Good Bye Quebec City And Hello Montreal


Just as I was finishing checkout, the Uber App showed that the surge pricing had abated so I immediately hailed Uber to take us to Quebec City Airport. During the last hour, surge pricing had been going on and off and the price to the airport from our hotel the Chateau Frontenac varied from $30 – $60+ CAD. Our driver Hassane arrived and he got out of the car and helped us stow our luggage in the trunk. After a short greeting, we had a quiet no word 26 minute drive to the airport. Quebec City Jean Lesage International Airport was the only place that Hertz showed that I could pick up a car in Quebec City when I was making reservations. There is another Hertz location in the city but for whatever reason, possibly because I was doing a oneway rental, the airport location was the only option I was given for pickup.

After thanking Hassane for the ride, we walked across the street from the main terminal to the consolidated rental car building. I walked up to the Hertz counter and after handing over my drivers license, the woman that was helping me took out a folio that was prepared ahead of time for my rental. She had me sign a slip which was regarding pre existing damages to the car. The form was already filled in and marked off with the existing damages. Since I was not buying loss damage waiver, the woman reminded me that I was liable for the full value of the car. Surprisingly, she did not try to convince me to buy loss damage waiver coverage. Since I was covered through my Chase United Club Card and also by the insurance policy on my car, I had no need for any loss damage waiver coverage. Also, unlike back in the US where if you buy loss damage waiver coverage your 100% not liable for the value of the car, the LDW coverage for todays rental came with a $500 deductible according to the fine print that I read online when I reserved the car. I’m not sure if having a deductible on LDW coverage is a Quebec thing or a Canada wide thing, but with rental car coverage through my Chase United Club Credit Card, the rental car coverage is primary and there is no deductible. Between the deductible on Hertz’s LDW and primary rental car coverage and no deductible via Chase, not buying LDW coverage was a no brainer.

Hertz Nissan Sentra

Hertz Nissan Sentra

With the keys and paperwork in hand, we gathered our stuff and headed out to the garage to look for our car. We found the Nissan Sentra at the numbered parking spot where the woman who helped me said it would be. Believe it or not, I’ve rented cars before and the car was not at the spot where we were told to pick it up. First thing my dad and I did was do a walk around the car to make sure the existing damages that were marked on the form I signed earlier was correct. I found couple of deep scratches on the passenger side, which were not accounted for on the slip. I took pictures of the deep scratches to show the Hertz staff before leaving. I also took pictures of each section of the Nissan Sentra, including the wheels so in Toronto when I returned the car, there could be no chance of any existing scuff or scratches becoming my problem. With the pictures in hand, I went back to the Hertz desk and showed the pictures to a different woman than the one who helped me earlier. She took the copy of the existing damage report out and along with my copy, noted the scratches on the form before returning my copy to me.

Back at the car, I started the engine, familiarized myself with the features of the car and then punched up our next hotel, the Intercontinental Montreal into Google Maps before heading out of the garage. Once we were out of the airpot property, Google’s directions started to make sense, but on the airport grounds, Google Maps was giving me nonsensical directions to leave the airport. While GPS is good, sometimes good old fashioned signs are quicker and more effective than turn by turn GPS at places such as airports.

There are two routes to Montreal from Quebec City. One is via Autoroute 20 which is faster by 12 minutes and Autoroute 40 which is slower but hugs the north shore of the St Lawerence River. I figured Autoroute 40 would be more scenic than Autoroute 20 since it hugs the river according Google Maps, so I chose the the slightly longer route. We were only able to see small sections of the St Lawerence River during our drive, but there were plenty of fall foliages to see along the Autoroute.

We stopped in Yamachiche Quebec to use the restroom and grab some lunch. At first we planned on heading to the Mc Donalds right off the Autoroute but went across the street where there was a gas station that had a food court attached to it. In the food court was Thai Express which is where we decided to have lunch. The food was cooked to order and surprisingly good for Thai Food in the middle of rural Quebec. My mom saw some woman having the soup noodle which looked good to her so we ordered that along with a order of Phad Thai. Our order came with 1 egg roll which we were not sure which dish it it was part of. Before leaving, I stopped inside the gas station convenience store and bought 3 large bottles of water to last us for the next couple of days while we were in Montreal.

The rest of the drive to Montreal was uneventful. Once we entered into Montreal, I got confused with the blinking green light and other unfamiliar traffic customs and rules but, we made it to the Intercontinental Hotel without incident. I parked at the hotel’s main entrance curb, but I did not see the valet nor did anyone come out to take the car so after waiting for about 5 minutes, I found the self parking garage and parked the car myself. While self parking is slightly cheaper, it does not come with in and out privileges which you do get with the hotel valet. Since we were probably not going to take the car out tonight, self parking wasn’t a big deal.