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Honeymoon trip predicament

Peru, Indiana
12 posts
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Honeymoon trip predicament

Hello tripadvisor forum members,

I am getting extremely excited planning my honeymoon into the Canadian Rockies and Glacier - Waterton International Peace Park. I've already booked flights and lodging for all my days but now I'm finding it difficult in obtaining a rental car that I would pick up in Spokane International Airport (GEG) in Spokane, Washington and return it to Edmonton International Airport (YEG). The issue seems to be that many rental car companies are sold out of one-way rentals from the United States and dropping the car off in Canada. My rental car pick up date is Monday, June 30th, 2014 out of GEG while doing a return to YEG on Saturday, July 12th, 2014.

What is your advice in finding the cheapest solution to my problem? Are there some rental car companies that are easier to deal with? Does availability of cars go up closer to the date of the trip?

I realize one-way drop offs are possible and expensive but this is the only way it is feasible to do this trip. I just need to be able to find a car. Any suggestions?

West Grey, Ontario
Destination Expert
for Toronto
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72,452 posts
86 reviews
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1. Re: Honeymoon trip predicament

Welcome to TripAdvisor, boileruphammerdown;

When looking online at one-way, cross border rentals, many sites are unable to process the request. The "default" reply, as you've found, is "sold out".

I would suggest contacting the rental company directly, by telephone. FYI - I know that Avis, Budget & Hertz all allow one-way, cross border rentals. There are probably others, as well.

I hope that helps.

Best Regards

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Canadian Rockies
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5,677 posts
3 reviews
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2. Re: Honeymoon trip predicament

Welcome!

So sorry to hear about this. I suspect your problem has to do with the fact that your honeymoon overlaps national holidays in both Canada (July 1) and the US (July 4). Thus you are trying to rent at a peak time when companies can & will charge a premium. I would suspect that availability is quite limited and is likely to only get worse as the dates get nearer.

My understanding is that one way rentals from the US to CAN (and vice versa) are not common, both because companies either won't allow it (or actively discourage it) and/or charge very high fees. Probably has to do with the expense and hassle of having cars that meet regulations & are insured in both countries.

So I think you are probably going to have to accept that it's going to be expensive, and take whatever option you can get. One thought might be to see if there's anyway to pick the car up from another location - either use public transport or an initial rental to another airport or to a non-airport location.

Have a wonderful honeymoon!

Peru, Indiana
12 posts
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3. Re: Honeymoon trip predicament

Rescue Team,

I have tried contacting Budget directly by telephone to their Spokane International Airport local phone number and the automated system kicks you to someone out of the country. Twice those customer service representatives told me the same thing I found through my online efforts. Their only advice was to try again at a later date.

I will try Avis and Hertz.

Thank you!

Edited: 27 February 2014, 16:13
Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Canadian Rockies
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5,677 posts
3 reviews
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4. Re: Honeymoon trip predicament

Gah. I hate those automated lines! And it's amazing sometimes how rental car agency employees can be pretty clueless about their own companies. Reps from one company continually denied having a location in Canmore despite the fact that's right on the main road in Canmore and advertised online. Sigh.

Is Enterprise an option? I know they have a large presence in Canada and the United States, and have a lot of non airport locations.

Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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18,414 posts
107 reviews
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5. Re: Honeymoon trip predicament

I really wonder if it is very likely you will be able to do a one-way car rental between Spokane and Edmonton. So far, the ones we have heard about on these forums are mainly Seattle to Vancouver - two large rental markets fairly close together. For the rental car companies, that makes it relatively easy to get their cars back to where they need to go. Edmonton and Spokane are much further apart, and I wouldn't imagine that there is a large amount of traffic between those two places. I know we've also had questions on the forums about rentals from Montana to Calgary, and I don't know if anyone has had any luck with that either. (Doing a search on the "Alberta" forum for "Missoula" will pull up some of those other topic threads.)

Please do let us know how you get on, because the information will be helpful to others in future.

