Any difference for renting a car in Toronto if you are a foreigner or a local?
December 4, 2009 10:26 AM   Subscribe

Car rental advice please! I have a group of relatives coming from overseas to visit me in southern Ontario for the holidays. We need to rent a minivan to cart everyone around. What is the best approach - for me to book the rental under my name, for them to book the rental under their name, or is there be no advantage either way?

Bonus notes ... driving duties will be shared between me (canadian) and my brother-in-law (brazilian). I will be meeting them all at Pearson Airport where we will pick up the vehicle and then BIL will likely drive it from there. BIL has an international driver's license.
posted by khregs to Travel & Transportation around Toronto, ON (6 answers total)
Response by poster: oops .. pls ignore the errant "be" in the fourth sentence
posted by khregs at 10:28 AM on December 4, 2009

Three things:

First, many rental companies restrict driving privileges to those who have signed the rental agreement. I'd look into that and have the appropriate people sign if it's an issue.

Second, there isn't any such thing as an "international drivers license" issued by any government entity. As long as he's got a valid Brazilian license, he should be okay.

Third, insurance may be an issue. Not all insurance companies provide coverage for rental vehicles in all countries. Your BIL should make sure that he'd be covered to rent a vehicle in Canada before signing anything.

Other than that though, I can't see any compelling reason to do it one way or the other. As long as the rental company will let the appropriate person drive, you should be able to do it any way you like without a price difference.
posted by valkyryn at 10:31 AM on December 4, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for the advice valkyryn.

I think that just to be safe I will rent the van under my name with BIL named as an additional driver.

Also, an international drivers permit (sorry) is apparently only necessary for foreigners visiting Ontario for more than 3 months.
posted by khregs at 10:53 AM on December 4, 2009

Again, just make sure that he is covered with insurance otherwise you'll have to pony up the additional $40+ per day that the rental agency charges. If you have your own coverage through a gold/platinum card or your own car insurance check/callto confirm that additional drivers are specifically covered. The rental company will still let you rent w/o proof of sufficent insurance.
posted by saradarlin at 12:38 PM on December 4, 2009

While I don't have international experience with this I just researched something similar for my girlfriend and I renting a car while visiting a relative in Florida.

First things first, get the number from your credit card company for the department that specializes in this. Most likely, they have a plan that covers you in some regard.

Next, contact your car insurance company and ask them about the situation, and also present the details on what your credit card covers so they can help you compare. They are probably better.

Also, you need to have the other potential driver check with their insurance. In some cases if driver A's insurance covers them in a rental, but the car is rented in driver B's name, driver A's insurance might not cover driver A if they are listed as an additional driver since they may require them to be the primary person on the rental.

Double-check this for both people so you know you are fine driving in either scenario.
posted by Elminster24 at 4:08 PM on December 4, 2009

If you're under 25 years old and they're not, then book it in their name. Some places won't even book a rental car to someone under 25, and others will charge you more. Or at least that's the way it is in the US. I'm not sure about Canada.
posted by ErWenn at 6:58 PM on December 4, 2009

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