Car hire in Vancouver

Enjoy car hire deals to make your Vancouver driving holiday unforgettable.

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Vancouver sits on the coast of British Columbia in Canada.

At its doorstep is a cornucopia of spectacular driving routes through landscapes that will leave you speechless.

Read on for unbeatable deals on car hire, must-know road rules, an intro to some of the region’s best drives and answers to frequently asked questions about car hire in Vancouver.

Top car hire Vancouver deals


Free car rental for members

Join the Emerald Club and earn 1 rental credit for every qualified car rental. Inclusive of free rental days and other benefits. Destinations include Australia, Canada, United States and more. T&Cs apply.

Car hire from Vancouver Airport:

You can hire cars direct from Vancouver Airport with these companies:

Road rules: What to know about driving in Vancouver

  • Drive on the right. When driving in Canada, you must drive on the right-hand side of the road.
  • You can turn right on a red light. Provided it is safe to do so, you have come to a complete stop and there are no signs specifically prohibiting it, turning right at a red traffic light is legal. This rule applies throughout British Columbia but not across all of Canada, so drive with caution.
  • In built-up areas, the default speed limit is 50km/h.In rural areas, it is 80km/h, and on major highways, it is 110km/h.
  • Watch out for wildlife. The rural speed limit is low for a reason: large animals such as bears and elk are common sights along the road and collisions can be deadly. Information about what to do if you find injured wildlife can be found on the British Columbia Wildlife Park website.

Popular Vancouver driving routes

  • The Sea to Sky Highway. This is one of Canada’s most spectacular drives. It takes you from Vancouver to Whistler and the Fraser River through fjords, valleys, mountains, cliffs and plateaus. At just over 160km long, the drive only takes 2 hours.
  • Vancouver Island. Take the ferry to Nanaimo and spend a day or two exploring Vancouver Island. From the sandy beaches of Tofino and the ancient trees of Cathedral Grove in MacMillan Provincial Park to the Wild Pacific Trail and the Butchart Gardens, there is no shortage of fantastic drives and attractions.
  • The Icefields Parkway. The ultimate mountain drive. Travel through the Canadian Rockies and find out how the road got its name as you drive past Banff and Jasper National Parks, ancient glaciers, waterfalls, lakes and gravity-defying rock formations. The road itself is 230km long, and if you’re coming from Vancouver, it’s best to do the trip over at least 2 days.

Frequently asked questions about car hire

What side of the road do you drive on in Vancouver?

You drive on the right-hand side. This applies throughout Canada and the U.S.

Do I need an international driver's licence to drive in Vancouver?

No. You can drive with a valid licence from your country of origin for up to six months. However, if you do have an International Driving Permit, you can use it for up to a year.

Who offers cheap car hire from Vancouver International Airport?

National, Alamo, Hertz, Dollar Thrifty, Avis, Zipcar and Budget operate from Vancouver International Airport. A number of other companies also offer shuttle services to and from the airport.

I'm on my provisional licence. Can I drive in Vancouver?

Yes. However, many car insurance companies require you to have a full, non-provisional licence in order to hire a car. It is also worth noting that many companies will not rent cars to people under the age of 21.

How does car insurance work?

Your car hire company will probably offer to insure your vehicle as part of the deal. Alternatively, you can purchase car insurance through another insurance company. As an international driver, your travel insurance may cover your car hire, depending on your type of cover.

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