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The Complete Canada Driving and Rental Guide

Like its southern neighbour, Canada is very much dependent on driving. There is no shortage of scenic towns and destinations across the country and driving may be the best way to explore. Here is a brief driving guide aiming at easing your mind while on the road.

  • Speed Limit and Traffic Signs
  • Seatbelt and Child Safety
  • Parking, Fuel and Toll
  • Traffic Violation
  • Driving Licence and Age Requirements

Speed Limit and Traffic Signs

Driving in Canada is on the right with overtaking on the left. Since winter weather conditions may make driving challenging, we strongly advise you to check the weather conditions before travelling and be well equipped. Do not also forget to save emergency numbers in your cell phone.

Speed Limit

Unlike its neighbour, Canada uses metric units. Distance and speed are marked in kilometres and kilometres/hour. There is a speed limit of 50 km/h in town and 80 km/h on highways. A typical speed limit for the freeway in most provinces is 100-110 km/h.

Traffic Signs

Notably, for the most parts, Canadian traffic signs employ two languages-- English, French or both, and some incorporate indigenous language such as “Cree”. There are basically 4 types of Canadian traffic signs: regulatory, warning, information and direction.

Canada_Traffic_Sign_Stop_Sign_French_and_EnglishStop Sign (French and English)Canada_Traffic_Sign_Stop_Sign_Inuktitut_and_EnglishStop Sign  (Inuktitut and English)Canada_Traffic_Sign_Stop_sign_CreeStop sign (Cree)

Canada has not joined in the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals, explaining why the road traffic system looks different to what we usually see in Europe or other countries.


Its regulatory signs mostly feature a circular shape, with some exceptions.

Canada_Traffic_Sign_No_StoppingNo StoppingCanada_Traffic_Sign_No_Left_TurnNo Left TurnCanada_Traffic_Sign_No_OvertakingNo OvertakingCanada_Traffic_Sign_YieldYield

You will not see a common maximum speed sign in Canada, contrarily to some other countries. The maximal speed sign is usually rectangular, with a black writing on a white background.

Canada_Traffic_Sign_Maximum_Speed_LimitMaximum Speed Limit

Most Canadian warning signs are diamond-shaped with black lettering or symbols on a yellow background.

Canada_Traffic_Sign_Stop_AheadStop AheadCanada_Traffic_Sign_Dead_EndDead EndCanada_Traffic_Sign_Bump_or_Uneven_pavement_on_the_Road_AheadBump or Uneven pavement on the Road AheadCanada_Traffic_Sign_Be_Alert_for_AnimalsBe Alert for AnimalsCanada_Traffic_Sign_Railway_Crossing_AheadRailway Crossing Ahead

In Canada, information signs show where you are, what road you are driving on or how to reach certain places. These signs normally feature a rectangular shape with green or blue background.

Canada_Traffic_Sign_Hospital_NearbyHospital NearbyCanada_Traffic_Sign_Gas_Avaliable_AheadGas Available AheadCanada_Traffic_Sign_Accommodation_AheadAccommodation Ahead

As for directional signs, they are usually rectangular with a green background, and inform drivers about the direction or distance in kilometres to neighboring towns and cities.

Canada_Traffic_Sign_Directions_to_Nearby_Towns_and_CitiesDirections to Nearby Towns and CitiesCanada_Traffic_Sign_Distances_in_Kilometres_to_Towns_and_Citiies_on_the_RoadDistances in Kilometres to Towns and Cities on the Road

You may refer to this complete manual of standard Canada traffics signs and pavement markings for a better knowledge.

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.COM will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Seatbelt and Child Safety

Seatbelt Laws

As for seatbelt law, every Canadian province makes it compulsory for the driver and all passengers to wear seatbelts whilst the car is moving. Failing to do so will result in a fine that varies according to the province.

Booster Seat Laws

Children of 8 years old and under must be properly secured in a child seat restraint system until they are at least 145 cm tall or 36 kg. Children who weigh less than 9 kg must be secured in a rear-facing car seat.


