Driving in Argentina

Updated 2018-07-13 13:53

The landscapes in Argentina are about as spectacular and multifaceted as they come, with beaches, forests, mountains and glaciers, making it the perfect country to explore by car, as you can take it all in at your own pace.

Whereas it is more practical to use public transport in the big cities, there are some parts of Argentina that can only be accessed by car, so if you are planning to travel around, you might wish to consider renting a vehicle. The scenic 'Ruta Nacional 40' is the longest road in the country, stretching over 5,000 kilometres straight down from the Bolivian border to the southernmost tip of South America. A lot of tourists enjoy driving along this road to admire the breathtaking countryside, usually in a 4x4 vehicle, which becomes essential during the rainy season, as the roads can become completely inundated. To rent one of these, you will need to have an international driver's licence that is valid for three years.

An international driving license is generally free of charge. To apply, contact your prefecture or the driving authority in your area with all supporting documents, which includes:

  • An ID card or passport
  • 2 x passport-sized photos
  • Your national driving license

It is worth being a member of the Automóvil Club Argentino when driving in Argentina, as it has gas stations, garages, and offices all over the country, plus it offers to tow in and around major destinations. You'll also be granted privileges with your membership, such as road service and discounts on maps and accommodations. Just be sure to always carry your card.

Road safety

Some parts of Argentina also face problems of road safety. Road mortality remains very high, and extreme caution also is required with regards to violence and crime committed against drivers (often when cars are stopped at traffic lights). It is thus highly recommended to drive with windows down and doors locked.

If you live in Argentina permanently, you must apply for an Argentine license. To get your Argentine driving license, visit the Dirección General de Transportes with your resident visa, your passport, your DNI and your national driving license. Fees of 50 pesos apply. The duration of your Argentine license will be equivalent to the duration of your visa. If you are a permanent resident, the duration of your license Argentina will be of 5 years (renewable).

Driving laws

Wear a seatbelt

Seat belts are obligatory and everyone in the car must wear one, though this is commonly ignored in Argentina. However, as a driver, you will be fined and may have points taken off your licence if you do not comply, so it is simply not worth the risk. Headrests are also required for the driver and passengers.


Note that when driving in Argentina, the legal limit for alcohol in one's blood is 50mg per 100ml of blood, which is less than in some other countries. You will be charged and arrested if you are found to be over the limit. Again, it's not worth the risk.

Minimum age

The minimum age for driving in Argentina is 18, so even if you've passed your driving test at 17 back in your home country, you will have to wait until you're 18 to get it in Argentina. There are also age restrictions for car rentals, which you can check with the rental companies.

Take out insurance

Liability insurance is compulsory in Argentina, and the police will ask to see proof that you have this insurance at various different checkpoints. Reputable insurers in the country include Mapfre and ACA.

Get all the necessary kit

You must have two warning triangles, a rigid tow bar, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, and red reflective sticker for the back of the car. If you are renting a car, you'll most likely find that these things are included but if not, you can buy them at most garages.


Fines that are given and asked to be paid on the spot do not exist in Argentina, so if you are asked to pay one, it's a scam. You should instead be given a ticket and the chance to pay at a police station or bank.

We hope you found this article useful! For more articles on visiting Argentina, visit our website.

Useful links:

Gobierno la Ciudad de Buenos Aires - Driving license

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