The Vancouver International Auto Show features sports cars and all the latest vehicles from March 25 to 29 at the Vancouver Convention Centre in 2020.
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The International Auto Show
The Auto Show usually runs for just under a week and features cars of all kinds including exotic sports cars like the Aston Martin, Alpha Romeo, Lamborghini and Porsche, plus the full range of the latest models by Toyota, Ford, GM, Honda, BMW and all the other carmakers.
Using 290,000 square feet of exhibition space and two floors, the Vancouver International Auto Show is the largest trade show put on at the Vancouver Convention Centre all year. There are cars everywhere!
Where and When
The Vancouver International Auto Show takes place in the heart of downtown at the Vancouver Convention Centre West which is located at 1055 Canada Place by Thurlow Street and Jack Poole Plaza.
In 2020 the event runs from March 25th until the 29th, which conveniently is during the the school Spring Break holidays.
Last year the doors were open to the public at the following times (and 2020 will be similar):
- Tuesday, March 19th (2019) – from 4:00 until 9:30 pm
- Wednesday, March 20th (2019) – from 10:00 am until 9:30 pm
- Thursday, March 21st (2019) – from 10:00 am until 9:30 pm
- Friday, March 22nd (2019) – from 10:00 am until 9:30 pm
- Saturday, March 23rd (2019)– from 10:00 am until 9:30 pm
- Sunday, March 24th (2019) – from 10:00 am until 6:00 pm
What to See at the Auto Show
At the Auto Show there are practical vehicle floor models, exotic cars, a Classic Alley with vintage automobiles and a selection of famous cars all to admire.
Floor Models to Help You Buy
The Auto Show has something for everyone. On the practical side, there is the full range of the latest in standard vehicles. Looking to buy a new vehicle, but don’t know what brand or model? Then the Vancouver Auto Show is the perfect place to browse and compare.
You can’t test drive the vehicles in the Convention Centre, except maybe for a few parked outside by Jack Poole Plaza, but you can get all the information you want and look and feel the vehicles, all without having to hit the auto malls in the rain. They have everything from the basics to hybrids, Minis, SUVs, Lincolns and a variety of Lamborghinis. Take your pick!
TEST DRIVE AN ELECTRIC CAR In 2019
A wide range of electric cars were available for test driving in 2019. Times to check out the vehicles and go for a spin were on the Tuesday between 4:00 and 7:00 pm, daily from March 20th until the 23rd between 10:00 am and 7:00 pm, and on Sunday between 10:00 and 5:00 pm.
Vehicles available for test driving in 2019 included Tesla Model 3s, Chevy Bolts, Chevy Volts, the Honda Clarity, the Hyundai IONIQ, Hyundai Konas, Hyundai Nexo Hydrogens, Nissan Leafs, Kia Niros, the Jaguar I-PACE, the Volkswagen E-Golf and Mitsubishi Outlanders.
(Note: The above times and vehicles were subject to change. Also, drivers must have valid driver’s licenses and be at least 21 years of age.)
Exotic Cars to Help You Dream
Not in the market for a new car, but like shiny things that go fast? There are lots of those at the Vancouver International Auto Show. The Convention Centre floor is like a giant room full of life-sized Hot Wheels cars.
In addition to floor models that anyone with money can buy, special feature vehicles on display in 2019 included the McLaren Senna and 2020 Jeep Gladiator. The 2020 Toyota Supra also makes its Western Canadian debut at the show. It’s the first new Supra in North America in over 20 years.
Also in 2019, there was the Felino cB7 which is by a Canadian-based supercar manufacturer that has produced only 10 of this particular vehicle. The impressive-looking machine accelerates from 0 to 100 km in less than 3 seconds! (Too bad it wasn’t available for a test drive!).
For antique car buffs there is also usually a collection of fine classic cars. Presented by the Vintage Car Club of Canada’s Vancouver Chapter, the Classic Alley section includes a variety of classic vehicles.
(Note: There may or may not have been a Classic Alley at the event in 2019.)
Famous Cars for Hollywood Fans
In addition to practical cars and exotic roadsters, the Auto Show also usually showcases a few recognizable individual vehicles. In recent years there has been the Mystery Machine van from the Scooby Doo movie, a replica of James Bond 007’s Aston Martin DB5, and a black full-sized Batmobile tribute car.
It’s not a movie car, but in 2019 the 1400-horsepower Hoonicorn was on display. It’s an ultra-modified 1965 Ford Mustang that looked pretty impressive!
