Rent a Car

About 3 weeks before departure, I searched for car rentals online. I decided not to book the car rental with WestJet as their website was not clear (to me) on whether "all" taxes are included in the quote.

Four major car rental companies online quoted between C$32.95 and $54.95 per day for a compact car. With gasoline at $1.30 per liter, we didn't want a gas guzzler. I checked various other websites and found quoted $26.95 per day (in US funds but the dollar is at par and I have a US dollar credit card). Hotwire clearly states all the taxes and itemizes them.

About a week before departure, I notice that has lowered it quote to US$23.95 per day. I wonder how much lower they will go? 2 days before, I decided to book the car and now the quote is $21.95 per day, local taxes and fees add another 35%. One of the other companies has increased their price from $32.95 to $56.95 per day.

If you are travelling in the high season to a popular destination, you may want to book your car earlier. However, there were 4 car rental agencies at the airport plus another two just a mile down the road. booked our car, Nissan Sentra, with Avis and the counter is inside the airport and picking up the car is easy and fast. Avis wants to upgrade us to a mid-size Chevrolet for free. The Nissan has better fuel economy, so we decline. Returning the car and check out is also fast. I will definitely check Hotwire for my next car rental.

Before you go, check with your own car insurance agent and see if you can add "rental car insurance" to your automobile policy. You can usually add this extra insurance for $25 to $35 per year. Purchasing the insurance from a car rental agency is about $10,000 per year (if you rented 365 days). Check with your insurance agent what you are covered for, or get the extra insurance from the car rental company. My insurance only covers value to $50,000 in case of a write off, so I only rent compacts or mid-size cars.

Find rental cars from $13.95 a day at Hotwire. No hidden fees -- drive away a deal today!

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