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Get moving from Calgary with a rental car
No longer just an oversized oil town, Calgary has come into its own. Visitors to this bold city that sits between prairies and mountain peaks will be surprised by how cool it really is. Coffee shops, cafes, boutiques, and eateries as good as what you’ll find in any major city fill the CBD; the river offers a fantastic place to stroll, swim, and even surf. There’s still some cowboy spirit around the place—after all, this is home to the famous Stampede—but it just adds to the fun.
Calgary car rental locations
Most car rental companies at Calgary Airport have counters in the Rental Car Centre which is just across the roadway from the Domestic Terminal. All on-airport suppliers operate from here, including Avis, Thrifty, Budget and Enterprise Calgary Airport, making it simple for customers to fly in and drive away.
There are also off-airport options at Calgary Airport, including Routes Car Rental. To reach the depot, located near the airport, a free pick up service is provided by the car rental companies.
Tips for a great Calgary car rental adventure
With a car rental from Calgary, the city and region are yours to explore. There are many fantastic destinations to drive to within the urban area and so many great road trip possibilities beyond. The Canadian Rockies to the east are at the top of the list; it’s just 1.5 hours from Calgary to Banff. To the north is Edmonton; to the south the border with the United States.
Calgary Airport guide
Calgary International Airport (YYC) is the busiest in Alberta and handles many millions of passengers each year. It has an international terminal, a domestic terminal, and four runways, and is located less than 20 kilometers from the city center.
There are two in-terminal hotels, several airline lounges, a pay-per-use lounge, and a quiet space with yoga equipment where travelers can relax. Shopping and dining opportunities throughout both terminals are many and varied, and there are plenty of other services available: free WiFi, a spa, currency exchange, and even a barbershop.
When you rent a car, Calgary Intl Airport has a consolidated Rental Car Centre located directly across from the departures level. Follow the signs and proceed to the rental counter of your chosen provider to pick up the vehicle keys and rental agreement. Rental cars are parked within a short walk, just behind the car rental centre.
Tips for driving in Calgary and beyond
Whether you’re embarking on a road trip from Calgary or just pottering around the city, you’ll want to stay safe on the roads. The following tips are a great place to start when preparing for your rental car adventure.
- Visiting from overseas? Take note: in Canada, all vehicles including Calgary car rentals, must stay RIGHT. This can be a big adjustment for anyone used to driving on the left.
- The default speed limits in Alberta are 100 kilometers per hour on non-urban highways, 80 kph on urban highways, 50 kph on urban roads, and 30 kph near schools and playgrounds.
- If you’re heading outside the city limits and particularly into mountainous areas or prairies, be aware of the possibility of wildlife on roads. Moose especially are a major hazard!
- Always have water, food, a phone, and spare clothing in the vehicle when traveling long distances in your Calgary airport car rental.
- In the city, avoid traveling at peak commute times where possible.
- The blood alcohol concentration limit for drivers in Alberta is 0.05%. We recommend abstaining from alcohol entirely before getting behind the wheel.
Destination ideas for your Calgary car rental
With a rental car from Calgary Airport, you can take your pick of many fantastic destinations. Should you feel the open road calling, you might head out to one of Canada’s many urban centers: go north in your car hire to Edmonton, east to Winnipeg, or west through the mountains to Kelowna and beyond.
If you’re sticking closer to Calgary, you won’t be bored. There are so many places to see and things to do both in the city and within easy day-trip distance. Here are a few options to get your planning started!
Prince’s Island Park
This is an inner-city park and an island in the Bow River—several bridges connect it to the mainland, and you can combine a visit to this lovely outdoor recreation area with some shopping and dining downtown. Many events are held here.
Calgary has Canada’s third-largest chinatown, located to the northeast of the city center. Here you’ll find some fantastic eateries and shops. It’s a great place to wander for an afternoon.
This is a world-class facility housing more than a thousand animals from all over the globe. It also has some fascinating dinosaur displays. Perfect for a family outing!