Auto Show Admission prices
Admission to the 2019 Auto Show on Tuesday and Wednesday was $17 for adults, $13 for students and seniors, $5 for children ages 7 to 12, free for kids 6 and under, and $37 for a family of four with two adults and two children ages 12 and under.
New for 2019, admission after 6 o’clock on the Wednesday and Thursday (March 20 and 21) cost just $9.99 per person.
Admission on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday was slightly more, at $20 for adults, $14 for students and seniors, $6 for children ages 7 to 12, and $42 for a family.
(Note: 2019 prices were the same as they were the previous year, which was great. Also, members of the military got in for the same price as students and seniors. We expect 2020 prices to be about the same, although possibly slightly more.)
Auto Show Daily Drive-Up Events
The Vancouver International Auto Show features Daily Drive-up Events where a different type of car is showcased in Jack Poole Plaza each day. The displays in the Convention Centre don’t change, but some of the ones outside do.
On the first day of the Auto Show in 2019, so on Tuesday, March 19th, the Daily Drive-up Event featured McLaren Vancouver. On the Wednesday (March 20th) it was the Porsche Club of America and on the Thursday (March 21st) it was Tuned Up Pick-Ups featuring 4×4 pick-up jeeps and a variety of modified off-road vehicles.
The Daily Drive-up Events on the Friday and Saturday of March 22nd and 23rd last year showcased the PASMAG Tuner Battle Grounds event. And on the last day of the Auto Show (on Sunday March 24th) there was the Mini60 event which was presented by the Vancouver Mini Club and Western Driver ABFM. At this event over 25 Minis of various vintages were on display outdoors at Jack Poole Plaza.
Mini60 Drive-Up Event
With the Mini60 Vancouver Auto Show Drive-Up Event local owners of Minis were invited to meet in Vanier Park at the Museum of Vancouver’s parking lot at 1100 Chestnut Street between 8:30 and 9:30 am on Sunday, March 24th, 2019. At half past nine the convoy of Minis then headed over the Burrard Street Bridge and to the Auto Show at the Vancouver Convention Centre. There, in Jack Poole Plaza, they were on display between around 10:00 am and 5:00 pm.
Mini owner participants in the Mini60 Vancouver Auto Show Drive-Up Event got a free VIP pass to the Auto show and complimentary official Mini swag. (Note: the deadline for registering to participate in the event was March 1, 2019.)
MINI CELEBRATES ITS 60TH YEAR
2019 marked the 60th anniversary of the original Mini. Did you want to see more of the car after the Vancouver International Auto Show in 2019? Then you could have checked out the All British Field Meet (ABFM) at VanDusen Garden on May 18th. There were plenty of Minis at the event, plus hundreds of other classic British Cars too.
Tips and Advice
Below are some tips to help you make the most out of your visit to the Auto Show.
TIP #1: If you can, try to go on the weekdays. Not only will you save a couple of bucks, but it’ll be way less crowded. From Friday evening on, expect there to be lots of people.
TIP #2: Thursday, March 21st, was RBC Day in 2019. On that day, if you showed your Royal Bank credit card or debit card, you could get 2-for-1 admission.
TIP #4: There are a number of great restaurants in the area, including the Cactus Club and Tap and Barrel right outside by the Olympic Cauldron at Jack Poole Plaza. On the other side of the Convention Centre is Mahony & Sons, or Miku Restaurant for great Japanese on the other side of Canada Place. Make a reservation in advance, or try to avoid going between noon and 1:30 pm or at dinner time to avoid the rush.
TIP #5: For other great Vancouver dining options, check out The City of VANCOUVER‘s Best Bars & Restaurants where you’ll find a number of good places in the Coal Harbour and Gastown sections. Also, for fast food, there’s a food court in the basement of the Waterfront Centre at 200 Burrard.
TIP #6: If looking for a place to stay overnight, check out StayVancouverHotels.com. They often have the best rates and offer bonus perks too (like $25 gift cards with each reservation). You can also get hotel deals through the Vancouver Auto Show too, but chances are you’ll get an even better deal through StayVancouverHotels.com.
For more information on the event, check out the Vancouver International Auto Show website.
For details about other Lower Mainland car-related events, click Vancouver Car Shows.
For lists of other things to do in Vancouver check out any of the following:
- Vancouver’s March Calendar
- Free Events in March
- Vancouver at Spring Break
- Vancouver Rainy Day Activities
- Lower Mainland Festivals & Events