What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

We have a car at post and it helps at times but isn't necessary. - Oct 2019

Do not bring a large car. You will normally not need a car within the city, but it's helpful to get out of the city. And do get out of the city. - Sep 2019

None, only if you need it and need/want to travel outside of the city center. I could see a car being necessary for families with kids, but I'm single so I had no need. Having a car that's available in Brazil is helpful because foreign car parts can be very expensive. - Apr 2019

Many people without kids don't bring cars and do just fine. I only missed having a car for weekend road trips. - Jun 2017

Stores here do not have parts for American cars. keep this in mind. A small car are better. I have a Honda CRV, which could be a bit too big for this city and hard to park. Think twice if you want to bring a mini van. - May 2016

Smaller is better do to expensive gas, parking and narrow streets, but anything will work here. Parts and repairs are outrageously expensive and poor quality. Prices for tires and oil are particularly obscene. Driving at night here is a death sentence. Brazilians drive wherever they want, whenever they want, signals and traffic rules be damned. They LOVE to turn across your front from three lanes out. You learn to drive with one hand on the horn and one foot on the brake at all times. I've taken to wearing a crash helmet. - Aug 2013

Smaller is better. I would also consider a Hyundai or small Ford, both have excellent local service available at dealerships. - Jun 2011

Gas is expensive, and roads are acceptable (unless you want to drive to small towns outside of Rio). You don't need an SUV. VW is very popular here. Smaller cars come handy when looking for parking. The parking spots inside the buildings tend to be very tight. - Jul 2010

Parking spaces are a a premium - the smaller the better - plus gas is about USD 8-9 a gallon I'm guessing. With 4 kids I've got a mini-van and am letting all the dents accumulate b/c I know I'll get more. I'd bring small parts (filters, spark plugs, tires) and order other small ones online. Roads are generally OK but beware of speed bumps in cities and on roads. Duties are very high (but go to 0 for diplomats if car is at least 3 yrs in country?!) and lots of people sell when they leave. - Jun 2010

Buy a local Corolla or Civic and sell it for what you paid when you leave (due to the ability of diplomats to buy tax free). - Nov 2009

Most anything but gas is really expensive. - Jan 2009

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