tips for driving in Quebec
For visitors taking to the roads of Quebec, the degree of familiarity
with the rules of the road will depend a lot on where the visitor is
coming from: for drivers from the USA, things will seem pretty
familiar; for drivers from other parts of Canada, they will be even
more familiar. But from drivers from Europe there are a lot of points
to watch out for – many of them common to much or all of
Generally speaking, visitors from Europe and the USA, staying less than
three months in Canada, do not need an international driver's licence
as long as they have a valid licence from their own country.
Quebec rules of the
road and driving information
: road information and road
signs are in French, not usually in English. Most
road signs use internationally familiar pictograms, so you'll have no
difficulty understanding them. A freeway is called an
"Autoroute", and freeways are numbered with the letter A, as in France.
camera warning devices : these are illegal in Quebec.
belts must be worn by all persons in the car, at all times.
at the wheel.
It is illegal to use a hand-held cellphone / mobile phone for
speaking or texting while driving in Quebec, even if the car is stopped
at the traffic lights. Warning : fines from $115 upwards.
limits in Quebec :
100 km/hr on divided highways, 90 on rural roads, 50 km/h in towns. The
limits on divided highways / motorways / autoroutes vary from province
to province or state to state in North America. In Quebec, it is on the
low side, at 100 km/hr. Take care ! See table
below for conversion into mph.
and driving in Quebec :
the maximum tolerated blood alcohol level is 0.05 grams per liter, the
same as in most of Europe, Canada and the USA - but lower than in the
- Gas (petrol) prices :
average fuel prices in Quebec in 2017 are about 1.10 CAD (Canadian
dollars) per litre. This is about a 30% cheaper than average prices in
continental Europe, about 35% cheaper than in the UK, but about 50%
more expensive than in the USA.
tolls: generally speaking there are no tolls on highways
in Quebec. One exception is the A-30 expressway round the south side of
Montreal, where there is a fixed toll (2 CAD for a car in 2015).
Specific points for visitors from the USA.
There one extra point to watch out for :
and measures : firstly, as everywhere in Canada, distances
are marked in kilometers, not miles. So too therefore are
speed limits. The quick rule to remember is that 8 kilometers = 5
miles, so a speed limit of 100 km/hr (the limit on Quebec's freeways)
is a limit of 62.5 mph (see speed
limits below) A distance marker indicating "160"
means that you are 100 miles from the point indicated.
Gas, as in the rest of Canada, is sold in liters,
not gallons. 1 US gallon = 3.79 liters.
Temperature indicators are in Celsius, not
Fahrenheit: so 0° is freezing, as is anything below
it. +20°C is 68° F.
Specific points for visitors from outside North America.
Several points, which are
generally points to note when driving anywhere in North America:
: when approaching intersections, advance direction signage is not
nearly as thorough as in most parts of Europe. Exit lanes sometimes
appear before any sign to tell you where they lead to, so take care !
Generally speaking, road signs are the same as those used elsewhere in
North America, so slightly different to those used in Europe, but
buses : if a school bus is stopped with red
lights flashing, traffic in both
directions must stop too (except on a divided highway, where traffic on
the same part of the highway must stop).
/ Autoroute signs are in green, just like main roads, not
in the blue that is used in most parts of Europe.
lights: as is general in North America, traffic
can turn right on a red traffic light, though this is not legal in
is dense around the cities, notably in and around Montréal;
away from the connurbations and out into rural Quebec, distances are
long, and European drivers will probably be surprised how little
traffic there is on the roads
limits in Quebec,
converted into miles per hour
speed in mph
/ built-up area
carriageways and motorways
|56 mph (90
or 50 mph
or as indicated
or as indicated