Parking and Driving Rules
As in North America, driving is on the right side of the road in Argentina and throughout South America. Outside of urban areas such as Buenos Aires, it is mandatory to drive with your headlights on, even during the daytime. Turn signals are rarely used, and most drivers won’t respect the intent of yours, so be cautious when making turns and keep a close eye on other drivers for quick lane changes and cross-lane turns. Stopping at red lights is a law that is frequently ignored, so when approaching intersections be aware of any crossing traffic. Always keep your doors locked. Left turns, for the most part, are not allowed in the city except where specifically indicated by traffic lights. Officially, drivers on the right hand side have the right-of-way, but don’t expect this to mean anything to other drivers.
Parallel parking along streets is common, and any place where street parking isn’t allowed is marked by a sign with an upper-case E inside a circle with a line through it, or a sign that says ‘No Estacionar’, which means ‘No Parking.’
The Argentina Transportation Department (Dirección Nacional de Vialidad) has a website with updated driving and traffic information, as well as road conditions throughout the country. The website is all in Spanish.
If your car happens to break down, it is mandatory to have two warning triangles, so be sure to purchase and keep these in your car at all times.
In the case of an accident, you will need to exchange insurance, contact, and vehicle information with the other driver at the time of the accident. Be sure to get as many details as possible because it can be quite difficult tracking them down after the accident to clarify anything. It’s also important to make note of the driving conditions, weather, traffic, and any possible witnesses to the accident. It isn’t necessary to call the police, but if the accident is more than minor, it is advisable (Police: dial 101 for non-emergencies, Ambulance: dial 107 for non-emergencies, dial 911 for either for emergencies). Hit-and-runs are frequent, unfortunately, and the laws for these are rarely enforced, so if you happen to find yourself a victim, try to at least get the license plate number of the vehicle who hit you. From here, you might be able to track the driver down to file a claim with their insurance, but if the vehicle has switched owners, the title may not have been switched to the new owner (due to the extensive and expensive process of changing over titles). It’s a good idea to contact your insurance company immediately after because the claim process can be slow.