At first time, driving in Bolivia can be hazardous as roads condition. Many highways do not have lighting, shoulders, and fencing. Some routes along the Andes are single lane. Moreover, signage is minimal on the roads. There are three main highways that run Santa Cruz in different directions: "Carretera Nueva a Cochabamba", "Carretera Vieja a Cochabamba", and "Carretera a Trinidad".
To drive legally in Bolivia, foreign visitors need to have a driver license and insurance. It is also recommended to obtain an International driving permit for short-term driving.
For driving outside the major cities, a four-wheel-drive vehicle is highly recommended.
In Bolivia, most roads are toll roads.
The road traffic rules:
- Driving is on the right hand side.
- To drive in Bolivia, a persona is required to be at least 18 years of age.
- The permitted blood alcohol level is 0.07%.
- To rent a car in Bolivia, a driver needs to be 25 years or older and have held a driver license for at least 1 year. Drivers also need to have insurance.
- While driving, cell phones may only be used with hands-free system.
- It is prohibited making U-turns in the following cases:
- at intersections of streets and roads;
- in the pedestrian crossings;
- less than 200 meters to curves, peaks or gradients, railroad crossings, bridges, and tunnels;
- in places where the ban signaling;
- in the streets and avenues, having full turn around the block.
- It is prohibited to move back on urban roads, except in the case of stagnation. On rural roads may be made this maneuver only when absolutely necessary and with extreme caution.
- At an intersection of paths of the same class, a vehicle approaching from the right side has the right of way.
- The glare is strictly prohibited.
- It is prohibited to use of the horn during evening and night hours within the urban cities. During the day, it can be used only in cases of emergency and when the driver has no other way to avoid an accident.
- It is mandatory to use of the horn at curves, intersections, slopes, and especially on mountain roads.
- It is forbidden to drive the vehicle in neutral, with the joystick placed in neutral or with the engine off.
- Vehicles may not interrupt or disturb a military parade, school or civil, religious or funeral procession, whether it is running or stopped.
- Generally, towing vehicles are prohibited.
- If there are puddles of water or other substances on the road, the driver must slow the vehicle and take the necessary precautions to avoid wetting or soiling to pedestrians.
- Maximum speeds within the urban areas of cities and towns are: 10 km/h in school and military zones (considering this effect between 50 meters before and after the place where it is located) and 20 km/h on the streets where pedestrians are present.
- The maximum speed on the highways is 80 km/h and on roads outside urban areas 70 km/h.
- It is required that drivers carry their valid driver licences, car registration documents and insurance documents at all times while driving.
- Warning triangle is mandatory to be in any vehicle.
- It is prohibited to park and stop in the stop sets for public service vehicles. It is also prohibited to park:
- less than 10 meters from the entrance doors to educational institutions, churches, hospitals, clinics, and theaters during the hours of turnout.
- less than 20 meters at a railroad crossing;
- less than 5 meters from a corner or intersection of roads;
- before the fuel pumps (petrol, diesel, etc..) and in a space of 15 meters of them, with the exception of vehicles to stop to load or unload fuel.
Driving Overseas - Short Information
- Pedestrians always have right of way.