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Canada One of the Easiest Countries in Which to Get Your Driver’s Licence

A Taycan in our nation's capital
Photo: Porsche
A new study shows it’s cheaper and easier to obtain a driver’s permit here than just about anywhere else Automotive expert , Updated:

A new study out of the UK by analyzes the ease or difficulty of obtaining a driver’s permit in different countries around the world. Elements considered include cost, age when allowed to apply for a licence, whether eye and medical tests are required and the hours of lessons needed before being allowed to take an exam.

Last but not least, the study even took into account whether applicants need to take a theory or practical exam at all. And yes, that is not a given! In Mexico, those seeking to get a driver’s licence are not required to pass a practical driver’s test. We shudder at the thought. Not coincidentally, that country sits at the very top of the ranking of easiest countries to become a legal driver.

We’re No. 5! We’re No. 5!
So where does Canada rank? While it’s not in Mexico’s league, which stands head and shoulders above every other nation, it ranks fifth in the world for ease of obtaining a permit, just behind the United States. In fact, the only thing keeping the Great White North from outranking our neighbours to the south is the slightly higher cost of a driving test here.

In contrast with some other countries, Canadian applicants are not required to take an eye or medical test, and they do not need to have taken any lessons prior to taking a test. The average cost for taking a driving test in Canada is $136 USD (or roughly $172 CAD), and the minimum age for doing so is 16. Thankfully, a practical test is required.

A driving test
A driving test

Young Canadians seeking to get a licence to drive will feel fortunate they don’t live in Croatia, rated the toughest country to obtain your driver’s permit. The age limit for doing so there is 18, which is reasonable enough; but the average cost for taking the exam is $1,288 USD (or $1,630 CAD), which is definitely NOT reasonable! Contrast that to countries like Pakistan, India, Vietnam, Turkey, China and Argentina, which charge their citizens a nominal fee or none at all to take a driver’s test.

Applicants in Croatia are also required to take 88 hours of lessons before taking the exam (which is onerous but not as onerous as Australia, which imposes 125 hours!). Croatians also must submit to eye and medical exams.

The European country that makes it easiest for their young citizens is Latvia, by the way. At 16, aspiring drivers can pay their $35 USD fee and take their test, no prior lessons or eye or medical tests required. Though unlike in Mexico, the testing process does actually include a practical test.

Canada thus ranks near the top of countries in which it is easiest to obtain a driver’s licence. We make it affordable, less time-consuming and less demanding for Canadians 16 years old and up to get a legal right to drive. That’s a good thing, right?


A test centre in Ontario
A test centre in Ontario

Here are the countries in which it's easiest to obtain a driver's permit, according to

1 - Mexico
2 - Qatar
3 - Latvia
4 - United States
5 - Canada
6 - Estonia
7 - Barbados
8 - Indonesia
9 - Phillippines
10 - France

And where it's the most difficult:

1 - Croatia
2 - Brazil
3 - Hungary
4 - Bahrain
5 - Montenegro
6 - Kuwait
7 - Chile
8 - Belgium
9 - Israel
10 - Lithuania


From this author

Derek Boshouwers
Articles By
Derek Boshouwers
  • Over 5 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 50 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 30 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists