Car rental Nanaimo Airport


Excellent based on 19,000+ reviews
Prior to our rebrand from Airport Rentals and Motorhome Republic
Budget Canada
National Canada

Why book a rental car with us?

Find out more about us
Save on car hire

Great value rental rates and exclusive special deals

24/7 award-winning customer support

We’re here for you when you need us

Find the best vehicle

Thousands of vehicles to choose from worldwide

Free cancellation

On most cars up to 72 hours prior to pickup

Get back to nature with a Nanaimo car rental

Get ready for incredible natural beauty when you pick up a Nanaimo Airport car rental and set off to explore the east coast of Vancouver Island. This gorgeous little city features one of the longest shorelines in Canada, a stunning mountain backdrop, and lush green forests. Let yourself ease into the slower pace of Nanaimo as you make your way around its culinary tours and top attractions. Don’t miss the Harbour Waterfront, Ammonite Falls, and wildlife tours. GoSee it all with a Nanaimo airport car rental!

Picking up your Nanaimo car rental

Nanaimo Airport (YCD) is a small facility with one main terminal, equipped with standard traveller services catering to customers arriving or departing via Vancouver and Calgary. Free WiFi is available throughout the terminal, as well as basic amenities, such as one cafe, one gift shop, vending machines, and water stations.

The car rental desks can all be found within the terminal next to the baggage claim area. 

The harbour in Nanaimo.

Finding your way around with a Nanaimo Airport car rental

Keep these driving tips in mind when you pick up your Nanaimo rental car:

  • Nanaimo Airport is roughly 15 kilometres south of the township, and it’s a simple 15-minute drive to get to or from the terminal via the Trans-Canada Highway (Route 1).
  • Nanaimo’s waterside location means that traffic routes in and out of the city are limited. Check travel advisories for road closures, planned roadworks, and weather forecasts before setting out.
  • There are nearly 1000 on-street parking stalls throughout Nanaimo, and more than 600 of them are non-metered spots. It costs just 25 cents for 12 minutes, CA$1.25 for an hour, CA$2.50 for two hours of street parking during the week, and is free during weekends and evenings. Note that the two-hour zones are clearly marked and there are no exceptions to this time limit, even during weekends.

Car rentals Nanaimo: Things to see and do 

Hit the seas

Whether for an energetic paddle, thrilling fishing tour, or relaxing sail on a catamaran, experiencing Nanaimo’s gorgeous coast is a must-do.

Downtown Delights

Get a taste of Nanaimo’s unique character as you visit its eclectic shops, fascinating historical district, beautiful heritage buildings, and delicious restaurants.

Take a wildlife tour 

Don’t miss the chance to get up close and personal with the region’s incredible sea life. Get on board a whale watching tour and keep your eyes peeled for orca, humpbacks and other marine animals!

Mother Nature

Make the most of your Nanaimo rental car and visit incredible natural wonders, including the tidal lagoon at Pipers Park, the Abyss fault line, and Ammonite Falls.

Canoes at the edge of Departure Bay in Nanaimo.

Top tips for Nanaimo car rental

  • There is a limited selection of car rentals at Nanaimo Airport so you must book well in advance to secure the vehicle you want—particularly during long weekends and holiday periods.
  • There are little to no options for luxury car rental in Nanaimo so you may need to arrange this at another depot location. If looking well in advance, you can try requesting it with your chosen brand.
  • The mountain roads around Nanaimo can be steep and winding. If you plan to do a lot of outdoor exploring, consider a sturdy vehicle like an SUV.
  • Don't forget to take the handouts given freely at the rental counter when you pick up your vehicle rental. The handouts may contain a discount code for partner restaurants, fuel stations, or instructions to avail of complimentary services like roadside assistance and fuel delivery.
  • Some suppliers with off airport location need you to request free pick up service. For example, you should call your Budget rental location directly after receiving your reservation confirmation, this is the location phone number listed in your reservation details. Some procedures may vary from one off airport Budget location to another.
  • It is possible to book a one-way vehicle to Vancouver with Budget, but the selection is limited and there are additional fees required.
  • If you have more time after exploring Nanaimo, extend your British Columbia adventure and head east by going on a car hire road trip in Abbotsford, Cranbrook or Deer Lake. Up north, a visit to Prince George in your rental car is also a popular choice.

