A hire car is the most comfortable and efficient way to explore not only the huge city of Belo Horizonte, but also all the other gems across the state of Minas Gerais. Within the city limits, you can hop in the car and visit the Minerão Stadium, or the nearby Lake Pampulha. Embark on an epic road trip and drive to the village of Ouro Preto, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, sitting just over 70 miles from Belo Horizonte.
Most of the major car hire companies, including Avis and Hertz, can be found at Tancredo Neves International Airport (CNF), which is located just over 20 miles from the city center. All the car hire desks can be found both in Terminal 1 and 3 (depending on where you land), in the respective Arrivals Hall lobby. You will need an International Driver’s Permit to rent a car in Brazil. Make sure to request a GPS device that is set to English.
While driving in Belo Horizonte may be pretty straightforward with the help of a GPS, the city is surrounded by mountains so there will be some hilly roads. Roads throughout the state aren’t in great condition, but locals are used to driving there, so they may seem slightly reckless. Just stay within speed limits and drive carefully.
While traffic in Belo Horizonte isn’t as bad as in other Brazilian cities like São Paulo, driving during rush hour can easily add up to an hour to your travels. Plan your journey in advance and avoid driving into the city center or to the airport between 6:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Evening rush hour peaks at 6 p.m., but avoid driving anytime between 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. if you don’t want to add extra time to your journey.
Book your rental car in Belo Horizonte at least 2 weeks before your trip in order to get a below-average price
Intermediate rental cars in Belo Horizonte are around 22% cheaper than other car types, on average
FAQs about hiring a car in Belo Horizonte
The average price of fuel in Belo Horizonte is $8.85 per litre over the past 30 days. Filling up a tank of fuel costs between $106 and $142, depending on the car size.
Intermediate (Hyundai Accent or similar) is the most frequently booked car hire type in Belo Horizonte.
A Intermediate car rental in Belo Horizonte costs $40 per day, on average.
A Economy car rental in Belo Horizonte costs $40 per day, on average.
A Standard car rental in Belo Horizonte costs $54 per day, on average.
If you’re not used to manual transmission, make sure you book an automatic vehicle in advance. If you’re just driving throughout Belo Horizonte, a small, compact car will be enough for your needs. If you’re traveling across the state, a mid-sized sedan with good fuel efficiency is probably the best option as it offers more space and comfort for longer journeys.
The speed limit in urban areas is usually 60 km/h (37 mph), but it may be as low as 30 km/h (19 mph) in certain residential areas, so watch out for the posted signs. Unpaved roads have a speed limit of 60 km/h (37 mph), and highways in urban areas observe a limit of 80 km/h (50 mph). Highways in rural areas allow you to drive at a maximum of 110 km/h (68 mph).
If you’re renting a car in Belo Horizonte but don’t plan to drive around the city that much, it’s best to find accommodation that offers parking. However, there are plenty of parking spaces in the city center, with rates ranging from around $2 to $3 per hour, depending on the location. There are also several parking lots where you can leave your car for a daily fee.