Car rental in OttawaWhere to pick up
Car rental in Ottawa
Car rental locations in Ottawa
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Car Rental in Ottawa: a perfect winter destination
Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, is an interesting and comfortable city to visit year-round. As a city accustomed to real winters, Ottawa is particularly fun to visit when residents ice skate on the frozen river and a trip to the Nordic Spa is a real treat. And of course, this is the city to visit to explore Canada’s governmental structure in live time. Make the most of your visit to Ottawa by staying mobile via rental car, and exploring the city’s beautiful surroundings at your leisure. Book your rental car today.
Ottawa’s weather is at its coldest December through February, when temperatures rarely rise above freezing. Spring typically fully arrives to Ottawa in May, and summer temperatures are warmest June through August.
English and French are the two official languages of Canada. Though English is the native language of most households in Ottawa, almost half of the city’s residents also speak fluent French, making the city one of the largest Francophone cities in Canada after Montreal. Arabic and Spanish are the most spoken minority languages in Ottawa. The majority of First Nations’ family languages originally and continuously spoken in the Ottawa area belong to the Algonquin language family.
Ottawa is located in the Eastern Standard Time Zone, UTC-5.
The currency is the Canadian dollar, and most financial transactions take place via credit or debit card.
Automobile hire is available in 11 locations throughout Ottawa, including at the Macdonald-Cartier International Airport (YOW), the railway station, and downtown.
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. A number of other nationalities must apply for a visa at a Canadian Visa Office in advance of their departure.
Driving in Ottawa
While you won’t need a car to explore central Ottawa, which is fairly walkable, you will certainly want a car to explore the outer city limits and the towns and natural sights in the Ottawa area.
- Traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road throughout North America.
- In the city: 50 km/h
- On rural highways: 80 km/h
- On expressways: 100 km/h
- To make the most of your travel time, avoid the roads in Ottawa during morning and evening rush hours, which typically span from 6:30 to 9 in the morning and from 3 to 6 in the evening.
- While driving and parking in the city can be time consuming and expensive during the week, there are free parking opportunities on the weekend, for instance at the World Exchange Plaza.
- 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.
- The Ontario Highway 407 or 407 Express Toll Route and Highway 412 are the tolled roads of Ontario. They are electronically monitored, so your rental company will issue you a bill for your use of these roads after the fact, typically with the addition of an extra fee as well. Use of the 407 can get expensive, so double-check toll rates before you take the express.
- The minimum driving age in Ontario is 16 years with a provisional license, though most rental companies will require that you are at least 20 years old to rent a car, and you are likely to face young-driver surcharges until the age of 25.
Cheap Car Rental in Ottawa
Automobile hire in Ottawa typically starts at around $30 a day. Here are some of the best deals in Ottawa:
- Hyundai Accent or similar (economy class) – $32/day
- Nissan Versa or similar (compact class) – $34/day
- Jeep Cherokee or similar (intermediate class) – $35/day
- Hyundai Elantra or similar (standard class) – $36/day
- Volkswagen Jetta or similar (fullsize class) – $42/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 Ottawa
There is some seasonal variation in rental car prices in Ottawa, with prices rising by around $8 a day in the summer months. However, even in the popular tourist months, you can still get cheap prices on rental cars in Ottawa by shopping around. While the airport typically offers the best rental car prices in the area, be sure to check prices at other locations throughout the city, particularly downtown and at the railway station, as rental car companies here may be able to beat the prices offered by companies at the airport.
The cheapest rental car company in Ottawa is typically Ace Rent a Car, which is located at the airport and railway station. With the occasional discount of at least 15%, Ace Rent a Car offers Ottawa’s visitors unbeatable automobile hire prices.
Depending on the availability of cars, you can also often save around $10 a day by extending your rental period to over a week.