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The Complete Canada Driving and Rental Guide

Like its southern neighbour, Canada is very much dependent on driving. There is no shortage of scenic towns and destinations across the country and driving may be the best way to explore. Here is a brief driving guide aiming at easing your mind while on the road.

  • Speed Limit and Traffic Signs
  • Seatbelt and Child Safety
  • Parking, Fuel and Toll
  • Traffic Violation
  • Driving Licence and Age Requirements

Speed Limit and Traffic Signs

Driving in Canada is on the right with overtaking on the left. Since winter weather conditions may make driving challenging, we strongly advise you to check the weather conditions before travelling and be well equipped. Do not also forget to save emergency numbers in your cell phone.

Speed Limit

Unlike its neighbour, Canada uses metric units. Distance and speed are marked in kilometres and kilometres/hour. There is a speed limit of 50 km/h in town and 80 km/h on highways. A typical speed limit for the freeway in most provinces is 100-110 km/h.

Traffic Signs

Notably, for the most parts, Canadian traffic signs employ two languages-- English, French or both, and some incorporate indigenous language such as “Cree”. There are basically 4 types of Canadian traffic signs: regulatory, warning, information and direction.

Canada_Traffic_Sign_Stop_Sign_French_and_EnglishStop Sign (French and English)Canada_Traffic_Sign_Stop_Sign_Inuktitut_and_EnglishStop Sign  (Inuktitut and English)Canada_Traffic_Sign_Stop_sign_CreeStop sign (Cree)

Canada has not joined in the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals, explaining why the road traffic system looks different to what we usually see in Europe or other countries.


Its regulatory signs mostly feature a circular shape, with some exceptions.

Canada_Traffic_Sign_No_StoppingNo StoppingCanada_Traffic_Sign_No_Left_TurnNo Left TurnCanada_Traffic_Sign_No_OvertakingNo OvertakingCanada_Traffic_Sign_YieldYield

You will not see a common maximum speed sign in Canada, contrarily to some other countries. The maximal speed sign is usually rectangular, with a black writing on a white background.

Canada_Traffic_Sign_Maximum_Speed_LimitMaximum Speed Limit

Most Canadian warning signs are diamond-shaped with black lettering or symbols on a yellow background.

Canada_Traffic_Sign_Stop_AheadStop AheadCanada_Traffic_Sign_Dead_EndDead EndCanada_Traffic_Sign_Bump_or_Uneven_pavement_on_the_Road_AheadBump or Uneven pavement on the Road AheadCanada_Traffic_Sign_Be_Alert_for_AnimalsBe Alert for AnimalsCanada_Traffic_Sign_Railway_Crossing_AheadRailway Crossing Ahead

In Canada, information signs show where you are, what road you are driving on or how to reach certain places. These signs normally feature a rectangular shape with green or blue background.

Canada_Traffic_Sign_Hospital_NearbyHospital NearbyCanada_Traffic_Sign_Gas_Avaliable_AheadGas Available AheadCanada_Traffic_Sign_Accommodation_AheadAccommodation Ahead

As for directional signs, they are usually rectangular with a green background, and inform drivers about the direction or distance in kilometres to neighboring towns and cities.

Canada_Traffic_Sign_Directions_to_Nearby_Towns_and_CitiesDirections to Nearby Towns and CitiesCanada_Traffic_Sign_Distances_in_Kilometres_to_Towns_and_Citiies_on_the_RoadDistances in Kilometres to Towns and Cities on the Road

You may refer to this complete manual of standard Canada traffics signs and pavement markings for a better knowledge.

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.COM will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Seatbelt and Child Safety

Seatbelt Laws

As for seatbelt law, every Canadian province makes it compulsory for the driver and all passengers to wear seatbelts whilst the car is moving. Failing to do so will result in a fine that varies according to the province.

Booster Seat Laws

Children of 8 years old and under must be properly secured in a child seat restraint system until they are at least 145 cm tall or 36 kg. Children who weigh less than 9 kg must be secured in a rear-facing car seat.


Age and other requirements vary by Canadian province or territory. You may use this as a reference or an idea for the child safety laws when travelling with your kids in Canada, but it is advisable for you to check individual provincial rules before you set for the road.

