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Renting a car with BUILT-IN navigation

Warsaw
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Renting a car with BUILT-IN navigation

I am planning my Ontario/Quebec tour of Canada, and being in North America, I believe the best thing to do is to rent a car. And if I'm in Ontario, the best thing to do is to get a bit of the local produce - I am looking towards Chrysler 300, or perhaps an Impaler (don't have anything against Windsor minivans, just don't need a minivan this time).

Now, I drove the 300 in Europe and quite liked it, especially the built-in infotainment system with navigation. As I will be driving around quite a bit, I could use the navigation a lot, but I would hate to be stuck with a supplimentary suction-capped navigation device that seems to be on offer with most of the rental companies.

Do you perhaps if there is a possibility of renting an actual 300, Impaler, or any other car, with built-in navigation anywhere in Ontario or Quebec? Whom should I turn to and at should I do to make sure I get one, and not just a sorry Garmin?

Thanks a lot in advance for any tips!

Toronto, Canada
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1. Re: Renting a car with BUILT-IN navigation

I think you'd be best advised to call individual car rental companies and see what they offer...

SE Ontario
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2. Re: Renting a car with BUILT-IN navigation

Can't say I've ever heard of an Impaler...perhaps you mean a Chevy Impala?

I rent a lot of cars in my business travel across Canada, and I must say the only time I've ever received one with built-in navigation was in Edmonton, from Hertz, where they upgraded me to a Volvo S80... and I didn't use it since I knew where I was going.

As TD notes, you might have to speak to the individual agencies directly. Or possibly a dealership will rent one to you.

West Grey, Ontario
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3. Re: Renting a car with BUILT-IN navigation

FYI...that would be an Impala, NOT an "Impaler".

gm.ca/gm/…overview

Toronto, Canada
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4. Re: Renting a car with BUILT-IN navigation

This may be a tricky request. I believe the rental companies don't typically order their cars with built-in GPS because (a) it costs more and (b) it's more profitable to sell each customer an add-on GPS as an upgrade vs. having a built-in one that can't be turned off.

Edited: 6:00 pm, March 02, 2013
SE Ontario
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5. Re: Renting a car with BUILT-IN navigation

Yes Matt, I think you're correct. Most rental agancies stock the very basic models in their cars, except perhaps in some of their more "luxury" offerings... ie. like the Volvo I was upgraded to by Hertz. No one was more surprised than me when the car started "talking" ... LOL. As soon as I got to my first stop that day, I figured out how to shut it off!

And JTCz - I have been upgraded to a 300, and it has never had GPS.

Edited: 6:47 pm, March 02, 2013
Warsaw
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6. Re: Renting a car with BUILT-IN navigation

Got that, seems like getting a car with actual kit is a European thing. I see little point in upgrading to a European car that I can drive around here just as well. So I guess I'll opt for an Impaler as the 300 would not bring much extra on board, especially after I read the thread on maximum legal speeds in Canada (shudder!)

BTW, I do know it's a Chevy Impala, I call the good (?) old (for sure) W-body "the Impaler" as a sorta dimunitive form. A bit like calling the "BMW 5 Series" a "5er". I think it originated from a video game when an Impala lookalike (a stock large sedan with no distinguishing features) was called an "Impaler" to avoid trademark issues.

Thanks for replying and your advice guys!

If you could tell me which rental company in Quebec/Ontario is the most trustworthy (i.e. won't try to rip me off for preexisting dents and stuff) and has the best service in your experience, I would be most grateful.

Edited: 4:32 am, March 03, 2013
SE Ontario
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7. Re: Renting a car with BUILT-IN navigation

I drive my own car in these provinces, so can't comment directly on agencies here. However I usually use Hertz and Thrifty, and have never had problems with either... hertz especially seems not to get worked up over what might be normal wear & tear (small scratches, etc). In our far western province of BC, there have been real problems with Budget over alleged bogus charges for dents, etc., but to my knowledge that has not happened on this side of the country. many people advise taking photos of the vehicle if there are scratches before driving off the lot. It's a generally accepted fact that renting from an airport location usually means additional location surcharges. And you will find that one-way drop off fees can often occur and can be high (i.e. pick up in Toronto - drop in Montreal, etc).

Edited: 7:26 am, March 03, 2013
Warsaw
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8. Re: Renting a car with BUILT-IN navigation

Thanks for that!

BTW, while we're at those two - I see they carry Buicks. Not that Detroit or Kansas City got suddenly moved to Canada, but Buick works exotic enough for a European. Same for Lincoln MKS which seems to pop up at some rental places' fleet listings.

Does anybody have any experience renting a Lucerne from Hertz, LaX from Thrifty or a Lincoln MKS from anybody in Canada? If so, are they bare-bones models as well, or any chance for nav there?

gxp
Niagara
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9. Re: Renting a car with BUILT-IN navigation

An Impaler will stick it to you :-) Impalas are safer.

When you rent a car, you will not be guaranteed a specific model. Check the websites and they will say "Chevrolet Impala or Similar" (from Hertz.ca) Each location can have different makes so the models mentioned are to indicate a typical car in the class.

Built-in GPS can be a major problem if it needs to be repaired. A portable unit is cheaper and easily swapped if there is a problem. Any problem with a built-in makes the car unavailable to rent. Also built-in units are very expensive to do a map up-date.

I's also add Avis to good companies to deal with. Avoid Budget and Thrifty.

SE Ontario
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10. Re: Renting a car with BUILT-IN navigation

LOL - everyone has a favorite ... I never rent from Avis anymore ... whereas I've never had a problem with Thrifty in the last 20 years or so ...

And actually - Avis and Budget are owned by the same corporation.