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We're on a road movie to MN...
June 13, 2012 1:09 PM   Subscribe

Help plan a one-way rental-car trip from Toronto to Minneapolis...

Hey! So I'm planning a road trip over a couple-few days with some colleagues, Toronto->Minneapolis. We're looking to rent a car in Canada, and drop it off in the US. What's the best way to get this done? Particular companies that are better/worse for this idea?

(Small) Complications:
* I'm the only one who lives in Toronto, and don't have a license. I'm also the designated planner; it's my input for skipping out on time behind the wheel...

* The other members have two US drivers licenses, and one from France.

Bonus: Know of particularly nice places to stop along the way, probably along the northern route through the UP?

Thanks!
posted by kaibutsu to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total)
 
I'd recommend Enterprise because they have locations in both Toronto and Minneapolis and from my experience are easy to deal with.
posted by livinglearning at 1:15 PM on June 13, 2012


This can be done, but you will most likely find that it is heinously expensive because of the border. Drop fees for one way rentals are often high, but crossing the border, they may well be $1000 or more.

You may wish to consider:

a) someone going to Buffalo to rent the car there, coming back and picking the rest of you up. This should be a US citizen, due to Canada's rather crazy rules about Canadian citizens crossing the border in US cars.
b) everyone going to Buffalo or Niagara Falls on the bus and getting the rental car there.

I just did a search using Hertz, as an example, and for a mid-size car, you'd be looking at $535 per day for a 4 day rental from Toronto, vs. $126 per day for the same rental dates from Buffalo.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:33 PM on June 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Check for one-way drop fees; the rental company will likely be unable to rent an ON plate in MN.
posted by scruss at 1:34 PM on June 13, 2012


On top of which, US customs gets awful skittish at one-way trips.
posted by bicyclefish at 1:45 PM on June 13, 2012


Yeah, it'll cost you. Unless money is no object, you might want to reconsider your plans. Concerning this plan:

a) someone going to Buffalo to rent the car there, coming back and picking the rest of you up. This should be a US citizen, due to Canada's rather crazy rules about Canadian citizens crossing the border in US cars.

Those crazy rules changed recently.

If you do go ahead with this, and decide to drive the UP route: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is quite picturesque; it's really a hidden gem in the U.S. Park System. If you're taking your time on the trip (which, given the insane rental rates quoted, you might not want to do), Mackinac Island is quite nice as well; you'd have to leave your car on the mainland and take the ferry over.
posted by Johnny Assay at 1:48 PM on June 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


The border shouldn't be too much of an issue; we're a bunch of mathematicians on our way to a conference with plane tickets out at the end. (Two US citizens, one green card academic, and a French prof.)

We're looking to do the trip pretty quick, probably leave Friday get in on Sunday, and camp or find a nice beachy spot on the lake to stay at along the way. Thanks for the advice so far!
posted by kaibutsu at 2:15 PM on June 13, 2012


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