Driving Tips for Canada

by : Andy Burrows

Canada is an immense country that occupies the upper portion of North America. The diverse scenery that can be found here - from the Rocky Mountains to the prairies to the fishing villages of the Maritime provinces - is spread across the second-largest country in the world.

A very clean and tidy road system means there are no worries about too many potholes or blind corners. All the crossings have signposts and the highway markers are usually quite clear. Europeans will probably find driving in Canada much less stressful than back home, with much larger and wider new world roadways. http://www.self-catering-breaks.com/"">Canada online holiday rental

If you need to stop for fuel, there is certainly no shortage of service stations either. Many of them are open 24 hours and aside from petrol, they have a maintenance department and restaurants to refuel the corporeal engine as well. On the main highways, there are usually signs indicating how many miles/kilometres it will be before the next service station so that can take the guess work out of your rest stops.

Even on secondary highways, there shouldn't be any problems finding local service stations, shops or restaurants. The only concern here is that they are most likely not 24 hours, so make sure you don't get caught in 'the boonies' too long after dark.

It's recommended that due to the considerable lengths of Canadian roads that you stop every few hours and limit your driving to no more than 350 miles (600kms) a day. If you're going to be doing a serious trip, it's always best to have a few drivers as it can be very tiring and accidents can occur easily when you're not fully alert. http://www.comparecarhire.co.uk/"">Canada rental car discounts

The Trans-Canada Highway is probably the most well-known route and at a distance of 5,000 miles, it's the longest highway in the world. Travelling this expanse is a journey in itself. The second massive highway here is the Yellowhead Highway, which is almost as long and extends to the Pacific coast in British Columbia.

When choosing a vehicle, it's best to rent at least a mid-size car. You will be in that car for a good portion of your day while on the road, so you'd better be comfortable. Another consideration for the long journeys is fuel economy, and although fuel prices here are lower than in Europe, they are still high compared to what they were here a few years ago.

To rent the car, you'll need only your licence from home. Canada does not require
an international driver's licence; it recognises individual permits from all countries. Inside the car, all passengers must by law be wearing seatbelts while driving and all children must be in a safety seat.

The Canadian police are very serious about driving under the influence and the penalties are not worth getting caught for. The legal alcohol limit is 0.8mg/ml and they do conduct programmes where they will choose a place on the highway and stop all passing cars for breathalyzer tests.

The speed limits on Canadian roads and motorways are usually clearly marked on the side of the road. If you can't find a sign, there are usually three divisions of: populated areas, secondary highways and motorways. The speed limits are 50kmph (30mph), 80kmph (55mph) and 100kmph (68mph) respectively.