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No other North American nation can rival Canadas vast size, which covers six separate time zones and stretches for more than 5,000kms from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. Although driving a car rental in Canada across this huge country can sound intimidating, private vehicles are often the only available way to travel in large parts of the country.
Most Canadian airports give their passengers plenty of ways to go online and compare car hire offers. Although many foreign tourists enter Canada by air, they often need private vehicles to travel outside of Canadas major cities. Bus journeys are often long and uncomfortable across this vast country, especially along stretches of the western Prairie Provinces. Via Rails famous three-day journey from Toronto to Vancouver is the most comfortable and relaxing way to travel across the country.
Car hire in Canada is very useful for driving between Canadas smaller cities and communities, many of which have few public transportation options. Renting a vehicle solo is more expensive than group travel, and unlimited kilometres are usually only valid in the province where the vehicle is rented. Its also worth noting that rentals with manual transmissions are virtually non-existent in Canada.
Driving difficulties in Canada vary from major traffic jams in big cities to getting stuck on isolated roads during snowstorms to sheer fatigue while driving such long distances. Driving in Canada is very similar to driving in the United States except for the fact all signage is in metric, and in the predominantly French-speaking province of Québec signs are in French.
Visitors wishing to explore Canada by car should either focus on a specific region of this vast country or have a lot of free time on their hands. A cross country road trip across Canada takes at least a week with few sightseeing stops in between. Some regions of Canada that can comfortably be explored by car include the busy corridor between Québec City and Windsor, the smaller Maritime provinces on the east coast and the area between Vancouver and its namesake island.
Except for skiers wishing to cruise down the Rocky Mountains, the vast majority of tourists come to Canada in summer. Summer temperatures in Canada range from as low as 12°C in far northern Nunavut to as high as 35°C in southern Ontario and western Canada. Southern Canadas climate is generally the same as the northern United States. Canadas mildest winters are found in Vancouver, where temperatures rarely reach the freezing point and rain falls far more often than snow. Warm jackets are a must for any visitors to Canada between October and April.