For ten days each July, this is home to the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth”, Calgary’s own famous oversized rodeo with rides, headline music acts, food, food, more food, animal displays, and more. During the rest of the year, it’s an impressive venue with an array of concerts and events. Catch one if you can while on your car rental Calgary trip.
Banff National Park
This famous scenic mountain resort is just an hour and a half away from Calgary, a great destination for a day or overnight. Enjoy snowsports in the winter and hiking trails or other recreation opportunities in the summer.
Continue half an hour or so beyond Banff to visit Lake Louise. It’s one of the most photographed places in the world, and you’ll soon see why. This stunning emerald lake surrounded by mountain peaks will take your breath away!
Dinosaur Provincial Park
A few hours east of Calgary is this UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the world’s richest deposits of dinosaur fossils. There are hiking trails and a Dinosaur Visitor Center where visitors can look at and learn about fossils.
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Car rental Calgary Airport: Frequently asked questions
How much does it cost to rent a car at Calgary International Airport (YYC)?
The cost of a rental car from Calgary Airport will depend on several factors including the type of vehicle, time of year, chosen supplier, and duration of the entire rental period. To give a broad idea, you might expect to pay as little as CAD$45-50 per day for the cheapest Calgary rental cars and as much as CAD$600+ for a van, SUV, luxury vehicle, or people-mover.
To find the best car rental that suits your budget, make a search and filter the results according to your specifications. You can even see them sorted by highest or lowest price to spot the one that works for you.
What is the cheapest car rental company at Calgary Airport?
Consistently affordable car rental suppliers at Calgary Airport include Budget, Avis, Ace, and Alamo. Please proceed to the car rental centre so you can choose the best rental car company that suits your needs and schedule.
How old do I have to be to book Calgary Airport car rentals?
Most Canadian car rental suppliers require that you be 21 years of age (or older) to rent a car. Some will rent to drivers aged 18 plus but there is often a young driver fee applied in these cases—and sometimes for drivers aged up to 25.
Enter your age when searching to see options for car rentals from Calgary Airport that are available for you.
Can you take a rental car across the border?
Do you want to take your car rental to USA? Many car rental companies will allow this. Check the terms and conditions before you book if you are planning to take a car across the border.
Is it possible to book a one-way car rental at Calgary Airport?
Yes, many Calgary Airport car rental companies have depots nationally and internationally. You can even collect your keys from Calgary Airport and drop off your car rental in Vancouver, Toronto or Ottawa. Select your pick-up and drop-off rental location to see what is available.
Are there car rentals with unlimited mileage?
There certainly are. Check the listing under “free benefits included with your rental” to spot this feature. Always read your rental agreement for more details on one-way rentals.
What do I need to bring when I collect my car rental at Calgary International Airport (YYC)?
When you come to collect your Calgary airport car rental you should bring with you the following:
- Valid driver's license of all the named drivers. This could be a Canadian driver's license, home country driver's license, or an international driver's permit.
- A credit card in the name of the renter. This should have enough funds to cover any of the security deposit options.
- Passport / I.D.
How much does an Intermediate car rental cost in Calgary?
Rates for car rental in Calgary vary based on availability and time of year, but you can expect to find Intermediate models for hire around $41 per day.
What car rental agencies are at the Calgary Airport?
Car rental companies operating at Calgary International Airport include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Fox Rent a Car, Hertz, National, and Thrifty Car Rentals. These suppliers offer different vehicle types you can choose from.
Is it cheaper to rent a car ahead of time or at the airport?
Generally, on-site airport car rentals are more expensive. Although you can save a bit of money if you rent a car from an off-airport location, the convenience of being able to pick up your rental vehicle as soon as you land at the airport is incomparable.
Also, booking in advance is highly recommended if you wish to secure cheap rental cars in Calgary. Rates usually rise closer to the hire period, and you are not guaranteed a vehicle if you do not have a booking. You may end up paying more due to lack of supply if you leave it to the last minute.