Car Hire Vancouver
Why hire a car in Vancouver?
If you’re planning a holiday to Vancouver, finding a hire car for your trip from a trusted car rental company ensures that you’ll get to see the best of what the city has to offer! We only work with the most reputable car hire companies, like Avis, so you know you’re booking a high-quality rental car.
There’s so much to do in Vancouver. The cultural hub of British Columbia offers a thriving art scene, colourful communities and an unforgettable backdrop that is sure to make your holiday to Canada one that you’ll never forget.
The freedom and flexibility that accompanies hiring a car in Vancouver are unrivalled. Not only does hiring a car provide you with the option to explore Vancouver at your own pace but it also presents you with the opportunity to explore further afield.
Top tips for driving in Vancouver
- Avoid rush hour - just like driving in any major city, we would recommend trying to avoid Vancouver city centre at rush hour (between 5pm and 7pm). Traffic can get very congested and it can be frustrating, especially if you are hiring a car to see more than just Vancouver’s roads!
- Flashing green means ‘go’ – if you see a flashing green light at an intersection, you have the right to go, but make sure to approach with caution and look out for any pedestrians. If a pedestrian is crossing, you must stop and wait for them as they have right of way.
- Look out for cyclists – cycling is very popular in Vancouver so be extra vigilant and cautious of your two-wheeled road companions!
- U-turns are illegal – on most intersections in Vancouver, it is illegal to make a U-turn. If you find you are travelling in the wrong direction, come off the intersection and find a safe place to turn. Much of Vancouver’s roads are policed with CCTV so you will likely get caught!
- Check your hire car has snow tires – if you are travelling on the BC-99 route to Whistler during winter you legally need to have snow tires. Make sure to mention this at the point of booking your Vancouver car hire.
Picking up your hire car in Vancouver
How long you wish to stay in the downtown area and where else you want to travel on your trip will determine the best pick-up location for your car hire in Vancouver. You can choose to collect your vehicle from one of the following Avis locations:
- Vancouver – Broadway (906 West Broadway, Suite 101)
- Vancouver – Georgia & Hornby (757 Hornby Street)
- North Vancouver (220-150 West Esplanade Street, 2nd Floor)
- Burnaby MetroPointe (4603 Kingsway, Unit 100)
- Vancouver International Airport (3880 Grant McConachie Way)
Since many people choose to fly into Vancouver International Airport (YVR) they may opt for this location. The Avis office in YVR is roughly a 30-minute drive from Downtown Vancouver (drive north along BC-00 for around 20 minutes before turning onto Seymour Street). The Georgia and Hornby location is the closest to Downtown, followed by Broadway.
Top tips for hiring a car in Vancouver
- Book in advance – unlike flights to Canada, you don’t necessarily need to book your car hire well in advance. But if you have a particular vehicle class you would like to hire, we recommend booking your car hire around 1 month or more before your holiday to get the best prices.
- Go compact – if you have two or fewer passengers and don’t have a lot of luggage, we recommend hiring a compact car. Prices for hiring compact cars in Vancouver are cheaper.
- Plan your route – your hire car might offer a sat nav package, but apps like Waze and Google Maps will help you to plan your route in advance.
- Go in low season – to get the best prices on Vancouver car hire, you could visit during a slower tourist season such as November.
Driving in Downtown Vancouver
There are several things to bear in mind when driving in Vancouver. At intersections, for example, it’s illegal to do a U-turn and you’ll be fined if you complete one. Many streets in Downtown Vancouver also do not allow left turns, so take advantage of your GPS or be sure to plan your route carefully before travelling.
Driving from Vancouver and beyond
British Columbia has so much to discover, so make sure to rent a car in order to make the most of the province. Canada’s westernmost province has a number of incredible drives offering you breath-taking vistas of the Rockies, sweeping views over the Pacific Ocean and luscious alpine-lined roads with wildflower blankets. Check out our top tips for driving in Canada before you take to the roads in your rental car. Similarly, our guide to British Columbia can offer you more insight into the region.
Day trips from Vancouver
Vancouver is an ideal base to explore much of British Columbia and Alberta and our fly drive (self-drive) holidays make the whole experience a breeze. With our Whales, Bears and Vancouver Island holiday, collect your hire car from Vancouver and catch the ferry over to Victoria on Vancouver Island to start your journey. Vancouver is also a great starting point for a Rockies road trip—included in the itinerary for our Great Parks of the West holiday.
For more tips on planning a self-drive holiday in Canada, make sure you check out this great blog post.
If you're looking to book car hire in Vancouver, please email us, or call us on 0207 616 9999.
Can I take my hire car outside of British Columbia if I’m picking up from Vancouver?
Yes, you can take your car anywhere in Canada and even across the border into the USA. We also offer one-way drop offs to other Canadian cities (some may incur an additional charge, so please enquire for details.
What is the speed limit in Vancouver?
50 km/hour (31 mph) in urban areas and 80 km/hour (50 mph) in rural areas, unless otherwise stated.
What are the best places to park in Vancouver?
You’ll find many public parking lots in Downtown Vancouver (including one at Vancouver Public Library). It’s also worth noting that there is free parking for visitors at Granville Island.
How much should I expect to pay for fuel in Vancouver?
Around C$1.51 per litre, although this will vary.