Travel

Pick up rental car in Canada and drop off in the US?

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  • Jan 19th, 2020 12:11 am
[OP]
Member
Aug 23, 2014
240 posts
88 upvotes
Mississauga, ON

Pick up rental car in Canada and drop off in the US?

Anyone know if there are car rental companies that will allow pick up in Toronto and drop off the car a day later in Chicago?

Also, will need a car rental going back - pick up in Chicago drop off in Toronto.

Anyone done this before?
20 replies
Deal Addict
Jul 7, 2017
3461 posts
1432 upvotes
SW corner of the cou…
Sure there are, if you want to 1) pay a hefty daily fee (possibly with no mileage allowance), and/or 2) pay a heftier return fee (sometimes you won't find out about this until you go to pick up the car). Interprovincial, or even intraprovincial, OW rentals can be expensive/difficult enough as it is.

If you want to avoid those fees, I think the only transborders rental are between Vancouver and Seattle.

On the other hand, you could rent a U-Haul.

I just looked at National (one of the better outfit for OW, the others are the top tier (i.e, Avis, Hertz, Budget) and they have a OW between YYZ and ORD for $200/day inc tax. No return fee disclosed. I just wouldn't assume there isn't one.
Cream rises to the top. So does scum.
Deal Fanatic
Jun 11, 2005
8373 posts
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Mississauga
Jedi14 wrote: Anyone know if there are car rental companies that will allow pick up in Toronto and drop off the car a day later in Chicago?

Also, will need a car rental going back - pick up in Chicago drop off in Toronto.

Anyone done this before?
It can be done but very expensive. Foe some reason picking up from 1 location and dropping at another cost more.
[OP]
Member
Aug 23, 2014
240 posts
88 upvotes
Mississauga, ON
thriftshopper wrote:

I just looked at National (one of the better outfit for OW, the others are the top tier (i.e, Avis, Hertz, Budget) and they have a OW between YYZ and ORD for $200/day inc tax. No return fee disclosed. I just wouldn't assume there isn't one.
If there is a return fee for your example above, would that be approx. another $200? Thanks.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 4, 2004
5146 posts
1202 upvotes
Ottawa
Just call the rental companies and ask.

My father-in-law used to shuttle cars at YUL for Avis and every week or so they'd get 5-6 drivers in a van, drive to Boston and each return with a rental car so apparently it is a common thing.

--- Update ----

Your post made me curious so I decided to check with Costco Rentals and from YUL to BOS for a 1 day rental in January, Alamo charges $159 for economy (Avis and Budget are $274 and Enterprise is $183). To compare, if you do YUL pickup - YUL dropoff for the same day, the prices are $51/61/52/54 for the economy for the same day. (although interestingly enough, you can get an intermediate car for $39 from Alamo) So figure $120 to 200+ one way drop-off fee.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
26045 posts
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thriftshopper wrote: On the other hand, you could rent a U-Haul.
UHaul might not actually be cheaper since you're also paying per KM here or a fairly high day rate with (some) included KMs.

I was also curious and did YUL to Boston and they only have 10' trucks, no pickups.
$307 for a random day in December but it includes 3 days and enough KM to make it.

There's also their insurance for $50 which a credit card won't cover since it's not a passenger vehicle.

So $200ish (depending on company, car class, etc) vs $360 plus you're driving a regular vehicle with regular fuel consumption rather than a (albeit small) large truck.
Deal Guru
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Oct 5, 2008
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Toronto
Jedi14 wrote: Anyone know if there are car rental companies that will allow pick up in Toronto and drop off the car a day later in Chicago?

Also, will need a car rental going back - pick up in Chicago drop off in Toronto.

Anyone done this before?
How long are you staying in Chicago for?

If it's just the weekend it would be far cheaper to just keep the car the whole weekend
[OP]
Member
Aug 23, 2014
240 posts
88 upvotes
Mississauga, ON
Swerny wrote: How long are you staying in Chicago for?

If it's just the weekend it would be far cheaper to just keep the car the whole weekend
Once we get to Chicago we’ll be taking the Amtrak to Los Angeles, CA. We’ll be in California for several weeks. We will be travelling with our son who is severely autistic, he can’t tolerate travelling by plane, this is why we are taking this route.
Sr. Member
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Jun 14, 2017
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What you need to do is drop off at Airport rental locations which also gives you the option to choose from basically all rental companies like Alamo, Budget, Discount, Hertz, National and etc. If you have a Costco membership, you can do the booking through their website...
https://www.costcotravel.ca/Rental-Cars ... t=20160610
Deal Guru
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Jun 12, 2007
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London
Jedi14 wrote: Anyone know if there are car rental companies that will allow pick up in Toronto and drop off the car a day later in Chicago?

Also, will need a car rental going back - pick up in Chicago drop off in Toronto.

