If you're moving to Vancouver from another province or country, it's important to know the local rules and regulations. They not only have differences from other countries; they also have significant differences from other provinces in Canada.
Below are lists of helpful information about:
› Driving in Vancouver
› Parking in Vancouver
Vancouver Driving Information
If you're planning on driving in Vancouver or anywhere else in the province, you'll need to get a BC driver's license within 90 days of your arrival. More about getting a BC Driver's License
In Vancouver and the rest of Canada, cars drive on the right side of the road.
A flashing green light in BC is not an advanced turn for vehicles turning left. Flashing green means the light is pedestrian controlled, and will turn amber then red shortly after a pedestrian activates it.
In BC it's illegal to use a cell phone or any electronic handheld device while driving. You may use hands-free cell phones.
It's illegal in Canada to operate or simply be in the driver's seat of a motorized vehicle while your ability to drive is impaired. It's also illegal to have a blood alcohol concentration above 0.05 percent. In BC, it's illegal to refuse a roadside sobriety test.
Vancouver is a city full of cross walks. If a pedestrian is standing at the side of the road at a crosswalk and indicating they wish to cross, motorists are expected to stop if it is safe to do so.
If you're new to Canada, be aware that Canadian street signs are posted in kilometres per hour. Approximate conversions of the most common speed signs while driving in Vancouver follow:
50 km/h = 30 mph
60 km/h = 37 mph
90 km/h = 56 mph
Gasoline is sold in litres. In Vancouver, most stations are self-serve, but you must pay for your gasoline before you pump. Prices within Vancouver are roughly the same at every station. Prices tend to be cheaper in the outlying regions of Vancouver.
Vancouver Parking Information
The availability of street parking in Vancouver varies widely based on the time of day. During peak travel times, some streets don't allow parking, even at metre spots.
When parking in Vancouver, keep an eye out for signs which designate permit only, or the amount of time you're allowed to park.
Parking regulations, especially in the downtown core and other high traffic areas, are strictly enforced.
If you're parking at a metre, read the metre before paying. Rates at meters vary based on the area, and there are often a maximum number of hours you can park. If a parking metre is out of order, you're not allowed to park there.
Vancouver has many parkades above and below ground, but they can be hard to find. Look for the signs marked with a large 'P'. Rates vary, but it's not uncommon to pay $14 to $18 to park for a day downtown. Hourly rates vary from $1.00 to $3.50 per hour.