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Some locals warn against renting a car for touring in Vancouver, their rationale being that Vancouver isn't any better than any other major city for parking. Additionally, some say, rates are higher than what they are in the U.S. — rates are lower at downtown rental locations than they are at the airport. Some have claimed to have obtained a car for only $13.99/day. Vancouver is known for its traffic congestion during peak times on roads leading to bottlenecks such as the North Shore bridges and the Fraser River crossings, but is otherwise generally manageable. Taxis are relatively cheap when compared with other major cities; and there are lots of them at the airport. A taxi between the airport and downtown Vancouver is $31 or $37 depending on which zone you go to. As you queue for a taxi, you should see maps showing fares for the various zones. When you get to the front of the queue you will get the next available taxi. The taxis will include ones licensed in cities outside of Vancouver. All taxis can take you from the airport to any destination, but on the way back some may not be able to pick up outside their licensed area. Fares from the airport to areas outside the posted zones are metered by distance. Time sitting in traffic will add to the cost. You can book your taxi in advance and get fare estimates by phone or online e.g. by using a taxi app.
Taxi companies licensed by the City of Vancouver include Yellow Cab, Maclures Cabs, Vancouver Taxi, and Black Top Cabs. If you need a luxury ride or you are more than 4 people then call a limousine company like Destiny Limousine Vancouver BC or Limojet Gold. Make sure you check Better Business Bureau Ranking to get the best of these services.
See the taxi zone fares from Vancouver Airport. Be aware that these fares apply only on trips from the airport to destinations in Vancouver and Richmond. Metered fares are charged to return to Vancouver Airport. Unfortunately, some taxi drivers are still trying to scam passangers taking taxis from the airport by quoting a fare that's 'close to' but just a little more than the official rate (ie: saying the fare is $35 if you're close to a $37 zone, but the zone map shows you should only be charged $31). The drivers will admit to their 'mistake' and not argue if the passenger quotes the correct fare.
If you are planning on a car rental to travel to Whistler for a winter skiing holiday, you should be aware of the tactics of the airport car rental agencies. People often book a compact or mid-sized car at the airport and then the local car rental staff tell them that the highway to Whistler is very dangerous for winter driving. The client is advised to upgrade to an all wheel drive sport utility vehicle at a much higher cost ( i.e. more profit) for the trip. The Sea to Sky Highway (Sea to Sky Highway webcams) is a winding road with some slippery sections during snowfalls but the conditions are no different than normal winter driving in the rest of Canada and the northern United States. Winter tires (M&S or snowflake & mountain tires) are required by law in winter. Car renters are well advised to save their money and stick with their original selection. You can then drive carefully to Whistler along with the thousands of Vancouver car drivers who make the trip every weekend. It's 90 minutes from downtown Vancouver to Whistler.
Keep in mind if you are traveling with a child that is under 9 years old and less than 4 feet 9 inches tall, they are required, by law, to be in a car seat except when in a taxi. In other words, children are not required to use a car seat while in a taxi — as crazy as that sounds! You may bring and use your own car seat. You can book a car seat from the car rental company prior to your arrival. Hopefully there will be one available when you arrive. Most car rental companies say that they have seats available on a first come, first served basis. You can also rent a car seat from a baby equipment rental company and that way it's guaranteed to be there and be clean! Contact www.travellingtykes.webs.com or www.weetravel.ca