Car Rental in CanadaWhere to pick up
Popular car rental cities in Canada
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Car Rental in Canada: Car Rental in Canada: the multicultural land of breathtaking landscapes
Don’t underestimate Canada: the second largest country by landmass in the world, Canada promises its visitors some of the most breathtaking temperate landscapes, flora, and fauna in the world, as well as bountiful multicultural urban experiences. Staying put in any of Canada’s fabulous cities is a mistake, so book your rental car today, and make sure you get out of town into Canada’s stunning outdoors.
Unless you’re headed to Canada for winter sports and explorations, you’ll typically experience the most enjoyable weather between May and September.
English and French are the two official languages of Canada, though Canadians are generally quite multilingual. Over 65 indigenous languages are also spoken throughout the country; Cree, Inuktitut, and Ojibway are the most widely spoken.
This large country spans six time zones, from Pacific Time at UTC-8 to Newfoundland Time, UTC-3:30.
Over 6000 km (3730 mi) of road link eastern Canada to western Canada, so don’t underestimate your planned road trips! Some gorgeous shorter road trips include: Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia; the Icefields Parkway in Alberta; and driving from Vancouver to Tofino in British Columbia.
Automobile hire is available in virtually every Canadian city, though you’ll find the best deals in cities that are also home to an international airport. Vancouver in the west, Calgary in the mid-west, and Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, and Halifax in the east are all excellent sites for rental car bookings.
Citizens from a vast number of countries can enter Canada as a tourist visa-free for up to 6 months. You will need to fill out the eTA (electronic Travel Authorization) in advance of your arrival; the fee is $7. All other nationalities must apply for a visa at a Canadian Visa Office in advance of their departure.
Driving in Canada
While public transportation infrastructure is actually quite good in a country as vast as Canada, the most efficient and exciting way to explore this diverse and beautiful country is by car. And with wide and well-maintained roads, driving itself is a real joy. Make the most of your visit to Canada by booking your rental car today!
- Traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road throughout Canada and the United States.
Typical Speed Limits
- In cities: 50 km/h (30 mph)
- Rural highways: between 80 and 100 km/h (50 and 62 mph)
- Expressways: typically between 100 and 110 km/h (62 and 68 mph), though British Columbia permits the fastest travel at 120 km/h (75 mph).
- Speed limits and stop lights are often monitored by cameras, as well as police cars, so avoid accruing extra fines by following road rules!
- If you’re planning on spending some time in major Canadian cities, such as Montreal, Vancouver, or Toronto, make sure you book a hotel with complementary parking to avoid balancing parking fees and time regulations with your inner-city explorations.
- If your domestic driver’s license has been issued in English or French, it is sufficient for up to 90 days of driving throughout Canada; otherwise you will need an international driver’s permit as well.
- You’re likely to come across toll roads when driving between major cities in eastern Canadian, particularly around Ontario.
- Canadians can be licensed to drive as young as 16, though in most regions you will have to be at least 21 to rent a car. Saskatchewan is a notable exception, where you can rent as young as 18. Regardless, you’re likely to face a young-driver surcharge under the age of 25.
- One-way rental is a great idea in a country as large as Canada, but research surcharges for this service before you rent. Some of the cheaper companies may charge a very high fee for different drop-off locations!
- Ask whether unlimited kilometers also apply for travel outside of the province in which you’ve rented.
Cheap Car Rental in Canada
Automobile hire in Canada typically starts at between $18 and $36 a day, depending on the region you’re travelling in. Rental in eastern Canada is typically around $10 less expensive than renting in western Canada. Here are some of the best deals in the country:
- Mazda 2 or similar (compact class) – $22/day
- Toyota Yaris or similar (economy class) – $22/day
- Chevrolet Cobalt or similar (intermediate class) – $23/day
- Toyota Corolla or similar (standard class) – $25/day
- Toyota Camry or similar (fullsize class) – $28/day
Note that prices vary depending on the availability of each specific car and the season in which you rent. For the most accurate offers, use the search bar above.
Tips for Renting a Car Inexpensively in Canada
Summer months are generally slightly more expensive than winter months, except in areas like Vancouver, which are famous for winter sports.
You can generally save at least $6 a day if you extend your rental period by a week or more.
Airports are the best places to pick up your car, as the diversity of rental agencies drives the price down at least $3 from other pickup locations.
Country-wide, ACE Rent-a-Car often has the best offers, though in Montreal EZ Rent-a-Car can often beat these offers by up to $11 a day!