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.COM will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Parking, Fuel and Toll

Parking

Parking regulations vary across provinces and territories and are normally the responsibility of municipalities. But you do not need to worry as signage states clearly for the permitted and forbidden parking on all streets.


· Permitted Parking


Street parking is usually only permitted in the direction of traffic. In some smaller roads, parking is only allowed on one side of the road. 


Plenty of car parks are available in most of the cities. Prices vary greatly from one city to another and can be very high in cities like Vancouver. Parking can be paid by a ticket machine, a metre at the side of the road, or by a parking attendant at a public parking lot. Failing to pay for parking in these areas may result in a fine. 

Canada Paid Parking Sign(Image from i.cbc.ca)

Canada Paid Parking Metre(Image from cbc.ca)


· No Parking


Street parking in some residential areas is not allowed in the winter. There are signs indicating when parking is not allowed.

Canada No Parking

Fuel Prices

The average price for Canada gasoline price in January 2018 is 1.36 Canadian dollar, while diesel cost 1.01.

Toll

There are several toll roads in Canada such as The Ontario Highway 407 and The Cobequid Pass (Highway 104). All of the toll roads have utilized Electronic Toll Collection system. 

Canada Toll Road(Image from o.canada.com)


If you are planning to drive on these toll roads, you can choose to opt into the e-toll system with your car hire company. Normally, the terms are stated in the rental contract provided by the car hire company at the rental desk. These terms should let you be aware that your credit card may be debited 4-8 weeks after you return the car. If you use an Alamo, National or Enterprise rental car, it is advisable to go to check with the Highway Toll Administration site to find out the details of the toll collected.


You are always welcomed to reach out to QEEQ' 24/7 customer service team for assistance or clarifications in matter regarding tolling.

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.COM will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Traffic Violation

DUI Laws

Canada has very strict laws on drunk driving. The limit is the same as in the UK which is 80mg per 100ml of blood but lowered to 50mg in some provinces. If you already have a drink driving conviction on your licence within the last five years, you will be refused entering at the Canadian point of entry. 


Punishment varies by provinces but all are treated very seriously. The minimum punishment for a first offence is a $1000 fine and a year's licence suspension.   

Traffic Fines

Speeding in Canada can be fined from $100 to over $400 depending on provinces. 


For the spot tickets, follow the instructions on the paper to proceed to the payment. It is advisable to pay fines directly when you are still in the city.  


For tickets issued from cities of TorontoOttawa or Montreal, you can log in the city's website to check the details and pay for them by entering your ticket number( or plus with the licence plate number).

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.COM will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Driving Licence and Age Requirements

To legally rent and drive a car in Canada, you will need a driving licence issued by the government which has been held for at least 2 years. If your domestic driving licence is not in English, an International Driving Permit (IDP/IDL) or an official translation in English is required when you drive in Canada. 


The minimum driver age for renting a car at a Canadian rental office is 21 years old. This age may vary according to the state and car category rented. 

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.COM will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Guest reviews

1 /
J.Pymer

November 24, 2022

Destination: Halifax

9Excellent service

Courteous and friendly staff

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r.ACQUAVIVA

November 14, 2022

Destination: Montreal

10Excellent

A ma grande surprise, j'ai pu récupérer la voiture que j'avais loué, personnel accueillant et le retour sans aucun problème.

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J.JUC

November 11, 2022

Destination: Calgary

5.3Could be better

Car was crashed and making noises underneath.

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Sameen

November 4, 2022

Destination: Winnipeg

10Stress free experience

The service was great but i had to wait for about 20 min to speak with the counter staff since there was already a customer dealing going on.

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Aloke Das

November 3, 2022

Destination: Toronto

8.7Easy booking, decent experience with Avis .

Car was very good. Spacious and easy to drive. The rental location itself in Toronto airport was hard to find. We spent almost 30 mins trying to find the right location. Drop off was relatively easy.

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A.Boucher

November 3, 2022

Destination: Montreal

10Efficace

Service impeccable!!! Rapide, professionnel et aimable

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November 3, 2022

Destination: Ottawa

8.7Very Good

car waas smaller than expected.

