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Summer Car Rental for Alberta and BC - August 2013

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Waterloo, Canada
posts: 9
Summer Car Rental for Alberta and BC - August 2013

Afternoon Friends,

I am looking to rent a car for 3 weeks in August 2013. I have checked everywhere and with everyone I could, and am still coming up with pricing from $3000-$4000. Hot Wire, PriceLine, Orbitz, all the major car rental companies...and nothing even somewhat reasonable.

I have rented cars all over the world and have never seen prices like this. I am assuming that I am missing something, and that one of the fabulous contributors on these travel forums can help? Pretty please?

I am willing to take any advice, from dropping off the Alberta car in Alberta, and re-renting in BC for the remainder of the trip...or something else crazy. I can't stomach paying these prices to just rent a car....?

Any help?

Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
posts: 11,796
reviews: 80
1. Re: Summer Car Rental for Alberta and BC - August 2013

That is crazy. What are your dates and your proposed pick up and drop off points?

Amsterdam, The...
posts: 679
2. Re: Summer Car Rental for Alberta and BC - August 2013

Were you planning to rent the car in Calgary and drop it off in Vancouver?

Banff, Canada
Destination Expert
for Banff, Banff National Park
posts: 4,225
reviews: 68
3. Re: Summer Car Rental for Alberta and BC - August 2013

I just ran a search on August 3 through 24, picking up and dropping off at YYC, using arguscarhire.com. I got $1018 total for a Toyota Yaris. Then I did the same search for pickup and YYC and drop-off at YVR, and the best price I got was a Chev Spark for $3856. So I think you must be putting in options that are one-way with major drop-off fees. One-ways are always outrageously expensive

Newmarket, Canada
posts: 648
reviews: 33
4. Re: Summer Car Rental for Alberta and BC - August 2013

I just did a search on the Hertz website; pickup in Vancouver and drop off in Calgary. Pick up Aug 4 and return on the 25th, for a total of 3 weeks. Coming up with $1,946.83 after all taxes and fees, and assuming a CAA discount, for a Hyundai Accent. Not cheap, but not outrageous for 3 weeks and considering it's a one-way rental. The trick is to NOT pick up the car at the airport. I selected a pickup location in downtown Vancouver, not at YVR.

The very same search as above, but with a YVR pick-up point, brings the total to $3,799.04!

I rented a car for 2 weeks last summer out of Calgary, and saved tons by taking a short cab ride to a rental location downtown. I was still able to drop the car off at the airport for no additional cost, but the trick is to not pick up at the airport. Also, when you go to pick up the car, don't tell them that you just flew in within the last 24 hours!

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 13,864
reviews: 37
5. Re: Summer Car Rental for Alberta and BC - August 2013

Yes, there's an extra 17% tax here if you rent within 24 hrs of arrival. Sounds like good advice here, so just play with it until you get something that works. Seems like crazy rules to me - would be cheaper to buy a car and just sell it again!

Brisbane, Australia
posts: 38
reviews: 24
6. Re: Summer Car Rental for Alberta and BC - August 2013

I am looking into these forums in preparation for a trip to the Canadian Rockies next year, 2014 and came across this post.

If I read it right...the suggestion is that:

1. If we flew into Vancouver, do not hire a car within the first 24hr of landing cos you incur an additional 17% tax

2. If we are going to do the Rockies we would be best doing a complete circuit - Vancouver to the Rockies and return to Vancouver or, fly to Calgary pick up a vehicle and do Calgary/Rockies/Calgary and then fly back to Vancouver and pick up vehicle for our Vancouver/Vancouver Island travelling.

3. One way drops offs can incur a fee unless you are returning a car to location where they want one delivered

4. Don't pick from airports

Camden, Australia
posts: 8,068
reviews: 33
7. Re: Summer Car Rental for Alberta and BC - August 2013

G'day Thirko,

It would have been far better if you had started your own question so answers given would directly relate to you, but with piggybacking a question the original poster (OP) has received notification that a reply the THEIR thread has been posted, but it is not a reply at all.

Your summary is reasonably accurate, however a full answer is "depending on the time you have available." For at least 6 days to really get to see a fair bit of the Rockies, spread somewhat evenly between Banff and Jasper, the there are two days driving each way, if not more depending on your interests, and the route taken, to and from Vancouver. So that is 10 days all up.

Some Aussies have been able to book one-way car hire through the UK company Canadian Affair which can arrange one-ways without a drop off fee. It takes a phone call to the UK though I understand.

Posted from the wonderful Kakadu National Park. :)

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 30,145
reviews: 37
8. Re: Summer Car Rental for Alberta and BC - August 2013

I think this is a summary post of some overall reading of threads, Frommy. Probably fairly helpful to the OP, actually, although it doesn't read like a typical reply.

1. You can rent a car within a half hour of arriving in Vancouver. Just don't do it at the airport and if offside, don't give any indication that you've just arrived on the plane. All they need to know is that you are ready to leave town. Renting off site (downtown Van) will avoid that "convenience" surcharge of 17%.

2. a loop rental is generally better yes. But depending on the time of year and demand, the one way drop fee can be large or small. As Frommy says, overseas visitors have successfully contacted Canadian Affair (by email) to arrange a much lower cost rental car than through local agencies.

Scroll down the whole page to see the qualifying destinations: http://www.canadianaffair.com/en/car_hire/

3. see #2.

4. Correct, don't pick up from airports unless you've done thorough research first.

Waterloo, Canada
posts: 9
9. Re: Summer Car Rental for Alberta and BC - August 2013

I am picking up in Calgary and dropping off in Vancouver.

10. Re: Summer Car Rental for Alberta and BC - August 2013

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