Although public transport in the city of Montréal is very convenient and affordable, Québec (and Canada as a whole) covers a vast area, so if you are planning to leave the city, you might want to consider renting a car. A popular alternative to buying a vehicle, car rental is fairly easy in Montréal, and saves the difficulties of parking or keeping a car in the city permanently. For newcomers, it is quite common to rent a car in order to go furniture shopping or large-scale grocery shopping to stock up the larder of your new home.
Renting a car in Québec isn’t much different from renting a car anywhere else. You’ll probably find the best deals online, where prices start about $30 per day. You can rent a car in Québec even if you haven’t exchanged your driver’s license yet, provided your license is translated into French or English, or you have an international license.
The minimum age for renting a car is 25 years and you cannot be on a probationary license. It is highly recommended that you get the full insurance on your rental car. Some credit cards include rental insurance in their services, so check with your credit provider regarding the details of that coverage before you rent. There are restrictions if you want to go to the U.S. with a rental car, so be sure to ask about that as well. Budget and Discount are usually the cheapest, but you can also find good deals at Enterprise and Hertz. If you need utility vehicles, trucks or trailers, go to U-Haul or Légaré.
There are also a few short-term rental systems in Montréal like Communauto and Car2Go. You can register and book a car online, or on the phone. Then you pick up the car, use it for your errands and drop it off at a designated parking lot. With Car2Go, you can pick up and drop off the car anywhere on the street in the designated boroughs. You pay according to time, or kilometers driven.
Before you rent a car, always ask the company for the absolute final price, meaning the price including taxes, insurance, and mileage, which are ordinarily omitted from the list pricing. They often charge an additional fee for a second driver.
Independent taxi services like Uber have also become very popular. They are an ideal option if you don’t plan to be in the city for long, don’t expect to drive too far outside of the city, and don’t want to have to worry about parking or getting lost.
Here is a short (and not exhaustive) list of car rental companies in Montréal. Most of them are located in the airport, but there a few agencies around the city as well, in case you should decide to rent a vehicle well after you’ve arrived.
For more information about driving in Québec, check out our blog.
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