Compare Quotes
HomeCar Insurance ResourcesCan a tourist visitors or foreign get car insurance in Canada?

Yes, a tourist can obtain car insurance in Canada, but there are a few considerations and steps to keep in mind:

  1. Rental Cars: If you’re renting a car in Canada, the rental agency will typically offer various insurance options at the time of rental, including collision damage waiver (CDW), liability insurance, and other additional coverages. Sometimes, the credit card you use to book the rental might also provide some form of insurance, but always check the terms with your credit card provider.
  2. Bringing Your Own Vehicle: If you’re bringing your vehicle from another country (e.g., driving from the US into Canada):
    • Your existing insurance may provide some coverage in Canada, but you should check with your insurer.
    • You might need a Canada Non-Resident Insurance Card or a Motor Vehicle Liability Card, which proves that you have the necessary liability coverage.
    • If your current policy doesn’t cover you in Canada, or if you want additional coverage, you might need to purchase a temporary or short-term policy from a Canadian insurer.
  3. Buying a Car in Canada: If you intend to buy a car as a tourist (which is less common but possible), you’d need to first meet provincial or territorial registration requirements. After that:
    • You would need to obtain insurance from a Canadian provider. This might be more complicated, given that you won’t have a Canadian driving history. Some insurance companies might not offer policies to non-residents or might charge higher premiums.
    • You’d need to provide valid identification, details about the vehicle, your driving history, and possibly more.
  4. Provincial Differences: Remember that insurance regulations and requirements can vary by province or territory. It’s crucial to check the specific rules and procedures for the province you plan to visit or drive in.
  5. Duration: How long you plan to stay and drive in Canada may also affect the kind of insurance you need. For short visits, temporary or short-term insurance might suffice. For extended stays, you might need to look into more standard insurance options.
  6. Insurance Brokers: It can be helpful to contact an insurance broker in Canada, who can guide you through the options available and help you find a policy that meets your needs.

In all scenarios, it’s essential to ensure you have at least the minimum required liability insurance coverage, which covers damages or injuries you might cause to others in an accident. Beyond that, the type and amount of coverage you choose will depend on your individual preferences and circumstances.

Can I add a foreign driver to my car insurance Canada?

young driver

Yes, you can add a foreign driver to your car insurance in Canada, but there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Driver’s License: Generally, the foreign driver should have a valid driver’s license from their home country. Some provinces and insurance companies might also accept an International Driving Permit (IDP) in conjunction with the foreign license.
  2. Insurance Rate: Adding a foreign driver, especially one without a Canadian driving history, might affect your insurance rates. Depending on the driving record in their home country and other factors, rates could increase.
  3. Duration: If the foreign driver is visiting for a short period (e.g., a few weeks), it might be more straightforward to add them temporarily to your policy. For more extended stays, your insurance provider will guide you on the necessary steps.
  4. Disclosure: Always be honest and transparent with your insurance provider. Failure to disclose accurate information or trying to hide a driver can lead to policy cancellations, non-payment of claims, or other complications.
  5. Documentation: Your insurer may request copies of the foreign driver’s license and driving history or record. It’s a good idea to have these on hand and translated if they’re not in English or French.
  6. Provincial Differences: Insurance regulations vary across provinces and territories in Canada. It’s essential to check the specific rules and requirements in the province where your insurance policy is based.

To add a foreign driver to your policy, contact your insurance provider or agent directly. They’ll provide guidance tailored to your specific situation and clarify any requirements or changes in premiums.

Can I buy a car with international driver license in Canada?


Yes, you can buy a car in Canada with an international driver’s license. The process of purchasing a vehicle does not necessarily require any specific type of driver’s license; instead, it’s mostly about the financial transaction. However, several considerations come into play when you intend to operate and register the vehicle:

  1. Driving with an International License: Most provinces and territories in Canada allow tourists or temporary residents to drive with a valid international driver’s license for a specific period, usually up to 90 days. After that, they might be required to obtain a local license.
  2. Registering the Vehicle: To register a car and obtain license plates, you’ll need to provide identification and proof of insurance. While an international driver’s license might be acceptable for driving temporarily, provincial or territorial agencies might require additional identification or even a local license for vehicle registration. Requirements vary by jurisdiction.
  3. Insurance: This is where things can become a bit complicated. To register and legally drive the car in Canada, you must have valid auto insurance. Some insurance companies may be hesitant or even unwilling to insure a driver with only an international license, especially without a Canadian driving history. Others might offer insurance but at higher rates. It’s essential to shop around and speak with various insurance agents or brokers to understand your options.
  4. Long-Term Stay: If you plan to stay in Canada long-term, consider obtaining a provincial or territorial driver’s license. This not only simplifies matters related to car registration and insurance but also ensures you comply with local driving regulations.
  5. Provincial and Territorial Differences: Always remember that driving, registration, and insurance regulations can differ significantly across Canada’s provinces and territories. Make sure you’re familiar with the rules of the specific province or territory where you plan to purchase, register, and operate the vehicle.

If you’re planning to buy a car while visiting Canada, it might be helpful to consult with a local vehicle registration office and an insurance broker ahead of time to ensure a smooth process.

Average tourist visitors or foreign get car insurance rates in Canada

  • Short-Term or Rental Insurance: CAD $15 to $50 per day.
    • Rental car companies typically offer daily insurance packages, which can include various coverages (liability, collision, comprehensive).
    • The rate might be at the higher end if you opt for full protection (including liability, collision damage waiver, personal accident insurance, etc.).
  • Temporary Insurance for Personal Vehicles: CAD $500 to $2,500 for a few months.
    • If you’re bringing your car into Canada or buying one for a short stay, you might opt for temporary insurance.
    • The range is wide because it depends on factors like vehicle type, chosen coverage, and where in Canada you’re insuring and driving.

Estimating car insurance for tourists or foreign visitors across the top 15 cities in Canada can be quite broad due to the multitude of factors influencing rates. Each province has its insurance regulations, and within those provinces, cities can have varying rates based on claims histories, traffic densities, and other factors.

  1. Toronto, ON: $200 – $800
  2. Vancouver, BC: $180 – $750
  3. Montreal, QC: $150 – $650
  4. Calgary, AB: $150 – $700
  5. Ottawa, ON: $150 – $650
  6. Edmonton, AB: $150 – $700
  7. Winnipeg, MB: $120 – $600
  8. Quebec City, QC: $125 – $575
  9. Hamilton, ON: $180 – $725
  10. Brampton, ON: $225 – $850
  11. Surrey, BC: $170 – $700
  12. Mississauga, ON: $200 – $800
  13. Halifax, NS: $100 – $550
  14. Laval, QC: $140 – $625
  15. London, ON: $150 – $650

Several caveats to note:

  • These are very rough estimates and can vary based on the vehicle type, chosen coverage, duration of coverage, and the specific driving history of the individual.
  • Some cities (especially those in Ontario, like Brampton) have notably higher insurance rates due to factors like higher claim rates and traffic density.
  • British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan have government-run auto insurance, which can affect rates differently than provinces with private insurance systems.
  • The presence or absence of no-fault insurance, direct compensation-property damage systems, and other provincial regulations can impact rates.
  • Rates for foreign visitors might be different from local rates, especially if the visitor has no Canadian driving history.

To get accurate rates, it’s best to request specific quotes from insurance providers in the relevant province or city.

About the Author: Valerie D. Hahn

Valerie is an insurance editor, journalist, and business professional at RateLab. She has more than 15 years of experience in personal financial products. She strives to educate readers and ensure that they are properly protected.

Leave A Comment

Continue Reading