Car rental options in Toronto
Car rental in Toronto can be a little overwhelming. Options are seemingly endless, but determining when and how you plan on using the car seems to be the best way to determine which company to use. For all of the options available, though, I haven't been able to find a company that makes hybrids consistently available for one- or two-day use. In any case, here are some options for renting a car in Toronto. Keep in mind that rates can vary considerably based on how early you book and which pickup location you choose.
A big chain, obviously the advantage is a wide selection of vehicles to choose from and several pickup locations (nine in Toronto). You can get a midsized car for one day from around $50 all in, with unlimited free kilometers. Hertz has a pickup location at Pearson International Airport, though rates are generally more expensive at the airport.
Another big chain, this one advertises two locations that offer hybrid vehicles. I called both, and found out that neither actually has hybrids currently in its fleet. Hm. Enterprise seems to be just slightly cheaper than Hertz, but within a few dollars. There are 21 pickup locations advertised in the GTA (Toronto and surrounding areas), one of which is at Pearson.
Budget seems to be right on par with the other chains, at about $50 all in for an economy car for one day with unlimited free kilometres. However, depending on which pickup location use choose (10 in Toronto, plus one at Pearson), the price can fluctuate within a few dollars.
Dollar has 15 locations in the GTA including pickup at Pearson. A midsized car for one day will cost around $50 with unlimited free kilometres. If you're booking through their website, look out for the "City Special" tab which can get you a discount of about $8.
National has just two locations in Toronto; one near Metro Hall and one at Pearson. A midsized car for one day will cost about $47 with unlimited kilometres from Metro Hall, and considerably more (~$77) from Pearson.
Might be worth considering Avis if you think you'll need a car for an extended period of time. It offers a "mini-lease" program for a minimum of two months. Prices vary considerably depending on when you'll start the lease, how long you plan on having it, and what type of vehicle you want, so best to call to get a quote. Avis has nine pickup locations in Toronto including one at the airport, and daily rates are around $53 with unlimited kilometres included.
For all your impress-your-first date needs. You can rent a Ferrari 355 Spyder for $599 a day (more on weekends), plus $75 for insurance, plus a $5,000 security deposit, plus $0.95 per kilometer after 100. But the look on your date's face will surely be priceless...
A more long-term option for car rental. Zipcar offers two membership plans; an occasional driving plan with an annual fee of $65 and an extra value plan with no annual fee but a minimum $50 per month commitment. The advantage is you don't have to worry about paying for gas or insurance as with typical car rentals, and there's less hassle when booking. See also: Autoshare
A homegrown option for car rental is Kaizen's. The rental company sprung up in Toronto about a year and a half ago and offers midsize rentals for about $45 a day, with 200 km included.
Wheels 4 Rent
Another local option, this company doesn't advertise specifically which vehicles are in its fleet, but offers slightly lower rates. Daily rentals for cars start at $36 plus tax and 200km included.
Did I miss any good car rental options? Add them to the comments below.