Car Hire Toronto
Why hire a car in Toronto?
If you’re planning a Toronto holiday that you know will involve a portion of driving, it’s important that you hire a car from a trusted rental company so that you can explore and enjoy all that Toronto has to offer! At Canadian Affair, we only work with the most reputable Canada car hire companies so you know you’re always getting the highest quality of service.
There is plenty to do in Toronto. This vibrant modern city is in Ontario, eastern Canada, and the city overlooks the stunning lake that is the province’s namesake, Lake Ontario. More than a quarter of the entire population of Canada resides in this bustling city, so if you are looking for a taste of what Canadian city life is all about, then you have certainly booked a break in the right place!
Hiring a car in Toronto affords you unparalleled freedom and flexibility to explore Toronto’s city centre and further afield. After touching down in Toronto, you’ll soon see that the city is most famous for two things: food and shopping. St Lawrence Market is a must-visit for foodies. From traditional Canadian ‘greasy spoons’ to artisan delicacies, you’ll want to refuel after a morning spent indulging in some world-class retail therapy.
Top tips for driving in Toronto
- Watch out for public transport - when driving in Toronto, make sure to be vigilant for public buses and streetcars (trams) as they have right of way in most of the city. When driving in Toronto, you must observe the right of way, as it is against the law to pass a stopped tram, you must also give right of way to passengers alighting a tram or bus.
- Avoid rush hour – like any major city, we would recommend you avoid driving your hire car around Toronto during the morning or afternoon rush hours. Planning your journey in advance will help you avoid any frustrating time spent sitting in traffic!
- Think before you turn left! At a lot of intersections in Toronto, it’s illegal to make a left turn during rush hour. If you are unfortunate enough to get stuck in traffic during the downtown rush, make sure you follow a GPS to use the intersections safely and legally.
- Watch out for one-way streets – Downtown Toronto has a lot of one-way streets, some of the streets can be quite small, so bear this in mind if you have hired an SUV or larger vehicle as part of a Canada fly-drive holiday, as you may struggle to park in the city more than if you are hiring a compact car.
- Drive on the right! This may seem obvious but don’t forget that unlike the UK, Canadians drive on the right-hand side of the road.
Picking up your hire car in Toronto
The duration of your stay in the Toronto area and the locations you want to travel to on your Eastern Canada road trip will determine the best pick-up location for your car hire in Toronto. You can choose to collect your vehicle from a number of Toronto locations.
In most cases, those who opt for our Toronto car hire are flying into Toronto, and are likely to collect their rental car from the airport. The Avis office at YYZ Toronto Pearson International Airport is directed from the arrivals level, it is about 1.5 miles away.
Top tips for hiring a car in Toronto
- Book in advance – Book at least a month in advance to get the best prices on Toronto car hire, especially if there is a certain type of car you want to rent for your trip.
- Plan your route – to avoid getting stuck in rush hour, and to ensure you don’t accidentally make any illegal manoeuvres, planning your journey in advance using a GPS or apps like Waze and Google Maps is highly recommended.
- Go compact or midsize – if you have two or fewer passengers and don’t have a lot of luggage, we recommend hiring a compact or midsize car. Prices for hiring compact cars in Toronto are cheaper. You will also find it easier to park in the city centre than you would if you hire an SUV.
- Go in the quieter season – Car hire in Toronto is cheaper in November and March, these times of year are less busy with tourists, you will also get cheaper flights in these months too!
Driving in Downtown Toronto
Like any major city, you will need to be vigilant when driving in Downtown Toronto as even outside of rush hour, it’s likely to be busy. But don’t let that put you off. As long as you obey the rules of the road you have nothing to worry about. The main things to be aware of are giving way to public transport like buses and trams and making sure you follow instructions from a GPS about what you legally can and can’t do on Toronto’s roads. If you’re planning on stopping for a while in Downtown Toronto, we recommend that you bring cash to pay for parking as some spaces are cash-only, but if you don’t have any cash don’t worry as lots of meters allow you to pay with a credit card.
Driving from Toronto and beyond
There’s so much to see in Ontario outside of Toronto, and hiring a car is the perfect way to see more of the province. Canada’s Mideastern province has a fantastic selection of road trip opportunities offering you incredible sights from the showstoppers of Toronto’s CN Tower and Ottawa’s Parliament Hill to wide expanses of Ontario’s stunning national parks. Check out our top tips for driving in Canada before you take to the roads in your rental car. Similarly, our Ultimate Ontario Bucket List shares our favourite must-see attractions in the province.
Day trips from Toronto
The stunning Niagara Falls is an easy 80-mile drive from Toronto, and if you're hiring a car in the city, you’ll regret not making time to visit the eighth wonder of the world! A lesser-known gem that is a similar distance from Toronto is Kingston. This beautiful city sits at the mouth of the St Lawrence River and is the gateway to Canada’s 1,000 Islands region.
If you're looking to book car hire in Toronto, please email us, or call us on 0207 616 9999.
Can I take my hire car outside of Ontario if I’m picking up from Toronto?
Yes, you can take your car anywhere in Canada and even across the border into the USA. If you are planning to visit the USA, you will need an eSTA as well as an eTA. We also offer one-way drop-offs to other Canadian cities (some may incur an additional charge, so please enquire for details.
What is the speed limit in Toronto?
The speed limit in Toronto is the same as the province of Ontario as a whole. In residential and school areas, the speed limit is around 30-40 km/h and on urban roads, the speed limit is 50 km/h and on highways and expressways, the limit is 100 km/h.
What are the best places to park in Toronto?
Getting on-street parking right outside your chosen destination can be difficult in Toronto, so make sure to plan in extra time to your itinerary to possibly park a short walking distance from where you want to visit. Look out for circular green signs with a ‘P’ in the middle as these indicate municipal car parks.
How much should I expect to pay for fuel in Toronto?
Around C$1.51 per litre, although this will vary.