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Car rental locations in Vancouver
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Car Rental in Vancouver: Canadian multicultural metropolis
Vancouver is the metropolis of the Canadian Pacific West, offering visitors all the delights of a multicultural city nestled into some of the most spectacular landscapes in the world: the tropical rainforest between the Pacific Ocean and the mountains of the Pacific Cordillera. While you won’t necessarily need a car to explore Vancouver’s fun and interesting neighborhoods, such as City Centre or Granville Island, you will certainly want a car to explore this beautiful area to its utmost. Make the most of your visit to British Columbia’s capital city by booking your rental car today!
Vancouver starts to become really beautiful when the trees bloom mid-spring. Summer in Vancouver typically remains fairly cool (around room temperature) and is the best time to visit to try to avoid the rain. Plan to arrive between May and October.
English and French are the two official languages of Canada. In Vancouver, most residents speak English. The major minority languages are Punjabi and numerous dialects of Chinese. Many of the First Nations’ languages of the area are in the Coast Salish language family.
Vancouver is located in the Pacific Standard Time Zone, UTC-8.
The currency is the Canadian dollar, and most financial transactions take place via credit or debit card. If you are visiting the market at Granville Island, however, you may find that your financial transactions are made easier and more efficient if you carry cash. ATMs are frequently available throughout the city.
Automobile hire is available in 11 locations throughout Vancouver, including at the Vancouver International Airport (YVR), the Cruise Port, downtown, and at Canada Place.
Citizens from a vast number of countries can enter Canada as a tourist visa-free for up to 6 months. You will need to fill out the eTA (electronic Travel Authorization) in advance of your arrival; the fee is $7. All other nationalities must apply for a visa at a Canadian Visa Office in advance of their departure.
Driving in Vancouver
As Canada’s third largest metropolitan area, the streets can often be fairly packed in Vancouver. If you avoid driving during rush hour (7 to 9 am and 3 to 6 pm), however, you’re unlikely to find that your travels are hindered by traffic congestion. A visit to Vancouver is nothing without travel into its beautiful natural surroundings, so make the most of your visit by planning road trips into the mountains, along the coast, and via car ferry to nearby islands!
- Traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road throughout North America.
- In the city, unless otherwise marked: 50 km/h
- On highways: 100 – 120 km/h
- On rural roads: 60 – 80 km/h
- Street parking is competitive and regulated by time and fee throughout Vancouver, though you may be able to find free street parking in remote neighborhoods. For more effortless parking opportunities, take advantage of frequent (though sometimes expensive) municipal and private paid parking lots throughout the city.
- If your domestic driver’s license has been issued in English or French, it is sufficient for up to 90 days of driving throughout Canada; otherwise you will need an international driver’s permit as well.
- At the time of writing, all roads and bridges in British Columbia were toll free.
- The minimum driving age in British Columbia is 18 years, though most rental companies will require that you are at least 21 years old to rent a car, and you are likely to face young-driver surcharges until the age of 25.
Cheap Car Rental in Vancouver
Automobile hire in Vancouver typically starts at around $30 a day. Here are some of the best deals in Vancouver:
- Kia Rio or similar (economy class) – $30/day
- Nissan Versa or similar (compact class) – $31/day
- Hyundai Elantra or similar (intermediate class) – $32/day
- Chevrolet Impala or similar (fullsize class) – $35/day
- Mitsubishi Galant or similar (standard class) – $39/day
Note that prices vary depending on the availability of each specific car and the season in which you rent. For the most accurate offers, use the search bar above.
Tips for Renting a Car Inexpensively in Vancouver
There is some seasonal variation in price for rental cars in Vancouver. Particularly if you are planning on arriving in August, you’ll find that prices for rental cars can rise to about $50 a day!
However, it’s always worth shopping around for the best rental car prices in Vancouver. While you can normally get the best deals from Dollar’s location at the Vancouver International Airport, other company’s can beat this location’s price from time to time throughout the city, particularly downtown or at the Cruise Port. Economy Bookings’ discounts of 8% and more often help reduce the prices of rental car companies such as Avis and Alamo to make them competitive with Dollar.
These discounts are often higher the longer you rent your car, as well. For instance, if you extend your rental period to over a week, discounts rise to 11% and the daily automobile hire rate in Vancouver becomes even cheaper, typically below $30 a day!