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Driving is one of the best ways to see Canada. If you intend to drive a good map is recommended and also some tapes to listen to when driving for hours through regions where there is nothing to listen to but static and nothing to look at but flat crop fields. Believe me the attraction wears off when this is what you are faced with for days on end! You should also bring a French phrase book to help you understand the French only signs in the province of Quebec. Make sure you always have enough fuel because especially in the north of some provinces and the territories the service stations are few and far between.
Remember Canadian's drive on the right hand side of the road. The speed limit is 100kph on the highways and in towns it is 50kph or less. Signs change on different stretches of road so make sure you keep an eye on this.
School buses, when stopped must, not be passed. Getting caught by the police, especially in Quebec, can cost a small fortune, so it is not worth speeding. Cars must stop at pedestrian crosswalks when someone is waiting.
A valid driver's licence can be used for 3 months and an international licence will last for up to a year.
Many main roads in the northern parts of Canada are gravel along with many roads in the rest of the country that link towns. Dust and flying stones can be hazardous so be careful when driving on these roads and leave plenty of distance between vehicles. Spare parts and certainly at least a spare tyre is essential.
Be aware of wildlife. Moose and other deer have been known to be a serious hazard on the roads both in the day and night. Drive with caution. Do not leave your vehicle unattended at the side of the road unless it is safely out of the way of other traffic and sealed up properly. Open windows can attract bears from the smell of food, no matter how little. Bears have been known to wait for the owner to return to open the door. The same level of caution should be given when relieving yourself in the bushes at the side of the road!
Rental cars can be obtained for good prices from about $25 and upwards per day. Some have kilometre inclusive packages that can be useful to find out about. There are many rental agencies providing new and used vehicles.
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