Travel

Is there a rental car shortage in Toronto?

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  • Aug 26th, 2021 1:07 pm
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[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 3, 2009
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Calgary

Is there a rental car shortage in Toronto?

Our family with two young kids is going to ON/QC for the first time next week. We will be renting a car for a week to have the trip to Ottawa/Montreal. I booked a SUV through Kayak with Hertz for an reasonable price weeks ago. I recently found a code from my employer's benefit plan that I can use with Thrifty, and went ahead booked a car for a very good price at their downtown location. I heard there is a rental car shortage everywhere, and rental companies usually overbook. Should I keep the Hertz booking as redundancy? What's the chance I am not getting a car at Thrifty in the morning of Monday? I am flexible with the car type I am getting. I have all the hotels booked, so if I am not getting a car on that day, my travel plan will be very messed up.

Edit:
Just want to report back my experience with Thrifty/Dollar car rental in downtown Toronto last week. The car was ready when I got there at 8:15am, they opens at 8am. I reserved a Hyundai Sonata or similar, and got a small crossover Hyundai Venue. It was on the small side, but works fine for me, so I didn't try to get another car. It might be a better choice in the end since it's easy to drive and fuel efficient, just a bit lack of power. The car was clean and almost new, 14k on the odometer. The pick up and return process was pretty easy, they didn't even look at the car when I return, just took the keys and told me I am good. Overall, it was a positive experience renting car from them, especially considering there is an rental car shortage and I only paid $240+tax for the week.
Last edited by zywan0124 on Aug 25th, 2021 11:09 am, edited 2 times in total.
19 replies
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Oct 5, 2008
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Rental car shortages everywhere
[OP]
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Sep 3, 2009
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Calgary
Swerny wrote: Rental car shortages everywhere
Yeah, it's probably pretty obvious. That's why I am a little worried if I can get the car with my booking. My rate with the code is pretty low, they might don't want to rent it to me because of that. Maybe I am thinking too much, but the car is pretty important part of the trip plan.
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Dec 5, 2006
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zywan0124 wrote: Yeah, it's probably pretty obvious. That's why I am a little worried if I can get the car with my booking. My rate with the code is pretty low, they might don't want to rent it to me because of that. Maybe I am thinking too much, but the car is pretty important part of the trip plan.
Does Kayak charge cancellation fee ?
[OP]
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Sep 3, 2009
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smartie wrote: Does Kayak charge cancellation fee ?
No cancellation fee, it was pay later option. No payment information was provided at booking. That's probably also the reason car rental companies overbook by a lot.
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Jan 9, 2011
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Rental car shortage everywhere. Companies sold off their fleets to pay the bills when nobody was traveling or renting. The microchip shortage has caused huge backlogs in new car production so the fleets can't be replaced fast enough. It's gonna be like this for a while.
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zywan0124 wrote: Our family with two young kids is going to ON/QC for the first time next week. We will be renting a car for a week to have the trip to Ottawa/Montreal. I booked a SUV through Kayak with Hertz for an reasonable price weeks ago. I recently found a code from my employer's benefit plan that I can use with Thrifty, and went ahead booked a car for a very good price at their downtown location. I heard there is a rental car shortage everywhere, and rental companies usually overbook. Should I keep the Hertz booking as redundancy? What's the chance I am not getting a car at Thrifty in the morning of Monday? I am flexible with the car type I am getting. I have all the hotels booked, so if I am not getting a car on that day, my travel plan will be very messed up.
Hertz went bankrupt in the USA in 2020 due to COVID downturn. All of the rental car companies were hit very hard. They’ve all been shrinking their fleets to try to shed cost and stay afloat. Lucky for them the micro-chip shortage plaguing the auto manufacturers among other supply issues has placed them in a unique position to sell off lightly/slightly used vehicles to fleets who need new vehicles but cannot get them from the factories. Combined with general demand for used vehicles pushing used vehicle prices higher it’s been an opportune time for rental vehicle companies to unload vehicles without getting hurt too badly.

