Sao Paulo - Post Report Question and Answers

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?

An SUV. A Rav4 is a good choice. If you plan to travel outside of SP into the country something with 4 wheel drive would be preferable. Nothing to flashy or expensive. - May 2021

Smaller cars are easier to park and drive since lanes are very narrow. A car is honestly not necessary and Uber is very cheap/accessible. - Apr 2021

Something small and with high clearance. Roads are really bad in the city (though the highways are lovely!) and parking garages are tight. - Aug 2019

Something with high clearance and that can handle rough, pothole-ridden roads. Also, due to car robberies, we would recommend an older vehicle that doesn't draw attention and that you don't care if it gets dinged by other drivers. Some friends opted for armored cars, but we did not. - Nov 2017

Something that can handle potholes. - Apr 2017

A small SUV would work great for clearance and parking. - Apr 2017

I recommend that you bring a vehicle that withstand abuse...there are lots of pot-holes, fender benders, etc. There may be issues with acquiring spare parts for hybrid vehicles. - Jan 2017

We have an old Honda Accord, and it's doing fine. It would probably be better to have a car with higher clearance since the roads can flood pretty easily, but we're doing fine. - Aug 2015

Nothing big: small, compact cars and SUVs are best. Parking spaces here are REALLY tight. - Aug 2013

Small cars are best to maneuver through the city and park on the streets. Volkwagen is very big here, so you are likely to have access to parts. However, tires, car batteries, and oil are VERY expensive (an oil and filter change recently cost us $155 USD). I recommend installing new tires and battery or putting them in HHE. If you don't already have your windows tinted, get it done on arrival - they will do it darker, which is good for security reasons. If you have a car made in Brazil, expect it to take a very very long time to get through the bureaucratic process. Most people receive their car 3-4 months after they arrive. Our Brazilian-made (but US import) took about 6 months. - Dec 2012

Small SUV like CRV or RAV4 to help navigate pot holes. Parking spaces are very tight so don’t bring a huge SUV – don’t bring a car that is not typically sold in Brazil in case you have repairs or problems. - Jan 2012

Any car would work - Jan 2012

A small SUV, for its compact size and ground clearance. Roads are fair in Sao Paulo, but they do have pot holes. Parking is VERY limited, so you tend to pay for a parking space. Carjackings occur, but more so for high-end vehicles, such as Mercedes. - Jan 2012

The smaller the better, in my opinion, but plenty of people have huge SUVs and don"t seem to mind. Carjackings aren't as common as simple robbery when you are in your car at a stoplight. If you plan on travelling much outside of the city or to farms or the interior, a 4x4 would be a good choice. Definitely not necessary though. - Oct 2008

I recommend a small SUV, Honda CRV, Rav 4, or the Ford. There are a lot of potholes and dips in the road, so the extra ground clearance is nice. Folks with lower cars are constantly hitting the underside. But the lanes are small and so are the parking places, so trade-in your Ford Expedition for something more practical. - Aug 2008

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