The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Canada

Many people from the United States want to visit the neighbor in the north, Canada. There are many things to enjoy about Canada, and there are countless things to do. Some of the things you may want to do include visiting the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, spending some time in Stanley Park, or exploring Old Quebec. You can visit the beautiful Notre Dame Basilica, Moraine Lake, and walk the Wild Pacific Trail. There is something for everyone.

Rent a vehicle

To do everything that you would like to do in Canada requires planning. It is a large country, and you need to know where you will visit and what attractions are in that part of the country. Having a rental vehicle will make it much easier to get to all of the places you want to see.

The minimum driving age in Canada is 16 years old. However, the rental car companies will only rent vehicles to people who are at least 21 years old and who have at least one year of driving experience.

Road conditions and safety

The road conditions in Canada tend to be very good in and around the cities and towns. The roads are paved, and most will have very few potholes, although the weather does play havoc with the roads. You may still encounter some rough roads while close to towns and cities, but nothing that your rental car should have trouble with. When you head into the rural areas though, the roads can get worse. There are also dirt roads that should only be attempted with a 4WD.

Something else to consider when driving on the roads in Canada is the wildlife. Large animals, such as elk, deer, and moose, will often cross the road without warning, and they could cause an accident. Also keep in mind that driving in the winter can be dangerous because of the snow and ice.

The drivers in Canada are generally good and will abide by the rules of the road. You should still drive defensively though. Drivers are not allowed to use their mobile phones while they are driving. In Montreal and Quebec, you are not allowed to turn right on red. In all of the other parts of the country though, this is legal. You should keep on your daytime running lights while driving in Canada as well.

One of the things to remember when you are visiting Canada is that in some areas, such as Quebec, the signage may be in French rather than English. Some places will have both, but you may still want to brush up on some basic French before traveling.

Speed limit

Be sure to abide by the speed limits that are posted. The following are the typical speed limits in Canada.

  • Cities – 50 km/h
  • Highways – 80 km/h
  • Rural highways – 100 km/h

There are many things to enjoy about visiting Canada. If you choose to have a rental car with you, it will make it much easier to reach all of the destinations you want to experience.


The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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