British Columbia: Car Rental
From the Capital Victoria to Largest City Vancouver
Local Travel Info in British Columbia
To and From – British Columbia
There are 17 airports found throughout British Columbia: Abbotsford, Boundary Bay, Castlegar, Comox, Cranbook, Fort St. John, Kamloops, Langley Regional, Kelowna, Nanaimo, Penticton, Pitt Meadows, Prince George, Prince Rupert, Terrace-Kitimat Northwest Regional, Vancouver International and Victoria International. Air Canada serves British Columbia with domestic and international flights available year round; there are also many other international airlines serving Vancouver and Victoria. The main airports are Vancouver, Victoria, and Kelowna; the others are more localized. In Vancouver (15km southwest of the city) you will find airport shuttles, taxis and buses. The Airport Station Bus Terminal runs the 98 B Line and Route #496 connect to downtown Vancouver, Route #620 connects to the BC Ferries in Tsawwassen, Route #100 connects to Vancouver and points east, Route #491 travels to Richmond and Steveston, Route #301 connects to Surrey/Newton, Route #C 92 connects to the Airport South Terminal while Route #C90 connects to the northern portion of Sea Island. The journey time into the city is approximately 25 minutes. Scheduled buses are available to downtown Vancouver, Whistler, Vancouver Island and Washington State. The Airporter runs from 8:20 am to 21:45pm to downtown Vancouver and costs 21 return. Hotels run shuttle buses as well.
At Victoria International (22km north of Victoria) you will find bus services (take route 83 for the downtown), an airport shuttle and taxis available. The journey time is 30 minutes.
In Kelowna there are shuttle services available which take approximately 20 minutes.
Taxis from Vancouver International airport or Victoria International Airport
Taxis to downtown Vancouver from the airport cost the flat rate of 15 -18€. Taxis are available outside at ground level. Taxis to Victoria cost 35€; the journey takes 30 mins.
British Columbia By Bus
Translink buses serve the Greater Vancouver area and BC Transit serves many communities within British Columbia including Victoria, and Whistler. Coaches in BC operate frequently. Malaspina Coachlines provide service from the airport to Vancouver and the Sunshine coast while Pacific Coachlines serve between Vancouver, Victoria and Nanaimo. Island Coach Lines and Gray Line West run on Vancouver Island. Greyhound operates between the more popular cities and routes. The main bus station in Vancouver is Pacific Central Station; in Victoria the bus station is found on Douglas Street. For public transportation in Vancouver a single ticket lasts up to 90 minutes, can be used on the Skytrain and Seabus and one zone adult ticket costs €1.75. All day, all zone passes cost €6. The bus network is extensive in the downtown area, exact change is required. Night buses run between 1:30 am and 4am.
British Columbia By Car/ Car Hire Vancouver/ Car Hire Victoria
Renting a car in British Columbia is easily done from any of British Columbia's major or minor airports or from a downtown hotel. Renting a car in British Columbia is recommended if you are planning to drive outside the cities. Roads in general in British Columbia are extensive and typically well maintained. If you are driving in British Columbia or Canada for an extended period (more than 3 months) you need an International Driving Permit from your home country. Seatbelts are required, speed limits are in effect and distance/speed is measured in kilometres per hour. Canadians drive on the right hand side of the road; Some of the major car rental companies include, Hertz, Budget, Avis, and Alamo. Hertz is usually the most expensive while Budget is more economical.
The Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1) reaches British Columbia via Calgary, Alberta and continues through the south of the province to Vancouver, over to Nanaimo, and onto Victoria. The other main highways are numbers 3, 5, 16, 37, 95 and 97. Highway 99 runs from the US/Canadian border into Vancouver. Apart from Highway 97 and the remote scenic Highway 37, which run northwards to the Yukon, the province’s road network is concentrated in the south. Road signs are international. There are good roads south to Seattle in the US.
For special deals and low rates on your car hire in Vancouver, Victoria or Whistler, view our Car Hire section in the main tab above. We aim to provide all OK Bravo readers with the latest deals available online. Our links are updated daily to ensure you find the cheapest car hire in Vancouver, Victoria or Whistler.
Hitchhiking in British Columbia
In British Columbia as in the rest of Canada, it is not permitted to hitchhike.
Cycling in British Columbia
British Columbia has an impressive cycling network. Cycling between regions is a great way to see British Columbia's countryside and accommodation is often found nearby. The most popular cycling areas include the Gulf Islands, the Kootenays and BC Rockies. The roads are often secluded country bike paths surrounded by dense forest, mountains, lakes and orchards. BC is also known for its cycle paths in the Golden Triangle, a strenuous cycle circuit in the Rockies between Golden and Radium Hot Springs. Cyclists in Vancouver can explore Stanley Park and travel as far as False Creek. There are several bike rental outlets available around the Denman St and Georgia intersection. Bike tours around Vancouver can also be booked. Try Cycle BC which has offices in both Victoria and Vancouver.
The rail system in British Columbia stretches all the way across Canada to Nova Scotia. Passengers can hop on VIA Rail and travel from Edmonton to Prince Rupert (via Jasper); Victoria to Courtenay; Vancouver to Edmonton via Kamloops and Jasper onwards to Toronto. The Whistler Mountaineer is a great option for scenic site seeing. The three hour journey runs between Vancouver and Whistler. Similarly the Rocky Mountaineer is a scenic two day travel between Vancouver and Banff and Calgary or between Whistler and Jasper. The season runs April to mid-October. Other tourist rail-lines in BC include the Alberni Pacific Railway in Port Alberni, that runs on former Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway trackage. The Kettle Valley Steam Railway runs out of Summerland on the last remaining portion of the famous Kettle Valley Railway. The Kamloops Historical Railway runs over the Kelowna Pacific, CN, and CPR. The White Pass and Yukon Route operate out of Skagway, AL and northern BC. Amtrak in the US runs from Seattle to Vancouver. Within Vancouver you can take the Skytrain a mostly elevated rapid transit system that connects the city centre with eastern suburbs. There are two lines, the Expo and Millennium. Notable SkyTrain stations in Vancouver include: Broadway/Commercial Drive - Accesses the restaurants of Commercial Drive in East Vancouver; Burrard and Granville - Most convenient for accessing the shopping areas in the City Center; Waterfront Station - Meeting point of the SkyTrain, SeaBus, numerous commuter and rapid bus routes and the commuter rail West Coast Express. It is also at the entrance to Gastown and is right next to the Canada Place Convention Centre/Cruise Ship Terminal facilities. A new Skytrain line to the airport is set to open late 2009.
British Columbia by Ferry
British Columbia is well served by ferries given its remarkable location. The main port is found in Vancouver, which is an international port sailing to the far East across the Pacific Ocean and ports on the US’ northwestern coast including Alaska. Ferry services link three points on Vancouver Island with Vancouver’s north (Horseshoe Bay) and south terminals on the mainland. You can travel by ferry from Vancouver’s city centre to Victoria’s city centre or take the Seabus, an aquatic bus operating daily crossing the Burrard Inlet. Ferries taking passengers around False Creek are also popular. BC Ferries operate a total of 25 routes from 46 ports throughout British Columbia. The highlight trip is considered a scenic,15-hour, one-way, daylight voyage from Port Hardy on the northern tip of Vancouver Island up the Inside Passage to Prince Rupert, and then crossing from Prince Rupert to the Queen Charlotte Islands. Catamarans service Victoria and Seattle daily.