Driving from Seattle to Victoria, BC, Canada

 

I will be taking a week vacation at the end of October. I'll fly into SEA (Seattle international airport), rent a car and drive to Victoria BC (Canada). I'd like to get some help from those who have taken this trip before.

Google map shows me 3 ferry routes:
from Port Angeles, WA
from Anacortes, WA
and from Tsawwassen, BC

Does anyone know how to cross into Victoria BC through Port Angeles? This route is the shortest (time and distance wise).

I know how to take a ferry from Tsawwassen BC but I can't find information how to get there through Port Angeles, WA.

MV Coho

chewbacca wrote:

Does anyone know how to cross into Victoria BC through Port Angeles?

I've done it several times. The ferry is named the MV Coho. Details here:

https://cohoferry.com/

and

chewbacca wrote:

I will be taking a week vacation at the end of October. I'll fly into SEA (Seattle international airport), rent a car and drive to Victoria BC (Canada).

Be certain your rental contract allows you to take the car into Canada.

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VersatileGuy wrote:

I've done it several times. The ferry is named the MV Coho. Details here:

https://cohoferry.com/

Thanks so much, VersatileGuy. I've searched for several days but couldn't find any information related to this.

I just checked out the site. Unfortunately there are 2 available departure time, 8:20 am and 2:00 pm. I won't be able to get there until after 5 pm. Looks like I have to take Tsawwassen ferry. Their ferry runs every 2 hours. The latest is at 9:00 pm.

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Box Car wrote:

Be certain your rental contract allows you to take the car into Canada.

Of course I made sure by calling the rental company to ask about their policy. They said it's absolutely ok to cross the border with the car.

If you

If you are an American citizen then crossing into Canada in a rental car you should be fine BUT make sure you get a car that has American plates on it.

There is a large gray area between border security, rental car policies, and the actual laws of both the US and Canada in this regard. Basically there maybe an issue for a US citizen driving a rental car with Canadian plates into Canada. On the other hand a Canadian renting a car with Canadian plates and taking it from the US to Canada isn't an issue.

Since Sea-Tac airport does a big business with Canadians flying in/out of there and then taking a rental car to Vancouver or Victoria and returning them to the airport, they have a fair number of vehicles on hand, registered in Canada and displaying Canadian plates.

To be safe, make sure that the rental car company knows you will be taking the vehicle to Canada and just be sure the vehicle they give you has US plates on it and you should be good.

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Nuvi 350, 760, 1695LM, 3790LMT, 2460LMT, 3597LMTHD, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, DriveSmart 61, Garmin Backup Camera 40 and TomTom XXL540s.

I didn't know that. Thanks

I didn't know that. Thanks for the info, t923347. I'll make sure the license plate is registered in US.

I just called the rental company at SeaTac airport a few minutes ago to double check. It's ok to drive into Canada but roadside assistance can't help me in Canada if the car breaks down there.

We

We landed at Sea-Tac a few years ago and I'd confirmed with the rental company 4 separate times that we required a vehicle with Canadian plates. Each time I confirmed with them, they assured me that it wouldn't be a problem.

Well you know the rest of the story. Landed about noon, went to the rental car counter, sorry sir, no Canadian cars are available. rolleyes

Luckily, we had planned to spend a day or so in Seattle before heading to Victoria so we took the shuttle to our hotel and about 8:30pm we got a call from the rental car company that they had a car for us. Turned out it was a brand new Chrysler Town & Country, loaded, with about 200 miles on it (one trip from YVR in Vancouver to Sea-Tac). grin

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Nuvi 350, 760, 1695LM, 3790LMT, 2460LMT, 3597LMTHD, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, DriveSmart 61, Garmin Backup Camera 40 and TomTom XXL540s.

Which rental company did you

Which rental company did you deal with? Most rental cars are quite new. Many years ago Budget rent a car gave me a brand new Cadillac with less than 30 miles on it.

I'm thinking of renting from EZ rent a car. Their price is the most affordable. Anyone has experience renting this company cars?

Does Canada

Does Canada (specifically Vancouver, BC and Victoria, BC) allow GPS unit mounted on the windshield below the rearview mirror?