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Mae.N

November 1, 2022

Destination: Montreal

8.7Very good job !

Upgrade de la voiture ! Une superbe voiture ! Suréquipée, vraiment parfait pour de longs trajets !

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F.Yee

November 1, 2022

Destination: Vancouver

8.3Easy n pleasant. Those guys at the 413 Seymour Street, Vancouver are very helpful n efficient.

The car had quite a bit of mileage on it, like 50,000km, so it feels pretty worn out.

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Ed

November 1, 2022

Destination: Montreal

9.3Excellente expérience

Très belle voiture, agréable à conduire, accueil chaleureux

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Tim SamaniCa

October 31, 2022

Destination: Belleville

10Great experience and if I were to need to rent a car again I'll be sure to come back.

I didn't get the car I booked for but the customer service rep was able to get me a jeep witch was great for me.

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S.Heiniger

October 24, 2022

Destination: Montreal

8.8not sure would rent with them again

Horrible customer service. For one, the guy at the pick up didn't seem very motivated. He did not offer additional insurance, or rather he gave more information about it reluctantly. He seemed stressed, like he didn't really have time, and he got more stressed when I asked additional questions. For two, when I had an accident and couldn't return the car, it took 2.5 hours!!! on the phone to clarify things. Had to recall several times and each time got a different information than in the call before let alone the person didn't seem to know what was talked about in the last call. Also, the company said they would call back, which they never did. I had to find out myself bothering other people that things had to be taken care of.

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M.Chu

October 24, 2022

Destination: Toronto

8.7Friendly services at reasonable price

The SurPrice is wonderful in services. The pick-up person is friendly.

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S.Bulach

October 24, 2022

Destination: Montreal

7.5Good

You don t want to gire more people in Montreal…. Fucking result

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T.Roman

October 21, 2022

Destination: Toronto

10It was excellent - good support at pick up and drop off location. Very helpful employees at York

Good value

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October 20, 2022

Destination: Toronto

3Poor

They charged me more saying that the rates are different from online and argued with me that they can not provide the car to me based on my online booking and they are not responsible for kayak booking. Terrible customer support at the counter.

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E.DEBRUGE

October 17, 2022

Destination: Montreal

8.7une douloureuse expérience

un temps de récupération anormalement élevé avec des agents complètement dépassés par la situation. remise d'un véhicule électrique alors que j'avais demandé un SUV. Explications données en moins de 5', véhicule déchargé. obligation de modification du parcours pour s'adapter aux bornes de chargement

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GG

October 14, 2022

Destination: Montreal

9.7Très bonne expérience.

Très bonne accueil. Je suis arrivée très en avance. Le loueur a tout fait pour que je puisse récupérer mon véhicule avant l'heure prévu. On m'a même proposé un véhicule d'une catégorie bien supérieur mais en étant toute seule j'ai préféré la laisser à d'autres personnes qui étaient 2. On m'a donné une essence au lieu d'une voiture électrique car moins évident pour moi à gérer la voiture électrique donc je suis très satisfaite. Le loueur m'a aussi conseillé sur l'importance de prendre une assurance tout risque sachant que je prenais le véhicule pour au moins 15 jours et que je faisais un road trip. Au moins j'étais rassurée tout au long de ma location. Mais à aucun moment il ne m'a forcé à la prendre. Il m'a juste donné les avantages et les risques et la décision me revenait.

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Gem Coop

October 13, 2022

Destination: Calgary

7.6You get what you pay for.

They close at 8pm. I was late by 5 minutes due to my luggage being lost and had to book a room for the night

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E.Velasco Elguezabal

September 29, 2022

Destination: Vancouver

9.7Aventura 4x4

Muy rapido el servicio, me hicieron ungrade en el carro q pedí

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J.Kim

September 28, 2022

Destination: Toronto

6.3Booking went through without Compulsory school insurance, which resulted in misunderstandings.

They tried hard to upsell the insurance. The car was missing A pillar covering which resulted in loud wind-breaking noise.