Age and other requirements vary by Canadian province or territory. You may use this as a reference or an idea for the child safety laws when travelling with your kids in Canada, but it is advisable for you to check individual provincial rules before you set for the road.

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.COM will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Parking, Fuel and Toll

Parking

Parking regulations vary across provinces and territories and are normally the responsibility of municipalities. But you do not need to worry as signage states clearly for the permitted and forbidden parking on all streets.


· Permitted Parking


Street parking is usually only permitted in the direction of traffic. In some smaller roads, parking is only allowed on one side of the road. 


Plenty of car parks are available in most of the cities. Prices vary greatly from one city to another and can be very high in cities like Vancouver. Parking can be paid by a ticket machine, a metre at the side of the road, or by a parking attendant at a public parking lot. Failing to pay for parking in these areas may result in a fine. 

Canada Paid Parking Sign(Image from i.cbc.ca)

Canada Paid Parking Metre(Image from cbc.ca)


· No Parking


Street parking in some residential areas is not allowed in the winter. There are signs indicating when parking is not allowed.

Canada No Parking

Fuel Prices

The average price for Canada gasoline price in January 2018 is 1.36 Canadian dollar, while diesel cost 1.01.

Toll

There are several toll roads in Canada such as The Ontario Highway 407 and The Cobequid Pass (Highway 104). All of the toll roads have utilized Electronic Toll Collection system. 

Canada Toll Road(Image from o.canada.com)


If you are planning to drive on these toll roads, you can choose to opt into the e-toll system with your car hire company. Normally, the terms are stated in the rental contract provided by the car hire company at the rental desk. These terms should let you be aware that your credit card may be debited 4-8 weeks after you return the car. If you use an Alamo, National or Enterprise rental car, it is advisable to go to check with the Highway Toll Administration site to find out the details of the toll collected.


You are always welcomed to reach out to QEEQ' 24/7 customer service team for assistance or clarifications in matter regarding tolling.

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.COM will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Traffic Violation

DUI Laws

Canada has very strict laws on drunk driving. The limit is the same as in the UK which is 80mg per 100ml of blood but lowered to 50mg in some provinces. If you already have a drink driving conviction on your licence within the last five years, you will be refused entering at the Canadian point of entry. 


Punishment varies by provinces but all are treated very seriously. The minimum punishment for a first offence is a $1000 fine and a year's licence suspension.   

Traffic Fines

Speeding in Canada can be fined from $100 to over $400 depending on provinces. 


For the spot tickets, follow the instructions on the paper to proceed to the payment. It is advisable to pay fines directly when you are still in the city.  


For tickets issued from cities of TorontoOttawa or Montreal, you can log in the city's website to check the details and pay for them by entering your ticket number( or plus with the licence plate number).

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.COM will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Driving Licence and Age Requirements

To legally rent and drive a car in Canada, you will need a driving licence issued by the government which has been held for at least 2 years. If your domestic driving licence is not in English, an International Driving Permit (IDP/IDL) or an official translation in English is required when you drive in Canada. 


The minimum driver age for renting a car at a Canadian rental office is 21 years old. This age may vary according to the state and car category rented. 

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.COM will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Guest reviews

1 /
L.Smith

May 26, 2022

Destination: Vancouver

6.3Average

Unfortunately our experience of 2 budget cars in our trip was not the best. The second car was not as we requested, it was scratched and felt tired we were very disappointed

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May 24, 2022

Destination: Windsor

10Excellent

Counter staff was great! A little tedious with all the signing and initials when I felt that all of the waivers and acknowledgements were made online during booking. Not the staffs fault just an observation.

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C.McKean

May 24, 2022

Destination: Toronto

9.3Above and Beyond

The customer service was phenomenal. The representatives were extremely helpful and kind... and I needed a LOT of help that day after an international flight. I would highly recommend.

