Car Rental in Vancouver
This information is correct as of July 2015.
Where to rent a car in Vancouver
Vancouver in the province of British Columbia in Canada is a large metropolitan that is home to many car rental companies that travellers may use. They are mainly located within the Vancouver International Airport and its surrounds, along the Richmond area, Yaletown, and the Downtown Eastside areas. Some of these car rental companies are BC Buggy Ltd., Hertz Rent-a-Car, Modo The Car Co-Op, Thrifty Car Rental, National Car Rental, Alamo Rent-a-Car, Hertz Rent-a-Car, Pacific Car Rentals, Avis, and A-Plus, to name some. Most of these car rental companies offer various promotions, including daily, weekly, and monthly deals, cheap and competitive pricing schemes, choice cars and special 'by request' vehicles, and others. Some even offer online promotions, while some others provide lower quotes through the phone.
It is best book car rentals in advance so that you can thoroughly select which company you’re going for. Upon booking, provide your details, including identification, payment preferences, and scheduled days of pick-up and drop-off.
What to expect when renting a car from Vancouver
Vancouver's road network is generally a grid system, with a “Street” running north-south and an “Avenue” running east-west. Downtown Vancouver however, has its own grid system and doesn't follow the street/avenue format of the rest of the city. The area is also surrounded by water on three sides, so most of the ways in and out require you to cross bridges. This usually causes traffic congestion, so it is advisable to add a few minutes to the driving time whenever necessary. Apart from skipping the rush hours, one of the best ways to avoid congestion is to listen to traffic reports that are provided through the local station AM730. The said station solely reports about traffic and can be quick to report any accidents and congestion, as well as British Columbia ferry reports, bridge and tunnel updates, border wait times, and other valuable information for driving. Note of several rules on flashing green traffic signals in intersections as well. When the said signal turns from blinking/flashing green to red, any side street traffic must obey the stop sign and must yield to pedestrians crossing the side street.
Several streets/commercial areas around Vancouver have meter parking on the street, with meters accepting Canadian and American change only at par value. Residential streets may also allow free parking, although some require permits.
Getting to your destination
Hoping for some beach action with some 'food crawling' on the side? Then Stanley Park and the West End are perfect for you. Stanley Park has some of the most popular places to hang out in Vancouver: beaches, small eat-ins, and retail shops that are hits to both locals and visitors alike.
From central Vancouver, head to Stanley Park by driving north-east on Hornby Street toward W. Georgia Street/BC 99 S and then turning left onto W. Georgia St./BC-99. When approaching the ramp, use the right two lanes to turn right slightly and get in to Stanley Park.
Gastown and Chinatown
Known as the original town-site of Vancouver, Gastown is a mix of kitsch, heritage, and urban chic. Chinatown meanwhile, is one of the largest Chinatowns in North America; both great places to find interesting activities to enjoy.
The area of Gastown is located very near the Vancouver centre, and can be reached by driving through Hornby Street and W Hastings Street. Chinatown is just a stone's throw away from Gastown, along 7A.
A reclaimed industrial land that is now modern, Yaletown is the posh site of trendy neighbourhoods with some of the best views along False Creek. It is also known as the site of the Athlete's Village from the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Like Gastown and Chinatown, Yaletown is located very near central Vancouver, and can be reached from Richards Street towards Nelson Street.