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Why rent a car in Vancouver?

Vancouver is situated in British Columbia in Canada’s picturesque Pacific Northwest region. The city is nestled between mountains and coastline, yet has much to offer beyond amazing scenery, including outdoor activities, a rich arts scene and amazing restaurants. Vancouver’s thriving movie industry has earned it the nickname ‘Hollywood North’ and its varied range of neighbourhoods seem to have something for everyone to enjoy. It’s also a great location for visiting nearby destinations by hire car, such as Richmond, Delta, Maple Ridge and Langley.

How to get to and around Vancouver?

If you’re arriving via Vancouver Airport then it’s a nine-mile drive by rental car to Vancouver. En route, you could stop off to visit VanDusen Botanical Garden, a 55-acre green space that includes totem poles, stone sculptures, a Korean Pavilion and a Festival of Lights at Christmas.

Hiring a car in Vancouver city centre

Finding a hire car in Vancouver is easy. You can rent a car from a range of providers at Grant McConachie Way in Vancouver Airport and also in Vancouver city centre itself. The city has a variety of metered parking spots, although make sure to check the signs before using them. Vancouver also has many hotels to suit a range of budgets, including the Listel Hotel Vancouver, L’Hermitage Hotel and the Sutton Place Hotel. Many hotels also offer free parking so do check before booking.

What brands are available?

There are various hire car providers to suit your budget and preferences, including Thrifty, Avis and Hertz. Many offer extras like free cancellation, unlimited mileage and a shuttle service to your rental car.

Must-sees within an easy drive of Vancouver

There is much to see and do by hire car in Vancouver. Each neighbourhood offers something different, including the restful scenery of Coal Harbour Marina, the buzzing nightlife of Gastown, the cool cafes and restaurants of Kitsilano, the hipster bar scene of Commercial Road, the vibrant ‘gay village’ area of Davie Street, and the student enclave of Point Grey, home of the University of British Columbia. Other attractions to see by rental car in Vancouver include the city’s various beaches, the stunning 1,000-acre Stanley Park, the massive food market on Granville Island, the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, the Vancouver Aquarium and the Vancouver Art Gallery. You can also hire a bike and cycle along the seafront, go hiking up nearby Grouse Mountain, or enjoy one of the city’s various skating rinks in winter.

The city of Victoria, capital of British Columbia, is on Vancouver Island, a 71-mile drive away by rental car. The journey includes a 90-minute car ferry ride and it’s highly recommended that you book a ticket in advance. There are a number of attractions to explore by hire car in Victoria. These include Victoria Harbour, the Fisgard Lighthouse, the British Columbia Parliament Buildings, Butchart Gardens, Miniature World and the Christ Church Cathedral.

The pretty resort town of Whistler, in the Coast Mountains, is a 75-mile drive away from Vancouver. The Whistler Blackcomb ski resort is one of the biggest in North America and has a variety of shops and restaurants. Other attractions include the Whistler Olympic Park, Alexander Falls and Lost Lake. Activities include skiing, snowboarding and mountain biking.

Tips and tricks for driving in Vancouver

With its scenic coastline, varied neighbourhoods and nearby mountains, Vancouver is wonderful to explore by hire car. Bear in mind that there are many cyclists in the city and that they have right of way on the roads. Take care when exploring mountainous areas in British Columbia, especially in winter conditions. Remember that Canada is right-hand drive.

Ready to plan your Vancouver city break?

Feeling inspired to explore Vancouver and the rest of Canada? Check out this City Guide and use the Expedia search tool to help you find the best car hire, flight and hotel deals and to research the best attractions and activities.




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