Guide to Driving in Chile

In Chile the right-hand side of the road is used for driving while overtakes are on the left. On the Chilean coast there are often strong earthquakes which can affect the condition of the road. It’s recommended to check if such an event occurred in the last week and to adapt your speed accordingly. Other than that the roads are in great shape in this country. In unmarked intersections you must give way to vehicles coming from your right. Most of the road signs will be easy to understand since they’re displayed using Latin characters. If you’re heading towards remote locations make sure you drive with your doors locked and don’t pick up strangers. Car thefts are a real possibility. The local drivers are not always defensive; crossing intersections on the red light and switching lanes without signaling first is a common offence. Parking is easy in general mainly because parking lots are a common sight. Some streets have parking meters so you need to pay for your stay. In parking lots there is often no fee. Speeding cameras are common on highways, but the density is not that high. Make sure that you fill the petrol tank when you have the chance because petrol stations are not such a common sight, especially on motorways.

Police officers often pull drivers over just to check for documents. You need to have your domestic license, the car’s registration, your passport and the public liability insurance. As long as your domestic license is in English there is no need to have an international driver’s permit. Police cars stand out of the other cars: they are green with front doors painted in white. Often they have the police badge drawn on the side and the words ‘CARABINEROS DE CHILE’.

Essential Driving Information

  • The use of seatbelts is mandatory for all the passengers of a car.
  • Several toll roads are operated electronically across the country and the traffic is usually smooth. Make sure you have some Chilean Pesos at hand.
  • You are not required to use the dipped beam during the day; however, when it’s raining it’s recommended to use it in order to be more visible for the other drivers.
  • The use of the mobile phone as well as smoking behind the wheel is considered an offence; the fine goes up to €200.
Speed Limits
Town/City: 60kmh (37mph)
Main Road: 120kmh (75mph)
Motorway: 120kmh (75mph)
Emergency Phone Numbers
Police: 133
Ambulance: 132
Firefighters: 131
General Information (as of 2014)
Min Driving Age: 18
Alcohol Limit: 0.05%
Petrol Price: €1.20/litre
Diesel Price: €1.05/litre
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