By far the largest and most populated country in South America, Brazil is a key player in terms of industry, especially so for agriculture. Having successfully weathered a period of global financial difficulty in the late 20th century, Brazil was seen as one of the world’s strongest emerging markets and a contributor to global growth.
More recently, after passing through the COVID-19 pandemic under President Jair Messaias Bosonaro (PSL party), Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula) of the PT workers party was sworn in as president (for the third time) on 1 January 2023 for a four-year term.
In terms of vehicle fleet, Brazil is home to more than 71 million light vehicles, the largest in Latin America.
Thank you to contributors to the Brazil WikiFleet page: BDO, Move.on, among others.
Chapter 1: Economic and business environment
population 215 million (2022)
|Major cities|| |
Sao Paulo (population 12 million)
|Unemployment rate|| |
8.1% (November 2022)
|Main industries|| |
petroleum, steel, iron and chemical production, auto assembly, mining and processing of petroleum products, cement manufacture, agriculture, and tech industries
Brazilian real (BRL)
|Interest rate|| |
13.75% (February, 2023)
Source: Trading Economics
|Fleet Maturity Index (scaling)|| |
Approximately 76% of multinational companies in Brazil offer company's cars to some of their employees.
As for 2021, overall vehicle production rose 11.6% year-over-year to 2.25 million units. Regarding automobiles and light commercial vehicles (LCV) in specific, production was up 8.7% to 2.07 million, says Anfavea. As for 2022, Anfavea estimates that overall vehicle production and sales will increase 9.4%
|Political key info|| |
5.8% (January 2023)
Source: Trading Economics
Chapter 2 : Automotive market, segments & sales
|Total Car park|| |
|New vehicle registrations (Cars, LCV, Trucks)|| |
|Top 5 brands (total market)|| |
2022 sales (automobiles and LCVs)
1. Fiat (430,202)
|Model preference top 5 (total market)|| |
2022 passenger cars & LCVs* sold
|Dealer network (including fleet dealer network)|| |
While OEM-linked dealers are reliable for vehicle service and maintenance, the same cannot be said for third-party providers – at least not across the entire country.
|Used car market/renewal cycle|| |
Chapter 3: Company car market
|Total Fleet Park (company cars)/Fleet penetration in total fleet sales|| |
|Evolution fleet sales (last 5 years)|| |
Sales of LCV's in 2021 increased 24.2% to 416,473 units (source: Fenabrave)
light and heavy commercial vehicle sales (source: OICA)
Share of Direct Sales, cars & LCVs (source: Fenabrave)
Meanwhile, hybrids and electric vehicles (EV) are slowly coming to the market but their high sticker price and the ethanol alternative in Brazil is hindering the growth of electrification.
|Top 5 fleet brands (fleet market)|| |
2022 Direct Sales (LCV)
|Fleet Model preference top 5 (fleet market)|| |
2022 LCV sales
Chapter 4: Taxation & legislation
The basis of company car taxation in Brazil is reflected in this overview. Different types of taxes are considered here: taxes related to the registration of the vehicle, income taxes and VAT aspects. Expected future developments are also briefly listed, if any.
We note that car taxation in Brazil is a very complex matter that cannot be summarized in a few pages. On average, it is estimated that approximately 48.2%-54.8% (for 2016) of the purchase price of a vehicle in Brazil is made up of embedded taxes (import duties, Federal VAT (PIS and COFINS), State VAT (ICMS), Federal Industrialization Tax (IPI), which have not always been covered in the below overview.
1. Car taxation
1.1. Registration tax
1.2. Annual circulation tax
2. Income taxes
ü Brazilian legislation has many peculiarities on this matter. Therefore, more analysis on this side is recommended (as it could vary according to the character of the purchaser).
3.2. Hire purchase
Hire purchase is deemed as a regular car purchase. Therefore, a hire purchased should be treated as a regular purchase for tax purposes.
Lessor: As a general rule, PIS and COFINS contributions would be levied on gross-revenue at a combined rate of 9.25% or 3.65% for legal entities. There is a discussion if service tax (“ISS”) is due on leasing agreements, especially on financing leasing.
Lessee: No taxation.
