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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. EasyRentCars.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. EasyRentCars.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 EasyRentCars' 24/7 customer service team for assistance or clarifications in matter regarding tolling.

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

Guest reviews

1 /

November 26, 2019 Destination: Toronto

10Free Upgrade

They are amazing, they gave me a free upgrade as they had a jeep available.

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I.Gunawan

November 25, 2019 Destination: Montreal

10Excellent

Excellent experience and smooth process from pick up to return

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J.Barrett

November 24, 2019 Destination: Toronto

10Awesome!

Yes ended up in a Nissan Rogue

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November 21, 2019 Destination: London

10Had Best experience

Affordable prices

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November 21, 2019 Destination: Montreal

6Disappointing wait times

Wait Times exceed an hour to get the car

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M.Haghjoo

November 20, 2019 Destination: Calgary

10Excellent

I should appreciate the concern, kindness and support of Nisha and Sunny, the supervisor and their great behaviour and kind advice.

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A.Dudzik

November 20, 2019 Destination: Edmonton

10Excellent

This was an excellent experience I will recommend it for everyone I know

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P.Wilson

November 20, 2019 Destination: Vancouver

6.7Easy car rental good, actual car rental company not so good

Vehicle exactly as booked. Pick up process was took about 10 minutes but getting the car took another 15. AND it wasn't clean. Had to wait an extra 5 minutes for a wash and the floor was not vac,d, windows dirty. For the price, good value, but Routes needs to streamline their operation. Drop off took about 15 minutes as that was also another painful process. Shuttle service was good comparable to others. Also make sure you have a copy of your insurance

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Narin

November 18, 2019 Destination: Vancouver

10New car

Clean and new car

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Narin

November 18, 2019 Destination: Vancouver

10New car

Clean and new car, easy to deal with

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Dhawal Shah

November 17, 2019 Destination: Toronto

10Excellent..!!

Very nice cars. Always new cars.

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H.Arsenault

November 16, 2019 Destination: Calgary

10positive experience

I wished i could get winter tire. Because there was only 4 saisons tires, i have not been able to go to Jasper, which was one of my trip purpose. That point was my only deception

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A.Chow

November 14, 2019 Destination: Vancouver

9.7Great value, convenient location!

Car interior was a little bit dirty, but no big deal. Everything else was great!

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C.LEBAHUC

November 14, 2019 Destination: Montreal

9.7Excellent

Excellent service. Véhicule pratique propre et personnel accueillant

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Paul Cater

November 11, 2019 Destination: Toronto

10All good.

A little out of the way but for a 2 week rental the money I saved was well worth it.

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November 10, 2019 Destination: Montreal

9.3Good driving but additional fee at the end

Really easy to check-in/out and we had a great experience driving but we were so desappointed to see the extra fee they made us pay at the end.

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November 9, 2019 Destination: Ottawa

9EasyRentCars great... routes mediocre service

Counter staff were very unfriendly. Not rude but just unfriendly. No attempt to be pleasant at all. Both on pick up and drop off. ( same person) Driver from airport pleasant. Back to airport - again not rude but unfriendly. Like we were bothering him.

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Rafael Dourado

November 7, 2019 Destination: Toronto

10Good company, would rent with them again.

Good experience, would rent with them again.

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Rafael Dourado

November 7, 2019 Destination: Toronto

9Brand New Jeep Wrangler for an incredible price! I loved!

Very crowded, but the car was brand new what exceeded my expectations! Very good experience!

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Rafael Dourado

November 7, 2019 Destination: Toronto

8.7Super cheap, good experience!

My first time using the company. I liked the experience so far.

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D.Puri

November 7, 2019 Destination: Toronto

10Excellent

Amaing experience. Have booked through them for second time. Got updraded both times. Thanks.

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November 7, 2019 Destination: Vancouver

9Much Cheaper but our experience was really good.

Reviews read were sometimes terrible but the price difference was huge. So we paid for the extra insurance and took a chance and everything was really very good. Apparently Routes rules are really strict so perhaps be careful about the T&C's. We would definitely use again if the prices stay low. They don't actually have any Nissan Pathfinders but the big Dodge was fine.

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A.Naeem

November 6, 2019 Destination: Toronto

9.3Excellent

Best price and car was perfect. Will book again for sure. They accepted my card insurance.

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M.Elmaradny

November 6, 2019 Destination: Toronto

9Excellent

Perfect staff and easy pick up!

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Marion Brunet

November 2, 2019 Destination: Montreal

8.3Very Good

La voiture était mieux que ce que j’imaginais !!!

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November 2, 2019 Destination: Vancouver

9Excellent

The car was advertised as SUV but had very little usable space for large luggage due to the shape. Would have preferred if it was advertised as hatch back type or not, booking online didn't have enough details. The customer service itself was great though, there was no issues with Hertz itself.

