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Toronto/Niagara Falls car rental and continue trip to USA

Israel
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12 posts
207 reviews
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Toronto/Niagara Falls car rental and continue trip to USA

Hi,

We're planning a family trip for this summer, landing in Toronto for a 2 day stay and then continue to the US via Buffalo.

I'm trying to work out the car rental options.

Local car rental companies do not allow picking the car in Canada and returning in in NY.

They say that the minimum car rental period is 5 days (we only need 2).

Further, I'm told that if I do return the "Canadian" car in the US, I shall have to pay a 200CD + taxes fine.

And then, after crossing the border, we have to pick the "American" can in Buffalo and return in in NY.

This causes the car rental cost for this portion of the trip to be very high (in our case around 800CD, since we need/want a large car).

What would be our best option for transportation from the Toronto international airport to our hotel? (at the moment I have a reservation in a hotel located at the airport, but I don't mind booking a place near the Niagara Falls). We'll be 4 people with luggage, so walking long distances is not an option.

What would be the best way to travel between the various destinations in the Niagara Falls area?

I assume renting a private guided tour would not be so practical, as each attraction would require its on time and we'd be paying for this wait time as well.

Bus transportation would require waiting times and would not be necessarily available for all our required stops.

Last, and maybe the most problematic - what would be the best option to travel to the US border crossing and then on to the car return/pickup station in Buffalo? Again, we'll be carrying our luggage, so it seems to me that the bus option is not realistic.

And I don;t know about the weather - it might rain and force us to the car option in any case.

I'd appreciate any help on this.

Thank you,

Daniel

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Toronto/Niagara Falls car rental and continue trip to USA

Hi wisniak ~

Yes, it is very expensive to rent a car in one country and drop it in the other. There is usually a big surcharge.

Your questions are fairly common and asked a lot, so a Top Question is available to the right side of the page. Here are a couple from this forum about getting to and from the various airports:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g154998-s301/Niagara-…

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g155019-c97995/Toront…

And here's a TQ from the Toronto Forum about how to get to and from the city:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g155019-c116016/Toron…

There are more TQs available, so maybe suss them out and come back with any further questions.

Edited: 12 December 2013, 07:56
Israel
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2. Re: Toronto/Niagara Falls car rental and continue trip to USA

Thank you.

Very informative post indeed.

Assuming we take a taxi or any other form of transportation from the airport to the hotel, and then walk between the various attractions, we can save on the retal can ir Canada (+ the huge return fee).

I'd appreciate your advice on how to get to Buffalo in order to pick up our rental car which we'll be using in the US.

Daniel

Toronto, Canada
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3. Re: Toronto/Niagara Falls car rental and continue trip to USA

You can walk across the border then catch a cab, also there are cabs that cross the border....I think around $75 plus tip to get to the airport...

Israel
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4. Re: Toronto/Niagara Falls car rental and continue trip to USA

We'll be carrying our luggage, I don't think this is really comfortable.

Toronto, Canada
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5. Re: Toronto/Niagara Falls car rental and continue trip to USA

Do you have two people in your group who can drive? If so, and if you can find a reasonably-priced one-way rental from YYZ-Niagara Falls, ON, you could use your Canadian rental car to get to the car rental location in Buffalo, then return that car to Canada and continue onward in the US rental car.

Israel
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6. Re: Toronto/Niagara Falls car rental and continue trip to USA

Yes, my wife and I.

I've spent several hours with the local car-hire companies, none have a reasonable arrangement (either a huge "fine" for returning the can in Buffalo, or no solution at all).

SE Ontario
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7. Re: Toronto/Niagara Falls car rental and continue trip to USA

It's not a "fine" ... it's a one way drop fee... and quite common in North America ... especially when it comes to international borders and vehicles.

To the right of the screen, under Top Questions about NF is an article about getting to area airports, including Buffalo. If you're renting your US car at the Buffalo or NF, NY airports, then you can see your options for crossing the border.

Cabs do cross the border regularly - you must be sure you get one that is allowed to.

But if you're looking for some kind of special cheap way of crossing over, then walking across is your best option.

gxp
Niagara
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8. Re: Toronto/Niagara Falls car rental and continue trip to USA

You could go to Buffalo or Niagara Falls NY, rent a car, then go back to Canada to pick up your luggage.

Israel
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9. Re: Toronto/Niagara Falls car rental and continue trip to USA

Possible, but cumbersome and time wasting...

Not to mention that I won't be alone (so it'll be very annoying to the other passengers).

I've contacted several taxi/shuttle services, waiting for replies.

Ottawa
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10. Re: Toronto/Niagara Falls car rental and continue trip to USA

1. Consider Niagara Air Bus to take you to a hotel in Niagara Falls from Toronto International (YYZ) . They will also pick up from downtown Toronto hotels for passengers headed to Niagara. They are running fairly comfortable mini-busses. In all the times I have used them they have never missed a pickup, or caused me to miss a flight.

2. I have regularly rented for a day or two out of YYZ. Don't understand your five day reference - Hertz and Avis will rent for any period you want.

3. Niagara Air Bus will also get you from Toronto or anywhere in the Niagara region to the Buffalo airport.

4. You can also rent a car in Niagara for the day.