What you should know before hiring a car in Vancouver
Car hires in Vancouver: practical information
Where to rent a car in Vancouver
Vancouver is one of the biggest cities in Canada, by far the biggest on the western coast. It sits in the most perfect location, with the Rocky Mountains in the background and the Pacific Ocean at its doorstep. There are endless attractions waiting for you outside the city which is why it's perfect to get a car hire cheap in Vancouver. Booked your cheap tickets from London to Vancouver already? Now all you need to do is book a rent car in Vancouver and you're practically done booking your holiday! Save time and pick up your rental car from Vancouver Airport. You'll find National/Alamo, Avis, Budget, Hertz, Dollar/Thrifty located right in the terminal building. Enterprise is located off-site but very close to the airport.
You can also pick up a rental car in Vancouver's city centre, a good option if you only need to use it for one or two days. Hertz is located downtown on Seymour Street near Davie St. Enterprise is right beside it. Avis and National are both located at the Central Station. Zipcar is another possibility, located near the Waterfront Station.
Driving in Vancouver: parking and other tips
Parking is surprisingly reasonable in Vancouver, for being such a big city. Expect to pay $1-2.50/hour or $12-20/day to park downtown. If you're parking at a street meter you can use both Canadian and American coins (although American ones are accepted at the same value). It's also possible to park on a residential street and then walk into town, although watch out because some require a permit. You can also use Easy Park lots (marked by an orange circle sign with a giant P inside). There are plenty of scammers selling reduced parking tickets for these park lots, don't be fooled!!! They're likely bought with stolen credit cards. Also, be wary of leaving anything valuable in your car if you park overnight on the street. Break-ins seem to be the trending crime, particularly against car rentals in Vancouver.
Planning on renting a car while on holidays in Vancouver? Don't waste your dollars away paying for parking at a city lot. Instead, make sure you book hotels in Vancouver that offer complimentary parking. This is more likely at hotels located outside of the downtown core or further outside the city. Some B&Bs though have free parking available in their own driveway.
Road trips from Vancouver: what to do, what to see
The North Shore
The North Shore is within an hour's drive from Vancouver and makes a great escape form the city. Enjoy views of the city from Grouse Mountain. You can also walk across the suspension bridge or enjoy an afternoon outdoors hiking or even kayaking. In the summer most hikers will head out to do the "Grouse Grind" which is a 2.9km trek up the side of the mountain at 850m elevation.
Love the outdoors? Squamish is the perfect destination for you. Take a hike up the Sea to Sky corridor near the self-proclaimed outdoor recreation capital of Canada. Other outdoor activities that are readily available include rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, fishing, white-water rafting and there's even room for a few strokes of golf. Squamish is a great spot in winter too for skiing.
Vancouver Island can certainly fill a whole holiday in itself but being reachable via ferry with a Vancouver rent car, it makes a great addition to any holiday in Vancouver. Just take the cheapest car rental you can find in Vancouver and take the ferry across to Nanaimo. First visit Victoria and drive up along the coast. Tofino has some excellent surfing but if you want to see some killer whales, take a boat trip from Telegraph Cove.