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  1. Default Ottawa - California

    My friends (4) and I are planning a trip to Cali this summer from Ottawa. One of my friends was supposed to have a van that we could use for the trip, but it seems that it might not be possible any more. Can anyone suggest other ways that we can get a car for the trip? I was thinking of renting a van, but I think the age requirement is 25, and we are all 19/18 years old. We are thinking of going for 2-3 weeks including travel time. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default It Will Not Be Easy

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forum.

    You basically have three chances to get a car or van for your trip. You can rent one, borrow one, or buy one. Borrowing is dependent on the availability of a suitable vehicle amongst those who might lend it to you, and you've apparently tried that and had it not work out. One word of warning on this - If you find another car that someone will lend you, be sure that you also obtain a signed and notarized permission from the owner of record that you can drive the car and take it out of country.

    Buying is perhaps the most costly, since you not only have to find a car that you can afford, but then have to spend more money to make sure that it is up to such a long trip, that it is properly titled and insured, and that it continues to operate correctly for 6,000 to 8,000 miles. The one advantage you have in buying that many people who ask about this option don't, is that you have time before your trip to find a suitable vehicle and after the trip to sell it and recoup some of your money. Just remember that the miles you'll have put on the car will reduce its resale value.

    Finally, there is renting, which in your case is not a great option. The base price to rent a mini-van (You will need something that big for 5 people for that long.) from Ottawa for three weeks is about C$1200. On top of this you will have to add C$6/day for each additional driver, C$27/day for each driver under 25, and the killers: The principle driver must be over 25, no driver can be under 21, and if you take the car out of Canada, you are no longer entitled to free unlimited mileage. Some of these rules vary by car rental company, but they all have rules that effectively mean that renting will not be an option for you.

    Sorry I couldn't bear any better news, but those are the facts. If you and your friends are really committed to this trip, then you will find a way, even if it's to all get jobs for a year to finance a truly great adventure.


  3. Default

    thanks for the reply,
    It looks like we're going to have to buy a van.

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