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Driving In Uruguay: 10 Things To Know When Renting A Car


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Filide Aguinaga



Welcome to Uruguay, a beautiful country in South America known for its rich culture, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality. If you’re planning to explore Uruguay’s cities, towns, and countryside, renting a car is an excellent way to experience the country at your own pace. However, before you hit the road, there are a few important things you should know to ensure a smooth and enjoyable driving experience.


In this article, we will provide you with 10 essential things to know when renting a car in Uruguay. From driver’s license requirements to road signs and rules, we’ll cover everything you need to be aware of to make your journey on the Uruguayan roads as safe and pleasant as possible.


Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or visiting Uruguay for the first time, understanding the local driving regulations and norms is crucial to avoid any issues and ensure a hassle-free trip. So, let’s dive into these important details and get you ready for a memorable adventure on the roads of Uruguay.


Driver’s License Requirements

When renting a car in Uruguay, it is important to have a valid driver’s license. If you are a foreign visitor, you can use your international driver’s license or a valid driver’s license from your home country. Make sure that your license is written in Roman characters, as licenses in other scripts may need to be accompanied by an official translation.


It is worth noting that the minimum age to rent a car in Uruguay is 21 years old. Some rental companies may have higher age restrictions, so it’s always a good idea to check the specific requirements of the rental agency you plan to use.


Before you arrive in Uruguay, it is advisable to carry photocopies of your driver’s license and passport, as well as the original documents. These copies will serve as a backup in case you need to present your identification to authorities or rental agency staff.


Additionally, make sure to carry your driver’s license with you at all times while driving in Uruguay. It is a legal requirement and you may be subject to fines if you are unable to present your license to traffic authorities.


By being prepared with the necessary documentation, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience when renting a car and driving in Uruguay. So remember to check the validity of your driver’s license and have the necessary copies before embarking on your road trip adventure.


Minimum Driving Age

The minimum driving age in Uruguay is 21 years old. This means that you must be at least 21 years old to rent a car and drive in the country. However, it’s important to note that some car rental companies may have their own age restrictions, which may require you to be older than 21 to rent a car from them.


If you are under the age of 21, it’s advisable to check with rental agencies in advance to determine if they have any age restrictions or additional requirements for younger drivers. Some companies may allow drivers between the ages of 18 and 21 to rent a car, but they may impose higher fees or require additional forms of insurance.


It’s also worth noting that some car rental companies may impose an additional fee for drivers under the age of 25. This is because younger drivers are often considered to be more inexperienced and potentially higher risk. Again, it’s important to check with the specific rental agency you plan to use to understand their policies regarding younger drivers.


If you meet the minimum driving age requirements, have a valid driver’s license, and fulfill any additional criteria set by the rental agency, you’ll be ready to hit the road and explore the stunning landscapes of Uruguay.


Remember, driving in a new country can be a thrilling experience, but it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the local driving regulations and laws to ensure your safety and the safety of others on the road.



When renting a car in Uruguay, it’s important to have proper insurance coverage to protect yourself, the vehicle, and any potential third parties involved in an accident. Most car rental companies in Uruguay provide insurance options that you can choose from.


The two main types of insurance coverage offered by rental companies in Uruguay are:

  • Collision Damage Waiver (CDW): This insurance option covers damages to the rental vehicle in case of an accident or collision. It typically includes a deductible that you would need to pay in case of any damages.
  • Third Party Liability Insurance: This insurance option covers any damages or injuries caused to third parties involved in an accident. It is mandatory in Uruguay to have liability insurance coverage.

It’s important to carefully review the terms and conditions of the insurance coverage offered by the rental company and understand what is included and what is not. In some cases, there may be additional coverage options available, such as personal accident insurance or theft protection.


Before renting a car, it’s also a good idea to check if your credit card offers any rental car insurance coverage. Some credit cards provide insurance benefits that can supplement or replace the coverage offered by the rental company.


Regardless of the insurance coverage you choose, it’s important to inspect the rental vehicle thoroughly before signing the rental agreement. Take note of any pre-existing damages and inform the rental company to avoid being held responsible for them.


Having the right insurance coverage will give you peace of mind and protect you financially in case of any unforeseen accidents or damages during your rental period. It’s always better to be prepared and ensure a worry-free journey on the roads of Uruguay.


Road Signs and Rules

When driving in Uruguay, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the local road signs and rules to ensure a safe and smooth journey. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Drive on the right-hand side of the road: In Uruguay, vehicles drive on the right-hand side of the road, and the steering wheel is on the left-hand side of the car.
  • Respect traffic signs and signals: Pay close attention to traffic signs, signals, and road markings. They provide important information and regulations that you must follow.
  • Roundabouts: Uruguay has many roundabouts, and it’s important to know how to navigate them. Yield to vehicles already in the roundabout and use your turn signals to indicate your exit.
  • Overtaking: When overtaking another vehicle, use caution and ensure it is safe to do so. Always pass on the left side of the vehicle.
  • Speed limits: Speed limits in Uruguay vary depending on the type of road. In urban areas, the speed limit is typically 50 km/h (31 mph), while on highways, it can range from 90 km/h (56 mph) to 110 km/h (68 mph). Always adhere to the posted speed limits.
  • Seatbelts: It is mandatory for all occupants of a vehicle to wear seatbelts at all times. Ensure that everyone in the car is properly buckled up.
  • Mobile phones: It is prohibited to use handheld mobile devices while driving. Use a hands-free device if you need to make or receive calls.
  • Pedestrians and cyclists: Yield to pedestrians at marked crosswalks and give cyclists plenty of space when sharing the road.