As long as there’s no penalty, I’d keep both reservations open until I actually got a vehicle on the lot and am sitting in it! Then use your smartphone to cancel the other reservation while sitting on the lot before you drive off.
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Aug 15, 2003
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Im going to BC Next week and it's hell, $1100 a week to rent a Elantra lol........ no thanks. 3 yrs ago in Vegas we had a Mustang for a week for only $275!!

I cut my outdoor hikes short and I'm going to Uber everywhere else!
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MtX wrote: Im going to BC Next week and it's hell, $1100 a week to rent a Elantra lol........ no thanks. 3 yrs ago in Vegas we had a Mustang for a week for only $275!!

I cut my outdoor hikes short and I'm going to Uber everywhere else!
What part of BC are you going to? If you're in Vancouver or even Victoria [new], enrol for EVO car share.

At the very worst, their daily rate is like $90 and this includes gas, parking and insurance. 7 days x $90 = $630 for the week

https://evo.ca/rates
We're all bozos on the bus until we find a way to express ourselves...

Failure is always an option...just not the preferred one!
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Oct 7, 2020
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A data point of sorts: I just returned to Avis after a 9 day rental in Vancouver. I got a great deal using our corporate rate a couple of months ago. When I tried to change the pick-up/drop-off details, I was informed the location was sold out so they couldn't do it.

When I got to the counter, they had my vehicle, but offered to upsell me a BMW X3 for an extra $20 per day. YOLO, so after some humming and hawing I went for it. I don't know if the corporate code and my Avis Preferred membership may have helped secure the vehicle to begin with, but the return clerk said I got a screaming good deal on the BMW and suspected that meant they were oversold for the day, except for their premium vehicles.
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BCisBeautiful wrote: When I got to the counter, they had my vehicle, but offered to upsell me a BMW X3 for an extra $20 per day. YOLO, so after some humming and hawing I went for it. I don't know if the corporate code and my Avis Preferred membership may have helped secure the vehicle to begin with, but the return clerk said I got a screaming good deal on the BMW and suspected that meant they were oversold for the day, except for their premium vehicles.
You might have gotten it for free if you declined.
I smile when I see container ships sailing past my house laden with stuff made in China
Member
Oct 7, 2020
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thriftshopper wrote: You might have gotten it for free if you declined.
Maybe. I did decline initially, but as the agent was finalizing the rental, I asked about XM radio, and she pivoted and reoffered the BMW with XM radio thrown in for free.
[OP]
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Sep 3, 2009
840 posts
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Calgary
BCisBeautiful wrote: A data point of sorts: I just returned to Avis after a 9 day rental in Vancouver. I got a great deal using our corporate rate a couple of months ago. When I tried to change the pick-up/drop-off details, I was informed the location was sold out so they couldn't do it.

When I got to the counter, they had my vehicle, but offered to upsell me a BMW X3 for an extra $20 per day. YOLO, so after some humming and hawing I went for it. I don't know if the corporate code and my Avis Preferred membership may have helped secure the vehicle to begin with, but the return clerk said I got a screaming good deal on the BMW and suspected that meant they were oversold for the day, except for their premium vehicles.
Thanks for sharing! $20 a day extra for a BMW sounds pretty good. I don't need a fancy car though, I guess it should be fine as long as I am flexible with what I am getting. I plan to go the first thing in the morning as soon as they open on Monday morning. I think they should at least have something available from the Sunday returns, and this is not Airport location, so hopefully not too busy on Monday morning, finger crossed.
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zywan0124 wrote: Our family with two young kids is going to ON/QC for the first time next week. We will be renting a car for a week to have the trip to Ottawa/Montreal. I booked a SUV through Kayak with Hertz for an reasonable price weeks ago. I recently found a code from my employer's benefit plan that I can use with Thrifty, and went ahead booked a car for a very good price at their downtown location. I heard there is a rental car shortage everywhere, and rental companies usually overbook. Should I keep the Hertz booking as redundancy? What's the chance I am not getting a car at Thrifty in the morning of Monday? I am flexible with the car type I am getting. I have all the hotels booked, so if I am not getting a car on that day, my travel plan will be very messed up.
Don't keep the double booking. This is what causes problems in the first place.
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MtX wrote: Im going to BC Next week and it's hell, $1100 a week to rent a Elantra lol........ no thanks. 3 yrs ago in Vegas we had a Mustang for a week for only $275!!

