Driving a Rental motorhome Across the U.S. / Canada Border

Tips for Driving a Rental motorhome or rental car Across the U.S. / Canada Border

Crossing the U.S. / Canada Border in a rental motorhome or rental car

Most rental companies, will allow you to drive a rental motorhome or car into Canada. However, the companies want to know about your plans when you check out the motorhome /car. Hence, the first step is to ask the company from which you’re renting whether it allows Canadian travel. If the company says yes, book your motorhome /car , and then let the agency know when and where you’re planning to go.

Toll Bridges Along the US Canada Border

Driving a rental motorhome across the U.S. / Canada Border

Below are general items that apply any time you are going to take a rented vehicle across the U.S. / Canada border in either direction.

  • You must let the rental company know you are going to take their car out of the country, and they must confirm it is ok.  Not all companies will allow cross border travel, and in fact, there may be different rules between different rental locations for the same company. You will be violating your renters agreement if you cross without their approval, and all kinds of very expensive problems will come up if you get a ticket or have an accident.  In addition, U.S. Customs actually requires that the rental company has given their consent for the car to leave the country so it had better be in the rental agreement.
  • Auto Insurance –  Most auto insurance will cover you in both countries but you must confirm this with your provider.  You must always carry your usual insurance card but you may need to get an insurance card for the country you are visiting as well.  Your carrier should provide this at no charge.   If you take out the rental agencies insurance they should issue you a non-resident insurance card which must be kept in the rental vehicle.
  • Make sure you understand how the mileage rates will work when converting between metric and U.S. standard measurements.
  • Keep in mind that rental agencies are never responsible for legal fees, fines or tickets.  You may see additional penalties or fees if they end up being assessed against the vehicle.
  • Make sure you have all the normal required documentation for a border crossing such as passports and drivers license.  If you are driving a rental car and have other basic documentation issues you are just asking for a secondary inspection.


Persons wishing to travel to Canada who are not U.S. citizens (ie: foreigner) may be required to get a tourist visa from the Canadian consulate in the country from which they are arriving from. If you are in the USA on a visa and wish to visit Canada while in New York there is no Canadian consulate located in Niagara Falls. YOU CANNOT OBTAIN A TOURIST VISA AT ANY OF THE BORDER CROSSINGS. When contacting the Consul, inform them that you wish to obtain a “temporary resident visa”. As of April 1st 2012 the fee per person is $75 for a single entry visa, $150 for a multiple entry visa or $400 for a family (multiple or single entry). To contact the Canadian consulate in Buffalo call 716-858 9591 Fax: 716-852-2477. For online information visit the Canadian Consul Website