When visiting Vancouver, a car rental is useful for fully exploring the area. The roads are easy to drive, with clear signs for visitors.
Renting a Car at Vancouver International Airport
Companies that offer car rentals at Vancouver International Airport include Alamo, National, Avis, Hertz, Dollar, Thrifty, and Budget. Their counters are a short walk from the departure doors. Most car rental agencies are open until midnight, and some, such as Avis and Budget, are open until 1:00 a.m. Available vehicle types include sports cars, compacts, luxury, and minivans. Travellers can price the different companies on Skyscanner.ca for the cheapest car rental.
What to Expect When Driving From Vancouver International Airport
Vancouver is a 25-minute drive (14.7 km) north of the airport. Drivers should follow Grant McConachie Way E to Granville St (Route 99) to Vancouver. Granville Street is also the best route back to the airport when returning the rental car. Several gas stations line this road, which is convenient because most rental car agencies request the car be returned with a full tank of gas.
Drivers might notice blinking green lights along this route and on many of Vancouver's streets. This means he or she can make a left turn before the opposing traffic is allowed to enter the intersection.
A less populous city, Richmond, is a 16-minute drive or 7.5 km south of the airport. Drivers should follow signs for Grant McConachie Way E to No 3 Rd south to get to Richmond.
Things to Know When Driving in the Vancouver Area
If there's one thing to know about Vancouver, it's that it is a bicycle-friendly city. Most roads have dedicated bike lanes, and drivers must be aware of the many bicyclists sharing the roads. It is also a very walkable city, and pedestrians are constantly crossing in crosswalks. Parking comes at a premium. There are parking meters on the city streets and pay stations in most parking garages. Drivers should know the license plate number of their rental car and have plenty of coins for the pay stations. Most stations, however, also take credit cards.
Things to Do in Vancouver
One item that should be on any visitor's list is a drive through Stanley Park, especially at sunset. The views from Third Beach and Sunset Beach are breathtaking. Granville Island has a fantastic public market with an international flare, a farmer's market, and a great view of the city. Many whale watching companies depart from Granville Island, as well. Parking on the island, however, is tricky. There are some free parking spaces for visitors but most have a time limit. Other lots have pay stations available. Tourists can drive to Grouse Mountain and ride up the Gondola any time of year to enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding mountain ranges and the city itself.
After travellers land at Vancouver International Airport and pick up a car rental, they can explore the area and enjoy the fantastic views and landscape. Check out the Skyscanner app and Skyscanner.ca website for more deals.