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K.Sharp

September 23, 2022

Destination: Calgary

9.3Easy and good value

Thierry proved to be a really good company, our hire care was really new and perfect for our needs. Bit slow service at pick up but to be fair it was Sunday evening and only one member of staff. But collection was really simple and quick. Would use again without hesitation

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A.Chaaban

September 23, 2022

Destination: Toronto

9.7Excellent

Car and price are competitive.

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J.Kemal

September 23, 2022

Destination: Toronto

10Extremely happy, definitely recommend

Was told there wasn’t a Toyota Yaris in stock for me so instead I got a brand spanking top spec Dodge Ram for the same price so I can’t complain! Very happy with it

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September 23, 2022

Destination: Winnipeg

7.7Good

Yep SUV have met my expection

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September 23, 2022

Destination: St Catharines

10Perfect - great car, easy pick-up/drop-off - no issues

Car was great, staff friendly and efficient - would use them again.

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September 21, 2022

Destination: Quebec City

6.3Average

Le plein n'était pas fait à la récupération du véhicule, c'est inadmissible

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M.Chung

September 19, 2022

Destination: Calgary

9.3Great.

I thought I could get Nisssan car but the customer service representative gave me another car without explanation. Moreover, my deposit hasn’t been refunded for more than 10 days. I need to call Thrifty again for clarification.

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S.Katz

September 15, 2022

Destination: Calgary

10Perfect trip

I cannot think of any way this experience could be improved upon. Thank you!

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P.Baker

September 15, 2022

Destination: Halifax

9.7The way it should be.

Car was very economical on fuel

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Rochelle Meah

September 14, 2022

Destination: Calgary

9.3Would recommend

Staff were great, car was great although not the sedan we expected, extremely easy drop off and pick up.

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C.Cooke

September 14, 2022

Destination: Toronto

9Lovely car to drive.

When I got there, the man at the counter told me they had upgraded me to a Mercedes. I was worried that my luggage wasn't going to fit but I managed to get it in...just! But there was no navigation system in the car which surprised me for a Mercedes and they forgot to tell me that the car was from the US and was in MPH. So I had to work out what speed I had to go. With no navigation I had to use my phone and at times it dropped out where I was, so that wasn't the best. Then the electronic key battery died and I had to find out, 1. how to take the battery out and then 2. where to get a battery. The staff when I returned the car were good and credited me for the purchase of the batteris. But that should have been checked before I left with the car as it happened right after I picked it up.

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Bde carvalho pereira

September 12, 2022

Destination: Toronto

10Excellent

O carro era novinho, estava super limpo, foi uma experiência excelente.

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September 8, 2022

Destination: Calgary

9.3Excellent

Excellent car and friendly service at Calgary

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September 8, 2022

Destination: Toronto

10Outstanding Customer Service! Highly recommend City Car & Truck.

Really appreciate the staff staying late to accommodate our flight delay! Outstanding customer service!

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F.Ward

September 8, 2022

Destination: Calgary

9.7Great car but too long a wait on pick up.

The wait time at pick up was too long. The competitor cleared the line whilst only two customers were dealt with by Herrz. The car condition was not as originally noted, but was rectified when brought to the attention of staff. We were 45 minutes later than planned leaving the Hire car park. The drop off process was very quick and seamless. The car was very comfortable and perfect for our trip. Staff were friendly and polite.

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Robin Gray

September 6, 2022

Destination: Halifax

9.3Good customer service.

The vehicle had a number of dents and scratches identified at time of pick up (photographed and registered on form). The counter staff were very organised, good humoured and helpful throughout the process which I appreciated.

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S.Kalirai

September 6, 2022

Destination: Toronto

6.7not happy with vehicle.

Car was disgusting not clean and damaged everywhere.

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A.Nobilo

September 5, 2022

Destination: Toronto

10Great car - smooth transaction.

The car wasn't in the best presentation upon pick up (was not cleaned) however, that being said it was a nice car, delivered to expectations for a normal rental and smooth drop off. Pick up was a bit confusing, but overall pleased with the hire.