4. Company car
4.1. VAT due on private use of company cars
4.2. Company car in personal tax returns – benefit in kind
5. Income taxes – drivers’ personal taxation
5.1. Private car in the personal tax return
5.1.1. Private use
5.1.2. Commuter traffic
The commuter traffic is a benefit paid by the company that should be equivalent to the cost of public transportation. If the value paid exceeds the cost of public transportation, the difference must be considered as employee’s remuneration subject to taxation (labor taxation for employee and employer as well as income taxation for employee)
5.1.3. Business kilometres
It should not be considered part of employee’s remuneration.
6. Special schemes (if any)
ü In principle, there are special schemes applicable on the purchase made by specific legal entities, elderly people and special need people (disable). These special regimes generally provide for a reduction or exemption of certain taxes.
7. Electric vehicles
As a rule, it is treated as a regular vehicle. However, some exemptions in regards to Vehicle Property Tax - IPVA is available.
8. Future developments
The government is developing a project to reduce taxes levied on electrical and hybrid vehicles.
Source: BDO (2018)
Brazil levies 35% duties on imported cars and parts to encourage vehicle buyers to purchase locally-manufactured vehicles and replacement parts.4.1. Car Taxation
For vehicles, Brazilian law requires a licence and registration fee, a property tax and an insurance, all annual and all payable by the individual or legal entity that owns the vehicle.
- The licence and registration fee, called Certificado de Registro e Licenciamento do Veiculo, is a pre-determined but annually variable amount, set by the relevant authority.
- The property tax, called Imposto sobre a Propriedade de Veiculos Automotores (IPVA), amounts to 4% of the listed price of the vehicle (as listed in the state of Sao Paulo), and applies to all vehicles not included in a special category.
- The compulsory insurance, called Seguro DPVAT, is variable.
Special schemes provide for reduced taxation if vehicles are purchased by elderly and/or disabled people and certain special categories of legal entities.4.2. Income tax – Taxable persons
4.3. Company car
Car ownership (either by the driver or the legal entity) must be reported in the individual annual tax return.
VAT deductibility in Brazil is very complex, and could vary according to the nature of the purchaser.
It should be noted that hire purchase counts as regular purchase in Brazil, and consequently a car hire-purchased should be considered as a regularly purchased vehicle for tax purposes.
In the case of leasing, taxes for PIS (Programa de Integração Social) and COFINS (Contribuição para o Financiamento da Seguraridade Social) would be levied on gross-revenue at a combined rate of 9.25%, or 3.65% for legal entities. There is a discussion ongoing on whether ISS (Instituto Sobre Serviços) is due on leasing agreements, especially in the case of financing leasing.
The above applies to the lessor, the lessee is not taxed.4.4. Income taxes – drivers’ personal taxation
For personal tax returns (of employees), the Brazilian government distinguishes between company cars solely used for work purposes, and those also used for private purposes.
In the first case, no extra taxes are due.
In the second case, if the car is used habitually for private purposes, its use is considered a fringe benefit, and subject to taxation (as income tax for the employee, and as labour tax for both employee and employer).
If the value of the benefit in kind exceeds the equivalent cost of public transportation, the difference is considered a remuneration subject to labour taxation (for both employer and employee) and income taxation (for the employee).
There is no specific provision for charging VAT for the personal use of company cars.4.5. Electric vehicles
4.6. Future developments
Currently treated as regular vehicles, however some exemptions with regard to IPVA (i.e. vehicle property tax) may be available. See also 4.6.
4.7. Legal background (import taxes)
The Brazilian government is developing a system to reduce taxes on certain categories of cars with alternative powertrains, notably electric and hybrid vehicles.
Chapter 5: Car policies
In recent years, corporate car use has been on the rise in Brazil, and they entail vehicles for operational and benefit fleets. For operational fleets, cars are for business operations only and they are commonly issued to employees of public utilities such as energy and telephone companies.
Regarding benefit fleets, these vehicles are used for both personal and business purposes and are mainly issued to directors, managers, and sales people. As a differentiation to attract workers, employees are sometimes given the right to buy their car at a discounted price at the end of the leasing period.
