Weighing your options for having a car in Toronto

So, you love driving, and want to have a car after relocating to Toronto?

Who can blame you? Owning a car in Toronto can offer the freedom of getting out of town whenever you’d like (for a weekend trip to Montreal, perhaps, or to spend time at one of Toronto’s breathtaking national parks). They can also make big grocery shopping trips easier.

But be advised, sometimes having a car in the city is more trouble than it’s worth. For one thing, after moving to Toronto, you’ll find that the Toronto Transit Commission offers public transportation all around the city (via subway, bus and streetcar).  With a car, there are also parking fees to worry about, which can be steep in many parts of city. And did we mention winter driving? If you aren’t used to it, you will need to practice extreme caution and familiarize yourself with ice, snow, and frost.

If you do decide to drive while in Toronto, here’s some info about your buying, renting, and sharing options that will get you cruising faster.


Buying a car in Toronto:

  • Before making a big purchase, the first order of business should alway be deciding how much you want and are able to spend. Knowing your budget will save time and energy, and help keep you focused on finding a realistic ride.
  • Next, get into those auto showrooms and take a few cars out for test drives. Whether you’re looking for a new or used vehicle, you’ll want to know how it feels and sounds. It’s a good way to narrow down your search. Test at least four cars, and try to familiarize yourself with the different makes and models.
  • If possible, make this purchase in one of the icy, snowy winter months. This will help you better understand how the car drives in the harshest conditions, which is always important to understand.
  • Consider purchasing winter snow tires. While not required in Ontario, snow tires are a great way to help keep you safer on slick, frozen roads.
  • Try to find car dealers (new and especially used) that are trustworthy and honest. Reference the Better Business Bureau and ask friend, neighbors or coworkers who you trust for advice.

Opting to Rent a car in Toronto:

If you’d prefer more flexibility and less responsibility, renting a car to just when you need it may be the best option. To start your search for the perfect rental car, you may want to visit kayak.com. Here, you can find cars you’re interested in and compare the prices amongst multiple rental agencies.  Expect costs to start at about $20 per day for economy cars, and more for larger, luxury models. Renting is an option for anyone older than 25 years of age. There’s also added fees for insurance plans, which are highly recommended. In Toronto, rental companies include Enterprise, Budget, and Hertz, to name a few.

Car-sharing options:

In big cities, ride sharing is growing ever more popular! Autoshare allows users to join online, then reserve a car 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It offers everything from compact cars to cargo vans. You just find the car where it is parked and use KeyCard access to unlock it. Monthly fees range from $15 to $45. Another option that works similarly is Car2Go.  At 41 cents per minute, gas, parking, and insurance is included. There’s a registration fee of $35.  Car sharing is super convenient for those who need to zip around town to run errands or enjoy special events.


Members of Settle-in.com can browse the “Transportation” section of  “The Guide” for more about transportation in Toronto! Take advantage of all our Toronto relocation services by signing up.


Here are some more posts from Settle-in.com that can help you get on the road:


(Photos: Timo Newton-Syms vis Flickr, cc, Doug Kerr via Flickr, cc)


About Dobromir

Relocating to Canada was a difficult decision that turned out to be exactly what I was looking for. It’s important for me to find a work-life balance that satisfies my professional ambitions, my family life and my personal interests. Here in the cities of Canada, we work hard, but a trip to the ski slope with the kids, or a night of excellent dining and a theater production is never out of reach. At Settle-in.com, we can help all your moving formalities (like planning your finances and finding the perfect home) run smoother, so you can begin to enjoy your new city even faster. // Se relocaliser au Canada a été une décision difficile mais qui s’est avérée être exactement ce que je recherchais. C’est important pour moi de trouver un équilibre entre travail/ vie personnelle qui puisse satisfaire mes ambitions professionnelles, ma vie familiale et mes intérêts personnels. Ici, dans les villes du Canada, nous travaillons dur mais un petit tour sur les pistes de ski avec les enfants ou une soirée avec un bon repas puis une pièce de théâtre ne sont jamais hors de portée. A Settle-in.com, nous pouvons vous aider à faire toutes vos formalités de déménagement ( comme la planification de vos finances et trouver la maison idéale ) tout en douceur afin que vous puissiez commencer à profiter de votre nouvelle ville encore plus rapidement.