Which rental car is best suited to your trip to Chile depends on the number of passengers and the luggage you are carrying. Another important factor is the planned itinerary. Large parts of the Panamericana as well as the other highways in Chile are modern and well developed and therefore easy to drive on with any type of car. This also applies to cities in general.
In contrast, many feeder roads to national parks, the roads in the national parks themselves and in the Andes are usually bumpy gravel roads. This applies to the far north (Atacama), the Andean regions in central Chile and the south. Despite its famous name, the Carretera Austral is largely just an adventurous dirt road through the wilderness. It is being paved more and more, but it will be many years before this mammoth project is completed.
For such routes you should choose a vehicle with higher ground clearance and possibly 4-wheel drive. For extreme tours in the Andes or on the Carretera Austral, car rental companies only allow pick-up cars, jeeps or SUVs. If you have an accident or breakdown with an unsuitable vehicle category on these routes, there is no insurance coverage!
Additional equipment makes sense depending on the itinerary and can be booked for a fee. The following accessories are available: GPS device, child seat, additional spare wheel, petrol can (legally only permitted to carry with you on the back of pick-up trucks), snow chains, ski rack.
Our rental cars can be rented at the locations listed below in Chile. Please note that not all vehicles are available at every rental location.
Santiago de Chile
Coyhaique (no small cars available)
Puerto Natales (no small cars available)
Punta Arenas (no small cars available)
For picking up your rental car at the international airport of Santiago de Chile or national airports in other cities, extra fees between US$ 50 and US$ 130 will be charged (depending on the rental period).
If you do not return the rental car at the same location where you picked it up, a one-way fee will apply. This is calculated depending on the distance and car category. The amount of the one-way fee varies depending on the car rental company.
We would like to point out that for extreme regions such as Puerto Natales, Punta Arenas, Coyhaique, special and higher one-way fees apply because the return of the vehicles involves great logistical effort and costs.
Below is an overview with distances and fees (only serves as a reference!):
Distance in km
0 – 150
151 – 300
301 – 450
451 – 600
601 – 750
751 – 1.000
1.001 – 1.500
1.501 – 2.000
2.001 – 2.500
2.501 and more
approx. 55 €
approx. 110 €
approx. 155 €
approx. 175 €
approx. 260 €
approx. 375 €
approx. 430 €
approx. 625 €
approx. 860 €
approx. 1.250 €
All models and prices listed include unlimited mileage. An exception to this are some long-term rentals of 26 days or more. This cheaper monthly rate may include a limited number of kilometers of 4,000 km / month. Each additional kilometer is charged at 119 pesos (approx. 0.13 cents) when the rental car is returned.
Our prices allow the registration of a second driver without additional costs. All drivers have to submit their personal data and driver’s license in the rental agreement.
Third Party Liability Insurance
In Chile, the coverage provided by the statutory liability insurance is low and is only the equivalent of around US$ 20,000 (property damage) and US$ 350,000 (personal injury). Please note that the coverage amounts differ for each provider and these values are for guidance only. If you are interested, please ask us about possible additional insurance to increase the coverage.
Collision Damage Waiver
Our rental cars always include comprehensive insurance with a deductible for certain events. Extended coverage can be achieved through supplementary insurance. If you are interested, please ask us.
Due to higher insurance costs because of poor road conditions (gravel roads) in Patagonia, higher insurance costs and thus higher rental rates are charged for rental cars in Coyhaique, Puerto Natales and Punta Arenas.
If you have an accident, you must call the police so that they can record the damage. The insurance company is only liable to the contractually agreed extent if the police report is submitted. The obligation to file a police report for insurance purposes also applies in cases where your vehicle is damaged (not accidentally) or you cause damage yourself. The police number in Chile is 133. You also must inform your car rental company immediately!
When the vehicle is handed over, a guarantee will be blocked on your credit card. It is therefore important that you carry a credit card valid for international use and with a freely available limit of at least between US$ 500 and US$ 1,000 (depending on the value of the car rental). The guarantee will be released again if the vehicle is returned properly, provided there are no complaints.
Crossing the border to Argentina with your rental car is only permitted with an additional liability insurance valid for Argentina and a notarized permission for the transfer of the rental car.
The costs for the Argentina border crossing permit depend on the length of the rental period and varies between approx. US$ 130 (up to 15 days) and approx. US$ 260 (>15 days).
We will issue Argentina permit for you when you book your rental car. Therefore, when booking your rental car, please state that you are planning to cross the border to Argentina so that we can take care of everything in good time. The permit will be ready when you pick up the car. Unfortunately, spontaneous trips to Argentina without these documents are not possible.
The rental car drop-off place must always be in Chile!