Airport Car Rentals in Toronto

Have you ever booked a car and just weren’t sure how the rental experience would go? I’ve rented cars too many times to count yet I still read the contract before leaving the lot because I want to be sure there aren’t any surprise charges.

I also like to reserve car rentals through priceline.com and I always choose pay later and the free cancelation option because let’s face it, we all never know what might happen with our flights.

I normally rent cars from the big names like Avis, Budget, and enterprise, which are all on the property at the Toronto Pearson Airport. This time my reservation was made on Priceline for an off-site rental company called ez car rental.

The name implies ease, but from the start it didn’t seem easy to me. I arrived at terminal 3 and then took a train to Viscount Station, which is about a ten minute trip (including your walk through the airport to get to the train). When I got off at Viscount, I took the escalator to the bottom and began to figure out what to do next.

I saw other people come down the escalator with puzzled behavior too.

There is a phone in the corner that you have to pick up and alert your rental provider that you have arrived. The shuttle bus will take 15 minutes or more to show up. I waited 20 minutes and the place was literally 5 minutes away.

I still have the rental car now so upon return of the car I’ll do an update on how the full experience panned out.

So far, I don’t like having to rent a car off-site from Pearson Airport. The price was good though, so I’m grateful for that.

I’ll be back next week with my update.

Off Airport shuttle pick up in Toronto
Off Airport Car Rentals shuttle pick up at Pearson International Airport, YYZ

Fast Track Through the Airport

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YVR (Vancouver) airport at 10:00 PM. The Nexus lane is closed at 10 PM and everyone goes through the same line. Don’t even bother expecting to be expedited here.  Your Nexus status doesn’t apply after 10 PM.

Frequent travelers heading to the U.S. have the option to apply for a Global Entry card to speed through the customs and immigration.  Before being approved to obtain this status, you must pay and then go through a full screening process and an interview.  The whole point of getting this status is to fast track your way through security after you check in or upon arrival at the airport, depending on your port of entry into the U.S.  With this status my husband and I have shaved at least 30 minutes each time.

For U.S. and Canadian residents, you also have the option to apply for a NEXUS card.

The following statement is taken directly from the CBP website:

NEXUS 

The NEXUS program allows pre-screened travelers expedited processing when entering the United States and Canada. Program members use dedicated processing lanes at designated northern border ports of entry, NEXUS kiosks when entering Canada by air and Global Entry kiosks when entering the United States via Canadian Preclearance airports. NEXUS members also receive expedited processing at marine reporting locations.

The NEXUS program allows pre-screened travelers expedited processing when entering the United States and Canada. 

Unfortunately, if you arrive at YVR after 10pm at a time when you absolutely need to speed through…you will run into the madness you see in the above photo.

I have been to more than 25 airports and as much as I love YVR, I have to say I was recently disappointed with when I was ready to go through the Nexus line only to be told that it is closed.  It is only open from 8AM-10PM.  What kind of foolishness is this?   The whole point of having this Nexus card is to avoid these sort of lines. Shame on you YVR Customs.

 

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