Welcome to the forum gez ~
Some car rental companies on Vancouver Island would be Hertz, Island Rent a Car, National, Budget with Budget being a reliable company. The problem you might have is the one way drop fee for leaving in Port Hardy. You will need to do a dry run of the reservation process to see what it would be.
Vancouver Island is a bit awkward for tranportation. There's a small population base and the average tourist does not create a demand for service. You could certainly rent a car in Nanaimo and go to Tofino and back quite easily. Then you might find you would want to return the car and take the Greyhound coach up to Port Hardy.
thankyou mufti for your. reply-much appreciated .do you know if many have done what we are trying to do? or do they bring car from mainland?
Yes, I can recall a number of travellers scratching their head figuring out what to do because leaving the car at Port Hardy was a bit punishing financially. If I recall, about a $300 drop fee for the one way rental. But it's true many start out from Vancouver, tour the Island and return the car to Vancouver. And some come down from Prince Rupert on the ferry to Port Hardy and then need to find a way to get down Island or even over to Vancouver.
Another thing to consider as well is that whatever car you rent will have to have a location in Port Hardy. You're not going to be able to drop a car up there without that.
Greyhound will be the most likely way to get up Island without a car.
Are you planning on taking The Skeena from Prince Rupert to Jasper? What are you trying to do?
Yes we are planning to catch the Skeena from Rupert to Jasper, but would like to see some of the Pacific Rim National Park and Cape Scott Provincial Park.
It is certainly possible to do what you are suggesting, but the cost of the one way rental at Port Hardy could be the stopper, so look into that closely and then make your decisions from there. Personally, I might look at renting a car from Nanaimo and doing a few days around the south and central island taking in Victoria, Tofino, etc. Return the car to Nanaimo and either fly or take a coach to Port Hardy where you might want to rent another car for a few days to see the north island. This will save those nasty one-way drop fees, but you'll have to compare it to the cost of getting yourselves from Nanaimo to Port Hardy by another means.
As everyone else mentioned there will be a one way drop off fee in Port Hardy (i ah heard it range from $150 to $300). The only two rental companies in Port Hardy are Budget and National, limiting your search. Most rental car companies don't allow their cars on the logging roads like the ones needed to reach Cape Scott Park. There is a shuttle from Port Hardy to the Park northcoasttrailshuttle.com/Cape.Scott.North.…
Kingfisher beat me to it! He is absolutely right; you will not be able to drive your rental car on a logging road. Cape Scott, for gez786, is best reached by the shuttle.
I do, however, wonder why the OP wants to go to Cape Scott. Beautiful as it is, it really is a backpacking/trekking area and perhaps Strathcona Park might meet some of the interests you have on Vancouver Island. Much more accessible, driveable with a rental car and a beautiful glacier to see! Anyways, just a suggestion for you.
I don't think the drop fee is prohibitive, just the cost of travelling in a car hire on Vancouver Island and a cost that you need to factor in to your holiday. Irregardless there is a cost to get to Port Hardy and a cost to travel around Port Hardy. Sometimes convenience trumps cost IMHO.
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