I cut my outdoor hikes short and I'm going to Uber everywhere else!
Don’t underestimate where public transit can take you in terms of day trips around Vancouver.

If your calling uber to trailheads prepare to wait and have d bag drivers cancel on you or call you and ask your destination. (I always say uber will tell you then hang up). Some of these uber drivers are doing their best to act like slimy taxis.
gr8dlr wrote: What part of BC are you going to? If you're in Vancouver or even Victoria [new], enrol for EVO car share.

At the very worst, their daily rate is like $90 and this includes gas, parking and insurance. 7 days x $90 = $630 for the week

https://evo.ca/rates
Great idea. Works out to about $100 a day with tax.

There is code “HELLOVIC30” which waives most sign up costs. Note you need an abstract from your home province and must have 2 years driving experience. The application process can take a few days and they may have more applicants as they just started in Victoria.
Autocorrect sucks
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GangStarr wrote: Don’t underestimate where public transit can take you in terms of day trips around Vancouver.

If your calling uber to trailheads prepare to wait and have d bag drivers cancel on you or call you and ask your destination. (I always say uber will tell you then hang up). Some of these uber drivers are doing their best to act like slimy taxis.


Great idea. Works out to about $100 a day with tax.

There is code “HELLOVIC30” which waives most sign up costs. Note you need an abstract from your home province and must have 2 years driving experience. The application process can take a few days and they may have more applicants as they just started in Victoria.
You could easily burn $20 a day parking here and there at meters. Added to that, gas in Vancouver is crazy expensive. And then you add insurance and I'd say EVO is a great deal.
Weather can be really iffy sometimes so pre-booking in advance has an element of "hope you're lucky". With EVO you can can literally just decide in the morning you're going to take a car and keep it for the day.
We're all bozos on the bus until we find a way to express ourselves...

Failure is always an option...just not the preferred one!
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Jun 6, 2007
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I usually rent a car for 1 day once or twice per month to do a Costco/Walmart run. Was costing me around 50 per day until June or so. Now it's 120 per day for a full size and many places around North York do not do 1 day rentals so my choice is either a 2 day rental or I take the subway to another location that does have 1 day rental. Problem is it's free cancellation so people are booking cars left and right and cancelling if they don't need it.

Same problem for hotels as well. Prices are jacked up now because people have booked up rooms in advance with free cancellation.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 3, 2009
840 posts
543 upvotes
Calgary
Just want to report back my experience with Thrifty/Dollar car rental in downtown Toronto last week. The car was ready when I got there at 8:15am, they opens at 8am. I reserved a Hyundai Sonata or similar, and got a small crossover Hyundai Venue. It was on the small side, but works fine for me, so I didn't try to get another car. It might be a better choice in the end since it's easy to drive and fuel efficient, just a bit lack of power. The car was clean and almost new, 14k on the odometer. The pick up and return process was pretty easy, they didn't even look at the car when I return, just took the keys and told me I am good. Overall, it was a positive experience renting car from them, especially considering there is an rental car shortage and I only paid $240+tax for the week.
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Dec 20, 2018
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BCisBeautiful wrote: A data point of sorts: I just returned to Avis after a 9 day rental in Vancouver. I got a great deal using our corporate rate a couple of months ago. When I tried to change the pick-up/drop-off details, I was informed the location was sold out so they couldn't do it.

When I got to the counter, they had my vehicle, but offered to upsell me a BMW X3 for an extra $20 per day. YOLO, so after some humming and hawing I went for it. I don't know if the corporate code and my Avis Preferred membership may have helped secure the vehicle to begin with, but the return clerk said I got a screaming good deal on the BMW and suspected that meant they were oversold for the day, except for their premium vehicles.
just be mindful if you are using CC insurance for rental cars that there's a MSRP limit for coverage and not go over.
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Oct 7, 2020
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StatsGuy wrote: just be mindful if you are using CC insurance for rental cars that there's a MSRP limit for coverage and not go over.
This is a good point. Fortunately I was using an Amex and they cover up to $85k.

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