There is no better way to discover Vancouver and its vicinities than by renting a car and hitting the road. However, an unprepared driver can be caught by surprise with extra fees when dropping off his ride.
With this guide, you should not fear additional fees to rent a car in Vancouver. Follow our tips to drive safe – and without preoccupations.
Tip 1: Avoid ‘Young Renter Fee’
The minimal age to rent a car in Vancouver is 21, but drivers under 25 can be charged extra. So if you are travelling in a group or with your family, choose an older driver as the renter.
Tip 2: Visiting the US or another province
If you are planning to use your rental car to cross the border or even visiting another province, such as Alberta, you should plan ahead. Even with an unlimited kilometer rental fee, you can be charged extra – and by kilometer – if you leave the province.
Some suppliers use the car’s GPS to keep track of your travel. So if you want to leave British Columbia with your rental car, look for a supplier who will not charge you extra. Usually, their daily fees will be higher, but the total amount ends up being cheaper.
Tip 3: Additional driver
Usually, a spouse is automatically added as an additional driver without any extra fees. Be sure to check this out since it is always nice to have someone to share the wheel with, especially if you are planning for a long road trip.
To add a driver that is not a spouse you should expect to be charged extra. Do not let someone drive the car without being officially added as a driver since you can lose your insurance in case of an accident.
One way to reduce these fees at some rental agencies is to join an Auto Club, such as Canadian Automobile Association. CAA offers a free additional driver, free mileage, discount on GPS rentals and free child seat.
Tip 4: Ferry to Vancouver Island
If you are planning to cross over to Vancouver Island with your rental car, you should know that every ferry you take with the car can add costs.
Knowing beforehand if you are crossing to the Island can avoid surprises since you can talk to your company and check if they have a combo for this or any advice on how to save or avoid extra costs.
Tip 5: Mind your pick-up and drop-off locations
If you are planning to return the car in a different city than Vancouver, you should plan for a one-way drop-off fee. This is meant to cover the company costs to return the car to its original location. You can minimize this by looking for a supplier that is present in the city you are going to drop off the vehicle.
There are also extra fees for picking up or dropping off a car at premium locations such as airports. Suppliers pay the airport in order to operate there so they charge renters in order to cover this extra cost. One way to avoid this is to plan to rent a car outside the airport.
Many drivers are caught by surprise with extra fees when returning their rental cars in Vancouver. However, with some planning, you can try to avoid additional fees.
Check out your pick-up and drop-off location, if you are going to take out-of-state routes and car ferries into consideration and choose an older driver to sign up as renter. Minimize additional driver fees by joining an Auto Club or signing up your spouse as such.
With this handful of measurements, you should be safe to rent a car in Vancouver without any surprises.