Car Rental at Toronto Airport: The best companies

by Mark Rebindaine  |  Published October 7, 2019

Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ), or simply ‘Pearson’, as it is often referred to, is the primary international airport serving Toronto and the surrounding region known as the Golden Horseshoe in the Canadian province of Ontario. Located 22.5km northwest of Downtown Toronto, it’s the busiest airport in Canada, handling nearly 50 million passengers each year.

A plane lined up at the terminal at Toronto Pearson International Airport (Photo: Robert Linsdell via Flickr / CC BY 2.0)

The car rental companies at Pearson are easy to find. Avis, Budget, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Alamo can be found on Level 1 of Terminal 1 or in Terminal 3’s parking garages.

To determine which rental car companies offer the best vehicles across our three categories (Most Affordable, Best for Luxury, Best for Minivans), has carefully researched prices, availability, policies and customer reviews for each company based in the rental car centre. Our findings are below:

Most affordable: ALAMO & THRIFTY

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There’s so much to see in Toronto, from driving out to the Algonquin Provincial Park to visiting the incredible Niagara Falls. However, distances are vast in Canada so reliability and fuel efficiency are important factors when considering a cheap car rental. On our sample dates, Alamo consistently had some of the best deals, with a Mitsubishi Mirage being leased out for %$40 per day, while Thrifty’s Ford Focus also stood out. Both agencies scored well on customer feedback too – achieving 8.6/10 and 8/10, respectively.

Best for luxury cars: THRIFTY & AVIS

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Thrifty is known to have the lowest short rentals – and the luxury category proved to be no exception. American classic car manufacturers like Buick, Chevrolet and Cadillac feature heavily in their fleet which, on our sample dates, were being leased out in the $50-65 per day price range. For a Ford, we’d recommend Avis, which had the Escape, Edge, Taurus and the Ford Mustang Cabrio at extremely competitive prices. Although Avis is predominantly known for its exemplary customer service, they also have a handy app that allows clients to directly manage their reservation from booking to drop-off, saving them hassle and, most importantly, precious holiday time.

Best for Minivans: ALAMO & AVIS

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In general, car rentals prices in Ontario compare favourably to renting in the U.S. states across the border – and the ‘Minivan’ category is no exception. Almost all the rental agencies in Toronto offer the Dodge Grand Caravan and the Nissan Quest with similar terms and conditions. Avis bucks the trend by leasing out the fuel-efficient Chrysler Town and Country with leather-trimmed interior, power sunroof and heated steering wheel among its many features.