Tips and advice on choosing, booking and picking up the vehicle
Trust our experience and traveller feedback in the forums:
- Book ahead, you will often get a better rate.
- Car rental is a supply-and-demand game. If you’re flexible, make sure you’re not planning a trip on a popular Canadian bank holiday like July 1 or Labour Day.
- The most convenient pickup locations (e.g. inside a major airport) can have much higher rates than the office of the same company just outside the airport.
- Even if you book a specific make and model online, you may end up with a different vehicle at the office. See point above, supply and demand…
- Also, you can show up with a reservation and discover that the rental company doesn’t actually have a car for you. The problem is so common there’s an entire Seinfeld episode about it with the famous line “You know how to *take* the reservation, you just don’t know how to *hold* the reservation. And that’s really the most important part of the reservation, the holding. Anybody can just take them.”
- Bring your driver’s licence, the booking confirmation and proof of existing insurance if applicable.
- Read the rental contract before you sign it!
- There are no stupid questions—ask what fuel type you should use, where the wipers are, anything that’s not obvious.
- If you want a bigger car or another model and if the office has vehicles available, just ask! You could get a great deal.
- Check the vehicle carefully for existing damage and document it (you can take pictures or even make a video). Anything not flagged before you drive away could be blamed on you when you return the vehicle.
- Keep the car rental business card with you and call the office if you get into an accident or if the car is stolen. If you’re insured, the process should be pretty straightforward (although you may have to pay the deductible).