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Flying To an American Airport, Then Driving Across the Border: Options & Experiences

Flying To an American Airport, Then Driving Across the Border: Options & Experiences

Old Feb 25, 21, 6:35 am
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Flying To an American Airport, Then Driving Across the Border: Options & Experiences

I think it would be useful to begin a thread for returning Canadian travelers who are investigating options that involve flying to an American airport that is near the border (e.g. Buffalo), then driving across. (See this thread for those who want to walk across and this thread for those who want to fly across.)

A number of car rental companies are allowing cars to be picked up at locations in the US and dropped at locations in Canada. Among them are:
  • Alamo
  • Enterprise
There are also some limo services that will shuttle passengers across the border:Please add other options and experiences that would benefit fellow travelers.
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Old Feb 25, 21, 7:10 am
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Let's please keep the discussion focus on the thread topic as much as possible off topic, in-depth discussion of matter such as car rental loyalty programs, elite upgrades, points/miles earned, discounts, rate trends, value perceptions, etc. will be edited, deleted or moved to one of the five FT car rental forums. Mentioning sample rental rates is fine but this is a destination forum and not a car rental forum so please focus on the thread topic.

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Old Feb 25, 21, 8:26 am
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It seems like Enterprise/Alamo have pulled their BUF->YYZ one way rates?
Yesterday I was seeing as low as CAD150 for drop off in Niagara Falls (ON)

I dont see anything until Avis/Hertz later in May/June

DTW rates seem to be in the low 200s (CAD) - drop off anywhere in Ontario with Enterprise, including neighbourhood locations

Last edited by rankourabu; Feb 25, 21 at 8:31 am
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Old Feb 25, 21, 8:51 am
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Same experience here. Back in January when I was afraid of being stuck in PLS due to the then just announced new testing requirement, I was able to find one-way rates from Newark to Toronto/Montreal and Great Falls to Calgary for about $100/$200 respectively. Nothing now for a bunch of dates I tried between February and May.
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Old Feb 25, 21, 8:54 am
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Originally Posted by rankourabu View Post
It seems like Enterprise/Alamo have pulled their BUF->YYZ one way rates?
Yesterday I was seeing as low as CAD150 for drop off in Niagara Falls (ON)

I dont see anything until Avis/Hertz later in May/June

DTW rates seem to be in the low 200s (CAD) - drop off anywhere in Ontario with Enterprise, including neighbourhood locations
I did the DTW pickup and dropoff at YXU last summer. Local Enterprise dropoff was also available. I paid $160 US.
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Old Feb 25, 21, 9:20 am
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Originally Posted by sydneyracquelle View Post
I did the DTW pickup and dropoff at YXU last summer. Local Enterprise dropoff was also available. I paid $160 US.
I checked DTW->YXU availability at National for the coming Saturday, Feb. 27. Several car categories were available.
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Old Feb 25, 21, 10:18 am
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I tried a couple of weeks ago and no availability for various April dates. Tried about 6 companies. If I switched to BUF-BUF for same dates, no problem. Eventually got something with National (my preferred company) for BUF-YYZ <$200. When I tried more recently nothing available. Above speculation probably accurate.
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Old Feb 25, 21, 10:21 am
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Originally Posted by Bartolo View Post
I tried a couple of weeks ago and no availability for various April dates. Tried about 6 companies. If I switched to BUF-BUF for same dates, no problem. Eventually got something with National (my preferred company) for BUF-YYZ <$200. When I tried more recently nothing available. Above speculation probably accurate.
I wonder how these car rental companies get these cars back to the US.
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Old Feb 25, 21, 11:06 am
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I have a few one way rentals booked from SEA-YVR (neighbourhood location for the return rather than YVR itself but the rates were the same). All were $245 and can still be booked. Both Budget and Avis were the best for me because of the location for drop off but all companies were about the same price. I havenít really shopped around for a better price as of yet but plan to at some point. I just wanted to get things in place before the car companies got wise (or flooded with one ways and pulled them). Iíd do a car service from BLI if I could find one.
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Old Feb 25, 21, 11:09 am
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Originally Posted by Finkface View Post
I have a few one way rentals booked from SEA-YVR (neighbourhood location for the return rather than YVR itself but the rates were the same). All were $245 and can still be booked. Both Budget and Avis were the best for me because of the location for drop off but all companies were about the same price. I havenít really shopped around for a better price as of yet but plan to at some point. I just wanted to get things in place before the car companies got wise (or flooded with one ways and pulled them). Iíd do a car service from BLI if I could find one.
Note that unlike flights and hotels there is zero cost in making a car reservation if there is even a 1% chance you will need it. I make multiple reservations all the time guessing my ultimate travel dates.
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Old Feb 25, 21, 12:09 pm
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Originally Posted by sydneyracquelle View Post
I wonder how these car rental companies get these cars back to the US.
There’s probably a queue of transport trucks on the QEW heading towards BUF as I write.

Another data point. When I checked in early February Avis (BUF-YYZ) was in the range quoted in other posts (above).at that point they were the only ones quoting a one way rental. A few days later, no availability. A week later >$400.

i checked other potential places such as Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, and Detroit. No availability. Columbus (OH) and Chicago offered reasonable one way rates. Availability and price seems to change frequently.

This whole situation is taking $ out of the Canadian economy. First AC will lose my ticket. I will need United to fly to BUF. The car rental company in BUF will get my money rather than the car service I usually use from YYZ. Unfortunate all around.
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Old Feb 25, 21, 12:12 pm
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Originally Posted by Bartolo View Post
Thereís probably a queue of transport trucks on the QEW heading towards BUF as I write.

Another data point. When I checked in early February Avis (BUF-YYZ) was in the range quoted in other posts (above).at that point they were the only ones quoting a one way rental. A few days later, no availability. A week later >$400.

i checked other potential places such as Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, and Detroit. No availability. Columbus (OH) and Chicago offered reasonable one way rates. Availability and price seems to change frequently.
Thatís why I always book quite a few cars around my travel dates just in case.
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Old Feb 25, 21, 2:32 pm
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Originally Posted by Bartolo View Post
Thereís probably a queue of transport trucks on the QEW heading towards BUF as I write.

Another data point. When I checked in early February Avis (BUF-YYZ) was in the range quoted in other posts (above).at that point they were the only ones quoting a one way rental. A few days later, no availability. A week later >$400.

i checked other potential places such as Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, and Detroit. No availability. Columbus (OH) and Chicago offered reasonable one way rates. Availability and price seems to change frequently.

This whole situation is taking $ out of the Canadian economy. First AC will lose my ticket. I will need United to fly to BUF. The car rental company in BUF will get my money rather than the car service I usually use from YYZ. Unfortunate all around.
And zero HST!
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Old Feb 25, 21, 2:38 pm
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Trudeau is going to be voted Buffalo Airport Authorityís 2021 Man of the Year. Everyone needs to complete the NY State quarantine form online ahead of time and just say in transit. You will need to show the green checkmark when exiting BUF security.

Last edited by sydneyracquelle; Mar 3, 21 at 5:58 am
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Old Mar 2, 21, 6:00 pm
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Has anyone have first hand experience hiring a driving from BUF to YYZ?
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