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Taking car rental to Canada

uop1497

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Hello,
We will have a car rental at Seattle airport (with Alamo, booked thru Costco) Does anyone have any experience of taking Car rental (Alamo) to Vancouver Canada . If so, please share.

Also, Does anyone know how long it may take to cross US / Canada the border . We will pick up a car rental at 6:00pm and wonder should I drive to Vancouver after that or is it better to stay over night in Seattle .

Thank you
 

DaveNV

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It can vary from a few minutes to a couple of hours, depending on day, time of day, which crossing you choose, and whether they pick you for a more in depth search. Seattle airport is about 90 minutes to the border, so plan accordingly. Also, remember that everyone will need a passport, or equivalent.

Call Alamo in Seattle and ask about taking a car to Canada. Also, make sure your insurance carrier covers you in Canada.

Dave
 

uop1497

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Sorry to post in the wrong section. Mod, please move it to travel section for me . Thank you

BMWguynw,

Is there a way to get to Alamo Seattle car rental . The told free number can not get me connects to Car rental desk in Seattle airport
 

Passepartout

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To add to what Bimmer said, if you land in Seattle at 6:00 pm, you probably won't get your luggage, your car, (even with SEA's great car rental center- there is a free shuttle bus just outside baggage claim) and away from the airport for a while- and Sea-Tac is south of Seattle, so you'll have a good bit of traffic. Whether you want to go all the way to the border (Blaine) or not is up to you, but you certainly could go a good bit of the way. Like maybe Bellingham, or further.

The border crossing Northbound is usually not a big deal. Allow a half hour. It might take a little less- or if you are there at a peak travel time it can be more. Southbound into U.S. ALWAYS takes longer.

Jim
 

traveldaddy

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Your rental contract should state a geographic restriction. If you booked online, go back to same place and look for geographic restrictions on the site. Should have a link of this where you select the vehicle (Costco does anyway)

A little reversed, but I have a trip, but going from Canada to the US with a rental. No restriction at all for going to contitental US. Can't say if the reverse is true, but they are all multinational companies that operate on both sides of the border, so my guess will be you are fine. Likely the same for insurance - it is pretty seemless these days - but you should check to be sure.

Have a safe trip.
 

Luanne

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A couple of years back I rented a car in Seattle and drove it to Vancouver. I think it was through Avis. I was planning on driving it back to Seattle, but changed my mind and left it in Vancouver (and flew home from there). I don't remember there being any issues, or anything special in regards to insurance.
 

uop1497

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Thank you ALL for come in to this thread to help me out.

Jim,

My plan is If it is unsafe to cross the border at night, I will stay at a town closer to border and cross it in the morning.

traveldaddy,

I currently have a car reservation for my Glacier trip. It does show the limitation of number of miles and do not allow me to bring the rental car into Canada .

For Seattle reservation, regarding a geographic restriction on Costco car rental webpage , It just say unlimited mileage only . I click on term and conditions, but do not see anything listed whether or not, I can bring the car into Canada . I will give Costco a call to see what they said about it.
 

qb_bc

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Others have given good advice. It depends upon when you are travelling and what day of the week. if you are travelling on a Sunday night the delay could be longer. Other days of the week, the delay may not be as bad.

If you have a reservation in Vancouver for that night, remember that you will be travelling in the dark. If you are flexible, I would stay the night in Bellingham and go to the border in the morning. Bellingham is smaller, easier to find your way around and less costly for a place to stay.

I would get out of Seattle after you arrive. The morning commute travel could be nasty. You will either go I5 or I405, Both are bad in rush hour and you will be going from south side to north side. Even if you don't want to go up to Belllingham the night you arrive, get to the north side of Seattle.
 

Passepartout

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Jim,

My plan is If it is unsafe to cross the border at night, I will stay at a town closer to border and cross it in the morning.

I will give Costco a call to see what they said about it.

It is certainly not unsafe to cross the border at night. It's a 24 hour crossing. 2 really, one for cars and one trucks though cars can use either. There are hotels, restaurants on both sides of the border. it would depend on when your reservation starts. If it's the evening of your flight into Seattle, then you're pretty well committed. If not, Bellingham is a good choice, with lots of hotels you might have status or points with to choose from (use TripAdvisor if nothing else).

You WILL want to have clearance from the car rental company to take THEIR car out of the U.S.

Jim
 

sue1947

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Just a thought: Do you need a car in Vancouver? If you are staying downtown, the answer is probably no and you won't have to deal with parking. There is good public transit anyplace you want to go in town and you can rent a car for a day trip if necessary. It might be cheaper to take AMtrak to Vancouver and rent a car only for those days you need it.

Sue
 

Luanne

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I would call the car rental company, not Costco, to check.
 

DaveNV

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Sorry to post in the wrong section. Mod, please move it to travel section for me . Thank you

BMWguynw,

Is there a way to get to Alamo Seattle car rental . The told free number can not get me connects to Car rental desk in Seattle airport


I live here, and have never rented a car here. But a little creative Googling turns up this page:

https://www.alamo.com/en_US/car-ren.../US/SEAT71-sea-tac-international-airport.html

The phone number is toll free, but is different than the one on the main Alamo page. Worth a shot, anyway. And if you do get a national level rep, ask for the local number in Seattle, or just ask about taking the car to Canada. I doubt it will be a problem, but you should ask, just to be sure.

Good luck!
Dave
 

happymum

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Not relevant to your situation, but of interest: I believe it is Budget that charges $5/day extra to take a car from Vancouver, in to the US. I have no idea why, but do know that I refuse to rent from them!
 

Iwant2gonow

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This Sunday we leave for a week at Banff and a second week at Glacier. We fly in and out of Calgary. I rented a car with Thrifty through autoslash. My husband called to see if driving to the US is okay. They said only into Montana.

So glad that is all we had planned. I'm glad we checked but in the future will check much sooner;)
 

traveldaddy

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I currently have a car reservation for my Glacier trip. It does show the limitation of number of miles and do not allow me to bring the rental car into Canada .

For Seattle reservation, regarding a geographic restriction on Costco car rental webpage , It just say unlimited mileage only . I click on term and conditions, but do not see anything listed whether or not, I can bring the car into Canada . I will give Costco a call to see what they said about it.

I had to get on and check, as I was wondering if this had anything to do with the US versus Canadian Costco website. So I went into both and check for a seattle rental and I could not find the geographic restrictions link I had referred to earlier. Thought I was losing my marbles.....

I checked a rental for Montreal (where I will be renting and had seen the link), and the link was there.

So I am guessing it is rental location specific.......and I did not know that.

I apologize for any confusion.
 

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It's been about ten years since I rented a jeep in Seattle and drove to Whistler, B.C. I don't recall any restrictions on bringing the rental into Canada. I do recall a switch on the dashboard that changed the "miles" into "kilometers" so we could comply with the local speed limits.

I think QB B.C. made some good points about ditching the morning traffic jam in Seattle and pinpointing a good place to stay the night. I like the idea mostly because the scenery in that area is so gorgeous I wouldn't want to miss it by driving in the dark.
 

Chrispee

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I would choose to grab the rental car and drive straight to Vancouver. If you depart Sea-Tac at 7:00pm, you should have light Seattle traffic, less likelihood of a long border lineup at around 9:30pm, and very little traffic going into Vancouver around 10:15pm.
 
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