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May 18, 2022

Destination: Toronto

10Highly recommend renting from them again

Very straight forward process from booking online to returning the car. No surprises from rental company

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I.Rijksen

May 13, 2022

Destination: Toronto

8Good comapny-good car- friendly people that help out

Very friendly people at the counter as in the shuttle picking you up from the Air port. Seat in the car not great but that was probably the model of the car. When checking the car the marked all damages on the car before rental very easy, no hussle like you can have normally when renting a car. I will use them again when visiting Canada, good price-quality ratio. And no upselling or other stupid things at the counter, just picking up the car you booked, very nice experience:)

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May 10, 2022

Destination: Montreal

10Excellent

same old

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May 10, 2022

Destination: Vancouver

10Excellent

not bad

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V.Elderton

May 10, 2022

Destination: Terrace

9Very good / Excellent.

Budget rental was really easy and the Yaris was perfect for my needs this trip. I would have no problem booking this vehicle again. One note, I was not aware of the KM limit when I picked the vehicle up … it probably mentioned but I did not process it. FYI: Rear wiper blade needed replacement when picked up this vehicle

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S.Jegatheeswaran

April 25, 2022

Destination: Toronto

7.3Quick rental pick up and drop off. Car could have been in better condition.

The car had 78000 km on the clock. There was a clear noise from the front when turned. I suspect the steering rack is worn. I would have expected a rental car not to have such issues. The counter staf were not aware of Platinum cover I had and tried to sell me additional cover.

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S.Carnew

April 21, 2022

Destination: Calgary

10Easy rental. Very average car

Car a bit basic, no airplay. Service great.

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S.Carnew

April 21, 2022

Destination: Vancouver

10Simple, straight forward. A welcome change from most tentals

Car in great condition, great spec and exactly as booked.

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April 21, 2022

Destination: Halifax

9.7Excellent

I've booked a Toyota Corolla and received a Buick Encore GX that exceed my expectation. Wornderfull experience.

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April 19, 2022

Destination: Quebec City

10Carro atendendo todas expectativas

Excelente atendimento no local e carro conforme solicitado

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Bryan Gregorski

April 13, 2022

Destination: Calgary

5.3Invalid insurance, could not use for rental purpose.

The car had invalid printed insurance. When I called Routes, they emailed me an invalid digital copy. I had to scrap my plans that day, took photos of the invalid insurance.

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C.Keenan

April 8, 2022

Destination: Saskatoon

10Excellent

Friendly, helpful staff.

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I.Chughtai

February 27, 2022

Destination: Montreal

8.3Overall good

Vertical could be batter

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I.Chughtai

February 27, 2022

Destination: Montreal

8.3Overall good

Vertical could be batter

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C.RODRIGUES RIBEIRO

January 27, 2022

Destination: Vancouver

10Reserva rápida, retirada e entrega sem complicações. Mas, o preço final acima da previsão.

O carro era excelente. A previsão do tempo era de neve e na retirada me deram um carro já com pneus de neve instalado. Foi a melhor decisão! Nevou muito e fomos a vários locais com neve. O tempo de retirada foi curto e de entrega mais rápido ainda.. Achei caro o aluguel, saiu mais de 2.000 dólares... mas entendi que era devido à sazonalidade (dezembro/janeiro) Gostaria de ter parcelado o aluguel, mas foi cobrado tudo de uma so vez

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P.Fernandez

January 26, 2022

Destination: Vancouver

9Excellent

La tarifa final fue muy superior a la contratada porque el vehiculo tenía ruedas normales y necesitábamos ruedas de invierno. Igualmente contratamos seguro a todo riesgo que no se incluia en el precio original.

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H.Crusol

December 1, 2021

Destination: Montreal

8.7Il reste top je recommande

Je suis arrivé au comptoir et l’agent m’a surclasser à la place de mon véhicule prédéfinis j’ai u une bmw x3 j’ai du payé 18 dollars part jours en plus vue y’avait pas de véhicule le seule problème rencontré je suis un peut dessus d’avoir payé en plus chaque jours

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R.Dennis

November 30, 2021

Destination: Deer Lake

10Excellent

Service from the ladies at the desk was superb!

