Ottawa Airport Car Rental: The Best Companies

by ELIZABETH PENNEY  |  Published August 23, 2017

Travelers flying into Ottawa International Airport (YOW) will find six car rental companies on site. Researching for the company that best suits your needs can be a challenge, so has done all the work for you. We analyzed the six companies at YOW airport to find our top picks in three categories: most affordable, best for families and top luxury options.

Ottawa International Airport, Ontario, Canada (Photo: Gordon Bell via Flickr)

At Ottawa Airport, car rental companies are located across the street from the terminal on Parkade Level 1. Hours are typically from 6:30 or 7 a.m. until 1 a.m. the following morning. Fortunately, most companies have after-hours drop off. Several off-site companies also service Ottawa Airport and provide shuttle service to and from the airport terminal.

To determine the recommendations for the best car rental companies in each category at YOW, compared rates, fleet availability, policies and user ratings. The following are our top choices.

Most Affordable: Avis

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Avis was the low-price leader for car rentals at YOW on several dates, with prices far lower than its closest competitor, Budget. This was the case not just for economy cars, such as the Chevrolet Spark, but also for standard and full-size choices, including the Hyundai Sonata and Chevrolet Impala. Avis was also much more affordable over the busy holiday season, again offering much better prices than Budget in similar classes. But price wasn’t the only factor that went into’s top picks for cheap rental cars; services and amenities were also considered. Renters consistently gave high marks to Avis for its quick drop-off times and the overall condition of its vehicles, making Avis a true value when it comes to car rentals at Ottawa Airport.

Best for families: Budget

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Those flying into Ottawa Airport with a large group in tow can find a vehicle to suit their needs at Budget. Prices were lower than other companies for vehicles with large seating and storage capacity, including the Chevrolet Suburban and Dodge Grand Caravan. Infant, child and booster seats are available for rent at YOW for CAD $13 a day. Traveling with children can be hectic, but Budget’s Fastbreak Service can make it a bit easier. Upon arrival, Fastbreak members can skip the lines and just pick up their keys, while at return, they simply park, lock their vehicle and drop the keys in the return box. Budget also gets consistently high ratings, with renters praising fast pick-up and drop-off times along with the cleanliness of vehicles.

Top luxury option: Enterprise

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Travelers wanting to tour Ontario in style can do so in a luxury rental car from Enterprise. Prices were slightly lower than other companies on several dates for high-end vehicles, such as the Lincoln MKZ. National rents similar vehicles at its Ottawa Airport location, but for slightly more than Enterprise. Plus, Enterprise is known for its customer service, with near-perfect ratings in this area. Renters have also given the company top-notch ratings for the overall value, speedy pick-up and drop-off times, and the condition of vehicles.