Santiago, Chile has a lot to offer, from the Museo Interactivo Mirador to the Fantasilandia Amusement Park, and many other wonderful parks dotted around. The most convenient and flexible way to see all the major attractions is by renting a car for your stay to make sure you see everything according on your own terms. Don’t waste time and energy with public transport and expensive cabs, but get your own wheels and make the most of your visit.
Santiago’s International Airport is about 11 miles from Santiago center, so it is a great way to start the trip by picking up a car directly at the airport’s rental car desks. Follow the signs upon arrival to the car center and choose from various companies, including Alamo, Europcar, and Sixt. The fastest way into Santiago is via the Costanera Norte (to the Plaza de Armas).
Santiago is a big metropolitan city and, therefore, can have lots of traffic, so patience is definitely a must when driving in the city. Having said that, it is much easier to find an alternative route with a car than being stuck in traffic with a bus where travelers are dependent on the route the bus has to follow. When venturing outside of the city to explore the beautiful Chilean countryside, traffic decreases dramatically and a great ride is practically guaranteed.
Rush hour in Santiago is a time to be avoided, if possible, as the cars are moving even slower than in regular traffic and waiting times can go up to one hour. Usually, rush hour is on weekdays between 8 and 9:30 am and 6 and 8:30 pm, and downtown gets especially clogged up with commuters.
25% of our users found rental cars in Santiago for C$ 34 or less
Book your rental car in Santiago at least 4 days before your trip in order to get a below-average price
Mini rental cars in Santiago are around 38% cheaper than other car types, on average
FAQs about renting a car in Santiago
Some car rental companies in Santiago which have updated their car rental health and safety policies due to COVID-19 to make sure vehicles are clean and disinfected include Alamo, Avis and Europcar
On average a hire car in Santiago costs C$ 43 per day.
Based on ratings and reviews from real users on KAYAK, the best car rental company in Santiago is rentalcars.com (6.3, 50 reviews).
Yes, automatic cars are available in most car renting companies in Santiago. As cars with manual transmission are more common in many countries, you might have to pay an additional charge for renting an automatic car.
The average gas price in Santiago is C$ 6.13 per litre over the past 30 days. Filling up a gas tank costs between C$ 73 and C$ 98, depending on the car size.
Economy (Kia Rio Hatchback or similar) is the most frequently booked rental car type in Santiago.
A Economy car rental in Santiago costs C$ 37 per day, on average.
A Mini car rental in Santiago costs C$ 32 per day, on average.
A Standard car rental in Santiago costs C$ 55 per day, on average.
In Santiago, cars are most frequently rented at Alamo Av Francisco Bilbao 2846 (6 km from city centre ).
On average a rental car in Santiago costs C$ 298 per week (C$ 43 per day).
On average a rental car in Santiago costs C$ 1,275 per month (C$ 43 per day).
Bear in mind that most cars in Chile are stick shift, so, if you are not used to driving a manual car, prepare to pay more to rent an automatic one. Generally, a smaller car is a wise choice when driving in the city, as it squeezes through the lanes easier and can fit into more of the limited parking spaces the city has to offer.
Speed limits are given in km/h in Santiago and in all of Chile. In the city, there is a maximum speed limit of 50-60 km/h (31-38 mph). Rural country roads allow up to 100 km/h (62 mph) and the highway permits 120 km/h (75 mph). Always look for posted signs and adhere to the given speed limits, even if residents go faster.
The average price for gas is around 778 Chilean pesos per liter ($4.60 per gallon). Gas stations in Chile are not on every corner, so seize the opportunity to get gas whenever it presents itself. “Bomberos” are the station’s employees who will come to assist with the refilling of the car; travelers should always check the pump before the bombero starts refilling, to make sure it is set to zero.
Street parking in Santiago is metered, so always check at the sign to learn what the time restrictions are and how much it costs. Alternatively, there are also parking garages and lots available, such as the Republic Parking System Chile or the Republic Parking Santiago Downtown. It is also worth asking the hotel or accommodation if a parking space is included, as that would be the easiest solution. Also remember to never leave any valuables in your rental car.