All major car-rental agencies have outlets at Vancouver , Victoria , Calgary , and Edmonton International Airports as well as at smaller airports like Kelowna , Yellowknife , and Whitehorse . To ensure that a vehicle is available for you when you arrive, book in advance, especially during the busy June–September period.
In summer, expect to pay around $60 per day for an Economy or Compact car, $75 for an Intermediate, $85–100 for a Full Size, and over $100 for an SUV. Between late September and mid-June all vehicles are heavily discounted, with smaller vehicles available from $40 per day and $210 per week. Most major agencies offer unlimited mileage, but not for rentals originating in Banff or Jasper National Parks , or in northern destinations like Yellowknife and Whitehorse. In all cases, insurance costs from $20 per day and is compulsory unless covered by a personal policy or on your credit card. Charges apply if you need to drop off the car at an agency other than the rental location. All agencies provide free pickup and drop-off at major city hotels.
Vehicles can be booked through parent companies in the United States or elsewhere using the Web or toll-free numbers. Discount (403/299-1202 or 800/263-2355, www.discountcar.com ) is a Canadian company with 200 rental outlets across the country. Their vehicles are kept in service a little longer than the other majors, but they provide excellent rates—even through summer—especially if booked in advance.
Other companies include:
Camper vans, RVs, and travel trailers are a great way to get around western Canada without having to worry about accommodations each night. The downside is cost. The smallest vans, capable of sleeping two people, start at $150 per day with 100 free kilometers (62 miles) per day. Extra charges include insurance, a preparation fee (usually around $50 per rental), a linen/cutlery charge (around $60 per person per trip), and taxes.
In most cases, a drop-off fee of $400 applies to drop-offs made in Vancouver from rentals originating in Calgary, or vice versa. Whitehorse  is a mini-hub for RV rentals, with CanadaDream, Fraserway, and locally owned Klondike RV Rentals (867/456-2729, www.yukonrecreation.com ) represented. The former two often have package deals with minimal drop-fees in Vancouver. At the end of the summer season (early September), look for some great online bargains all around.