It’s important to note that traffic enforcement in Uruguay is strict, and traffic violations can result in fines or other penalties. To avoid any issues, it’s best to follow the rules of the road and drive responsibly.


By familiarizing yourself with the road signs and rules in Uruguay, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable driving experience while exploring the beautiful country.


Speed Limits

When driving in Uruguay, it’s important to adhere to the posted speed limits to ensure your safety and avoid any potential fines. Here are the speed limits you should be aware of:

  • Urban Areas: In urban areas, the speed limit is generally 50 km/h (31 mph). This speed limit is meant to ensure the safety of pedestrians and other vehicles sharing the road.
  • Rural Areas: On rural roads and highways, the speed limit can vary. Typically, it ranges from 90 km/h (56 mph) to 110 km/h (68 mph), depending on the specific road and conditions. Pay attention to the signs indicating the speed limit for the particular stretch of road you are on.

It’s important to note that speed limits are strictly enforced in Uruguay, and exceeding the speed limit can result in fines or other penalties. Additionally, speed cameras are deployed in certain areas to monitor and enforce speed limits.


Driving at a safe and appropriate speed is crucial not only for your own safety but also for the safety of others on the road. It allows you to have better control of your vehicle and react to any unexpected situations.


In certain urban areas, there may be specific zones with reduced speed limits, such as school zones or residential areas. Be vigilant for signs indicating these reduced speed zones and adjust your speed accordingly.


Remember, it’s always better to drive at a safe and legal speed to ensure a smooth and enjoyable driving experience in Uruguay.


Tolls and Parking

When driving in Uruguay, it’s important to be aware of tolls and parking regulations to ensure a hassle-free experience. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Tolls: Uruguay has a well-developed road network, and some highways have tolls. When approaching a toll booth, be prepared to pay the fee in cash. Make sure to have small denomination bills as change may not always be available. The toll fees vary depending on the distance traveled and the type of vehicle.
  • Parking: When it comes to parking, make sure to follow the designated parking regulations. In urban areas, you will find both paid parking zones and free parking zones. In paid parking zones, you’ll need to purchase a parking ticket from a nearby machine and display it on your vehicle’s dashboard. Always double-check the parking signs to avoid parking in restricted areas or during prohibited times.
  • Parking Garages: In larger cities, you’ll also find parking garages or parking lots where you can park your vehicle for a fee. These are convenient options if you plan to explore the city on foot and want to ensure the safety of your vehicle.

It’s important to note that parking regulations are strictly enforced in Uruguay, and parking violations can result in fines or your vehicle being towed. To avoid any issues, make sure to park your vehicle in designated areas and comply with the parking regulations.


When parking on the streets, always remember to lock your vehicle and avoid leaving any valuable items visible inside. It’s always better to take precautions to deter any potential theft.


By understanding the toll and parking regulations in Uruguay, you can navigate the roads confidently and ensure convenient parking during your adventures in the country.


Seatbelt Laws

Seatbelt usage is a vital aspect of road safety, and it’s essential to comply with the seatbelt laws when driving in Uruguay. Here’s what you need to know:


In Uruguay, the use of seatbelts is mandatory for all occupants of a vehicle, regardless of their seating position. Both the driver and passengers must wear seatbelts at all times while the vehicle is in motion.


Children under the age of 12 must be seated in the back seat of the vehicle and properly restrained using an appropriate child safety seat or booster seat. The type of restraint required depends on the child’s age, weight, and height.


It’s important to note that failure to wear a seatbelt, or not ensuring that passengers are properly restrained, can result in fines and penalties. Additionally, in the event of an accident, not wearing a seatbelt can increase the risk of severe injuries or fatalities.


When renting a car in Uruguay, ensure that the vehicle is equipped with functioning seatbelts for all occupants. If you are traveling with children, make sure to request child safety seats or boosters from the rental company, or bring your own if you have them.


Always make it a priority to buckle up before starting the engine and remind your passengers to do the same. Seatbelts save lives, and it’s a simple but crucial step in ensuring your safety and the safety of those traveling with you.


By adhering to the seatbelt laws, you can have a safer and more responsible driving experience during your time in Uruguay.


Drinking and Driving

When it comes to drinking and driving, it is essential to prioritize the safety of yourself, your passengers, and other road users. In Uruguay, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for drivers is 0.3 g/L. However, it is always recommended to refrain from consuming any alcohol before getting behind the wheel.


Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not only illegal but also extremely dangerous. It impairs your judgment, slows your reaction time, and increases the risk of accidents. Law enforcement in Uruguay takes drinking and driving seriously, and strict penalties are imposed on those found violating the law.


If you plan to consume alcoholic beverages, it’s best to designate a sober driver or use alternative transportation options such as taxis, rideshares, or public transportation. Many cities in Uruguay have well-developed transport systems that make it convenient and safe to get around without using a private vehicle.


It’s important to note that even small amounts of alcohol can affect your ability to drive safely. It is always better to err on the side of caution and choose not to drink and drive.


By making responsible choices and avoiding drinking and driving, you can help promote road safety and contribute to a safer driving environment in Uruguay.


Road Conditions

When driving in Uruguay, it’s important to be aware of the road conditions to ensure a smooth and safe journey. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Highways: Uruguay has well-maintained highways that connect major cities and tourist destinations. These highways generally have good road conditions and are well signposted. However, it’s always advisable to drive with caution and be prepared for sudden changes in traffic or weather conditions.
  • Rural Roads: When venturing off the highways into rural areas, the road conditions may vary. Some roads may be paved, while others may be gravel or dirt. It’s important to adjust your driving accordingly and maintain a slower speed on unpaved roads to ensure better control of your vehicle.
  • Weather Conditions: Uruguay experiences a temperate climate, but weather conditions can change quickly. Be aware of weather forecasts and prepare for rainy or foggy conditions, especially during the winter months. Take extra caution when driving in adverse weather conditions to maintain appropriate control of your vehicle.
  • Animal Crossings: In rural areas, it’s not uncommon to encounter livestock crossing the roads. Be cautious and reduce your speed when approaching areas with signs indicating possible animal crossings. The same applies to wildlife, as Uruguay is home to various species.
  • Construction Zones: Like any other country, road construction or maintenance projects may occur in Uruguay. Pay attention to signs and reduce your speed in construction zones to ensure the safety of road workers and fellow drivers.

It’s advisable to always have a spare tire, a jack, and the necessary tools in case of any roadside emergencies. Additionally, make it a habit to regularly check your vehicle’s lights, brakes, and tire pressure to ensure optimal roadworthiness.


If you encounter any road hazards or conditions that require immediate attention, you can report them to the authorities by calling the emergency number (911) or the designated helpline for traffic incidents.


By staying informed about road conditions and adapting your driving to the specific circumstances, you can have a safer and more enjoyable journey on the roads of Uruguay.


Emergency Numbers

When driving in Uruguay or any other country, it’s important to be familiar with the emergency contact numbers in case of any unforeseen situations. Here are the essential emergency numbers to keep in mind:

  • 911: This is the general emergency number in Uruguay. It can be dialed in case of any life-threatening emergencies, accidents, or crimes. The operators are trained to handle various types of emergencies and will dispatch the appropriate emergency services.
  • Traffic Incidents: In case of a traffic accident or any road-related emergencies, you can also reach out to the Road Safety Assistance Service (SRT) at 0800-2000. They can provide assistance, tow services, and help with reporting the incident.
  • Medical Assistance: If you require medical assistance, you can call the public emergency medical service (SEM) at 105 or the private emergency service at 103.
  • Police: For non-emergency situations or to report minor incidents, you can reach the police by dialing 0800-5000. They will guide you on the necessary steps to take or provide assistance as needed.

It’s a good idea to save these emergency numbers in your phone before starting your journey in Uruguay. Having these numbers readily available can save precious time in case of an emergency.


When making an emergency call, try to provide clear and concise information about the situation, your location, and any relevant details that will help the emergency services respond promptly.


Remember, in the event of an emergency, it’s important to stay calm, prioritize your safety, and follow the instructions given by the emergency responders.


By being prepared with the emergency contact numbers and knowing how to access help when needed, you can have peace of mind and ensure a safer travel experience in Uruguay.



Driving in Uruguay offers a fantastic opportunity to explore the country’s diverse landscapes and vibrant cities. By keeping a few key points in mind, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience on the roads.


In this article, we’ve covered important information regarding driver’s license requirements, minimum driving age, insurance, road signs and rules, speed limits, tolls and parking, seatbelt laws, drinking and driving, road conditions, and emergency numbers. Familiarizing yourself with these aspects will help you navigate the roads of Uruguay confidently and responsibly.


Remember to always carry a valid driver’s license, comply with the minimum driving age, and have proper insurance coverage for your rental vehicle. Adhere to the road signs and posted speed limits, and use seatbelts at all times. Avoid drinking and driving, and be aware of the road conditions and emergency contact numbers.


Uruguay’s road network is well-maintained, and driving allows you to discover the country at your own pace. Take advantage of the opportunity to explore the charming coastal towns, serene countryside, and lively cities.


So buckle up, follow the rules of the road, and embark on a memorable driving adventure in Uruguay. Enjoy the enchanting landscapes, experience the warmth of the Uruguayan culture, and create lasting memories of your journey.