Some of the more common industries with company cars as a benefit are pharmaceutical, food and beverages, banking, consultancy, and others. Besides getting better pricing due to economies of scale, outsourcing a fleet can bring operational benefits as companies can focus more on their core business.
What is a good car fleet policy?
A good car fleet policy is one that clearly defines the obligations and responsibilities of the employee and employer, and one that addresses all the legal and social risks related to the usage of the car. Misunderstandings between the driver and the company must kept to a minimum.
The policy must address several things, among them being CO2 emission, TCO conditions, fuel and accident management, parking tolls, insurance conditions, maintenance and service, traffic fines, penalties for bad driving, prizes for good driving, and the possibility of buying the car at the end of contract.
Chapter 6: Funding methods
One common fleet car in Brazil is the compact SUV Ford Ecosport. While a one year lease allowing 25,000km of driving costs approximately 28,680 reais (US$8,265) throughout the 12-month period, buying the car would cost 77,900 reais but it remains yours after the lease period.
As for expenses covered by lessors during the year, they could include full-coverage insurance (approx.3,895 reais) and IPVA vehicle tax (approx. 3,116 reais) for the Ecosport. A depreciation of 11,916 reais should also be considered.
Remember that lessors give discounts of at least 1,200 reais per year on longer contracts and those with multiple cars. However, companies could also get a discount of up to 20% for direct car purchases
One way to purchase a vehicle would be to finance it, something that has been on the rise since 2018 in the wake of the falling Selic benchmark interest rate. Following a drop to 6.75% in early 2018, vehicle financing in the first quarter rose 20.8% year-over-year to 310,900 units mostly due to light vehicles which rose 18.7% to 292,000 units. The rate has been falling ever since, dropping to 5.5% in September 2019, the lowest in Brazil's history.
note: In 2020, for the corporate fleet, leasing/renting represents approximately 6% of the market (source: Solution4Fleet).
Chapter 7: Fuel
May 2, 2022
Average gasoline price per liter: US$1.43 (world average is US$1.33)
Average diesel price per liter: US$1.30 (world average is US$1.31)
Average electricity price per kWh Households: US$0.15 (world average is US$0.13)
Average electricity price per kWh Business: US$0.15 (world average is US$0.13)
Brazil is one of Earth’s natural-resource superpowers and oil is no exception, with 13 billion barrels of proven reserves. Brazil is also a world leader in biofuels, boasting the highest rates of ethanol use. Still, gasoline prices are consistently among the highest in the Western Hemisphere, and Brazilians devote a big chunk of their incomes to filling up.
Chapter 8 : TCO components
When we talk about TCO, it is important to consider invisible factors, as well as the visible ones. Among those to keep in mind in Brazil are accurately determining Residual Value and making sure you manage your Time appropriately.
In terms of Residual Value, one must keep in mind that information on the used car market in Brazil is not as detailed and accurate as what can be found in other countries (e.g. those in Europe).
Efficient data gathering as well as having a steadfast car fleet policy is needed to reduce risk and optimize TCO.
As for Time, the time to acquire new cars, order spare parts, carry out repairs, and then sell the used car at the end of the contract must be reduced as much as possible. Any extra time spent on these processes can result in extra costs that could heavily impact TCO.
As such, developing new mobility solutions that streamline processes are a must. For one, fleet managers need to carry out in-depth evaluations of the car models being used and vehicle usage profiles, taking into account the region the car will be driven in and other factors.
Besides selecting the appropriate type of vehicle for the usage needed, selecting the appropriate brand for the region will reduce new car delivery time, repairs processes, and in some cases, the remarketing process.
Chapter 9: Safety, insurance and telematics
Approximately 433,000 accidents occur each year, leading to 45,000 deaths or one every 12 minutes and to approximately R$50 billion in costs every year according to the estimates of local research institute IPEA.
In approximately 80% of the cases, accidents are attributable to human error, whether it be due to improper driver behaviour, a lack of training or the inability to drive the vehicle, according to traffic engineering company CET in São Paulo.
Approximately 30% of the vehicles in Brazil are insured. Of these, about one in four is a corporate vehicle.
As for operating any fleet car, insurance is one of the main expenses and below are some of the premium estimates for 2018.
