Driving in Canada
There can hardly be a more pleasurable way to experience Canada than by motorhome.
You need to be confident enough to tackle a large, left-hand drive vehicle on the ‘other’ side of the road, but Canada has an excellent highway system and rules of the road are similar to Europe, so with a little concentration it doesn’t take long to get used to and once on the open road it can be pure motoring joy.
This page will talk you through some of the rules of the road in Canada, as well as help you understand some of the travelling costs that you can expect to incur.
A full UK driving licence is accepted. The named driver must be at least 25 years old and all nominated drivers must be at least 21 years old and hold valid licences. Any driving licence endorsement, other than for speeding or parking offences, must be declared when submitting your booking form.
On individual, tailor-made holidays, basic public liability coverage is included in your vehicle rental fee with a maximum excess of several thousand dollars (the exact amount depending on the rental company) for damage to your vehicle or the property of a third party. You can reduce the excess considerably (usually to a few hundred dollars, again depending on the rental company) by adding a Collision Deductible Reducer (CDR).
On Escorted Tours, your vehicle rental includes vehicle insurance with CDR. An imprint of a major credit card is required while the vehicle is rented and some rental companies may deduct a deposit (typically CA$ 750) from your card, refundable on return of your clean and undamaged vehicle.
Speed limits are generally about 100kmh on highways and 50kmh in towns and built up areas, but they can vary between provinces and within provinces for the same road categories, so do pay attention to the local speed limit signs on the ground.
Fuel is known as gasoline or gas. It is always unleaded and generally costs far less than fuel in the UK, depending on area and fuel grade. The price can vary depending on whether you use a ‘full-service’ or ‘self-service’ garage. Visit www.gasbuddy.com for price information. Credit cards are widely accepted.
When a yellow school bus stops and its red lights are flashing, traffic travelling in both directions must stop.
You are allowed to turn right through a red light provided that the way is clear, except in Québec.
It is a criminal offence to operate, or be in the care or control of, a vehicle whether in motion or not, with a blood alcohol content of more than 0.5mg (zero mg for drivers under 21 or newly qualified drivers). It is illegal to carry an open alcohol container in a moving vehicle or in a public place, but alcohol may be open in a parked vehicle if kept away from the driving area and the driver. The legal drinking age is 18 in Alberta, Manitoba and Québec, and 19 elsewhere in Canada.
Accuracy of information
This information was correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing (5 January 2012).
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