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Dhawal Shah

November 2, 2019 Destination: Toronto

10EasyCarRental is really easy and affordable.

Amazing vehicle. Loved it.

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R.Pandya

November 1, 2019 Destination: Toronto

9Excellent

Overall its good

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P.Mande

November 1, 2019 Destination: Toronto

7Good

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A.Rahi

November 1, 2019 Destination: Toronto

10Excellent

Great customer service

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F.Alvi

October 31, 2019 Destination: Toronto

10Amazing Price and Amazing Service

I have now rented at least half a dozen times from Routes in the past year. The cars are new and clean. The counter staff is extremely friendly. They didn't have the vehicle I booked, but offered me an amazing upgrade that I was more than satisfied with. Great customer service and team.

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Zain Taha

October 30, 2019 Destination: Waterloo

10Simple and efficient

Service at the Avis counter is excellent at Fairway, Kitchener ON

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October 28, 2019 Destination: Quebec City

9Excellent

Car exceeded expectations. Waiting to resolve a problem with the GPS unity which was faulty,Have asked for a credit

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J.Watkins

October 24, 2019 Destination: Toronto

8.3Good except for trying to reach the rental place to arrange a shuttle .

Car itself was great. The phone number at the Vicount station wasn’t working and the phone number for rental place didn’t answer. It was very nerve wracking not being able to reach rental place. Someone who was also waiting was able to get a relative to get an answer eventually and we were all picked up

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T.Tang

October 23, 2019 Destination: Vancouver

9.3very smooth experience...great!

The location of pick up is just next to YVR airport. Great location and great staff.

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Emer Tekaya

October 23, 2019 Destination: Toronto

10super

la voiture etait tres neuve, magnifique

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October 22, 2019 Destination: Toronto

6Average

予約したクラスよりかなり?大きいクラスの車になってしまった。 当日予約だったからなのか、pick up にかなり待たされた。

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October 22, 2019 Destination: Charlottetown

8Very Good

たまたま空いていたからなのか、予約したクラスの車より上位クラスの車、それも最新の車が借りられた。 ただ返却時店がクローズしているとのことで空港までの送迎が無かった...

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T.Ooms

October 22, 2019 Destination: Vancouver

8.7Decent rates

Everything was ok, the only one major issue we had was we were under the impression that spouses were able to drive as well without an extra charge, and they charged us for that.

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SJ

October 22, 2019 Destination: Toronto

7Good to travel Canada!

Pick up & drop off service was ok. However, whenever I called to contact office, they never get the call.

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V.Gupte

October 21, 2019 Destination: Toronto

8Nice experience but the staff could have been a little friendly to make the customer feel comfortabl

The place is remote. Little cumbersome to pick up and drop off. Staff are business like and not friendly. My car was not given with full tank and I returned it with same level but I expected fuel to be full when I picked up. They don't give the vehicle check list to you so you have no idea what's written on it

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M.Peyrot Hernandez

October 21, 2019 Destination: Montreal

9Good experience

Very efficient service, the car was in good conditions.

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T.Tai

October 24, 2019 Destination: Calgary

10Easy reliable and smooth rental at Calgary

They gave me a Jeep, which I didn’t like to drive. But now I know.

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Zain Taha

October 27, 2019 Destination: Waterloo

10Perfect

Avis is very professional. The customer service is top-notch and the cars are in pretty good condition

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C.Nadeau

October 22, 2019 Destination: Montreal

8.7Very Good

They have charged me 50$ more than what was on the booking. I did not accept anything extra that was offered to me at the counter.

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Tom

October 28, 2019 Destination: Calgary

9.7Great car, great value.

Great car though some issues with internal panel falling off. Only checked external state before moving off so my fault.

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D.Ellis

November 7, 2019 Destination: London

10Overall great service and value! Will definitely use again.

Friendly staff, great service.

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A.Nawaz

October 28, 2019 Destination: Toronto

9Smooth and easy booking and rental experience.

Although the shuttle pick-up arrangements were there but pick-up wait times varied due a breakdown of their shuttle bus but a minivan was made available added to ongoing construction delays on 427 and related roads. The staff was very courteous and helpful and made up for the whole delay. I ordered for an intermediate which was provided but they also offered a Jeep instead which I had politely refused. The drop-off experience was also smooth. Once again, all staff members are very supportive and courteous. Full marks to Routes team, we shall use them again.

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October 22, 2019 Destination: Vancouver

6.7Average

I spend around 45 minutes to received my car. I booked Toyota Yaris bus I received the bigger one than I booked.

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X.Missio

November 11, 2019 Destination: Montreal

10location au top.

Très bon staff et surclassement en prime.

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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 EasyRentCars.

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?

EasyRentCars 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 EasyRentCars, 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 EasyRentCars.
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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