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To Rent a Car or Not

dallas texas
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257 posts
3 reviews
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To Rent a Car or Not
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Thanks to all the advice on a previous question. We have now changed our flight arriving from China and instead of going on to Fallas plan to spend 3 nights and 2 days in Vancouver.

We are not big shoppers but enjoy seeing the beauty of the city and surrounding areas. We were planning on staying at Hampton Inn by the airport(Hilton points) and renting a car. We will arrive on Sunday June 4 th and leave on a Very early flight on Weds June 7 .

I have read that you have excellent public transportation but felt we might see more with a car.

I also read that parking can be a problem.

So, given our short time in Vancouver . What do you think?

Gibsons, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
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9,607 posts
32 reviews
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1. Re: To Rent a Car or Not
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Keep the car, but unlike Texas, expect to pay for parking everywhere in Vancouver. And expect to drive around on regular streets, not freeways or interstates. If you can live with that, the car will be fine. In downtown Vancouver, the car will be parked, but when you venture outside of downtown (ie: to Lynn Canyon, to Lighthouse Park, to Deep Cove, to the Museum of Anthropology, to VanDusen Botanical Garden, etc.) and to neighbourhoods outside of downtown (ie: Kitsilano, Commercial Drive, Mount Pleasant, etc.), you'll probably enjoy having a car.

Edited: 4 years ago
Penticton, Canada
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28,616 posts
27 reviews
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Just budget for expensive parking if you are going to have a car.

if you are mobile and can walk 5-10k per day there is a skytrain (subway) station near the hotel. https://goo.gl/maps/3a6xdwPTPj42

dallas texas
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Thanks. One of us really enjoys walking and the other not at all. The car sounds like the way to go for us! We love getting out of the city and we can do it on our own time. We will just budget for parking.

Metchosin, Canada
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2,464 posts
576 reviews
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Get lots and lots of change. A roll or two of $1 coins from the bank would be a good idea. Parking in Vancouver runs anywhere from $2/hr to $5/hr (maybe more). 10 cents only buys you 21/23 minutes in some places.

Vancouver, Canada
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60 reviews
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I would plan to use your feet and transit for time right in Vancouver. Even when we drive into the city, we just park once and leave the car there, then walk or use transit to get around. Parking in Stanley Park is quite reasonable for the day, and while it can be difficult to find a spot on a summer Sunday, it should be ok on weekdays. From there you can walk into the city or hop on a #19 bus.

Vancouver, Canada
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82 reviews
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6. Re: To Rent a Car or Not
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I'm going to offer some different advice...depending on your points. Are you able to use them at the

http://www.hamptoninnvancouver.com

in downtown Vancouver?

If so, I wouldn't bother with a car. With only 2 full days, you will easily spend one, if not more, just seeing Vancouver's downtown. Including Stanley Park, etc. You will also have much easier access to restaurants etc and the added advantage, at least to me, of being able to pop into your hotel room easily during the day for a bit of rest etc.

With only one more day to fill, transit, or free shuttles to Grouse Mountain ( if it's clear ), can easily get you to places you want to see, without worrying about parking.

Then a taxi to YVR for your early flight.

Penticton, Canada
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28,616 posts
27 reviews
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7. Re: To Rent a Car or Not
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I have mobility problems so I use a car to get to wherever I want to go in Vancouver; the one thing you will find is that the drive from the hotel to get to Stanley Park takes longer than it looks on a map; so going back to your hotel and going out again will waste a lot of time.

for some place worth visiting with a car there is Steveston away from Vancouver - https://goo.gl/maps/Uv7U861j6FL2

Then one idea is to do the loop around UBC (University of BC) with a stop at MOA Museum of Anthropology https://goo.gl/maps/PAzZEYCvxV42 then a stop to see the St Rock ship at the Maritime Museum (parking at the Planetarium)

then continue to Granville Island https://goo.gl/maps/XAmHqVHeZdS2 then go on to the loop around Stanley Park https://goo.gl/maps/T2W6qBumXyz with a stop at Prospect Point https://goo.gl/maps/XCPy8EmRyaS2

Gibsons, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
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9,607 posts
32 reviews
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Bringing a lot of (Canadian) pocket change isn't totally necessary. A lot of the parking garages and parking lots accept credit cards in Vancouver. In some cases, they don't accept anything else except credit cards. Parking meters in Vancouver can be purchased using the PayByPhone app, which you can set up ahead of time online here: https://paybyphone.com/

In downtown Vancouver at the height of business hours, a quarter buys you 7 minutes of parking time. Parking meters are limited to 2 hours of parking downtown, 7 days of week from 9am until 10pm. So if you're going to leave your car downtown, park in a parking garage and just walk.

Edited: 4 years ago
North Vancouver...
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120 posts
131 reviews
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9. Re: To Rent a Car or Not
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I think you should stick to transit - it's frequent and really cheap, and if you have mobility problems Canadians WILL give up their seat for you. If you get tired, use a taxi. You'll see more of the city, save a ton of money and meet some Canuks

North Vancouver...
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174 posts
10. Re: To Rent a Car or Not
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Hello,

My name is Claire from the North Vancouver visitor centre and hopefully I can help answer your question.

Our transit system is pretty good, but if you are people that enjoy getting out of town just remember that the transit system doesn't reach some of these places.

If you plan to see some places such as Cypress Mountain for hiking and great views or travelling up to Squamish to visit the Sea to Sky, consider a car and as mentioned earlier, remember to expect to pay for parking! But if your plans are mostly revolved around the downtown core, a car is not necessary.

Another option would be, although more risky, you could wait until arriving in Vancouver and have some bearings for what you want to see and decide then if you need a car or not. Most car rental companies are accessible but availability for cars could run a risk considering the time you are travelling.

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