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Canada car hire tips

  • Where to pick up your car

    There are over 95 car hire locations in Canada, and the most popular city is Toronto, ON.

  • Top car rental brands

    The most popular car rental brands in Canada are Thrifty, Dollar, Budget, Hertz and Discount Car & Truck Rental.

  • Best time to hire a car

    The cheapest months to pick up your car hire in Canada are November and February.

  • Local currency

    Canadian Dollar (CAD)

  • Side of road


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Hire a car in Canada

Canada is the world’s second-largest country and a territory that still feels new.

It is a rich patchwork of cultures and landscapes. In between the rugged mountains, flat prairie fields and wooded havens, you’ll discover big and small cities, each with their own personality. The size of the country can be difficult to envision before arriving.

The Trans-Canada Highway, which connects all ten provinces is over 8000 km long – so the best way to make the most of your visit to Canada is to head straight for the car rental desk when you arrive.

Driving in Canada

Top tips

1. There are slight differences if you’re driving in Quebec versus other provinces, the most notable being all the road signs are in French. Familiarise yourself with some French terms to make it easier.

2. It is legal to turn right on a red light, if it is safe to do so and after you have come to a complete stop. Note however, you are not allowed to turn on a red light in Montreal.

3. If you are travelling during the winter months, ask your car hire company whether the vehicle is equipped with winter or all-weather tyres. In some provinces, on certain roads winter tyres are required. Drive diligently in the winter, snow can reduce visibility and patches of ice can be difficult to spot. Also find out if your rental company provides an ice scraper and snow brush.

4. You must pull over and give way to emergency vehicles.

5. Do not overtake a school bus with flashing red lights. You can overtake snow removal vehicles or farm machinery.

The prarie cities

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The coastal metropolis


A city for the outdoor enthusiast and the urbanite, Vancouver is a showcase for some of the best adventures Canada has to offer. From urban parks and rugged scenery to topnotch entertainment venues and a creative culinary scene, Vancouver has something for every traveller.

The great outdoors – For a scenic outdoor experience, have a picnic in Stanley Park or take a relaxing walk through the VanDusen Botanical Garden. If you’re interested in something a little wilder, hike 850 metres up Grouse Grind or go camping along the Fraser River. Interested in some other impressive scenery further out of the city? Drive to Whistler and breath in the mountain air while skiing or biking.

Metropolitan – Enjoy Vancouver’s waterfront while taste testing a range of locally crafted brews. Restaurant hop in the city’s Gastown district, where you’ll find iconic culinary creations, or grab a quick bite in Granville Island Public Market. For shopping, Yaletown is the place to be. There is also a wealth of galleries and museums to keep you occupied on a rainy day.

Province capitals


The cultural heart of Quebec, Montreal is a showcase of the newest and oldest characteristics of Canada. The metropolitan island is a greater mix of European and North American influence than anywhere else in the country. Old cobbled roads are tucked in between shiny skyscrapers, while futuristic public art contrasts with historic landmarks.

The city is known for retaining a strong connection to its heritage, working hard to maintain the French language and Catholic religion. Artistic celebrations are not taken lightly here either. Over 90 festivals throughout the year highlight old, new and upcoming artists.

When to visit: If you’re interested in Montreal’s festival line up, June till August is the best time to go. But if you’re looking to avoid the tourist crowds, Autumn is a lovely time to explore the city.


Toronto can no longer be mistaken as a small-scale New York with less attitude or stuff. Over the decades, this major Canadian city has defined itself as a destination in its own right. Often mistaken as the capital of Canada – Torontonians like to think of it as such – the city is multicultural hotspot with a young creative energy running through its veins.

Toronto's cultural allure has breed and attracted beloved musicians, filmmakers and artists. Its restaurants pull together and blend the city’s different ethnic backgrounds into one, producing drool-worthy dishes. Toronto also has a collection of unique landmarks, both natural and man-made.

When to visit: Like Montreal, the summer months are filled with festivities and the streets are lined with tourists. The hot weather means you can enjoy the beaches and waterfront to the fullest but prices also rise. Travel during the shoulder seasons for pleasant weather and less crowds.