Canada’s wide, open roads, spectacular scenery, friendly cities and incredible National Parks seem as if they’ve been made for self drives.

Hiring a car and travelling at your own pace is a great way to explore those places and attractions that you long to see. You’ll be free to stop whenever you like taking in those bucket-list destinations and you may even find some hidden gems that aren’t on your must-see list. Our Canada experts have explored the country themselves and can help you create a tailor-made self-drive itinerary, recommend hotels, offer sightseeing ideas and even suggest day trips.

Self-drives

Driving in Canada is an unforgettable experience whether you’re following the coastal roads on Vancouver Island out west or in Nova Scotia in the east, travelling across mountain passes and through charming towns in the Rockies or exploring the remote landscapes of the Yukon. Although Canadians drive on the other side of the road, it really doesn’t take too long to adapt and you’ll soon be driving like a local. Outside the main cities and most popular National Parks, there’s very little traffic compared to the UK. At times it feels as if you have the whole road to yourself. 

Our Unlimited Adventures self-drive is a nature lover’s dream. There’s time for numerous wildlife-watching excursions during your time on Vancouver Island; a journey along one of the world’s most scenic mountain roads – the Icefields Parkway; and plenty of opportunities to explore National and Provincial Parks such as Banff, Wells Gray and Pacific Rim. Alternatively, the eastern cities and natural attractions of Ontario and Québec are easily combined on our Heritage Trail self-drive.


Car hire

Choice of cars
We work with a number of different car hire partners. Choose from a range of cars, from small economy and compact vehicles to full-size vans and SUVs. All of the cars are easy to drive and most are automatic. It is important that you consider the size of your group and how much luggage you will travel with when choosing your rental vehicle. We also recommend travelling with soft bags as they are easier to load into vehicles.

Licence info
Drivers must present a full licence held for a minimum of 12 months. The licence must be in English, or a foreign licence with an International Driving Permit (IDP). The minimum age is 21, or 25 for some car types. 

Inclusions
Car hire inclusions can vary but typically include unlimited mileage, Goods & Services Tax (GST) and Standard Insurance with full excess.

One-way rentals
One-way rentals must be arranged in advance and are subject to local drop off fees. They are not possible on economy grade cars.

Personalised Canada driving road book
All of our featured suggested self-drives listed below include a Canada driving road book. This includes: sightseeing information, discount vouchers for attractions (where applicable), maps and access to a toll-free customer service line. You'll receive this on arrival at your first hotel.

If you're on a tailor-made self-drive itinerary, the road book can be included at a small additional charge.

Cross-border travel
Cars rented in Canada can be driven into the USA but must be returned to Canada unless pre-arranged which may be subject to trans-border fees. Rentals originating in British Columbia may only be driven in British Columbia, Alberta, and the state of Washington in the USA.


Motorhomes

The convenience of only having to unpack once, quality vehicles and a range of rental locations and one-way hires – a motorhome holiday is a fun and adventurous way to see Canada. Head out on the open highways, cruising away from the big centres and through iconic National Parks. All motorhomes are simple to operate and easy to drive with automatic transmission and power breaking and steering. As Canada’s largest RV rental firm, Cruise Canada gives you the convenience of an array of pick-up and drop-off points (5 locations in Canada) as well as the peace of mind of quality vehicles and comprehensive support should you need it.

We are pleased to offer a selection of motorhomes. The main difference between vehicle categories is the varying length and the passenger capacity. Cruise Canada have recently introduced a new smaller T17 vehicle, perfect for couples or those who do not wish to drive the bigger RVs on offer. These new trucks are available to pick up from Calgary and Vancouver.


Self-drive itineraries

These featured itineraries are our recommended Canada self-drives. These are purely a suggestion and are completely flexible. Speak to one of our Canada experts or pop into store and begin creating your perfect adventure.

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1 / 3

Yukon & Alaska Explorer self-drive

Combine Canada’s rugged Yukon with the dramatic scenes of Alaska and experience two of the world's most challenging, adventurous and impressive landscapes. You may even be lucky enough to witness the ...

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1 / 5

Great Parks of the East self-drive

Eastern Canada is home to some spectacular national, provincial and regional parks as well as some of the world’s most vibrant and diverse cities.

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Mountain Express self-drive

This compact yet comprehensive self-drive showcases the key highlights of Alberta and British Columbia, including the beautiful scenery of Banff National Park and the harbourside city of Vancouver.

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1 / 3

Unlimited Adventures self-drive

An adventure packed self-drive encompassing the mesmerising scenery and famous highlights of the Rocky Mountains with a chance to stay in world class resorts and the principle cities of Calgary, Vanco...

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1 / 3

Heritage Trail self-drive

This round-trip journey from Toronto takes in the highlights of the eastern provinces of Ontario and Québec including multi-cultural cities and natural wonders.

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1 / 2

Whales, Bears & Vancouver Island Self-Drive

This suggested self-drive itinerary offers lively urban centres, remote wilderness and the natural beauty of Vancouver Island.

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1 / 1

Maritime magic treasures self-drive

Discover the best of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, passing picturesque fishing villages and following rugged coastal landscapes.

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