Car hire Ottawa: tour the city in style and at ease with a rental

What you should know before hiring a car in Ottawa

Distance from
Ottawa city centre
4 mi
7 mi

Car hires in Ottawa: practical information

Where to rent a car in Ottawa

Heading to the Canadian capital for holidays this year? It’s a tip-top idea and you’ll definitely be needing an Ottawa rental car for your trip when you arrive on flights to Ottawa. Ottawa’s main airport, Mcdonald-Cartier International Airport (YOW) has a number of car hire companies in the Parkade, including Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Alamo.

There’s plenty of car hire companies in the city centre too, some located at major hotels. You’ll find the usual international brands within close proximity of the train station and the central bus station for easy access.

Driving in Ottawa: parking and other tips

Driving in Ottawa is not different from any other medium-sized North American city. Avoiding rush hour is essential, as all the government workers head to the city centre near Parliament Hill. Winter driving can also be tedious if you’re not used to icy and snowy conditions.

It’s good to know that in winter, there’s no overnight street parking permitted in Ottawa. It’s essential to book a hotel in Ottawa that have parking available to guests. This shouldn’t be a problem though, as most do. You can find hourly metered parking across the downtown area.

Road trips from Ottawa: what to do, what to see



Take a short drive 45 minutes to the south of Ottawa and you’ll find yourself in the pretty little town of Merrickville. It claims to be Canada’s prettiest village and you’ll see why if you visit on a sunny day. The town centre consists almost entirely of Victorian-era stone houses, perched along the banks of the Rideau Canal.



Ottawa is nearby some lovely rugged terrain like the Madawaska Highlands that start about 90 kilometres northwest of the city. In the winter, this is a great place to go skiing, at the Calabogie Ski resort which is a 1.5 hour drive from the city. The region is full of wilderness, lakes, forests and trails to explore in summer.



Montreal is the largest city in Quebec and is only a couple hours drive to the east of Ottawa. It’s the largest French-speaking city outside of France and is a cultural hub for Canada. The city’s rich French heritage comes through at its festivals and events and its charming town centre reminds us of Canada’s settler past.

The best car hire deals in Ottawa

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National Car Rental
£52 per day Verify
Volkswagen Jetta Standard, 2/4 Door, Auto
£52 per day Verify
  • 7
Dodge Grand Caravan Mini, Van, Auto
Alamo Rent a Car
£59 per day Verify
  • 4
  • 1
Kia Rio Economy, 2/4 Door, Auto

The best hotels in Ottawa