Rent a Car for Travel in Montreal

As Canada’s second largest city and cultural capital of Quebec, Montreal dazzles visitors with its European charm, incredible food scene, and joie de vivre. Having your own set of wheels makes exploring this archipelago city and side trips easy. Here’s a guide on renting and driving in Montreal.

Finding Rental Car Companies in Montreal

As a major destination, Montreal has branches of all the big rental car brands:

  • Hertz
  • Enterprise
  • Avis
  • Budget
  • Alamo
  • National
  • Dollar
  • Thrifty

Local agencies like Tilden and Discount Car Rentals also have competitive rates. Book early for best availability and prices, especially in summer.

Documentation and Requirements

Typical documents required:

  • Valid driver’s license from your country
  • Passport or travel identification
  • Major credit card for payment
  • Proof of insurance coverage

Some companies have minimum age requirements, typically 21-25 years old. Additional fees may apply for young drivers. Clarify policies when booking.

Types of Rental Cars in Montreal

Car TypeExamplesDescription
EconomyToyota Yaris, Nissan MicraSmall cars for 1-2 passengers
CompactHonda Civic, Ford FocusFor city driving and parking
StandardToyota Corolla, Hyundai ElantraMidsize sedans fitting 4 people
MinivanDodge Grand Caravan, Toyota SiennaFor families or group travel
LuxuryMercedes C Class, Audi A4Premium amenities and performance
SUVFord Escape, Jeep CherokeeFor outdoor adventures and cargo

Both automatic and manual transmission rentals are readily available in Montreal.

Driving in Montreal – Rules of the Road

Key regulations and driving etiquette in Montreal:

  • Drive on the right side of the road
  • Seat belt use mandatory for all passengers
  • Child safety seats required for kids under 5
  • Use hazard lights when stopped on highways
  • Right turn on red light permitted after full stop
  • Yield to pedestrians at intersections
  • Hands-free cell phone use only when driving
  • Headlights required if windshield wipers operating

Montreal driving can be hectic. Drive prudently and practice patience.

Useful Rental Car Tips for Montreal

  • Reserve early for best selection and discounted pricing
  • Inspect vehicle at pick-up and drop-off for damages
  • Refill gas tank before returning if required
  • Ask about including unlimited mileage to avoid overage fees
  • Have GPS or offline maps to help navigate
  • Consider additional liability insurance for protection
  • Research parking regulations to avoid tickets
  • Keep valuables out of sight in the rental car

These tips provide peace of mind with your Montreal rental experience.

Top Day Trip Destinations

Having your own wheels makes exploring incredible sights near Montreal simple. Top day trips include:

  • Quebec City – Walled historic capital with European charm. 3 hrs away.
  • Thousand Islands – See castles, lighthouses, and enjoy boat tours. 1.5 hr drive.
  • Laurentians – Majestic mountains, lakes, hiking, and ski resorts. 1 hr drive.
  • Eastern Townships – Quaint English villages, wineries, and farms. 1 hr drive.
  • Mont Tremblant – Majestic year-round alpine resort town. 1.5 hr drive.
  • Parc Omega – Drive-through safari park to see Canadian wildlife. 1.5 hr drive.

Carefully follow provided GPS or mapping to avoid getting lost outside the city. Keep passports accessible for potential border crossings.

FAQ About Renting a Car in Montreal

What documents do I need to rent a car in Montreal?

You’ll need a valid driver’s license, passport or travel ID, credit card, and proof of car insurance coverage (either personal or from rental agency).

What side of the road does Montreal drive on?

Montreal drives on the right side of the road, like the rest of North America except the overseas islands.

What insurance should I purchase for a Montreal rental car?

Get basic liability coverage at minimum. Also consider supplemental liability for maximum protection in case of incidents.

Is driving in Montreal difficult?

Driving in Montreal can be hectic with aggressive local styles. A GPS is very helpful. Outside the city is easier. Allow extra commuting time.


While Montreal’s hustle demands caution, having your own set of wheels makes exploring this European-styled metropolis and venturing into the countryside simple. Reserve early, inspect vehicles thoroughly, and brush up on local driving laws. Then with your own car, incredible poutine, museums, and nearby natural beauty await! Just fill up the tank and hit the road.


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