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Living in Ecuador > Driving in Ecuador
In the high paced modern life, having your own automobile (car, van, motorcycle, truck) could be a tremendous advantage to getting your daily tasks done. Also the deficiencies of some of the public transport systems in many Ecuadorian cities could be another motive for getting your own vehicle, above all if the country is now your new home. Learn the basic driving rules of Ecuador and the paperwork to be done to obtain a legal permit and acquiring a car in good condition.

 

Introduction to the Transit Laws of Ecuador
To drive motor vehicles in Ecuador, you must be over 18, enjoy the rights of a citizen and have obtained a professional or nonprofessional drivers certificate and the respective drivers license.

However, through special permits, you can be authorized to drive from the age of 16 years (presenting a bank guarantee equal to 600 minimum monthly salaries that guarantees payment to third parties in the case of any accident and the presentation before the Court of Minors for judgment on any type of infraction).

The traffic signals in Ecuador (stop lights, road signs, regulatory signs and informative signs) are universal, so you shouldn't have any trouble while driving to understand the traffic signals.

Requirements for foreigners to drive in Ecuador
Any foreign person that wishes to drive in Ecuador should try to get an International Drivers License that the Automotive Club in your country of origin issues. In the case of Ecuador, ANETA issues International Licenses to the Ecuadorian citizens and/or residents when you want to travel to another country.

Regardless, any foreigner can drive freely within Ecuador and in many countries during the first 30 days of their stay with the national license from their country, but it is recommended to obtain an international license in case of an accident or problem, your national license does not protect you but an international one does.

If you do not have an International Drivers License, but you have a drivers license from your country, you only have to attend a course of approximately one half hour in duration at the Transportation Headquarters of the National Police once you have shown your national drivers license and then you must present all of the same papers that any Ecuadorian citizen would (ID, police report, etc) plus your censo from Immigration. To renew your drivers license it is even easier, you do the same thing that any Ecuadorian citizen would do at the same places.

How to drive a car in Ecuador?
According to the only official driving authority in Ecuador, the Automobile Club of Ecuador, ANETA, the driving suggestions are summarized below:

a) Before departure:
Verify your gasoline, oil and water; as well as the tires and lug nuts and the lights.
Regulate your seat, mirrors and rearview mirror
Verify that you have a spare tire, first aid kit and a tool kit.

b) Departing and circulating:
Always turn your car on in neutral and your should enter slowly into the traffic circulation. The traffic signals are universal so make sure you follow them and avoid problems and accidents.

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