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driving concerns

KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH/The Associated Press

Can I rent a car using my G2 Ontario licence in the UK? — Dan

Keep calm – and wait until you've been driving for three years.

"To hire a car in the UK, you need to be over the age of 17 and have held a driving licence for at least three years," said Avis spokesperson Heidi Parker in an email response to your question. "If you're under the age of 25, you'll need to pay an extra fee per day."

If you're trying to rent a car anywhere, in North America or abroad, with a provisional licence, most rental companies we spoke to gave unhelpful advice: check out the terms and conditions on their websites or to call them directly.

The biggest barrier is age — the minimum age varies by company and by location.

"Ontario G2 Graduated licences are acceptable," said Hertz wrote in an email. "Your customer must be 25 years old to rent a car — we do have vehicles with a minimum age of 20 years old, but any age from 20-24 is subject to an underage fee."

In the UK, that underage fee can be hefty. On Hertz's website, that fee is £30 ($54 ) per day to a maximum of £300 ($540 ).

Travelling with a G2

Ontario's G2 licence lets you drive unsupervised with two restrictions: you can't drink any alcohol and everyone in the car must have a working seatbelt.

If you're under 19, there are limits on carrying under-19 passengers after midnight.

But, none of those restrictions apply if you're driving outside of Ontario.

"Ontario's rules for G1 and G2 licences only apply in Ontario," the MTO said in an email statement.

You can't get an international driver's permit (IDP) with a G1 licence, but you can with a G2. However, you don't need an IDP to drive in the UK.

"On our application form it states: 'International Driving Permits will be issued only to persons 18 years of age or over who hold full valid Canadian provincial driving licences,'" said Canadian Automobile Association spokesperson Kristine D'Arbelles. "This excludes provisional or learner's licences, and licences under suspension."

Do traffic rules take holidays off?

Are holidays considered a weekday for signs, such as "no turns," unless posted otherwise? On some holiday Mondays, the financial district in downtown Toronto is deserted — but I am not sure if I can make a turn since it is a weekday. — Farzad

If traffic signs are taking the day off, they'll tell you, said Toronto Police.

"The only exclusions are posted with the sign when there are exceptions," said Toronto Police Traffic Services Constable Clint Stibbe.

So, unless the sign says "weekdays, except holidays" then the rules for a holiday Monday will be the same as any other Monday.

"For some Toronto by-laws, there is a specific reference to the stat or holiday not being considered part of the week — but that's not true for the Highway Traffic Act." Stibbe says. "If an individual committed an offence of HTA section 144(9) by proceeding contrary to the sign at an intersection on a stat or holiday, the driver can still be charged with the offence."

The same goes for parking meters. Unless the meter says there's an exemption for holidays, treat the day like any other weekday, Stibbe says.

If you have questions for Jason Tchir about driving or car maintenance, please write to globedrive@globeandmail.com.

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