If you’re interested in renting a car in Chile and it’s requirements, don’t miss this article. We’ll tell you everything you need to know so that you can make a decision or a reservation with all the updated information.
One of the most important decisions when traveling is to choose the transportation in the arrival destination. There are those who prefer to use public transport or those who prefer to order taxis to go from one place to another. This article is for those who prefer to rent a car, and specifically, for those who prefer to rent a car in Chile.
1. Renting a car in Chile carries 3 general requirements:
- Meet the minimum age;
- Present a valid driver’s license and identity document; and
- Present a credit card in the name of the tenant.
You can’t rent a car in Chile if…
- You are under 22 years old (in some companies) and 24 years old (in other companies).
- You don’t have a credit card.
- You have credit cards, but you do not have the sufficient quota required by these companies, which is between USD450 and USD600.
However, there are more requirements for you to rent a car in Chile that you must take into account. Keep reading and then we are going to tell you everything you need to know.
2. Renting a car in Chile: Requirements
- To rent a vehicle in Chile, it is necessary to obtain the international driving license before the trip. Although rental operators -and also local police- generally accept national licenses, difficulties could arise in relation to insurance in the event of a claim. Therefore, the recommendation is to have both licenses.
- On the other hand, it is necessary to leave as a guarantee, an international card with a minimum available credit of approximately USD750 and the card must belong to the driver of the vehicle.
- If you want to return the car in a place other than the rental, you should consider an additional payment known as “drop off”. This value can be checked in our Rate Calculator. Generally, the prices of our operators include unlimited mileage, insurance (with or without deductible) and local taxes (VAT). They also incorporate a 24-hour emergency service, advice in case of panas and towing service in sectors near the capital and / or rental office. For more information, read the general insurance conditions that will be sent to you when requesting an offer.
- If you are planning to cross the border to Argentina, you must obtain the corresponding permission and pay for the notarial procedure and insurance. Prices change according to each operator.
3. The choice of the vehicle
Along with the number of passengers and the comfort levels that each person requires, the choice of a vehicle will depend on the travel destination:
For those who only want to visit tourist centers, a small or medium car will suffice.
Those who seek to visit national parks in the mountain range or have remote places as their destination (such as the Carretera Austral), should, if possible, choose an all-terrain vehicle with simple traction (Pickup 4×2) that is high enough, since in many cases the access routes to such places are gravel roads and full of holes.
For expeditions in uninhabited regions and away from regularly traveled roads (for example, access routes to starting points for mountain ascents) and in high altitude areas, a four-wheel drive vehicle (Pickup or Jeep 4×4) is recommended. This type of vehicle is notoriously more expensive than the 4×2.
For long trips on rough roads, the general recommendation is to choose a pickup truck rather than a jeep. The trucks are more stable, firmer, and easier to drive than a jeep. This choice does not imply giving up comfort. The best truck models have spacious cabins (4 doors), seats, and air conditioning. With a dome or a tarp (both with additional payment and not available in all operators), you can protect your luggage from the rain and avoid a bit of dust. If necessary, have the car equipped with a second spare wheel and a spare fuel can – both can be very useful on long trips in regions far from inhabited centers.
4. Requirements company by company
According to what is reported on its website, the requirements that the company demands in order to rent a car are:
- Valid identity card / passport.
- Current driver’s license.
- Driver over 22 years old.
- Credit card in guarantee.
- Regarding the quota that the credit card must have, it is indicated that it must be greater than $ 450,000.-
With regard to the Econorent company, it is reported that its website that the requirements to rent a car in our country are:
- Be older than 24 years
- Chilean citizens: National Identity Card and valid driver’s license
- Foreign Citizens: Identification Document or Passport and License of the country of origin or valid international. This applies to foreigners as tourists in Chile
- Foreign citizens who have already processed the Chilean Identity Card, for residence and / or work, must also process and obtain the Chilean Driver’s License. Foreign citizens with residence in Chile, who are doing temporary or permanent jobs and are not as a tourist, must have a Chilean Driver’s License, issued by one of the Municipalities authorized for this process
- The owner of the lease must guarantee with his Credit Card (minimum quota to guarantee the lease from $ 300,000-USD 600, the amount of the guarantee will depend on the number of days of lease and the selected vehicle), presenting his Identity Card and valid Driver’s License.
Finally, we have Europcar, a company which informs on its website that the requirements to rent a car in Chile are:
- Minimum age 22 years old.
- Valid identity card.
- Current driver’s license.
- Credit card in guarantee.
- In the case of foreign citizens, they must present the following documents: Valid identity document or Passport, Valid and current driver’s license from the country of origin, Credit card in guarantee.
- As for the credit card quota, they must be $ 350,000.
Prices may vary depending on the time of year, the company that is chosen and the demand that there is. In general, these prices are:
- Compact sedans cost USD$50-$60 per day.
- Standard sedans cost USD$60-70 per day.
- SUVs cost USD$70-90 per day.
Currently it is possible to get good deals due to Covid-19. It’s best to check the current prices on the car rental companies’ websites directly.
- Gas prices in Chile are higher than the US but lower than Europe (about 50% higher than US and 50% lower than Europe), it’s also higher than other South American countries.
- Most gas stations are full service, meaning you do not fill the car yourself but instead an attendant will help you fill the tank. You just tell them if you want a full tank or a monetary amount, and they will do the work for you. Payment is then done by credit card or cash.
- It’s customary to tip the gas station attendant. In terms of amount, you will not need to tip more than 500 pesos (= 60 cents USD). Most people tip 200-400 pesos. So make sure to carry some 100-peso coins on the car so you can tip the attendants at gas stations.