Victoria, located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, is the capital city of British Columbia and the 7th most densely populated city in Canada. Named after Queen Victoria, its heritage can be traced through a large number of historic buildings, like Craigdarroch Castle, the Parliament Buildings and the stunning Butchart Gardens. Listed in the top twenty world cities for quality-of-life, Victoria is as popular with students as it is with retirees who adore its abundance of parkland and snow-free climate.
For those looking to explore Victoria and the surrounding area, we have compared the various rental car companies on a variety of factors, such as opening hours, available cars and of course, daily rates. Here are our favourites.
Victoria Airport – National
Serving Victoria and much of Vancouver Island, Victoria International Airport lies 12 miles north of the city. Out of all the rental car company counters located in the arrivals area, we found National to be the pick of the bunch. With the exception of Alamo, National is generally considered to have the cheapest car rentals in the US and Canada. As an example, we found the Chevrolet Spark, Kia Forte and Chevrolet Malibu between $20 – $30 per day on our chosen dates. For those looking to make a quick exit, National’s Emerald Club allows members to bypass the lines at the counter. Opening hours Monday to Friday 6.30am – 12.30am; Saturday 6.30 – 12am; Sunday closed.
Downtown Victoria – Budget
Many people use Victoria as a base to visit the Pacific Rim National Park, the Goldstream Provincial Park and in the winter, Mount Washington Alpine Resort. For these sort of journeys, an SUV or even a 4×4 are the safest form of transport. At Budget, we found a solid range of SUVs, from the compact Hyundai Tucson at $56 per day to a 9-passenger GMC Yukon at the very top of the category, at $111 per day. The agency is located downtown within walking distance from the ferries and other major attractions. Opening hours Monday to Sunday 7am – 6pm.
View Royal – National
View Royal is located 9 miles to the west of Victoria close to the Gorge Waterway, a meandering fjord which is very popular with canoeists and kayakers. Our most recommendable car rental agency in the area is National, located 2.5 miles west of View Royal on the BA1. National has a fine range of vehicles on offer, from a Chevrolet Spark to a convertible Ford Mustang and dozen of models in between. Customer feedback praised the professionalism of the staff and speed of pick up but one customer mentioned their insurance charge was more expensive than the rental of the car. It might, therefore, be worth looking into alternative ways of insuring your vehicle before making a reservation. Opening hours Monday to Friday 7.30am – 5.30pam; Saturday and Sunday 8.30am – 4.30pm.