For those of you new to São Paulo and driving a car it is important for you to understand the Rodzio and Zona Azul systems that operate throughout the city.

Rodzio (meaning Rotation) was introduced to São Paulo 10 years ago in an attempt to reduce congestion and is based on a system used in Mexico City. Most Paulista’s you talk to hate it, however it is here to stay and you need to understand how it works in order to avoid a fine. The system is relatively easy – depending on the last digit of your number plate you are restricted from driving at certain times and in certain areas. Restrictions apply during the following times 7am – 10am and 5pm – 8pm. Check below to see which day the restrictions apply to you.

Day Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Final Digit of Number Plate 1 & 2 3 & 4 5 & 6 7 & 8 9 & 0

Find below a map showing the restriction area – note that the roads which form the boundary (eg. Marginal Teit, Av dos Banderaintes) are inclusive of the area.

Zona Azul (Blue Zone) is a paid parking system that operates in some areas of São Paulo. This system was introduced 20 years ago to rotate street parking and allow easier access to businesses. The system is easy enough once you know how. Set out below is a step-by-step guide:

1. Purchase a Zona Azul card (R$1.80 per hour) – this can be done at newspaper stands (called a Banca) or from many enterprising vendors who patrol the streets (don’t worry they will find you), you normally pay a slight premium for this convenience;
2. Make sure that the Zona Azul comes with a magnetic strip as this ensures it is authentic;
3. Fill in the card – you will need to include details such as number plate, date, time;
4. Place the panel on a the dashboard in clear view for the inspectors to check (don’t put it outside your car);
5. You are permitted to park your car for a maximum of 2 hours – remember you will need to fill out two Zona Azul cards.

Find below and example of a Zona Azul

For more information you can check the following website

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