It is generally not recommended to drive around Buenos Aires, and for longer distances like getting to and from the airport, or anywhere in the Province of Buenos Aires, many porteños will hire a car and driver. These remises, as they are known, operate throughout the city, and like most other things, the best way to find a good one near you is by word-of-mouth recommendation.
If you prefer having a bit more independence and would like to drive instead of rely on public transportation, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, while there are traffic lights, dividing lines and street signs, many of these are looked at as more of decoration by drivers than as actual hard rules. Taxi and bus drivers will weave in and out of lanes and traffic, often crossing over into the oncoming lanes. Drivers will often run a light after it turns red and, when stopped, cross over the intersection before it changes to green. Honking and gesturing are common, and there are very few stop signs at smaller four-way intersections. At night, cars will flash their headlights as they approach these intersections to signal to other drivers entering the intersection, and during the day they’ll frequently honk their horns.
That being said, there are many porteños who drive frequently in the city and are very cautious about following the “rules.” As long as you are an alert driver and bear in mind that just because you have your turn signal on, the drivers in the next lane may not let you over, then you can survive the Buenos Aires roads. You can always hire a remis for particular outings, and many locals will do so for big nights out on the town instead of relying on taxis. New Year’s is one such night that you should call for a remis ahead of time, as you won’t be able to find a taxi to get you to the party or back home the next morning.
Below are some numbers of local remis companies, but the best ones will the ones your neighbors recommend, as each neighborhood has several from which to choose.
- Rumbocar, 4372-0556
- Abbey Rent-A-Car (site in English), 4924-1984
- Annie Millet Transfers, 6777-7777
- Full Time Remises, 4775-1011
- Universal Vans, 4105-5555
Gasoline prices in Buenos Aires hover around AR$4.30 for a liter (0.26 gallons) of petrol.