Where to Rent a Car in Vancouver

By  //  March 25, 2022

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If you’re not sure whether you should rent a car in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, you’re not alone. The city is a popular vacation destination, which makes it a tourist hotspot at all times of the year. With so much going on, it’s easy to see why you might wonder, “should I rent a car in Vancouver?” Before you jump on a plane to explore the city, it might be worthwhile to weigh the benefits against the drawbacks. And if you’re still not sure, then read on to learn more.

Why Should You Rent a Car When You’re in Vancouver?

Vancouver is the largest city in the province of British Columbia and is Canada’s gateway to the Pacific. Built along the water’s edge, Vancouver offers spectacular views of the mountains and ocean. Vancouver has a year-round mild climate and beautiful scenery. Vancouver is home to world-class cuisine, entertainment, and attractions, plus it is also a gateway to some of Canada’s most popular destinations. 

Vancouver is full of attractions and activities, and renting a car is a great way to explore the city and find new places to spend your time. With a car rental, you can take in those views. If you are looking for a car to rent on your weekend road trip, do you know where to rent a car in Vancouver?

Finding the Vancouver Car: Where Do You Rent One in the City?

Vancouver’s temperate environment can easily be enjoyed year-round. With glorious scenery and 300 days of sunshine a year, summer is the prime season for tourists. But when the crowds die down, the need for cars increases. Getting around Vancouver by rental car is easy. It’s Vancouver, after all. But where do you rent a car? 

Whether you’re a tourist or a local, getting around Vancouver by car is convenient. Ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft are popular choices, and you can easily book a rental car through their website. Local rental companies like Alamo, Avis, Budget, and Hertz are readily found at the airport, and rental companies like National, Ascent Car Rental and Enterprise will pick you up from your hotel. But before you book, you should do your homework.

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Before You Rent a Car in Vancouver…

Car rentals are a convenient and affordable option for getting around Vancouver if you’re not driving your own vehicle. They’re also great for road trips and family vacations, but renting a car comes with its share of responsibilities. Here are the important things to know before your rent a car, and you’ll have everyone’s safety in mind:

 Check the recommended driving age. 

Being familiar with the countries and cities you drive to and their driving laws is a good idea, but did you know that the minimum driving age varies by country? Some places, such as Germany, require you to be at least 18 years old to drive, while other countries, such as Japan, require you to be 20 years old. When it comes to renting a car, age really doesn’t matter. 

Yes, many car rental companies in Canada prohibit anyone under the age of 25 from renting vehicles, but others, have no age restrictions. Most car rental companies, however, require that you do. Age is one of the factors considered when determining the rate for your rental.

Check on the prices for car rental. 

Car rental prices in Vancouver are high. From only squeaking by with an economy car to spending hundreds of dollars on a luxury option, there are a number of factors affecting the price of your Vancouver car rental. One of these factors is your expenses for the rental, or how much cash you need to give them. The price you often have to pay when renting a car differs from one company to another, so you have to do a little bit of research to find out exactly what the prices are. As far as car rental prices in Vancouver are concerned, there are many things that you should know.

■ Stopping on the roads to take photos is prohibited. 

Many of us are getting into the habit of taking lots of selfies and other photos when we’re out exploring cities, but sometimes it’s frustrating to stop everything and pose for a photo. Before you leave for your trip, be sure to look up the local laws about stopping and taking photos from your car. Some of the laws, such as those in Vancouver, involve a $35 fine.

■ Check to confirm whether your insurance covers damages. 

Getting into a rental is a stressful situation, especially if the car is in bad shape. You need to rent a car for any number of reasons, be it business or personal, and doing so in Vancouver can be complicated. Most car rental agencies will take care of any vehicle damage if you inform them at the point of rental, but it’s always smart to get a sense of how much that coverage might cost you. Also, most car insurance policies (including those provided by credit cards) cover rental car damage, but it doesn’t always guarantee you’ll get it. 

Make sure you do your research before you fly to Vancouver, so you’re prepared if your rental car is damaged before you leave the rental lot. Insurance company offers travelers helpful information on how rental car insurance works, so you’ll know ahead of time what you’ll be responsible for and how much your deductible will be.

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■ Take note that it is Right-hand driving here. 

Right-hand driving is one of the things you should know before renting a car in Vancouver. It’s not really a big deal, but it’s nice to know just in case. The right-hand drive is a designation for cars that are equipped with a steering wheel on the left side of the vehicle. Although this may seem like an unnecessary technicality, it has various practical implications. Far from being just a cosmetic difference, right-hand driving can significantly affect your life on the road and can potentially save you a lot of money.

Other things to consider – are tolls, toilets, road police, gas stations, and more. 

While traveling, be aware of parking charges, toll rates, and gas prices. Vancouver has 20 different parking zones, and street parking is free. However, some streets have a 90-minute maximum stay before charging you. Fares for BC Ferries, commercial airlines, Greyhound buses, and car rental companies can vary widely. Avoid sticker shock by knowing the fees before renting or buying. Gas stations are triggered by GPS, so you could be charged more for fuel than you’re expecting. 

Be vigilant about under-the-radar additional charges that show up on your receipt once you get to your destination. The Canadian dollar is weaker than the US, making Canadian prices more expensive. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of travel when calculating bills. While Vancouver has low crime rates, be aware of your surroundings. Don’t carry valuables or keep money easily accessible in your wallet, purse, or backpack.

Whether you are driving down the highway or taking a road trip, rental cars offer convenience and flexibility. But don’t forget to do your homework. Renting a car can be a costly mistake, as it could end up costing you a lot more than you anticipated. Also, to avoid any mistake, only rent a car at trusted rental companies such as Ascent Car Hire Vancouver.