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A.Baig

November 28, 2021

Destination: Toronto

10Vey good

I felt like there was shortage of staff since the location near to the airport is very busy

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T.Ebblewhite

November 24, 2021

Destination: Victoria

5.3Average

I asked the counter representative about filling up on return. She said the gas station was close to the airport. It wasn't, and I didn't have time to find it after arriving back at Victoria airport. When discussing this with the present counter representatives they were extremely rude and unhlpful. I will not use Thrifty again.

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Bradbear

November 20, 2021

Destination: Vancouver

9.7Easy to do business with smooth transaction

Winter tyres were extra , putting my rental cost up they tried to upsell a bigger car when I asked for winter tyres , but eventually found one in my class

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November 18, 2021

Destination: Toronto

9.7Excellent

Terminal 1 car rental is closed in Pearson but no signage mentioned that. Would be helpful to update those signs.

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November 16, 2021

Destination: Vancouver

10Excellent

nice staff

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T.Pang

November 16, 2021

Destination: Montreal

10Excellent

not bad

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w.doyle

November 15, 2021

Destination: Austin

10Calm

Excellent sevice

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P.Esquivel

November 13, 2021

Destination: Toronto

10Affordable. Worry Free.

Routes was able to get me a very nice SUV to use for the two weeks that I was back home visiting family. And when I needed to book a few extra days, they made the process extremely easy.

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P.Grundy

November 11, 2021

Destination: Toronto

10Great deal.

I was initially nervous because the price was so good that I worried there was something wrong but their service was excellent, professional and they provided a low mileage car. We were completely satisfied. Excellent value.

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P.Esquivel

November 10, 2021

Destination: Toronto

9Cheap. Lost and Found = Poor

The car rental was quite small in terms of space. Unfortunately I left a pair of eyeglasses in the car, and the rental company was nearly impossible to get a hold of. The rental itself was fine, but their customer service when something is lost was mediocre at best.

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P.Esquivel

November 10, 2021

Destination: Calgary

10Affordable. Hassel-Free

Easy to coordinate with. Always organized and easy to get a hold of shuttle. Staff was super friendly as usual

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K.Thomas

November 9, 2021

Destination: Toronto

10excellent

Exceed expectation. Great service

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W. Ma

November 3, 2021

Destination: Vancouver

6.3We had the car for 30 days, so it was unpleasant for us the deal with it for so long.

The car was an older model, makes noise when turning vehicle. Strange foul odor from the interior of the car when it gets wet. Took a long long time to pick up the vehicle at YVR, had to wait almost one hour for them to clean and prepare the vehicle for us. It was a Nissan KICKS hatchback.

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P.Esquivel

November 2, 2021

Destination: Vancouver

10Easy. Affordable.

Easy to work with. Located right at the airport. Super convenient

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P.Esquivel

November 2, 2021

Destination: Vancouver

10Great Experience. Price very Reasonable.

Routes set me up with a beautiful Jeep Wrangler to explore the city of Vancouver with for a few days. Could not ask for a more stylish vehicle and the service was great.

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P.Esquivel

November 2, 2021

Destination: Vancouver

10New Year. Same Great Prices.

Easy to work with. Convenient, especially with a last minute booking just after the NEW YEAR

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K.Hnidyy

November 2, 2021

Destination: Toronto

10Good stuff

Good company Good service

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J.MORONEY

November 2, 2021

Destination: Calgary

9Very good

Very happy with the car

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P.Esquivel

October 28, 2021

Destination: Toronto

10Great. Easy. Affordable.

I hadn't used City Car Truck Rentals, but they seemed to be fairly easy to work with. The vehicle was in good condition.

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P.Esquivel

October 28, 2021

Destination: Vancouver

10Simple. Quick. Perfect

Super simple and everything that I needed for a quick layover in Vancouver.

