Rent a Car Vancouver

A short guide to a stress free rental plus tips for safe winter driving in Vancouver. Bonus: day trips ideas while in Vancouver. Rent a car today at |

Car rental should be easy, can be hassle free, but sometime can be a night mare.

Here are a few tips and trick to have a stress-free vacation.

  1. Finding the right company to book you car.

I think this is the trickiest part. If you type in google Car Rental Downtown Vancouver you will get an endless list of options:

  • From big names that cover 95%o of the market:

  1. Enterprise holdings that include (Enterprise Rent-A-CarNational Car RentalAlamo Rent a Car),
  2. Avis Budget Group (Avis Car RentalBudget Car RentalBudget Truck RentalPayless Car Rental, Apex Car Rentals, Maggiore Group and Zipcar)
  3. Hertz (Hertz, Thrifty Car Rental and Dollar Rent A Car.)

You can save some money by doing your home work but the key to really saving some money is to compare the final price after all taxes and fees included.

The oldest trick in the books is to lure in with a low price and then add all the extra charges to inflate the price to the real market price. The old saying still applies here – if it’s too good to be true it probably is. Do your home work and decide what features you need in a car and how much will it cost you if you get them all.

Look for companies that include most of the features that you need in the price of the car. We all agree that charging in the Hotel room for the internet is a rip-off – the same is true for Car GPS or roadside assistance.

If this is your first time in Vancouver or if you are not familiar with the area then Navigation might be a necessity – seek for a car rental company that includes the GPS in the rental or use an app like Here We Go and download the offline maps for your use offline while traveling.

2. Taking in the account Parking

The biggest expense that most travelers forget to account is the parking fee – If possible choose a hotel outside of the Downtown Core that will include parking in the room rental or rent the car from a company that includes parking like Classique Car Rental.

Inquire from your hotel about the parking options and with the car rental company about the option of keeping your car on their parking lot if it’s near by your hotel.

3. Know what to save on.

There are many ways to save on car rentals – by not getting the GPS when is a paid feature or having only one driver when the drive is not too long or resisting the sales tactics to upgrade to a bigger car, but one place where you should not sacrifice is the insurance. If you don’t have insurance with your credit card than it’s wise to buy one in advance or from a car rental company. It will always be cheaper to buy the insurance in advance from an insurance broker, besides most of the car rental companies will require an insurance policy for every rental. And here are some intersections to avoid – Crash statistics.


4. Read the fine print before signing your rental agreement

Most of us ignore the rental terms and conditions but this is where all your savings can go down the drain. Travel plans can change very fast so it’s no surprise that some companies will have a more flexible cancelation policy than others. Sometimes the cheapest option might end up being the most expensive if the rental fees are non-refundable and the reservation dates can not be changes.

Check to see any other restriction imposed by the car rental companies that might cost you money like driver’s age and mileage.

Best yet is to familiarize yourself with these condition before renting the car so that you are not feeling preshured by the car rental agent or line up to only skim through the fin print.

5. Decide where you want to go and plan the optimal routes.

Once you are set with the rental next step is to plan your trip in advance so that you maximise the use of your car rental and your time in Vancouver.

Do some research and decide what fits you and get the best from Vancouver. Here are some interesting reads…

Top 6 One Day Vancouver Road Trips to Feed The Soul – By Laurie Izzy

10 incredible day trips from Vancouver – By JOHN LEE Lonely Planet Writer


6. Driving in Vancouver in Winter

Vancouver gets very little snow in the city so most of the time you would be ok not renting a car with winter tires, however if you plan to visit Whistler, Cypress or other sky hill be aware that is winter tires are required by law from October 1st until Match 31st.


Ask your car rental about the availability for cars with winter tires to avoid surprises at the time you pick up the car.

Companies like offer cars with winter tires at no extra charge.

Avoid being stuck in traffic or paing fines for not having proper tires.

Here is a segment on winter driving to whistle from January 2017.

I hope you will enjoy your trip to Vancouver and will find these tips useful.