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Car rental vs public transport in Vancouver city/Victoria

Sidney
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Car rental vs public transport in Vancouver city/Victoria

I'm debating whether to rent a car for our Vancouver/Victoria trip. I know you can use public transportation to visit main points of interest but what I'm wondering is whether you'd have more flexibility with the car. We're little tight on time - 2 days Victoria, 3 days Vancouver. Parking in our hotels is quite pricey and there is the rental fee, plus the city traffic to count with, but if we could see more I would definitely consider it. In and around some US cities it was actually much easier to get around with public transportation which might be case in Vancouver?

Will appreciate any help. Thanks!

New Westminster...
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1. Re: Car rental vs public transport in Vancouver city/Victoria

For the core of both cities you don't need a car. But you could rent one for a day and avoid hotel parking. Depends very much on what you want to see. In Victoria you can do an excellent waterfront drive, or zoom up to Butchart Gardens (which can also be reached by tourist bus or local bus) or Sidney or the Malahat Drive. Taking a car across and back on the ferry will cost you quite a bit more than going by other means. Check Pacific Coach Lines for a downtown-to-downtown bus option. You could also rent scooters to see downtown Victoria and Oak Bay - but not Butchart Gardens.

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Car rental vs public transport in Vancouver city/Victoria

Renting a car would depend on what you want to see and do. Your time period in both cities is very short. Once you know what you want to see and where those places are located, you would know if you could take public transit, walk or if you really needed a car. Butchart is easy to do by shuttle from Government and Humboldt.

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Car rental vs public transport in Vancouver city/Victoria

I'd scrap the idea of renting a car. It's really more of a hindrance than a help, but it completely depends on what you want to see and do. You can easily get around without a car in both cities and using public transit can often be faster/easier than driving/having to find and pay for parking.

Langley, Canada
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4. Re: Car rental vs public transport in Vancouver city/Victoria

Getting to Victoria from Vancouver on transit or Pacific Coach Lines is easy. It takes you literally to the back of the Empress, and most points from their are easy to access. GREAT green idea by the way, saving money and pollution from the earth by taking transit - yeah you!

Sidney
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5. Re: Car rental vs public transport in Vancouver city/Victoria

Thanks for the suggestions, we decided to take Pacific Coach to Victoria then rent a car for only one day there.

I can confirm, you don't need a car in Vancouver, it's so easy to get around on foot and by the Skytrain! Awesome place, I only wish the weather would cooperate a little more!

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: Car rental vs public transport in Vancouver city/Victoria

Yeah, the weather's pretty gross right now, isn't it? By the way, you don't need a car in Victoria either - it's tinier than Vancouver, and Pacific Coachlines drops you off right next to the Empress and everything's walkable from there... except for Butchart Gardens, however Butchart can easily be visited by hopping on bus.

Penticton, Canada
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7. Re: Car rental vs public transport in Vancouver city/Victoria

HI

Without a car you are somewhat limited to the "touristy" areas closer to the inner harbour. These areas are very interesting for first time visitors and safe to walk everywhere; and enough to do for 2 days.

If you want to see a different Victoria then a car rental will allow you to tour the residential areas around Oak Bay Village and get a feel of why people want to retire to this city. Also allows you to travel to places like Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse; Royal Roads University/Hatley Castle.

8. Re: Car rental vs public transport in Vancouver city/Victoria

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