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car rentals near the Amtrak Station in Buffalo

Saint Paul...
6 posts
car rentals near the Amtrak Station in Buffalo

We are planning a trip by Amtrak from Chicago to Buffalo or thereabouts, from which we would like to rent a car to proceed to Niagara on the Lake and other locations in Ontario for work purposes.

Am I correct that Buffalo would be the best place to cross into Canada?

Are there any reaonably priced car rentals near the Amtrak Station in Buffalo?

Would there be any problem taking a rental car into Canada? (We'd probably return it in Detroit.)

Portland, Maine
Level Contributor
13,503 posts
31 reviews
1. Re: car rentals near the Amtrak Station in Buffalo

Your train will NOT go to the main Buffalo station. It will stop at suburban Buffalo/Depew. There's a Hertz in Depew that I believe will pick you up at the station. You're also a short taxi ride away from the Buffalo Airport, which has the usual assortment of car rental places.

There should be no problem driving a US rental into Canada but make sure to have written verification of this. On occasion I've had border inspectors on either the U.S. or Canadian side want to see the car rental papers. There should be no extra insurance charges for doing this.

The other issue is return to Detroit. You'd have to check on whether the Hertz in Depew would allow this. If not, the airport locations probably will but you'd need to check company by company -- and arrange a taxi to the airport to pick up the car.

Edited: 27 April 2016, 11:54
Buffalo
Destination Expert
for Buffalo
Level Contributor
2,336 posts
55 reviews
2. Re: car rentals near the Amtrak Station in Buffalo

Good advice from AudenHoggart, and keep in mind that the Depew station is not in a walkable area.

Enterprise also has a Depew office and will pick you up at the station.

Portland, Maine
Level Contributor
13,503 posts
31 reviews
3. Re: car rentals near the Amtrak Station in Buffalo

The potential problem with Enterprise would be a return in Detroit. Check with them but I think they're less likely to allow it.

New York State, USA
Destination Expert
for Buffalo
Level Contributor
1,481 posts
27 reviews
4. Re: car rentals near the Amtrak Station in Buffalo

Hi Loki,

I would like to chime in with border crossing info. You can cross the border using the Peace Bridge in Buffalo, the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls, or the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge north of Niagara Falls. I suspect that last two are the most direct, but you can map it. The Rainbow Bridge has the added bonus of being within view of the Falls. The Parkway from the Falls to Niagara-on-the-Lake is a lovely ride. I'm sure you know that a passport is required to return to the USA, so Canadian customs checks it when entering Canada.

Bon voyage!

-Dee

Saint Paul...
6 posts
5. Re: car rentals near the Amtrak Station in Buffalo

Dee,

Might there be car rentals near the train station in Niagara Falls? I read that it takes two hours to cross the border if we stay on the train, so I'd like to avoid that. But might we be able to get off the bridge on the U.S. side, walk across (we can pack our luggage in backpacks), and pick up a rental on the Canadian side? We'd be willing to walk a couple of miles.

I'm thinking that if we pick up a car in Canada it would be easier to drop it off in Canada too, across from Detroit. But then we'd have to figure out how to get from the car rental to Amtrak on that end. But that's for a separate inquiry.

Portland, Maine
Level Contributor
13,503 posts
31 reviews
6. Re: car rentals near the Amtrak Station in Buffalo

The train from Chicago does not go through Niagara Falls. In principle, you could get off the train from Chicago in Depew and then take a train to Niagara Falls but you might have a very long wait. There are only a few each day. The train from Chicago to Depew gets in at around 9 a.m. The first train from Depew to Niagara Falls isn't until 3 p.m.

Saint Paul...
6 posts
7. Re: car rentals near the Amtrak Station in Buffalo

Thanks. We'll stick with plan A the, which is to cross the border at Buffalo.

Toronto
Destination Expert
for Nassau
Level Contributor
4,925 posts
3 reviews
8. Re: car rentals near the Amtrak Station in Buffalo

I will weigh in with yet another strategy.

You are probably best off renting your car in Canada and dropping it off in Canada. You will catch the benefit of keeping your rental costs entirely in Cdn. dollars, and with today's exchange rate, will probably give you at least a 25% advantage. You also avoid any cross border issues with rental cars.

From the Depew station, take the #46 city bus, transfer to the #22A and transfer again to the #40A. You will end up in Niagara Falls, USA in about 2 hours. Walk across the Rainbow Bridge to Canada. (1/2 mile, no incline) Niagara Falls Canada is a tourist mecca, and plenty of places to rent a car. WIth the rental car, drive to Windsor, Ont and drop it off there, somewhere downtown. Then grab a taxi for the quick ride across the bridge or tunnel to the Amtrak station in Detroit.

Double check the Buffalo city bus schedules at www.nfta.com, and use the trip planner.

Saint Paul...
6 posts
9. Re: car rentals near the Amtrak Station in Buffalo

I like it! Thanks!

Buffalo, New York
Level Contributor
3,082 posts
353 reviews
10. Re: car rentals near the Amtrak Station in Buffalo

Please be advised that there is an Amtrak station in downtown Buffalo, but as others have indicated your train does not go there, it goes to a fairly isolated suburban outpost. Also if you take the Lakeshore Limited, it arrives in the middle of the night (no bus service or car rental open)...you might have to cab it to an all night coffee shop or airport hotel lobby to wait for a car rental office to open. You would not want to hang out at the train station..it may not even be open. Consider hotwiring an airport hotel (it's nearby), you might score a cheap room....and free pickup. A train that arrives during the day would be easier.

make sure you let the car rental place know you will be traveling to Canada. There are insurance ramifications. Any of the chains should allow a drop off in Detroit, for a price. While the Canadian exchange is very advantageous for US travelers, their high taxes will negate most any savings....price it, but the inconvenience would not be worth it IMO. Quickest crossing is generally the Peace Bridge, near downtown Buffalo.

Free trade not withstanding, there are limitations for yanks doing work in Canada. Unless you are carrying lots of work materials, I would just tell Canadian immigration, if asked, that you are visiting as a tourist...it will make things much easier. Don't forget you need a passport or enhanced'driver's licence at the border.

Edited: 01 May 2016, 06:30