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Tips for Driving a Rental Car into Canada

Driving a rental car in Canada or driving across the border in a rented car has some special rules. Here are some important facts to know before you go.

Rental cars with U.S. license plates may be driven into Canada by United States residents. However, Customs agents are always on the lookout for people trying to import a vehicle without paying taxes, so they pay special attention when you are driving a vehicle that is not yours. The trickiest situations arise when you fly across the border, rent a car, and then drive back to your country of origin. This will always raise questions with Customs agents, so you need to have your paperwork and justification in good order.

Bringing a rented vehicle into Canada should not be a problem. The only questions that may arise are if you are a dual U.S. / Canadian citizen or have a permanent residence in Canada. In that case, you will be questioned much more closely to determine your intent with the vehicle.

General Rules and Tips for Driving a Rental Car Across the U.S. / Canada Border
• Make sure you have all the normal required documenation for a border crossing such as passports and drivers license. Driving a rental car plus having document issues will probably make for a slow crossing and additional interrogation.
• You must let the rental company know you are going to take their car out of the country, and they must confirm if it is ok. Otherwise you will be violating your rental agreement and all kinds of very expensive problems will come up if you get a ticket or have an accident. In addition, U.S. Customs actually requires that the rental company has given their consent for the car to leave the country, so it had better be in the rental agreement.
• Auto Insurance — Most auto insurance will cover you in both countries but you should absolutely confirm this with your provider. Your carrier should provide proof at no charge. If you take out the rental agency’s insurance they should issue you a non-resident insurance card which must be kept in the rental vehicle.
• Make sure you understand how the mileage rates will work when converting between metric and U.S. standard measurements.

For more information, go to YNN.com. I’m Lauren Fix, The Car Coach.

Courtesy of YNN/Time Warner Cable
Aired: 12/6/2013
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Technician in electronic's full time Webmaster in spare time Trying to make a living :)
  1. Joseph J McCully

    Just rented at car at Avis to drive to Canada from Independence, Missouri. They were very helpful, even produced paperwork for crossing the border.
    Hertz did not have cars available.
    Enterprise is within USA only.

  2. North Perth Mechanics

    Rare yet great tips Lauren. Thanks for your initiative in doing this.