The reason you need Banff or Calgary car rental is because there are lots hiking trail heads can be difficult to access without a vehicle. Public transportation is very limit to those trailheads.
While you are visiting Banff, you can do ever you want, go anywhere you want at any time. You can choose the driving routes you like.
You can do/see as much as you can in your limited vacation time frame.
You can go off-tracking stops with beautiful scene which are not introduced by sightseeing tours.
There are over four million visitors to visit Banff National Park each year. Besides, Calgary is the capital of oil and gas industry.
Can you imagine how many travelers go after Calgary car rental companies and car rental in Banff? So it means you should book your car rental in advance.
Before booking the car rental, I would suggest:
First of all, make a list of what you need, such as type of car (pay attention to the specifics of each car type to fit your luggage before booking), infant/toddle car seat, ski rack or more. Keep in your mind that additional requests will be charged extra.
Then, start shopping around with the list you made.
Here are tips of saving your money for car rental:
Book early. Normally the car rental rates depend on how many vehicles the company has left on the lot at the time the rental is made, so sooner is better. Reserve your car at least a week in advance.
The rates are typically are cheaper on weekend. But weekly rate are the best. If you plan on using the vehicle for five days or more, choose the weekly rate.
Normally Calgary airport car rental can be more expensive due to surcharges. Try to pick up from nearby rental location to save money.
WestJet guests receive preferred car rental rate from Budget, Alamo, and National. It worth to check since they're associated with the airlines.
I found that Enterprise Rent a Car had lower rates compared to its competitors in Calgary. They have weekend specials as well that make renting a car very affordable.
You still need to check all of Calgary car rentals to compare just in case some of car rental companies might have promotion at the moment you are looking.
To lower your rate, check if your credit card provider gets you an automatic discount, as well as CAA/AAA or AirMiles or any other consumer club. There may be some restrictions on the deals, but it might be very worthwhile.
Make sure to check your employer who might have a negotiated rate due to frequently car rentals.
Check whether your insurance policy for your own car at home has car rental insurance (this is an add on, not automatic, so check your policy). If so, you do not need buy extra rental insurance.
Check whether you have a credit card that includes car rental insurance. This generally applies for higher end platinum or Gold cards that have annual fees such as: RBC Avion, CIBC Aerogold, most platinum or Gold Visa cards, Corporate Amex, and many others. If you are not sure, call your credit card company ahead of time to verify.
If you travel with little one, you could save around $10 a day just by bringing your own safety car seat. If you are rent a minivan, some company might not charge extra for car seat. You need check it out when booking.
The refuel charge is very expensive. When you pick up car, check the fuel level. Make sure you fill up the fuel while returning the car.
If you are under 25 years old, be sure to check with Calgary car rentals companies about their specific policies. Some agencies require the driver to be at least 25 while other rental companies may allow younger drivers to rent for an additional fee. Have more than one driver? Be sure to ask if additional charges apply for more than one person driving the rental car.
“Do I need to rent a 4x4 in winter?”
It is nice to have when you drive up the mountains. But it is not necessary unless you really want to. As the roads in National Park are really well maintained all year around.
Yes, we do have the occasional bad snow storm, but they are rare. Most driving challenges here do not involve slippery conditions but rather visibility conditions due to blowing snow. Just use extra caution and SLOW DOWN, you will be fine.
If any part of highways can not be driven due to bad hazard condition, they will be closed officially. So do not worry.
The following is the list of major Calgary Car Rentals companies (column "Airport" indicates that the car rental company has airport on site office):
|Alamo Rental-A-Car||1 800 844 9041 / (403) 543 3985||Yes|
|Ambassador Limousine||(403) 299 4910||No|
|Avis Car & Truck Rental||1 800 879 2847 / (403) 221 2991||Yes|
|Budget Car & Truck Rental||1 800 268 8900 / (403) 226 1550||Yes|
|Discount Car & Truck Rental||1 866 310 2277 / (403) 299-1203||No|
|Dollar Rent-A-Car||1 800 800 3665 / (403) 221 1808||Yes|
|Driving Force||1 800 936 9353 / (403) 296 0770||No|
|Enterprise Rent-A-Car||1 800 736 8222 / (403) 233 8021||Yes|
|Executive Cars Inc.||(403) 686 6266||No|
|Hertz Canada Ltd.||1 800 263 0600 / (403) 221 1676||Yes|
|National Car & Truck Rental||1 800 227 7368 / (403) 221 1690||Yes|
|Routes Car & Truck Rental||1 866 467 6883 / (403) 398 3930||No|
|Thrifty Car Rental||1 800 847 4389 / (403) 221 1964||Yes|
If you want to pick-up Calgary car rental off-airport location, make sure to ask if the rental company has pick-up services.
Discount Car Rental provides courtesy shuttle service to their rental locations from airport.
Other companies also have free pick-up service to their locations.
Prior arrangements should be made for pick-up by contacting your car rental company in advance.
If you do not rent a car in Calgary and take a shuttle to Banff, you might just want make a car rental in Banff for one or two days during your vacation.
Here are the addresses and contacts of rental cars in Banff / Lake Louise:
|Avis||1 800 879 2847/(403) 762 3222||Cascade Plaza, Wolf S, Banff|
|Budget||1 800 268 8900/(403) 762 4565||202 Bear Street, Banff|
|Hertz||1 800 263 0600 /(403) 762 2027||127 Spray Avenue, Banff|
|Banff Rent-A-Car||(403) 722-3352||230 Lynx St, Banff|
|National - Banff||1 800 227 7368/(403) 762 2688||Corner Of Lynx & Caribou St, Banff|
|National - Lake Louise||1 800 227 7368 / (403)522-3870||Sampson Mall, Lake Louise|