A hire car is the best way to explore the huge state of São Paulo, including the university city of Campinas and its main points of interest, such as Portugal Park. With a car, you can head to nearby towns like Santana de Parnaiba or Bom Jesus dos Perdoes, both 40 miles away, or embark on a longer road trip to the coast, such as to the paradisiac location of Ilhabela, which is a 120-mile drive away.
There are several hire car companies at Viracopos International Airport, including Hertz, Movida, and Unidas. The airport is located about 12 miles from Campinas and the car hire desks can be found on the Arrivals Hall of the main terminal. You need an International Driving Permit (IDP) to rent a vehicle in Brazil.
Navigating Campinas is straightforward enough, but it’s recommended to have a GPS device in the car in case you get lost, as locals may not speak any English. It’s best to stay off the roads at night, because lighting can be poor and the chances of encountering drunk drivers are higher. Jaywalking is also common, so stick to the speed limits and drive defensively at all times.
Campinas may not be as chaotic in terms of traffic as the state capital of São Paulo, but driving during rush hour can add a substantial amount of time to your travels. Avoid driving in the city center, and especially towards the airport, between 6:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m., and then again between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Book your car hire in Campinas at least 1 week before your trip in order to get a below-average price
Economy car hires in Campinas are around 37% cheaper than other car types, on average
FAQs about hiring a car in Campinas
The average price of fuel in Campinas is R67,88 per litre over the past 30 days. Filling up a tank of fuel costs between R814 and R1 086, depending on the car size.
Economy (Hyundai Accent or similar) is the most frequently booked car hire type in Campinas.
A Economy car hire in Campinas costs R330 per day, on average.
A Compact car hire in Campinas costs R400 per day, on average.
A Standard car hire in Campinas costs R462 per day, on average.
Manual transmission vehicles are much more common in Brazil, so if you’re not comfortable driving a stick, make sure to book an automatic car in advance. The state of São Paulo itself is huge so, if you’re taking on longer journeys, a regular sedan with good fuel efficiency is usually a good option.
The speed limit in built-up areas throughout Brazil is usually 60 km/h (37 mph), but it may be as low as 30 km/h (19 mph) in specific residential areas and school zones. Unpaved roads have the speed limit of 60 km/h (37 mph), and the limit on highways in urban areas is 80 km/h (50 mph). Highways in rural areas have a maximum limit of 110 km/h (68 mph).
The average petrol price in Campinas is about R$15.87 ($4.09 USD) per gallon. Some petrol stations offer lower prices of about R$15.10 ($3.89 USD) per gallon, while at others you will have to pay as much as R$17.03 ($4.39 USD) per gallon. Petrolstations aren’t that easy to find, even on main roads connecting major cities, so make sure you fill up the tank before taking longer journeys.
On-street parking may not be so easy to find in Campinas, but there are several parking lots throughout the center where you can leave your car safely, with rates ranging between $0.80 and $1.60. It’s also common to find parking assistants who’ll look after your vehicle while it’s parked for a small fee.