Driving a rental car in Canada or driving across the border in a rented car has specific rules. In this edition of Car Coach, YNN's Lauren Fix shares some important facts.
Rental cars with U.S. license plates may be driven into Canada by United States residents. However, customs agents are always on the lookout for people trying to import a vehicle without paying taxes. That means they pay special attention when you are driving a vehicle that is not yours.
The trickiest situations arise when you fly across the border, rent a car, and then drive back to your country of origin. This will always raise questions with customs agents so you need to have your paperwork and justification in good order.
Bringing a rented vehicle into Canada should not be a problem. The only questions that may arise are if you are a dual U.S./Canadian citizen or have a permanent residence in Canada.
In that case, you will be questioned much more closely to determine your intent with the vehicle.
General Rules and Tips for Driving a Rental Car Across the U.S. / Canada Border:
•Make sure you have all the normal required documenation for a border crossing such as passports and drivers license. Driving a rental car plus having document issues will probably make for a slow crossing and additional interrogation.
•You must let the rental company know you are going to take their car out of the country, and they must confirm if it is ok. You will be violating your renters agreement if you don’t and all kinds of very expensive problems will come up if you get a ticket or have an accident. In addition, U.S. Customs actually requires that the rental company has given their consent for the car to leave the country so it had better be in the rental agreement.
•Auto Insurance – Most auto insurance will cover you in both countries but you should absolutely confirm this with your provider. Your carrier should provide proof at no charge. If you take out the rental agencies insurance they should issue you a non-resident insurance card which must be kept in the rental vehicle.
•Make sure you understand how the mileage rates will work when converting between metric and U.S. standard measurements.