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My cousin uses Enterprise Carshare (formerly Autoshare) in Toronto, and will be driving for our vacation of 8 days in Vancouver (Please alert me if 8 days are too many) and 4 days in Victoria.

  1. Should we rent a car in Vancouver and Victoria (when needed; Vancouver's public transit surpasses Toronto's)?

  2. Or should she should join ZipCar (for $35/year) and then use it in Vancouver, Victoria, and even Toronto? We probably will not exceed the total limit of mileage (200 km/day x 8 days = 1600 km in Vancouver and 200 km/day x 4 days = 800 km in Victoria), because we would rent a car only for excursions of excessively long distances.

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    Depends on what you intend to do - certainly some holidays in Vancouver and Victoria of that length can be done entirely by public transport, including getting between the two! – Gagravarr Apr 26 '16 at 11:45
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    Having literally just returned from a holiday in Vancouver and Victoria, my advice is that you don't need a car for either - Vancouver itself (the actual city, don't mistake the surrounding metropolitan areas for Vancouver, they are separate cities) is walkable from one end to the other in 30 minutes or so. Victoria is also easily accessible via walking. All the tourist sites and activity sites in both locations are trivially accessible via public transport. You really do not need a car - we didn't have one and we didn't miss one. – Moo Jun 9 '16 at 9:51
  • You should also take the ferry costs into consideration. – Simon Feb 1 '18 at 9:06
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Good news: Vancouver is the car-sharing leader of North America, with the most vehicles per capita. The principal car-sharing services in Vancouver are

  • Car2go

    This is the most widely used service; cars are usually conveniently available when you want one. Rentals are point-to-point — you can drop it off anywhere in the home area (basically within Vancouver city limits). However, since Victoria is outside the zone, you would be looking at full-day rentals for the duration of your Victoria excursion (~ $100/day).

    Nearly all Car2go vehicles are two-seater Smart cars — possibly insufficient for your luggage. There are a few four-seater Mercedes vehicles, at a higher price, but you would have to be extremely lucky to find one near you, especially if you need one at the airport.

  • eVo

    This is a newer service, with similar pricing as Car2go, but you get a Toyota Prius.

  • modo

    This is a local car-sharing operator, with presence in Vancouver, Victoria, and Nanaimo. modo rentals need to be pre-booked, and you must return the car to the original location before the agreed-upon time.

  • zipcar

    A major global car-sharing operator, with a relatively small presence in Vancouver and Victoria — mainly downtown.


The decision depends mainly on how long you actually need a car.

  • Public transportation in Vancouver is quite good. (I'm less familiar with Victoria.) You could supplement public transportation with car-sharing as needed.

  • You could just rent a car for two weeks from a traditional car-rental company. That could be cheaper than paying the maximum daily rate every day for any car-sharing service, even after considering taxes, airport fees, fuel, insurance, and parking.

One thing to keep in mind is that taking the car on the ferry is not cheap: you would be looking at an additional ~ $100 round-trip to bring the car. During the summer weekends, if you are travelling with a car, I would strongly advise you to make a reservation as well — an extra $20 or more. Therefore, if your luggage is light, you may wish to consider taking the 620 bus to Tsawwassen Terminal and renting a car on the island.

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