8Driving a rental across Canada

Driving a rental across Canada

Renting a car is a good way to enjoy a long weekend getaway or explore a region for a few weeks, but it’s usually not the best option for a road trip across the country.

First, renting a car or a van for longer than a month gets pretty expensive unless the cost is split between four or five travellers.

Second, you’re probably going to pay one-way or drop-off fees. These are additional fees charged by rental companies if you decide to rent your car in one city and drop it off in another city. Generally, the farther away the two cities are, the higher the fee! A trip from Montreal to Vancouver could mean a pricey drop-off fee.

Watch out, these fees are not always mentioned at the time of booking. Don’t hesitate to read the terms and conditions or call the rental agency where you intend to pick up your car to ask about any additional fees to avoid bad surprises.

PVTistes teamed up with Hertz (as well as Dollar and Thrifty, the two low-cost sister companies) for exclusive discounts and benefits—check them out!

In addition to the traditional rental companies, community car sharing platforms in some cities offer a chance to rent a car for a few hours or a few days—Communauto in Montreal or CarShare in Toronto, for instance. You won’t be able to travel across Canada but it’s still a good option for a weekend getaway!

Unlike in Europe, renting a vehicle directly from the owner isn’t very common in Canada. Turo is one of the only car-sharing marketplaces. Again, this is not a solution for long road trips but an option if you only need a vehicle for a few days.

Finally, you may get a deal on a rental if you manage to get a “relocation special.” Rent-a-car companies occasionally need to move or return vehicles to a specific location to meet business needs. If you agree to drive a car to a branch or a city by the deadline (usually a few days), you could unlock a very good price.

Let’s not forget the principle of “relocation”: bringing a vehicle from a rental company to another city. The rates offered are very low but you have a limited timeframe (for example, you must bring the vehicle from one city to another within two or three days). Offers exist in Canada but remain rare.

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En PVT au Canada de novembre 2021 à 2023, je répondrai à vos questions avec plaisir. Pour le premier trimestre 2024, direction l'Amérique latine !

I moved from France to Canada on a WHV from November 2021 to 2023, followed then by spending the first quarter of 2024 in Latin America! Happy to answer all your questions.

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