a car trip through canada shows the country from its most beautiful sides. Here are the best tips for planning your road trip on a budget.
canada is vast and breathtakingly beautiful. However, at first glance, the climate, the long distances, and the rather high cost of domestic transportation may seem daunting. There are definitely alternatives.
Let’s just take the liberty of throwing the things in the trunk and driving off. because the best way to explore this spectacular country is in your own car.
We have compiled the best tips.
Icefields parkway in alberta – (photo: ©alison ridgway/lonely planet)
the famous trans-canada highway is one of the longest roads in the world. It extends over 8.030 kilometers from st. john’s, newfoundland, to victoria, british columbia. The spectacular route crosses all ten provinces and flirts with both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It leads across four islands, across tundra, through seemingly endless coniferous forests, huge national parks and vast prairies. The journey passes glaciers, thousands of lakes and rivers in the shadow of mighty peaks.
To get started, however, you need a little more than wanderlust and a thirst for adventure. A few considerations can’t hurt. sure, a car is the basis, good maps, a GPS and definitely winter tires. don’t worry, our practical guide gives you the most important information.
Rent a car
Toronto is the perfect cosmopolitan stop on a cross-country tour – (photo: ©roxana gonzalez/shutterstock)
If you want to cross canada with a rental car, you should consider a few things. Not only the speed rules. one-way-trips are expensive. If you return the vehicle to the rental location, you save a lot of money. most rental prices do not include fully comprehensive insurance. Therefore, it does not hurt to book them additionally. many credit cards and travel insurance policies cover rental car insurance. As everywhere else, read the fine print, it could save a lot of money. Smart is the one who remembers to confirm the mileage, this is especially true for motorhome rentals. our tip: there are always companies and private individuals who offer vehicle transfers. In the best case the fuel is completely free, but at least there should be a worthwhile discount.
More information: rentals and transfers
– price comparison – private vehicle removals from east to west – motorhome removals
Buying a used car
A tour of cape breton is a must on a canadian road trip – (photo: ©alexander howard/lonely planet)
The alternative to renting a car is to buy a used car. However, this is not as easy and cheap as in europe. There are some pitfalls, but it may be worth it for a longer stay. Especially the insurance is expensive. Different laws apply in different provinces. In ontario, for example, ownership is not transferable until the buyer’s insurance is in place. In british columbia, saskatchewan and manitoba, auto insurance is provided by government agencies. In all other provinces and territories, the buyer is on his own.
rates vary by location, history, age and type of vehicle. One option would be to buy a car without a canadian license. However, this requires a fixed address for insurance and registration. Regardless of driver’s license and driving experience in their home country, tourists are generally considered novice drivers. This significantly increases the premium. Banks curiously offer the best premiums for novice drivers. This is because private insurers are more reluctant to accept liability. An important aspect are the cancellation periods, which should be clarified in advance. Otherwise, if you want to sell your car after a few months, you may be surprised to find that the policies run annually.
Further information: insurances
– cheapest premiums for new drivers – price comparison for new drivers
It is worthwhile to think carefully about the itinerary, including the place to buy the car. Ontario, for example, has a huge market for used cars. Bargains can be found there as well. Toronto has the highest insurance rates, while rates are lowest in the eastern provinces.
Tips and tricks when buying a vehicle
Trust is good, but vigilance is better. Of course, the seller always claims the best. But of course, he also means the best provision for himself. Many dealers offer cheap cars without safety certification. What sounds tempting at first, however, is rather sobering later on. Without safety certification, the vehicles cannot be operated. This means it is the buyer’s responsibility to have such safety certification done – for a hefty increased fee, of course. Such vehicles often also have hidden defects. So be careful: it is best to insist that the certification is included in the price. You are also on the safe side if you buy a car with a credible maintenance history from a reliable mechanic.
It is mandatory for dealers to disclose if a vehicle has any outstanding liens, i.e. unpaid debts. however, this does not apply to private sellers, so be careful. If such a vehicle is resold, the obligation to repay this debt legally passes to the buyer.
reputable dealers and trustworthy private sellers provide a used vehicle information package (UVIP). this will include ownership, accidents and financial backgrounds. If they do not, it is worth asking about it. These uvips are also available at ministry of transportation license offices for 20 canadian dollars.
Chateau frontenac in quebec city – (photo: ©MARGRIT HIRSCH/shutterstock)
Who online for the terms "one owner and "service history" if you are looking, with a little luck you will find a vehicle for sale by an honest owner. It is quite possible to buy a reliable car for around 3.000 canadian dollars to buy, all inclusive. When reselling the vehicle later, one should try to recover part of the investment at all costs.
Toyotas and hondas from year 2000 on are generally fuel efficient, inexpensive to maintain and have good resale potential. Volkswagen and volvos are much more expensive, not only in purchase, but also in repair and maintenance. cheap suvs seem to be perfect for a canada crossing. However, unexpectedly costly problems with the body and suspension can arise.
More information: used car purchase
– free classifieds – largest website for commercial classifieds – used and new car reviews – lists gas prices and calculates driving costs
Attention, winter weather!
canada’s roads are heavily sprinkled with salt in winter. Therefore, it is worthwhile to carefully inspect the future vehicle for signs of rust. In most older vehicles, the timing belt must be replaced every 100.000 kilometers to be replaced, otherwise the engine will break down. It can’t hurt to check with the seller when this was last done. Brakes and tire tread should also be checked. Are winter tires included in the price? Does the gear shift work smoothly? When negotiating the price, the taxes for the sale should also be taken into consideration, which are after all up to 13 percent.
driving through a winter road in british columbia – (photo: ©christopher kimmel/getty images/aurora open)