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Photo: Icefield Parkway - Jasper, Vancouver to Edmonton

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The Cars of Summer 2020 Western Canada

Tips Reece Griffin September 29th, 2020
Here is the latest review of our one-way car rental Price Lab data. Read on to learn more about the best car rental options from Vancouver to Banff, and Edmonton to Vancouver.

Greetings from the global rollercoaster that is 2020. So far it's been a year full of surprises and I think I speak for us all when I say we've had enough surprises to last us a while. So what happened? Well, you'll have to read that in the news! What happened this summer in BC and Alberta in terms of car rental deals? You can read that here... At the start of the year we released a new tool to analyze one-way car rental price trends across the USA and Canada. We call it Price Lab, and since it's launch, it's collected millions of records tracking the latest trends in one-way car rental prices. Today we're going to take a look at what happened in the world of one-way car rentals between Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton during the summer months.

Vancouver to Calgary (And Back)

One-way car rental prices for trips between Vancouver and Calgary during the summer of 2020.
One-way car rental prices for trips between Vancouver and Calgary during the summer of 2020.

First up, let's take a look at Vancouver to Calgary and back. We already covered the different ways you can get from Vancouver to Banff in a recent article. But to recap this is the route often takes you all the way through to neighbouring Calgary, and of course is a great way to see the Canadian Rockies. As you can see from the data, direction of travel matters when it comes to rental car prices. If you are planning to start in Calgary, typically you can expect to pay more at the bottom end with prices seldom dropping below $350 for a single day. This is largely because of asymmetric demand, that is more people wanting a one-way rental from Calgary to Vancouver than in the reverse direction. Too many cars piling up at one location is a big problem for rental car companies, and the way they typically deal with this problem is to make it cheaper to drive in the direction of lesser demand. This is one of the main reasons why we created MirrorTrip!

By and large though minimum & average prices were pretty stable and dropped slightly as the summer high season wound down which is also typical. There were still some spikes at the high end, with prices occasionally rising to the one thousand dollar mark. These spikes though are mostly represented by cars in the large SUV and luxury car segment. We did also notice some bargains in what are referred to as ‘Neighborhood Locations'. That is if you're willing to shop around and look for off-airport locations there are sometimes deals to be had too.

Vancouver to Edmonton (And Back)

One-way car rental prices for trips between Vancouver Airport and Edmonton Airport during the summer of 2020.
One-way car rental prices for trips between Vancouver Airport and Edmonton Airport during the summer of 2020.
One-way car rental prices for trips between Vancouver and Edmonton neighbourhood locations during the summer of 2020.
One-way car rental prices for trips between Vancouver and Edmonton neighbourhood locations during the summer of 2020.

The Vancouver to Edmonton route is another popular one for MirrorTrip, so I think it's worth taking a look at that too. Similar to the Vancouver to Calgary drive, the drive from Vancouver to Edmonton is also a great way to see some rocky mountains - particularly in this case Jasper and Glacier Alley.

There are a couple of different data points to look at here as we were able to get some concrete price history for both Airport locations and Neighborhood locations. Once again though there are some similarities with the data points between Vancouver and Calgary.

Firstly we can see that the predominant higher pricing was in the direction travelling from Edmonton to Vancouver. With prices tailing off toward the end of summer for both Airport and Neighbourhood locations. Prices in the opposite direction for the drive from Vancouver to Edmonton whilst lower overall, did see some significant spikes for both airport and neighbourhood locations with the minimum price climbing to $400 on a couple of occasions.

Conclusion

So what's the moral of the story? One-way car rentals can be expensive! With the right amount of planning and some flexibility though there are ways around this. MirrorTrip is a great option if you are planning a trip between Calgary, Vancouver, and Edmonton with regular prices of just $54 a day. If you're to drive somewhere outside of MirrorTrip's service range, fear not though as clearly there are deals to be found and our Price Lab is here to help you do just that!

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