Anyone done this before?
Also check out the rfd car rental discount codes threads

There’s regular one way traffic between buffalo and Toronto Pearson, but that doesn’t help
Deal Addict
Jan 12, 2005
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Scarborough
Not sure about Chicago because it's mid-west, but I've rented one way cars to EWR though National. The best part was I had a free rental credit, so it only cost me $7 tax + $75 gas.
Member
Dec 17, 2009
474 posts
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Toronto
Car rental from Chicago to Toronto, make sure your rental car has Canadian license plate. Canadian resident is not allow to drive American plated vehicle to Canada, except you are declare it in import or it is owned by the company you work for.
90% of time, custom officers don’t care. But if they catch you, they will force you to drive back to US.
We did that very often in the past, since car rental was way cheaper in the State. We got caught once five years ago, the officer forced us to drive back to US.
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Jun 12, 2007
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tofubb wrote: Car rental from Chicago to Toronto, make sure your rental car has Canadian license plate. Canadian resident is not allow to drive American plated vehicle to Canada, except you are declare it in import or it is owned by the company you work for.
90% of time, custom officers don’t care. But if they catch you, they will force you to drive back to US.
We did that very often in the past, since car rental was way cheaper in the State. We got caught once five years ago, the officer forced us to drive back to US.
I think this changed a few years ago - it's now allowed for a limited set of circumstances

......................................................
https://www.tc.gc.ca/en/services/road/i ... arily.html
Rental vehicles from the U.S.
Canadian residents can bring U.S. rental vehicles into Canada for non-commercial use for up to 30 days. This is allowed because:

Canadian and American vehicle standards are similar
the vehicles are here for only a short time
the car rental company owns the vehicles
Regulations allow one-way and two way trips across the Canadian border with U.S. rental vehicles. However, you must have the rental company's consent for one-way trips where you leave the vehicle at a Canadian location.

Note: Visitors may also enter Canada with U.S. rental vehicles.


.......................................................
https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publication ... 1-eng.html
US Rental Vehicles Driven by Canadians
77. Vehicles that have been rented in the US by Canadians residents from a US vehicle rental business may enter Canada for non-commercial purposes and they shall be removed from Canada within a period of 30 days, or any other prescribed period, beginning on the day on which the vehicles were imported.

78. If within the period of 30 days or any other prescribed period beginning on the day on which the vehicles were imported, the resident of Canada delivers the vehicles to a vehicle rental business in Canada with the consent of the business, then the vehicles’ rental business shall be responsible for removing the vehicles’ from Canada before the end of that period.
Member
Dec 17, 2009
474 posts
458 upvotes
Toronto
l69norm wrote: I think this changed a few years ago - it's now allowed for a limited set of circumstances

......................................................
https://www.tc.gc.ca/en/services/road/i ... arily.html
Rental vehicles from the U.S.
Canadian residents can bring U.S. rental vehicles into Canada for non-commercial use for up to 30 days. This is allowed because:

Canadian and American vehicle standards are similar
the vehicles are here for only a short time
the car rental company owns the vehicles
Regulations allow one-way and two way trips across the Canadian border with U.S. rental vehicles. However, you must have the rental company's consent for one-way trips where you leave the vehicle at a Canadian location.

Note: Visitors may also enter Canada with U.S. rental vehicles.


.......................................................
https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publication ... 1-eng.html
US Rental Vehicles Driven by Canadians
77. Vehicles that have been rented in the US by Canadians residents from a US vehicle rental business may enter Canada for non-commercial purposes and they shall be removed from Canada within a period of 30 days, or any other prescribed period, beginning on the day on which the vehicles were imported.

78. If within the period of 30 days or any other prescribed period beginning on the day on which the vehicles were imported, the resident of Canada delivers the vehicles to a vehicle rental business in Canada with the consent of the business, then the vehicles’ rental business shall be responsible for removing the vehicles’ from Canada before the end of that period.
Thanks good news
Deal Guru
Feb 7, 2017
11795 posts
9059 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
I would skip the whole Cdn to US Car Rental aspect entirely
It’s just too dang expensive... as you are crossing an International Border and not just a Provincial / State one (one are expensive enough)
It’s due to what’s known as DROP FEES
These cover the cost of getting the car back to its “rental home”
Even if that means the vehicle being towed ... or as @michelb said the Co. sending a driver to retrieve the vehicle
(So you are essentially paying that FREIGHT ... cost of the Drivers Salary + Expenses)

If your son is ok with the train ...
I’d be looking at that as an option to get to Northern USA ...
Via Rail runs regularly to Buffalo
From there you can easily rent a car and continue onto Chicago to catch the Amtrak

The only real downside to this vs car travel
Is the Border Crossing @ Niagara
It’s much a longer delay, cuz every Pax on the train needs to be cleared before it can get underway again

The bus is another option
(Not sure how your son would handle that)
But same issues as the train at the Border in regards to US Customs check

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