Taking a Rental Car to Canada: Rules, Insurance, etc Explained

"Welcome to Canada" sign after crossing from the U.S. to Canada in a rental car

Short Answer — It’s possible to drive a rental car into Canada, but you must generally rent it from a location near the U.S.-Canadian border and let the agent know you’ll be crossing the border in advance. You don’t need special insurance to drive a rental car to Canada.

Taking a Rental Car Into Canada

Most car rental agencies allow renters to cross the border from the U.S. into Canada.

Of the companies we checked, only Sixt completely prohibits Canadian border crossings.[1] However, there are some restrictions at companies that allow crossings.

Geographic Restrictions

Geographic restrictions on car rentals vary based on your rental location.

The rental company may require you to rent your vehicle from a participating location near the U.S.-Canadian border in order to drive into Canada,[2][3] or it may restrict your travel to certain provinces within Canada.[4]

Vehicle Restrictions

Most rental agencies restrict border crossings for certain vehicle classes.

Standard small and mid-size cars are usually eligible for border crossings, but the rental company may not allow crossings for exotic, luxury, or large-capacity vehicles.[5][6]

ID Requirements

You must have proper identification to enter Canada — which, for most drivers and passengers, will be a passport with at least one blank page.[7][8]

If you’re a lawful permanent resident of the U.S., you must provide a valid green card or other proof of status along with your passport.[8]

For U.S. and Canadian citizens who cross the border frequently, a NEXUS pre-screening program card can also serve as identification.[9][10][11] However, note that if you aren’t already a NEXUS member, the application processing time is 12 to 14 months.[12]

Visa Requirements

Tourists visiting Canada for less than 180 days do not need a visa.[7]

If you’re planning a longer trip or traveling for business, you may need a visa, Electronic Travel Authorization, and/or work permit.[13] You can find out which documents you’ll need by entering your travel details on the Government of Canada website.


None of the car rental agencies that allow border crossings require additional insurance to drive into Canada.[14]

The company may provide a Non-Resident Insurance Card to verify that your existing insurance is valid in Canada.[15]

Re-entry Requirements

When you re-enter the U.S., you may need to show a Customs and Border Protection officer written notice from the rental company that you are authorized to drive the vehicle across the border.[16]

Canadian Border Crossing Policies by Company

Below, we list the Canadian border crossing policies at each major U.S. rental company.

We gathered this information by viewing each company’s border crossing policy and speaking with customer service representatives at rental counters near the border.

ACE Rent a Car

  • Allows Canadian border crossings? At select locations near the border[17]
  • Restrictions: Must give advance notice that you plan to cross the border[14][18][19]
  • Border crossing fees: May charge a fee of around $100, depending on the location; may also charge penalties of $50 to $100 if you cross the border without notice[14][18][19]
  • Find a rental

Alamo Rent a Car

  • Allows Canadian border crossings? Yes, for some vehicle classes[5][20]
  • Restrictions: Excludes one-way rentals, exotic and specialty vehicles, large passenger vans, and cargo vans[5][20]
  • Border crossing fees: None[20]
  • Find a rental

Avis Rent a Car

  • Allows Canadian border crossings? Yes, at most locations[15]
  • Restrictions: You must notify your rental location that you plan to cross the border when making your reservation. Note that one-way travel into Canada is only available from select locations near the border. Avis will provide a Non-Resident Insurance Card to verify that you have auto insurance that will work in Canada.[15][21]
  • Border crossing fees: None[21]
  • Find a rental

Budget logo


  • Allows Canadian border crossings? Varies by location; generally allows it at locations near the Canadian border[2]
  • Restrictions: You must inform Budget that you intend to cross the border. Budget will provide a non-resident insurance card at the rental counter (at no additional cost), which you must always keep inside the vehicle.[2]
  • Border crossing fees: None[22]
  • Find a rental

Dollar Car Rental logo

Dollar Car Rental

  • Allows Canadian border crossings? Yes, at most locations[4][23]
  • Restrictions: Some locations have additional geographic restrictions, such as mileage limits or the ability to travel only within a particular Canadian province.[4][23]
  • Border crossing fees: None[23]
  • Find a rental

Enterprise logo

Enterprise Rent-A-Car

  • Allows Canadian border crossings? Yes, at most locations[6]
  • Restrictions: May exclude certain exotic cars, large passenger vans, cargo vans, or other specialty vehicles[6]
  • Border crossing fees: None[24]
  • Find a rental

Fox Rent A Car Logo

Fox Rent A Car

  • Allows Canadian border crossings? Only at its Seattle location[3]
  • Restrictions: Rental must originate in Seattle and cross into the province of British Columbia only; you can’t travel to other regions. You cannot get a one-way rental with a drop-off location in Canada.[3]
  • Border crossing fees: None[25]
  • Find a rental

Getaround logo


  • Allows Canadian border crossings? Yes[26]
  • Restrictions: Must meet Getaround’s standard guest eligibility requirements and stay within your mileage limit (generally 20 miles per reservation hour or up to 200 miles per day)[27][26]
  • Border crossing fees: None, but you’ll pay $0.50 per mile if you exceed the mileage limit.[26][28]
  • Find a rental

Hertz logo


  • Allows Canadian border crossings? Yes, at select locations near the U.S.-Canadian border[29]
  • Restrictions: You must get approval from Hertz before traveling.[29]
  • Border crossing fees: None[29]
  • Find a rental

