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Return drive to Toronto

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Robina, Australia
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420 posts
125 reviews
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Return drive to Toronto

My son and I would like to drive from Buffalo to spend 2 days in Toronto (via Niagara Falls) before returning to Rochester where he will be attending a Music Camp for a week.

As we are from Australia, I am unsure about the logistics of crossing the border into Canada and then back to the US a few days later.

How long should we factor into our schedule for the border crossing in each direction?

Am I allowed to take my hire car across and back?

I apologise if Buffalo is not the right section of the forums to ask this question but I have searched Tripadvisor without success so far to find the answer!

Portland, Maine
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1. Re: Return drive to Toronto

Although you should confirm with the car rental company you intend to use, American rental cars can normally be taken into Canada without any additional charges. I wouldn't rent from anyone who wanted to charge extra since there will be plenty of major companies that won't.

I've occasionally had border inspectors who asked to see the rental agreement, so keep it somewhere handy when you're crossing the border.

Robina, Australia
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420 posts
125 reviews
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2. Re: Return drive to Toronto

Thank you - do you know how long approximately it takes to cross the border here? (Is it pretty quick, or should I factor in a few hours each direction?)

Portland, Maine
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3. Re: Return drive to Toronto

You can get real time border wait times on the web. You may want to take a look closer to your trip time, and on days of the week and times of day around when you expect to travel.

Here's the Canadian site:

http://www.asfc.gc.ca/bwt-taf/menu-eng.html

And here's the U.S. one:

http://apps.cbp.gov/bwt/index.asp

West Grey, Ontario
Destination Expert
for Toronto
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71,734 posts
87 reviews
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4. Re: Return drive to Toronto

Hi lisa31jane;

I would allow 30 minutes for the border, longer on a weekend or holiday.

There are some car rental companies that will not permit their cars out of the state or out of the country, or charge a premium if they do. Most of the larger rental companies will allow cross border travel.

Ensure that the car rental company notes on the rental agreement that they authorize you to take the car into Canada. You may be asked by Customs when entering Canada, or when re-entering the US, for this documentation.

Some companies offer unlimited mileage, but only within the US. The rental company will use an onboard commercial GPS unit to track your usage. The extra per mile charges can add up quickly, so be sure to ask in advance.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city, 4th largest in North America after Mexico City, New York, & Los Angeles. You could spend an entire week in Toronto and still have plenty to see and do !

Best Regards

Buffalo, New York
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139 posts
75 reviews
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5. Re: Return drive to Toronto

I have crossed the border a few times a week for the last 5 years. Take the Peace bridge. You can check for wait times but it depends on which line you are in. I have gone through in minutes and other lines with different inspectors take much longer. It depends on your inspector. You could be pulled in for "secondary inspection" and detained for awhile. I would say at least an hour depending on the time of day, hopefully it will be a lot less. DO NOT TAKE THE LEWISTON QUEENSTON BRIDGE it is always a much longer wait.

6. Re: Return drive to Toronto

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