What our customers say

GoSeeTravel team, especially Loma & Aish organised my first booking and later listened carefully and organised an extension amendment with very reasonable pricing. Communication was excellent, Thank you GoSeeTravel team....
Paul Joseph
The booking process is easy and the filtering is well detailed and allows one to only look at cars one is interested in.
Sean William Cummins
Very helpful and knowledgeable
no waiting person very good and new her job
Michael Carr
Couldn't get through on Web site. Rang & Amy helped me with booking my rental car in Cairns Australia. The phone dropped out at the last minute & Amy rang me back with the final information. Great service!
Glenn Fabar
Very clear communication and professional team.
Prompt service in a different time zone.
Majella Finn
It was just straight forward and easy. The only thing, which I may have missed, is how the payment works. Do you just hold my card, or do you take the full payment straight away?


Jason Campbell
Easy to change my booking and find a cheaper price.
Dezlee Masters
Your staff are super calm and friendly and sorted problems for me. I love the way the double check everything!

Nanaimo Airport car rentals: Frequently asked questions

See all of our FAQs

How much does it cost to rent a car from Nanaimo Airport?

Rental car prices at Nanaimo Airport (YCD) differ depending on the model of the vehicle you want, the time of year, how far in advance you are booking, and other factors. Compare up-to-the-minute prices right here.

Where are the car rental counters at Nanaimo Airport?

The car rental desks at Nanaimo Airport can be found within the terminal next to the baggage claim area.

What car rental suppliers are at Nanaimo Airport?

There are three car rental companies operating at Nanaimo Airport: Budget Car Rental Nanaimo Airport, National Car Rental Nanaimo Airport, and Hertz.

Will my Nanaimo car rental have unlimited mileage?

Most rental cars at Nanaimo Airport come with unlimited mileage and fuel level. Just double-check the specs when comparing vehicles on the search results page to make sure the one you choose has this benefit.

What is the cheapest car rental in Nanaimo?

Enjoy the lowest car hire Nanaimo here at GoSee! The cheapest car rental in Nanaimo changes depending on several factors so it is best to check real time information using our search tool at the top of this page. With that being said, Budget does have consistently affordable prices. For more accurate rental estimates on Nanaimo Airport rental cars, refine search by placing your actual travel details like the desired rental time, drop off pick up locations, and even car preference. As you choose a car select vehicle type or size and use other filters, according to your needs.

What is the most popular rental car in Nanaimo?

The most popular rental car in Nanaimo varies, but SUVs like the Toyota RAV4 and Kia Sona are a recent favourite among customers.

Which car rental companies in Nanaimo have updated their vehicle cleaning and safety policies because of Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Most major car rentals Nanaimo Airport brands have updated and refreshed their health and safety policies, including extensive cleaning of rental cars in between use. You can filter your search by ‘Enhanced Cleaning’ to ensure your chosen vehicle is thoroughly cleaned. National Car Rental offers this courtesy at Nanaimo Airport.

Do I need to return my car rental with a full tank?

Yes, unless your depot agent informs you otherwise, it is standard practice to return your rental vehicle with a full tank to avoid additional charges.

How old do I have to be to book a Nanaimo car rental?

Most rental companies require you to be at least 21 years of age to book a car rental at Nanaimo Airport YCD, with the exception of Hertz which requires you to be 20 years of age. A young driver surcharge can be expected for those under the age of 25.

Who can drive a Nanaimo Airport YCD car rental?

To book and drive Nanaimo, BC car rentals, a renter must also be qualified as the main driver with a valid driver's license and a major credit card account (for deposits and payment completion). It is prohibited to drive car rentals from Nanaimo with temporary driver's licenses.

Non-residents of Canada must bring the home country driver's license and international driver's permit (IDP) during the entire rental period. The individual's home country license should also be a facially valid license, bearing the photo of the driver; not a temporary license, not an expired home state license. US driver's license is usually accepted, still, there are various licensing laws governing some car rental locations. It is good practice to always bring along additional government-issued and present identification to go with the home country license; a valid passport or any photo-bearing ID are strongly considered valid identification documents.

Aside from the hirer being the main driver, only permitted additional driver must drive the rental vehicle any time during the rental period. Every additional authorized driver must be enrolled via the same Nanaimo airport car renting process. Just follow the closed rental agreement to avoid penalties.

Is it possible to book a one-way rental from Nanaimo Airport?

Many renters choose to book one-way rentals to destinations within British Columbia like Vancouver, Abbotsford, Cranbrook, Prince George and Deer Lake. It is possible to book certain one-way rental destinations from Nanaimo Airport with popular car rental companies. To check which ones allow this option and for what cost, uncheck the ‘Return to same location’ box in the search form and type in your desired destination.

At the time of drop off, you have to speak with the key person in charge. Or, there is a designated drop box located at the car rental return area, where you drop keys and the rental agreement.