Vancouver, Canada
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25,481 posts
59 reviews
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6. Re: Honeymoon trip predicament

I wonder if it would be possible to get a rental from Spokane to a mid-way point, then change cars? It would be a hassle, but it may be that if you returned the car to a point closer to the starting point and then rented a second car for the next leg, perhaps that would be easier.

Other option that occurs to me is you do a loop to and from Spokane (or Spokane - Kalispell/Missoula), then fly to Calgary to do the next bit. Rental from Calgary to Edmonton should be easy.

Edited: 27 February 2014, 20:44
Vancouver, Canada
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for Vancouver
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7. Re: Honeymoon trip predicament

A one way rental for those destinations, cross border, two countries will be pretty much a no go. Who will return the car to Spokane? Who at the rental company would, on the one hand, fly an employee to Edmonton, ensure they had a valid American passport, pay for the necessary meals and accommodation to drive the car back to Spokane. You would. On the other hand, who in Spokane would take the man hours to organize a flat bed truck to transport the car to the States, organize the multiple documents and paper work necessary to take the car across the border through Customs, possibly with import duties and fees and the deadhead for the truck back to Canada?. You would, if the company would even allow their staff to organize that.

You would be looking at two countries, two legal jurisdictions, no demand between thise two cities for a reciprocal agreement, no takers for renting the car southbound. Happy to be wrong though.

I don't think anyone is sold out of one way rentals. I think that's computer speak for "you can't do that." But on the slimmest of chances that you can, be prepared for a large surcharge for being able to.

You would find it much easier to fly into Calgary? (Or Edmonton if you have reason) and doing a round trip rental for 11 nights.

Vancouver, Canada
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25,481 posts
59 reviews
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8. Re: Honeymoon trip predicament

Its quite possible on the west coast (BC, Washington and points south) and common to do one-way rentals across the international border. Do you think they have different rules in Idaho/Montana/Alberta?

Peru, Indiana
12 posts
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9. Re: Honeymoon trip predicament

krp329,

I have found a solution for driving across the border from Montana and into Alberta with a one way rental car. I called Avis and while they couldn't provide this service they informed my Budget was the only company willing to do a one way rental into Alberta from Montana. And the only Budget locations from Montana I could pick up from were at Glacier Park International Airport (FCA) in Kalispell, Montana or the two locations in Whitefish, Montana (one being at the Amtrak depot) . My preferred destination from Kalispell was to arrive in Banff via Highway 93 through Cranbook, BC and Kootenay National Park. Budget, however, will only allow you to drop off a one way rental from Montana into Canada at either Calgary International Airport (YYC) or the Calgary location at 140 6th Avenue SE.

So, I have found a way to do a one way rental from Montana and into Alberta, but it involves more driving (about 100 miles more) through less scenic highways. I will end up visiting three rental car companies on one day, Sunday, July 6th. I'll be dropping off a car early in the morning at Glacier Park International Airport (FCA) that I will have rented from Spokane six days earlier. From that counter at FCA I'll go to the Budget counter at FCA. I'll take that car to Calgary and in the afternoon exchange a Budget car at YYC for an Avis one. I'll be able to take that car from Calgary to Banff, Jasper, and finally Edmonton six days later.

Total cost for all 12 days of rental car transportation from Spokane to Kalispell to Calgary and then to Edmonton will be $1192.94 US.

The alternative would have been to take an Airport Shuttle Express 10 passenger van from Kalispell to Banff for $955 Canadian.

I hope this information helps someone else planning a Glacier, Banff, and Jasper one way trip.

SE Ontario
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14 reviews
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10. Re: Honeymoon trip predicament

You might check with Hertz ... they appear to allow one way rentals in areas where others do not.

For example - I am currently in Victoria, BC and have been driving a vehicle from California for the last few days ... rented from Hertz. I also noted that when I was picking the car up at YYJ, there was a minivan with Nova Scotia plates parked right next to the one I took.