We’ve been asked a few times now by international staff on our summer camp visits about renting a car after camp. It’s a great way to get around the country and see some of the interesting sites, but it can get a bit complex!
Finding a Car Rental in Canada
We recommend using Vroom Vroom Vroom to find the best deal (it searches the major car rental companies) and can show you all of your options on one screen which is pretty handy.
But I’m Under 25
The minimum age for most car rental companies in Canada is 21, but if you are under 25 then you will have to pay a ‘Young Driver Surcharge’ which can be an additional $25 (or more) per day. If you have a friend from camp that is a bit older then maybe you can bribe them with Tim Hortons to do all the driving!
Check with your credit card company if they include coverage for car rental, otherwise, you may have to pay significantly extra to take out the rental car company’s insurance policy. Important note: your current medical/travel insurance may not cover you for using a rental car – make sure you double check your policy before driving away!
International Drivers License in Canada
Depending on the province you are visiting you may need an international drivers permit from your home country to be allowed to drive there. Double check these rules and restrictions online before you commit to renting a car. Here is a handy list of what the requirements are for international drivers in Canada
- Ontario: https://www.ontario.ca/driving-and-roads/drive-ontario-visitors
- British Columbia: http://www.welcomebc.ca/Live/Daily-Life/first-days/basic-id/licence.aspx
- Quebec: http://www.saaq.gouv.qc.ca/en/driver_licence/visitors/ (English)
- Alberta: http://www.servicealberta.ca/1741.cfm (definitely need an International Drivers Permit)
- Nova Scotia: http://www.novascotia.ca/snsmr/paal/rmv/paal269.asp
What Side of the Road does Canada Drive On?
DRIVE ON THE RIGHT!
Driving in Canada
It’s a great idea to familiarize yourself with the rules of the road in your particular province before you even think about renting a car!
Extra fees to watch out for when renting a car in Canada:
- One-way drop-off fee – if you can you should definitely return your car to the same location you collected it or you may have to pay a relocation fee
- All applicable taxes, such as GST, HST
- Per kilometre charge – ask for an unlimited mileage option. Canada is HUGE, so you could end up driving a lot further than you think
- Higher per kilometre charge if traveling outside the province
- Fee for an additional driver
- Fee for renters age 21 but under 25
- Premium location fee, such as 10-15% at airports
- Administrative charge for using Highway 407 ETR in the Toronto area
- Gas refill charge – if you don’t return the car’s gas tank full then you’ll have to pay a premium per litre for the rental company to fill it for you!