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Getting Around Vancouver in a Rental Car

driving tips in vancouver

Vancouver is one of the top cities to visit in Canada. The city sits on the west coast of British Columbia, and is a great destination to explore with a rental car. VroomVroomVroom can help you find a car rental in Vancouver by comparing deals from suppliers such as Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty.

Where to drive your rental car in Vancouver

Popular municipalities in Vancouver include:

  • The City of Vancouver: The hub of activity can be found in downtown Vancouver. With hotels, galleries, and museums the city is an exciting destination.
  • Richmond: The home of the International Airport and plenty of beautiful waterfront views. The area is a popular fishing destination.
  • Burnaby: If it is shopping and entertainment you after, head east to Burnaby. Burnaby is also home to Central Park, which boasts several outdoor recreation activities.
  • North Vancouver: With incredible mountain vistas and outdoor adventure activities, North Vancouver is a popular stop on the tourist trail.
  • New Westminster: This historic region is home to 19 th century buildings, and many museums and galleries along the Fraser River.

Driving tips in Vancouver

  • Distances and speed limits are measured in kilometres per hour.
  • It is illegal to use your cellphone while driving.
  • Drive through blinking green lights with caution as they indicate a pedestrian crossing section.
  • Overtake vehicles to the left, and drive on the right-hand side of the road.
  • You are required to wear a seatbelt.
  • Cyclists are common in Vancouver, so take caution when sharing the road.
  • No freeways run through central Vancouver, so journey times will be longer when passing through the city.
  • Give way at pedestrian crossings.
  • On urban roads, the speed limit is generally 50 kilometres per hour.

Parking in Vancouver

Vancouver is known for its expensive parking. You are more likely to find free parking if you leave the downtown area, where payment at a meter is usually required.

If you come across free parking in central Vancouver, keep in mind that this will usually be limited to two hours. Keep an eye out for IMPARK and EasyPark lots throughout the city.

Toll roads in Vancouver

There are no designated toll roads in the Vancouver region, but there are two toll bridges. To cross the Port Mann Bridge, commuters will pay $3.15, and $4.45 to travel over the Golden Ears Bridge.

Driving Distances

  • Vancouver to Whistler: 1h 30min
  • Vancouver to Abbotsford: 1h
  • Vancouver to Richmond: 25min


Make sure you remember to fill up your rental car before you return it to the depot. Here are a few centrally located gas stations:

  • Esso - 1205 Burrard St, Vancouver.
  • Shell - 1785 Main St, Vancouver.
  • Chevron - 1212 E Hastings St, Vancouver.
Vancouver is home to a number of fantastic attractions. If you are in the city, don't miss your chance to visit Stanley Park, Granville Island, the Museum of Anthropology, English Bay, the Vancouver Aquarium and Gastown.

Other driving tips in popular cities