National Car Rental logo

National Car Rental

  • Allows Canadian border crossings? Yes, at most locations[30][31]
  • Restrictions: Some vehicle types are prohibited from border crossings, including exotic cars and large-capacity passenger vans.[30][31] One-way rentals into Canada are not available.[32][31]
  • Border crossing fees: None[31]
  • Find a rental

Payless Car Rental logo

Payless Car Rental

  • Allows Canadian border crossings? Only with prior notice[33]
  • Restrictions: Must get written authorization at the rental counter and follow any additional requirements and restrictions required by the renting location[33]
  • Border crossing fees: Vary at the discretion of the renting location[33]
  • Find a rental

Sixt logo


  • Allows Canadian border crossings? No[1]
  • Restrictions: Your rental car must remain within the continental U.S.[1]
  • Border crossing fees: Sixt may charge a penalty if you drive into Canada unauthorized.[34]
  • Find a rental

Thrifty Car Rental logo

Thrifty Car Rental

  • Allows Canadian border crossings? Yes[35][36]
  • Restrictions: There may be restrictions on how far you can travel into Canada or to which provinces, depending on your rental location.[35][36]
  • Border crossing fees: None[37]
  • Find a rental

Turo logo


  • Allows Canadian border crossings? Yes[38]
  • Restrictions: Must keep a copy of the vehicle registration, your rental agreement, and your car’s incident card handy at all times[38]
  • Border crossing fees: None, but keep in mind that you will pay a fee per mile if you exceed the distance limit in your car-sharing agreement.[39]
  • Find a rental

Zipcar logo


  • Allows Canadian border crossings? Yes[40]
  • Restrictions: You don’t need additional documentation or permission to drive into Canada, but be sure to follow your mileage limit if you’re traveling a far distance. Zipcar trips originating in the U.S. include 180 miles per day.[40][41]
  • Border crossing fees: None, but there’s a $0.58 per mile fee if you exceed your mileage limit.[42]
  • Find a rental
  1. https://www.sixt.com/help-center/articles/out-of-country/#/[][][]
  2. https://www.budget.com/en/help/usa-faqs/cross-into-canada[][][]
  3. https://www.foxrentacar.com/en/locations/united-states/washington/seattle-airport/rental-policies.html[][][]
  4. https://www.dollar.com/AboutUs/GeneralPolicies.aspx#GeographicLimitations[][][]
  5. https://www.alamo.com/en/customer-support/car-rental-faqs/driving-cross-border.html[][][]
  6. https://www.enterprise.com/en/help/faqs/driving-rental-car-to-mexico-and-canada.html[][][]
  7. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Canada.html[][]
  8. https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada/entry-requirements-country.html#us-citizens[][]
  9. https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/td-dv-eng.html#s3[]
  10. https://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/nexus[]
  11. https://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/nexus/nexus-eligibility[]
  12. https://ttp.cbp.dhs.gov/[]
  13. https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada.html[]
  14. https://www.acerentacar.com/Locations/Terms/JFKO03[][][]
  15. https://www.avis.com/en/help/usa-faqs/driving-to-mexico-canada[][][]
  16. https://help.cbp.gov/s/article/Article-248?language=en_US[]
  17. ACE Rent a Car location customer service representatives[]
  18. https://www.acerentacar.com/Locations/Terms/NYCC36[][]
  19. https://www.acerentacar.com/Locations/Terms/NYCC37[][]
  20. Alamo Rent a Car location customer service representatives[][][]
  21. Avis location customer service representatives[][]
  22. Budget location customer service representatives[]
  23. Dollar Car Rental location customer service representatives[][][]
  24. Enterprise location customer service representatives[]
  25. Fox Rent A Car location customer service representatives[]
  26. https://www.getaround.com/terms/guest-policy[][][]
  27. https://www.getaround.com/terms/eligibility-requirements[]
  28. https://help.getaround.com/hc/en-us/articles/204371464-Mileage-Cap[]
  29. Hertz location customer service representatives[][][]
  30. https://www.nationalcar.com/en/support/car-rental-faqs/driving-to-canada-mexico.html[][]
  31. National Car Rental location customer service representatives[][][][]
  32. https://www.nationalcar.com/en/support/car-rental-faqs/one-way-rentals.html[]
  33. https://www.paylesscar.com/en/customer-service/faq/global/rental-policies[][][]
  34. Sixt customer service (888) 749-8227[]
  35. https://www.thrifty.com/Car_Rental_Information/content/Canada_Car_Rental.aspx[][]
  36. https://www.thrifty.com/AboutUs/content/GeneralPolicies.aspx[][]
  37. Thrifty Car Rental location customer service representatives[]
  38. https://help.turo.com/en_us/driving-across-borders-r1rjLfrgi[][]
  39. https://help.turo.com/en_us/distance-included-in-trip-ryIbENeV9[]
  40. https://support.zipcar.com/hc/en-us/articles/115004485367-Can-I-drive-my-Zipcar-outside-of-the-country-[][]
  41. https://support.zipcar.com/hc/en-us/articles/360025161813-What-do-I-need-to-know-before-my-first-Trip-[]
  42. https://support.zipcar.com/hc/en-us/articles/220675907[]

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