You’ve Got Options!
For distances of under 100km from Cumbuco a buggy as a rental vehicle is recommended. They are light and possess wide rear tires, which makes them perfect for driving on the beach although they are not equipped with 4-wheel drive. Taking a buggy to go kitesurfing? Put the board and the kite on the roof and off you go. Fun times guaranteed!
However, there are also a few disadvantages which should not go unmentioned:
- For longer distances, or trips outside of Cumbuco, the winds can become very unpleasant.
- If you want to store your luggage securely, a buggy may not be the best option.
- Renter Beware: buggies have a very high breakdown rate and it is said: the cheaper the buggy, the bigger the problems.
- Buggy rental companies do not offer insurance against accidents, theft, fire, or damages to third parties.
- Driving at night in a buggy should be avoided, as the lights do not often work.
- Rental prices for a buggy (ready to start) 100-150R$ per day, newer models are more expensive.
All buggies are 4×4 all-wheel drive
For longer distances and tracks where you want to go off-road, all-wheel drive vehicles are a lot more suitable and most of all more comfortable than a buggy. But beware! With an all-wheel drive you can get stuck in the sand if not following some basic rules. These vehicles are quite heavy and therefore should always be kept moving and never fully stopped in soft sand. Furthermore the tire pressure has to be adjusted accordingly. While normal tire pressure is required on roads, it has to be reduced for driving on sand. The costs depend on the length of the rental and start at 250R$ per day.
Compact Passenger Cars
Usually a conventional car is sufficient for ‘normal’ road traffic and conditions. The VW Gol, a mixture of Golf and Polo, is a very popular choice. The VW Gol includes air conditioning and comes with 150 free kilometres. In comparison, it is reasonably priced and can be rented from 75R$ per day.
Here you can find more information and awesome offers: ATENAS Rent a Car or Cumbuco Car Rental
Normally, European driver’s licenses are accepted. To be safe, bring an international driver’s license, if you have one. The license needs to be acknowledged or recognized by the traffic authority for the duration of the visa. A quick heads up: apart from a driver’s license you definitely need a credit card and a passport; the minimum required age is 21 years.
Payment & Delivery
The payment for renting a vehicle is either done directly at the airport when you arrive and choose your vehicle. Or the vehicle can be delivered to Cumbuco the next day. This has its advantages, as it is not recommended to drive across Fortaleza after a long flight and suffering from jetlag.
Driving in Brazil
The general rule is: no alcohol when driving! The police do check and stop cars regularly, however there are irresponsible people who do not follow this law–especially on Sunday afternoons when everybody is leaving the beaches. Best to sober up before you get back on the road!
Speed: Maximum speed outside of town is 110 km/h and in town between 30 and 80 km/h. Usually nobody adheres to the speed limit and therefore you should use your judgement and drive with caution.
A few things to keep in mind:
Potholes and unmaintained roads, they can cause serious damage to your car and you can get stuck out in the middle of nowhere, with no cell coverage!
Sudden appearance of wildlife on the road! Be vigilant of your surroundings, animals traverse the roads quite often and can be a mess to clean up and possibly cause damage to a vehicle, not good if you have rented a car!
Pedestrians, Hitchhikers, Cyclists!
Other vehicles that may not have proper lights or they may be faulty and they may drive without them entirely at night.
Nighttime driving (always be alert and drive with caution at night): watch for ALL of the abovementioned! You should be very careful as the streets and roads are often times insufficiently lit.
Speed bumps or ‘lombadas’ or ‘quebramolas’, often quite hard to spot, and often times unannounced. After you hit your first one you will be more vigilant. These are more popular in countries with less strict driving laws and can pose a serious problem to drivers, their safety, the vehicle and passengers, if you do not keep a watchful eye out for them!
Drive conservatively as traffic regulations are often disregarded by the locals, and foreigners for that matter. What can lead to an immediate withdrawal of the driver’s license in Germany is completely normal in Brazil.
Great news! Permanently installed speed cameras are usually announced in advance!