Rent Your Car for the SAAQ Practical Exam

September 21, 2023

The practical driving test is a pivotal step in obtaining a driver’s license in Quebec. If you’re about to take this test, you might be wondering whether to use your own car or rent one. As the owner of Somerled Driving School in Quebec, I invite you to delve into this topic to help you make the best decision.

Why Rent a Car for the SAAQ Practical Exam?

When it comes to taking the practical driving test, several factors can influence your performance, and the choice of vehicle is one of them. Here’s why renting a school car can be an excellent decision:

Compliance with Standards

The SAAQ, or Quebec’s Automobile Insurance Corporation, enforces strict standards for vehicles used in exams. These standards ensure the safety of the candidate, the examiner, and other road users.

Regular Inspections: Driving school cars undergo frequent inspections to ensure they are in perfect working order. Any flaw, even minor, is quickly addressed.

Specific Adaptations: School vehicles are often equipped with dual pedals, allowing the instructor or examiner to intervene if necessary. This feature can be reassuring for the candidate.

Guarantee of Compliance: By choosing to rent a school car, you eliminate the risk of your vehicle being rejected on the day of the exam due to non-compliance. This prevents disappointments and delays in obtaining the license.


Familiarity with the vehicle is often an underestimated factor but can significantly impact your stress level on the day of the exam.

Known Environment: Driving a car you’ve used during your training hours gives you an edge. You know where all the buttons and controls are, and you understand how the car responds in different situations.

Stress Reduction: The driving test is already a source of stress for many. Eliminating the unknown associated with driving a new vehicle can help reduce anxiety and improve performance.


The financial aspect and legal implications in the event of an accident should not be overlooked.

Specific Coverage: Driving schools have insurance tailored to exam situations. This insurance covers not only material damage but also potential injuries.

Peace of Mind: Knowing you’re covered in case of an incident during the exam allows you to focus fully on your driving, without fearing the financial consequences of an accident.


How to Choose the Right Driving School for Car Rental?

Renting a car for the SAAQ exam is a significant decision. The choice of driving school can influence your experience and potentially the outcome of your exam. Here are some essential criteria to consider to make the best choice:


The reputation of a driving school often reflects the quality of its services. Here’s how you can assess a school’s reputation:

Online Reviews: Platforms like Google, Yelp, or local forums can give you an insight into the experiences of other students. Read both positive and negative reviews to get a complete picture.

Recommendations: Talk to your friends, family, or colleagues. Word of mouth is often a reliable information source. A personal recommendation can be worth its weight in gold.

Success Rate: Some schools publish their exam pass rates. A school with a high rate is generally synonymous with quality instruction and preparation.


Budget is a crucial criterion, but it shouldn’t be the only one:

Price Comparison: Get quotes from several schools. This will give you an idea of the average rental cost in your area.

Included Services: Make sure you understand what’s included in the price. Some schools might offer an hour of driving before the exam, specific insurance, or other benefits that justify a higher cost.

Transparency: Beware of hidden costs. A school transparent about its rates is often more reliable.


The school’s location concerning the exam center is crucial:

Proximity to the Exam Center: A school close to the exam center will allow you to arrive on time and avoid stress related to commuting. Plus, it gives you the advantage of practicing in areas where the exam might take place.

Ease of Access: Also consider how easy it is to get to the school, especially if you plan to use public transport or walk.

Training Areas: A school located in an area with various driving conditions (urban areas, suburban areas, highways) can offer better preparation.


How Much Does It Cost?

Rates vary depending on schools, included services, and rental duration. Some packages include an hour of practice before the exam, which can be beneficial to get in the right mindset. Expect to pay between $40 and $300 for the rental, depending on the chosen options.


The Advantages of Renting a School Car

Renting a school car for the exam offers many benefits. Not only do some packages provide a revision session with a qualified instructor, allowing you to clarify last-minute questions and benefit from expert advice, but these vehicles are also tailored for learning, often equipped with dual pedals for quick instructor intervention. Moreover, the certainty of driving a vehicle compliant with standards and being insured in case of an incident significantly boosts the candidate’s confidence on D-day.


Are There Any Drawbacks?

Cost: For some, renting a car might seem like an unnecessary expense, especially if you already have access to a personal vehicle.

Availability: During high-demand periods, it might be challenging to book a school car for the exam.


Tips for Succeeding in Your Exam with a Rented Car

Book in Advance: Ensure you have a choice of time slot and vehicle by booking well in advance.

Familiarize Yourself with the Vehicle: If possible, drive the car a few days before the exam to get used to it.

Relax: Renting a school car is designed to make things easier for you. Take deep breaths, relax, and do your best.



Renting a car for the SAAQ practical exam is a wise option for many candidates. It offers peace of mind, familiarity with the vehicle, and insurance in case of an accident. If you’re considering this option, do your research, compare offers, and choose the driving school that best meets your needs. Good luck with your exam!