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Boo

August 31, 2022

Destination: Toronto

10スムースにレンタルできました

想定通りの車でしたよ

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D.Gardner

August 29, 2022

Destination: Vancouver

9.3Great experience

Excellent and straight forward process.

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C.Akkermans

August 26, 2022

Destination: Vancouver

7.3Qeeq OK, Hertz Not so!

I think we got the oldest 7-seater of the Lot. Seats full of stains and after driving a few miles I noticed the brakes could need an overhaul. Didn't mention all of this, because if I did, this would definitely interrupt my Travelschedule. On top of this Hertz charged a Windscreen repair of which I could buy the whole damn Car!

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August 25, 2022

Destination: Montreal

5Terrible experience with budget

They did not have the car on site at the pickup time and told me I would need to wait an hour. This is a common thing for them, according to reviews. They have me the wrong car, a tiny little car, instead of what I booked. They wanted me to sign the 'no visible damage' report without seeing the car, which I refused - which was good because it did have visible damage. There was garbage inside the car under the seat. They would not accept my visa card as payment for the deposit. They did not honor the zero dollar deductible I already paid for with my voucher and instead made it $300. In total, a terrible rental experience.

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S.Koenen

August 23, 2022

Destination: Toronto

8Good car for our family road trip

Service at Avis desk when picking up the car was very slow and a nuisance

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B.Murugesan

August 23, 2022

Destination: Calgary

9.7It was really Awesome

Staff was very helpful and made the process seaming and smooth.

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August 22, 2022

Destination: Toronto

6.7Tired

Stained upholstery in poor-handling high-mileage car

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M.Re

August 22, 2022

Destination: Montreal

9.7Excellent

top car and service

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S.Barclay

August 19, 2022

Destination: Vancouver

10Hassle free

No issues at all, choice of vehicles available on the day, whole process was faultless.

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Ally

August 18, 2022

Destination: Edmonton

10Seamless

The booking translated to luxury class at National, so I was extremely happy with my experience

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V.PHAM

September 28, 2022

Destination: Toronto

9Car was excellent, except unable to contact Routes car rental service desk

Our flight was cancelled and then delayed. We booked the car to pick up at 8am, but need to delay the pick up to 6:40pm on the same day. We couldn't contact Routes to deferred the pickup time. It was stressful initially not knowing if they will keep our booking or still charge as no show. Otherwise, we are happy with the condition of the car.

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Frequently asked questions

Q1.What is an insurance excess?

The excess is the amount you'll only be liable for in case of damage(under Collision Damage Waiver) or theft(under Theft Protection) of the vehicle.
Information about the excess will be clearly stated in the price inclusion when you reserve a car on QEEQ.

Q2. How can I add an addtional driver?

You are advised to make a request upon your arrival at the rental counter. Additional charge per day will incur unless '1 Additional Driver Included' is stipulated on the rental.
Please note that the same licence and age requirement applys to the additonal driver. The addtional driver is supposed to present the required licence document along with the main driver at pickup.

Q3.What if I want to pick up or drop off my rental car out of office hours?

QEEQ will show you the car offers available at your chosen time on the search results.
However, pick-up or drop-off out of general opening hours may subject to an extra fee unless self-service pick-up or drop-off is available.
After you reserve a car on QEEQ, we will inform you of specific policy of the car hire company by email.

Q4. Can I take the hired car to another country or cross border?

If you want to pick up your car in one country and drop it in another, your search results will show you cars you can do that with.
If you're planning to cross any borders during your trip, bear in mind:
1. You may have to pay more.
There are often extra fees, taxes or additional cover you'll pay at the car hire counter.
2.It may not be allowed.
Depending on where you're hiring, you may not be able to take your car to another country.
Please email us if you want to take your hire car into a different country during your trip, and we'll talk you through your options.

Q5. Can I pick up my car at one location and return it at different location?

Yes. You can pick up the vehicle in one place and drop it off in another. An ‘one-way fee’ will incur. Whether it is inclued in the rental price or what additional cost may arise will be clearly stated at the time of booking on QEEQ.
Please inform the car hire company of your drop-off location when you pick up the vehicle or contact them directly during your trip. You will find a phone number on the rental agreement you signed at pickup.

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