EDIT
Never mind. I found it at http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2012/06...

which takes me back to this site smile

I'm surprised that windshield mounting isn't allowed in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. All this time I thought California and Minnesota are the only 2 states that restrict GPS on windshield.

mounting on the windshield

chewbacca wrote:

Does Canada (specifically Vancouver, BC and Victoria, BC) allow GPS unit mounted on the windshield below the rearview mirror?

...

I'm surprised that windshield mounting isn't allowed in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. All this time I thought California and Minnesota are the only 2 states that restrict GPS on windshield.

I've logged a lot of miles/kilometers in all three of those jurisdictions and have never had a problem. However, I place my unit on the lower-left corner of the windshield, not under the rearview mirror.

I see. I hope I can find a

I see. I hope I can find a good spot in the rental car to mount it securely. If not, I'll just mount it on the windshield lower left corner.

I live

chewbacca wrote:

Does Canada (specifically Vancouver, BC and Victoria, BC) allow GPS unit mounted on the windshield below the rearview mirror?

EDIT
Never mind. I found it at http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2012/06...

which takes me back to this site smile

I'm surprised that windshield mounting isn't allowed in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. All this time I thought California and Minnesota are the only 2 states that restrict GPS on windshield.

I live in BC and as far as I know there isn't any law that restricts placement of a GPS. The quoted law in BC simply says that it can't restrict the driver's view of the front or side of the vehicle. Maybe a 7" screen under the rear view mirror would restrict your view of the front but normally most smaller units will not, unless they are secured to high on the window. There are thousands of vehicles in BC with windshield mounted GPS units plainly displayed.

There is however a pretty strict distracted driver law which outlaws use of cell phones and GPS units while driving. The police in Vancouver and Victoria will sometimes pull a surprise blitz to catch distracted drivers so watch yourself no matter where you put the Nuvi.

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Nuvi 350, 760, 1695LM, 3790LMT, 2460LMT, 3597LMTHD, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, DriveSmart 61, Garmin Backup Camera 40 and TomTom XXL540s.

Thanks for the tips. I see

Thanks for the tips. I see lots of cars in Southern California with GPS mounted on the windshield too, right in the middle but mounted very low (closer to the dashboard than the rearview mirror). That's a violation but it does not always guarantee that a cop will pull them over. Most cops ignore them.

I will be traveling with my wife. She'll be doing all GPS searching for POIs/addresses etc. I won't be using my cell phone. I'm cheap, don't wanna pay roaming charges smile

Just got back from vacation.

Just got back from vacation. It was quite a pleasant experience exploring British Columbia. I drove up from Seattle to Richmond, BC and stayed there for 3 nights. Took a ferry from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay. I didn't have any idea how to take a car onto a ferry so I just followed the crowd in front of me smile It was a fun trip.

My Nuvi RLC warnings went off every now and then in Vancouver, BC. I think some of the RLC locations are obsolete. I didn't see any cameras at some intersections. It's either that or I don't know where they install the cameras. I would normally report invalid RLC locations but at this time I'm not going to bother because I'm not confident about that myself. Don't want to submit false reports.

enjoy

Enjoy sounds beautiful. Wish I were you.

been

to Richmond BC several time, planning on going again in Dec

Glad

@chewbacca - Glad you enjoyed our beautiful province. You got really lucky as it's often nonstop rain this time of year. laugh out loud

--
Nuvi 350, 760, 1695LM, 3790LMT, 2460LMT, 3597LMTHD, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, DriveSmart 61, Garmin Backup Camera 40 and TomTom XXL540s.

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t923347 wrote:

@chewbacca - Glad you enjoyed our beautiful province. You got really lucky as it's often nonstop rain this time of year. laugh out loud

Yeah... we were worried about that before we left. So lucky to have 3 beautiful sunny days while we were there. It did rain at night but that's no big deal. It stopped the next morning. A bit cloudy in the morning but no rain.

My wife and I love BC. You guys have beautiful parks/gardens and it's so green there. I wish I could move and live in BC one of these days.