Abstract illustration of booking car share cars on your smartphone
July 24, 2018
2 mins read

Driving to campus

The UBC Life Commuter Guide

Whether you’re an occasional driver, or your car knows you well enough to have your favourite change of shoes in the back, here's the scoop on driving to and from campus.

Plan your trip


Metro Vancouver is victim to the city driver’s favourite friend—rush-hour traffic!—usually between 8:00-9:30 am and 3:30-5:30 pm. 

I highly recommend planning your route based on the current traffic, especially if you’re going over a bridge. Give it a quick google, or tune in to a traffic radio station—such as the traffic only AM 730—on the way.

If this really grinds your gears, try to drive outside of peak travel times. This could be as simple as scheduling some study, extracurricular, or friend time on campus after your classes.


Keep up to date on UBC construction and road closures, so that you’re prepared for any detours ahead of time.

Driving occasionally

Daily permits 

You drive to campus longer than a few hours at a time, but it’s not often enough to get a term or monthly pass.

Pre-purchase a daily permit online from UBC Parking for $8.25 instead of the $16 if you purchase at the parkade. With tax, the permit works out to about $10.50 and you'll have access to one parkade ALL. DAY. LONG.


You only need to get to and from campus on a need-to basis—e.g. you want a car to drive back from a grocery store or go on an IKEA haul.

Check out this car-sharing page for a look at the different companies that offer service on campus. Keep an eye out in September when a lot of them have booths on campus. That’s the easiest way to sign up and you often get free minutes!

Driving partway to campus

Parking off campus 

Your hours and days on campus are somewhat unpredictable and you usually have some time to spare. Plus, you want to save some money.

Many students choose to park off campus near one of the major bus lines and then take the bus in using their U-Pass.

16th Avenue, Sasamat Street, and Dunbar Street are all common areas to find free parking, but this method can be a gamble if you don’t find a spot on time, or if the buses going to campus are already full. Be sure to budget extra time!

Driving regularly

2-term permit 

You drive to campus 3 to 5 times a week for classes and/or extracurriculars.

There are different price points based on how many parkades you need access to, so take a look at our parkade map and your classes, and see what’s best for your year. This type of permit is also a great option because it includes the price of overnight parking if you ever need that option.

This one might take a little bit of math to justify, but your parking ends up being around $4.50 a day if you’re driving to campus 5 days a week, all year long with this permit. With your extra savings, maybe support some theatre or improv on campus!

Drive safe out there, don’t forget to shoulder check, and always have a good podcast ready for those potential long journeys on the road!

more from our comutter guide

Biking to campus

Transit to campus

Commuting 101