Everything You Need to Know to Rent a Vehicle in Canada

Chapter 3: Prices and common options

Published: 28-06-2019



Prices and common options

Tips to define your package

The total price you’ll pay depends on:

  • The length of rental (monthly or weekly rates may be a better deal)
  • The dates (supply and demand applies, you’ll pay more to rent a vehicle on a sunny long weekend, check popular bank holidays!)
  • The size and type of vehicle
  • The driver’s age (add around CAD30/day if the driver is under 25)
  • The options selected

The most popular options offered, usually for an additional fee, are:

  • One-way drop-off fee, if you bring back the vehicle to a different location at the end of your trip. For instance, you could rent a vehicle in Ottawa and drop it off in Quebec City. Note that not all locations offer this option and that you usually cannot drop off a Canadian car at a US office (or vice-versa).
  • Additional driver, usually around CAD10/day.
  • Extra gear, e.g. GPS (CAD10-15/day), child car seat, ski rack, snow tires, etc.
  • Insurance

A few scenarios

Mike is 26 and lives in Toronto. He wants to visit the Niagara region with three friends and he needs a car for the day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. He checks out arguscarhire.com and picks a Toyota Corolla from Alamo for CAD40/day, tax included. He adds collision damage waiver insurance for CAD17. Total price is less than CAD60, so CAD15 per passenger.

Kathy is 29 and lives in Vancouver. She wants to explore the Rockies for a week with her girlfriend. She checks out Enterprise.com and picks a Nissan Versa for CAD140 for the week. She adds the GPS option for CAD11.99/day. Total price is CAD225 for the week.

Ben is 22 and lives in Ottawa. He wants to spend a weekend in Montreal. He checks out rentalcars.com and finds a Hyundai Accent at Avis for CAD150 from Friday, 6 p.m. to Sunday, 6 p.m. Total price is CAD114. Yep, that’s a lot for just a weekend because he’s paying the young driver surcharge. Carpooling or taking the Greyhound may be a better option!

Fuel options

It probably won’t come as a surprise that cars need gas. To fill up, there are usually three options:

Prepaid fuel: you’re paying ahead for the full tank. Ideally (for you!), you bring it back with the tank almost empty because there’s no refund for the gas you left in the tank.

Self-refuelling: You have to fill up close to the rental company office to bring the car back full. Keep the receipt and show it to avoid any refuelling service charge! This is often the cheapest and most convenient option.

Refuelling service: You leave with a full tank and come back with whatever is left. If you return the car with less fuel in the tank than when you picked it up, you will pay a service charge for the fuel used. This is a convenient option but rental company charge more than gas stations, so you will pay more than if you had filled up yourself.

Chapter 3 of 7


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