imperial City of Brazil, Petropolis is one of the more important municipalities in Rio De Janeiro. It is the closest mountain resort to the city, and a favourite destination for those who would want to escape the busy cityscape without going too far. Within Petropolis, check out the ecotourism parks and adventure sports opportunities in the area, along with its rich historic architecture and substantially cooler weather.
From Rio, Petropolis can be reached by getting on the Elevado Professor Engenheiro Rufino de Almeida Pizarro from Av. Pres. Vargas. From there, follow Via Expressa Pres. Joao Goulart/Linha Vermelha and BR-040 to Av. Aytron Senna to enter the municipality of Petropolis. The journey should take at least an hour. Tolls are to be expected.
Marica is a seaside town and destination outside main Rio De Janeiro, famous for its waterfalls and outdoor recreation possibilities. Although now a touristy area, it still is a prominent area for fishing and surfing, and also simply mooching about.
Marica can be reached by getting on the Via Elevado da Perimetral from Tunel Rio 450 Anos and Via Binario do Porto from central Rio de Janeiro, and then taking the BR-101, RJ-104, and Rod. Amaral Peixoto to Praca Conselheiro Macedo Soares towards Marica.
Campos dos Goytacazes
Another municipality of Brazil that has a beautiful nightscape, Campos dos Goytacazes boasts of its urban aura – a bit different than the country feel of the rest of Rio De Janeiro. It is also the second largest municipality after Rio, and known as the “Capital of Oil and Sugar”.
The Campos dos Goytacazes area can be reached by driving through the BR-101 from Rio De Janeiro. It is about three hours and 47 minutes away from the centre of the city, covering some 279 kilometres.