Argentina Driving Rules and Tips
Argentinian drivers can be aggressive, so prepare yourself ahead of time with the information below. Be prepared to drive defensively.
You will need the following documents when traveling by car in Argentina:
- A valid driver’s license from your own country
- International Driver’s Permit (a translation of your license into other languages. You’ll need to buy your IDP in your own country.)
- Official photo ID (passport)
- Proof of insurance in case of renting a car (Call your insurance company to make sure it will be usable in a foreign country.)
- Proof of ownership if you are bringing your own car or written permission from the owner.
You must be 18 to drive in Argentina.
Driving Rules, Laws, and Regulations
- Drive on the right hand side of the road; pass on the left.
- Road signs will be in Spanish.
- Do not turn right on red at a stoplight. Only turn left when an arrow or light indicates that you can.
- By law, everyone in the car must be wearing a seatbelt.
- Expect paved roads, though be on the lookout for potholes and uneven areas.
- Do not use your phone while driving.
- Many intersections will not have traffic signs or lights; usually, you yield to the larger road, the person who gets to the intersection first, or the person to your right.
- Even when intersections have stop signs, drivers will often treat them as yield signs. Always check for oncoming traffic.
- Be ready to slow down for police checkpoints, which will be marked with orange cones.
- Have your headlights on at all times, even during the day.
- Carry the following items in your car: two warning triangles, a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, a two bar, and a reflective stick (red).They are required by law.
- In Buenos Aires, especially, pay attention to one-way roads.
- Swap insurance, and wait for the police to arrive if you are in an accident.
Speed Limits and Fines
Speed limits will be posted in kilometers per hour; follow the posted signs. Generally, though the maximum speeds will be as described below:
- 40 km/h (25 mph) on Urban residential roads
- 60 km/h (37 mph) on Bigger urban roads
- 110 km/h (68 mph) on Rural roads
- 120-130 km/h (75-81 mph) on Highways
If a police officer asks you to pay on the spot, he or she is essentially asking for a bribe; it is better to wait and pay the official ticket. Speeding fines can be as much as 400 Argentinian pesos.
The blood alcohol content (BAC) for Argentina is 0.05g/ml which is the equivalent of one drink per hour. If you are on a motorcycle, it is 0.02.You can be stopped and asked to take a breath test. If you are caught with a BAC above the legal limit, you could face one of the following penalties:
- License confiscation
- Jail time
- You won’t find much parking on the street in the cities. The parking you do find will often be metered. You also may have to pay a few pesos to an attendant when you leave unmetered spots. These “attendants” are unofficial, but it is generally expected that you pay them.
- You can park on the right side of the street if it isn’t marked with a sign prohibiting parking.
- Park in a guarded lot if you can. Hotels often have these types of lots for your convenience.
Keep the guidelines above in mind while driving in Argentina, and your road trip should be a successful one.
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