Driving from Vancouver to Toronto
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Aug 24, 2012 8:11 AM Last Post By: wiggushicks
Aug 14, 2012 5:56 AM
I'm planning on a three week trip to Canada in early October.
I'm considering renting and driving from Vancouver to Toronto - I've done a similar thing in the States before and loved it.
I realise this question may have been touched upon before, but is there a way to avoid/minimise the one-way drop-off charge for rentals? Looking at the figures, it would be almost $2000 in surcharges alone! I dont remember having this problem when taking one-way trips in the States.
Does anyone have any pointers on good routes or must see sights along the way? I've heard Lake Superior provincial park is amazing!
Aug 14, 2012 7:38 AM
Aug 14, 2012 8:19 AM
Aug 14, 2012 11:39 AM
3There are such things as "Drive away" companies. What they do is if someone wants to move from one end of the country to the other but do not want to drive their car then these companies will try to find someone to drive the vehicle. This is not FREE and by the sound of it you are a foreigner and then these companies might not want to deal with you.
Regularly done to Florida from Ontario in the fall and back in the spring.
Aug 14, 2012 12:06 PM
Aug 15, 2012 5:36 AM
5Do a loop from Vancouver through the Rockies and back. Then fly to Toronto and see Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec by bus or train. You can rent cars for short trips to places like Algonquin Provincial Park or head further east from Quebec up the Gaspé or to Cape Breton and Halifax. Lake Superior Provincial Park is beautiful; a long trip from Toronto. Have fun!
Aug 15, 2012 8:07 AM
6Much better plan.
The reason this is easier done in the US is that they have seasonal variances in need for vehicles thus they need them in different locations.
Canada has summer.
The rest of the year the cars stay put, so ref's idea is much more sound.
If you are a student air canada has a student pass that isn't a bad deal, you may want to look into that.
Aug 15, 2012 8:56 PM
7I've just done this trip your better off buying, I bought a van in Vancouver easily for $1000 and spent a few hundred to put a bed in it and a solar shower cooking stuff etc. Then you wouldn't need to pay for any accommodation except in national parks. I just did it and it cost me less then 2 weeks car hire to get everything and only paid for a couple of hotels when we wanted some luxurary. I'm trying to sell mine now in Toronto but I have to leave by the 22nd, even if I give it away it was way cheaper then a hire car.
There's no way I could have done this trip in a hire car and hotels. Total cost including everything except fuel has been about $35/day for two people, without giving up much at all.
north cascades NP
Glacier NP (BC)
Salt lake city
California route 1
Tomorrow- New york
then back to Toronto to sell the van.
Total fuel bill as been about $1500 and about 7 weeks traveling but if you can give yourself longer it'd be better. Personally the only boring part was New mexico driving on route 66 which was unavoidable, otherwise I wouldn't change a thing so far!!
Aug 16, 2012 5:18 AM
8Whoa. You missed some amazing things in New Mexico! If doing this route, OP, you must get off the highway (nowhere is it actually called Route 66. It's actually just Interstate 40) and head up to Santa Fe, Bandelier National Monument, and Taos. Also, southern Utah (Zion, Bryce, Arches National Parks) is a must. There are many discussions about the pros and cons about buying a car/van on the US board. I'm glad to hear it worked out for timocracy. You didn't have any problems registering it or getting insurance? You also got lucky that a $1000 van didn't break down somewhere in the middle of your trip.
Aug 16, 2012 5:22 AM
Aug 16, 2012 5:29 AM
10At the moment I'm thinking of taking the middle ground and maybe renting an RV.
As I'm from the UK and I have limited time, I don't think buying an RV would be a great move in terms of finance and complexity (I have no idea how insurance etc. works in Canada). If I had around a month, I think this would be great.
I'm currently planning a round similar to the first half of timocracy's - except I plan to stay within Canada.
Aug 16, 2012 6:44 AM
11Also very expensive option.
Go on torontostar.com
Its the biggest circulation paper in the country.
In the search function put in driving an RV across the country.
A few months back a guy did a series about doing just what you describe.
I was amazed how expensive it was.
I still think travelling to an area and doing a few week loop in a rental car is a much more sensible (from a financial standpoint) way to proceed.
Aug 21, 2012 8:43 AM
12If you want to drive across the country, and can find an affordable way of doing it, I think it's a good idea - you don't get a full sense of what Canada is like if you deliberately skip the prairies like everyone is suggesting. And I think October would be a fine season for seeing the prairies, missing both the blazing hot of summer and the cold of winter. It would just be starting to get chilly.
If the car rental thing worked for the US for you last time, you could try renting a car in Seattle, driving across Canada, and returning the car in New York or something - maybe it would be cheaper than the Canadian options.
For route/sight suggestions, I'd recommend taking a couple days in Vancouver, then driving northeast through BC to Jasper (this would miss the Okanagan Valley, but the Okanagan's only a highlight if you're a foodie or wine connoisseur) and then south through Jasper and Banff. The BC parks bordering Banff (esp. Yoho; I have great memories of a trip to Emerald Lake and Takkakaw Falls there as a kid) are equally worthwhile. Head east past Calgary - there's not much to see there, so no real reason to stop. Don't miss the Alberta Badlands around Drumheller.
Aug 24, 2012 8:11 AM
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