Answers from Our Experts (1)
For exploring Santiago itself, there's no need to rent a car. Plenty of car hire places exist - there's a Hertz branch in Providencia, for example - however making your way around the city via four wheels would bring more complications than rewards. Want a few examples? Think road rage, roads that change direction morning and afternoon, potential parking fines and having to navigate your own way around the city...
Public transport is very good in Chile's capital, albeit crowded at rush hour. The metro gets you almost anywhere in the city (apart from Vitacura which isn't on the network), plus there are buses and lots of taxis which are cheap and reliable.
Another way that many people make their way around the city is by bike, and there are a few places where you can hire two wheels for the day. With parkland running alongside the river, and a general consensus that it's fine to cycle on the pavement, you don't need to worry about traffic.
The reason a car might come in handy is if you’re planning on making some day trips out of the city. In the summer this might be hiking or horseriding in the Andes, whilst in the winter months you can ski just over an hour outside the city.