USA and Canada Holiday Hints
Many states maintain visitor centres on their main Interstate entrances. These are usually well worth visiting to obtain useful information.
Some roads into California have fruit inspection stations, designed to prevent the spread of infection to crops. You have to surrender any fruit you are carrying at these inspection stations.
Subject to any immigration or visa complications, you can drive from the USA to Canada and vice-versa. You have to stop and show your passport at the border, and visitors from outside the US or Canada (for example, visitors from Britain) almost always have to park their car and visit the customs office to have their passports stamped on first entering each country.
Some of the roads north of the US/Mexican border have inspection stations designed to catch illegal immigrants attempting to enter the USA from that country.
However, some car rental companies may impose a restriction on which states, provinces and territories their cars can be driven into. For example you may be limited to driving in the state or province where the car was picked up and those immediately adjacent to it. Small local companies are far more likely to impose these restrictions than the well known national companies, and the restriction may be quite reasonably based on the problems a small company would have in supporting you should you encounter problems with the car a long way from their nearest depot.
Also, some car rental companies, especially small local companies, may impose a restriction against their cars being taken from the USA into Canada or vice-versa. The only well-known national company that we have heard of with possible problems in this regard is Dollar. There are no problems taking a car rented from Alamo from the USA into Canada. You almost always have to return rental cars to the country where they were picked up.
If you plan to drive a car rented in Canada into the USA and back again, check that this is ok with the car rental company. Sverker Forsberg of Uppsala, Sweden, kindly sent me this message:
I noticed you mentioning that you don't know whether it is possible to drive a car rented in Canada in the USA. My wife and I did this in 1992. We rented a car in Toronto (Avis or Hertz, I can't remember) and drove it mostly in USA (as far as California) and when needed we also got the service we required from the rental company. We returned the car to Toronto.On the other hand, in Sep-02 Aaron A. Lehman of Slave Lake, Alberta reported:
I just recently tried to rent a car from Thrifty in Ottawa to drive to New York State and back. They do not allow their cars to cross the border. We booked with Hertz. It was more expensive, but they allowed border crossing.For insurance reasons no US or Canadian car rental companies allow their cars to be taken into Mexico. (Note however that New Mexico is a normal American state, part of the USA.)
Some car rental operators impose a restriction against their cars being driven in parts of New York City, especially the island of Manhattan.
Most car rental companies will not allow cars rented in Alaska to be taken out of that state.
Most if not all car rental operators impose a restriction against driving on unpaved roads. Doing so will void CDW/LDW and all insurance.
No car rental company allows young people under 21 to drive their cars. Some allow drivers aged 21 to 25 but make a hefty charge.
Immigration, Visas, etc - including information about visiting Canada from the USA and vice-versa
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EMail me Please note that I am not in the car rental business or the travel trade and I cannot provide any more information on car rental other than that presented here. Nor can I process any requests for quotations or reservations for car rental - these should be directed to car rental companies or travel agents.
Most recently modified 4-Oct-02