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P.Esquivel

October 28, 2021

Destination: Vancouver

10Spacious. Practical. Amazing.

This worked out absolutely perfect, considering I needed a vehicle that had space and unlimited kilometers. AND when I called to try and extend my rental, the gentleman working at Routes made it SUPER easy!

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P.Esquivel

October 28, 2021

Destination: Calgary

10Still Cheap. Exceeding Luxury.

This was a fantastic experience! I was even able to get a free upgrade to a Wrangler, which I understand is rare, but was totally appreciated! Although I may have paid more in gas, the luxury of the vehicle was worth it!

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P.Esquivel

October 28, 2021

Destination: Toronto

10Cheap Prices. Luxury Experience

Super easy to work with. They even offer a free shuttle from the airport.

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October 28, 2021

Destination: Toronto

8Very Good

I had limited mileage which was not mentioned before or while I made my order.

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CTS

October 8, 2021

Destination: Toronto

8.3Even I couldn't pick it up from the place I wanted, the overall experience was okay.

The car was what I expected. When i got to the counter to pick the car up, there was no one else, so I didn't have to wait to get some to attend me. The woman was really polite and helped with the situation.

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Austen Brooks

October 6, 2021

Destination: Calgary

9.3Best ever

The man that served us was called Guy and he was great. He made the whole process easy and enjoyable. He is a credit to Hertz.

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D.Richardson

October 2, 2021

Destination: Charlottetown

7.7Good

The car was not cleaned. Dog food and dog hair everywhere. Used flosser toothpick in door cubby. The car was not cleaned never mind disinfected for covid

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Luis Garcia

October 2, 2021

Destination: Montreal

9.3Excelente combinación de precio y calidad

El auto funcionó perfecto para el propósito de el viaje. Fue entregado en excelentes condiciones. El personal de la empresa siempre fue muy amable y nos ayudaron con un incidente que sufrimos, todo excelente.

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October 1, 2021

Destination: Vancouver

10Simple, great service

Free upgrade to Hyundai venue which was great, basically like new

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Best car rental deals in Canada

Best rates found by QEEQ users in the last 30 days.

Frequently asked questions

Q1.What is an insurance excess?

The excess is the amount you'll only be liable for in case of damage(under Collision Damage Waiver) or theft(under Theft Protection) of the vehicle.
Information about the excess will be clearly stated in the price inclusion when you reserve a car on QEEQ.

Q2. How can I add an addtional driver?

You are advised to make a request upon your arrival at the rental counter. Additional charge per day will incur unless '1 Additional Driver Included' is stipulated on the rental.
Please note that the same licence and age requirement applys to the additonal driver. The addtional driver is supposed to present the required licence document along with the main driver at pickup.

Q3.What if I want to pick up or drop off my rental car out of office hours?

QEEQ will show you the car offers available at your chosen time on the search results.
However, pick-up or drop-off out of general opening hours may subject to an extra fee unless self-service pick-up or drop-off is available.
After you reserve a car on QEEQ, we will inform you of specific policy of the car hire company by email.

Q4. Can I take the hired car to another country or cross border?

If you want to pick up your car in one country and drop it in another, your search results will show you cars you can do that with.
If you're planning to cross any borders during your trip, bear in mind:
1. You may have to pay more.
There are often extra fees, taxes or additional cover you'll pay at the car hire counter.
2.It may not be allowed.
Depending on where you're hiring, you may not be able to take your car to another country.
Please email us if you want to take your hire car into a different country during your trip, and we'll talk you through your options.

Q5. Can I pick up my car at one location and return it at different location?

Yes. You can pick up the vehicle in one place and drop it off in another. An ‘one-way fee’ will incur. Whether it is inclued in the rental price or what additional cost may arise will be clearly stated at the time of booking on QEEQ.
Please inform the car hire company of your drop-off location when you pick up the vehicle or contact them directly during your trip. You will find a phone number on the rental agreement you signed at pickup.

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