Considering a 35-year old driver who is married, the cost to insure the subcompact Chevrolet Onix (Brazil’s best-selling car) in the city of São Paulo is 1,394 reais (US$425).
Other premiums are 1,870 reais for the compact Volkswagen Polo, 2,721 reais for the Toyota Corolla sedan, 2,891 for the compact SUV Honda HR-V, and 4,019 for the Jeep Compass SUV.
Mandatory third-party insurance: The SOAT Personal Accident Mandatory Vehicle Policy covers bodily injury from traffic accidents involving insured vehicles or unidentified vehicles. Known as DPVAT in Brazil, it covers transportation expenses and mobilization of the victims to hospital or clinical establishments, preferably in ambulances or vehicles adequately equipped for this type of service, guaranteeing the timely and effective attention of the victim.
The action attributable to the driver is not enforceable against affected passengers or pedestrians..(Source: Mapfe 2017)
Among the most common reasons to use this telematics in Brazil are to prevent vehicle theft, locate them once they have been stolen, and to control driver behaviour which could result in accidents.
Chapter 10: Environment
With a starting unit price of approximately 150,000 reais (US$28,800), the initial price of an electric car in Brazil is quite a bit more expensive than non electrified vehicles which come in at approximately half the price. A hybrid, however, is about a third more expensive.
Besides the falling price of batteries which should soon lower the price of vehicles, the federal government is showing signs of pushing for cleaner energy and electrification with electrified vehicles receiving tax discounts and being exempt from license plate restriction days brazil's largest metropolis, São Paulo. This, however, is hinder a bit by the popular of ethanol, the country's other "green" alternative.
EV sales reached 49,000 in 2022, up 41% year-over-year, according to local electric vehicle association ABVE, and this represents 2.5% of overall light vehicle sales. Much of this is due to the popularity of hybrid-ethanol EVs which represent 62% of the market. Meanwhile, plug-in hybrids (PHEV) represented 21% of the sales and full-electric BEVs, 17%.
Besides getting a 50% break on the annual vehicle circulation tax IPVA, electrified vehicles are exempt from driving restrictions such as the Rodizio traffic control measure in the city of São Paulo. In 2021, approximately 73,000 electrified cars and light commercial vehicles are on Brazilian streets.
Brazil started 2023 with more than 2,800 public and semi-public charge points.
Chapter 11: Mobility
Home to numerous new mobility participants as well as innovative business models, Brazil - in addition to Mexico - is the benchmark of Latin America when it comes to new mobility solutions.
- Motorcycle-based on-demand deilivery services such as Uber Eats, I-Food, and Rappi were increasing in popularity before the start of the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020, but have grown significantly more during the COVID age.
- Mobility models revolved around car-sharing and subscription services are also making their way into the market. For one, local banking giant Itaú Unibanco introduced Vec Itaú in December 2020, a shared electric vehicle (EV) solution in the city of São Paulo.
- Ride-hailing services have been on the rise over the past few years. The market leader in Brazil is US-based Uber, followed by Brazil's 99 (formerly 99 Taxi), and then Spain's Cabify.
- Last-mile mobility is also taking off in Brazil, especially in the country’s largest city of São Paulo which is home to station-based bike-sharing service Tembici.
- São Paulo is home to Uber's world's largest municipal ride-hailing car fleet.
Chapter 12: Key trends to watch
- Electric vehicle (EV) recharging infrastructure is on the rise. Among the companies supporting this trend is Volvo which planned the installation of 500 EV charing stations in 2020.
- Brazil has approximately 44,000 EVs on roads and this footprint is increasing at a rate of approximately 2,000 units per month (some 1.5% of sales).
- By 2025, electric and hybrid vehicles are expected to reach an annual penetration of around 61,700 units (5.000 new units per month), according to Frost & Sullivan.
- By 2030, some executives in the global auto industry believe that approximately 41% of new vehicles sold in Brazil will be electrified, according to a report released by consultancy firm KPMG.
Some of the electrified vehicles available in Brazil
Prius (hybrid); Corolla (hybrid flex)
XC-60 (hybrid); XC-90 (hybrid)
UX 250h; UX300h; RX 450h; ES 300h; LS 500h
iEV20; iEV40; iEV60