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Brazil is the biggest country of South America and it has also the largest road network: more than 1.6 million kilometres of roads. On major distances, it will be the best to travel by plane, but for travelling within a smaller area, a car is often the most comfortable way. It allows you to reach destinations independently and flexibly which are difficult to reach with public busses or only within much more time.
An international driver's license is not required to drive in Brazil , but it will be useful for police controls. The traffic rules are mostly the same that you know from your home country but however are often disregarded by the locals. You should not rely on your right to go. Brazilians may also pass in unclear situations, busses and trucks often enforce their right of way only because of their size. Be aware of pedestrians or animals - they may be found also on highways - so better drive very carefully.
The maximum speed in Brazil is 60 km/h inside cities, 80 km/h outside (but only 40 km/h on rural roads) and 100 km/h on highways. Apart from gasoline, gas stations also sell alcohol - in Brazil, most vehicles can run with both fuels. You will find stations all over the county. However this does not apply to the large Amazon area where you better refill the tank whereever you can. You better take a reserve canister with you. Please find here more information about the current petrol prices.
Many roads in Brazil are in very good condition, especially along the coast and in the populated areas in the south. In other regions you will also find gravel and dirt roads for which a 4WD is the much better option. This is especially important if you travel to the Amazon jungle where many routes are difficult to pass - or not at all in the rainy season (November to March). This is why you better take a good map with you (e.g. the Brazil waterproof road map from World Mapping Project) and inform yourself carefully before your trip about distances, road conditions, and the required travel time. On Brazil travel guide you find a lot of help, e.g. an extensive table of distances. The website of cochera andina e.g. provides useful information on nearly 300 routes in Brazil.