Rent a Car for Travel in Toronto

Renting a car can be an excellent way to explore Canada’s largest city, Toronto, and make convenient side trips to Niagara Falls, cottage country, and other surrounding destinations. Navigating Toronto’s busy streets and highways is easier with your own set of wheels. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about renting a car for travel in Toronto.

Rent a Car for Travel in Toronto

How to Rent a Car in Toronto

Follow these key steps for a smooth rental experience:

Compare Rental Companies

Research rates and policies across major agencies like Enterprise, Hertz, Avis, Budget, Dollar as well as local outfits. Consider:

  • Rental costs
  • Vehicle options
  • Pickup/dropoff locations
  • Inclusion of insurance, taxes, fees

Reserve Your Rental Car

Once you’ve selected a company, reserve your rental providing:

  • Pickup/dropoff dates
  • Pickup/dropoff location
  • Vehicle type
  • Any extra equipment
  • Driver details and payment

Book early for the best availability and cheaper rates.

Know the Requirements

Common requirements for renting a car in Canada are:

  • Valid driver’s license from your country
  • Minimum age, typically 21-25 years
  • Major credit card for deposit
  • Additional fee for extra drivers

Pick Up the Rental Car

Arrive on time at the branch with your documents, inspect the car, and drive away.

Driving in Toronto

Here are some key tips for navigating Toronto’s roads and highways:

Getting Used to Driving

Toronto has dense city traffic and fast highways. Useful tips:

  • Follow posted speed limits closely
  • Allow extra time to get anywhere
  • Use navigation apps like Google Maps
  • Watch for streetcars


Finding street parking downtown is extremely difficult. Understand regulations:

  • Metered parking has hourly limits
  • Public garages available at daily/hourly rates
  • Some subway stations have Park+Ride lots


No tolls roads in Toronto currently. The Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway are key free highways.

Road Rules

Adhere to all Ontario traffic laws:

  • Hands-free cell phone use only
  • Strict drunk driving penalties
  • Yield to pedestrians at crosswalks
  • Seat belt use mandatory

Where to Rent a Car in Toronto

All major rental companies have locations across Toronto including:

Toronto Pearson Airport

Counters for all brands located in the airport terminals. Pickup/return available 24/7.

Downtown Toronto

Numerous rental sites near the CN Tower, Rogers Centre, hotels and attractions.

Suburban Locations

Find rental car pickup at hotels, malls, and transport hubs in the GTA region.

Other Canadian Cities

Pickup cars in Ottawa, Montreal, etc to drive one-way to Toronto. Airport returns usually permitted.

Types of Rental Cars in Toronto

Consider these popular rental car choices:

Economy or Compact

Cheap option for getting around the city. Models like Toyota Yaris, Nissan Versa, Hyundai Accent.

Midsize Sedans

Balance of space and fuel efficiency. Choices like Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Chevrolet Cruze.

Standard SUVs

For extra cargo and passenger room. Models like Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape, Jeep Cherokee. Great for families.

Passenger Vans

Dodge Grand Caravan, Ford Transit provide ample room for large groups and luggage.

Luxury Vehicles

High-end brands like Mercedes, Infiniti, Lexus available but expensive. Maximum amenities included.

FAQ About Renting a Car in Toronto

1. Is renting a car necessary in Toronto?

Having your own car makes accessing attractions across the vast metro area easier, but public transit is also robust.

2. What insurance should I get when renting?

Consider liability and collision damage waiver to reduce financial responsibility for damage. Confirm if your card covers rentals.

3. Are snow tires included in winter?

Usually all-season tires only. Inquire about renting winter tires for added safety in snow and ice conditions.

4. Where are the best places to park a rental car downtown?

Public garages like Green P and underground lots are expensive but convenient. Avoid on-street parking if possible.


Renting a car enables you to visit top sites in Toronto as well as scenic areas like Niagara Falls and Muskoka at your own pace. Booking the right rental car along with safe driving practices will ensure a convenient experience discovering all corners of the diverse Toronto region.


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