Rental cars for western travel - Page 3

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  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by jg17 View Post
    I think you just need to get lucky, unless you rent a larger SUV class where any possible vehicle has 4WD. As previously mentioned, no guarantee of AWD on even the smaller SUVs/crossovers.



    I got lucky (definitely a bunch of dumb luck) today on my drive JAC-SLC. Originally booked a standard sedan (probably a bad idea to begin with), and asked at pickup if they had anything AWD. Turned out they needed to get a Suburban down to SLC for tomorrow morning so they were able to send me with that.
    Nice! Trying to avoid the big ass ones. Drove a Suburban for several years. Great for hauling kids and gear, sucked to use and park in day to day stuff. But I guess we will see what we get!

    Thanks to everyone for all the info! Lots of ideas to run with.

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by jg17 View Post
    I think you just need to get lucky, unless you rent a larger SUV class where any possible vehicle has 4WD. As previously mentioned, no guarantee of AWD on even the smaller SUVs/crossovers.
    And assume nothing!

    I once rented a RAV4 thinking it would be 4WD.

    Keep in mind this is no crazy assumption given RAV4 literally stands for, "Recreational Activity Vehicle: 4-Wheel Drive".

    Nope. Believe it or not they make 2WD models of the "Recreational Activity Vehicle: 4-wheel drive", which rental car companies do own.
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  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by BenedictGomez View Post
    And assume nothing!

    I once rented a RAV4 thinking it would be 4WD.

    Keep in mind this is no crazy assumption given RAV4 literally stands for, "Recreational Activity Vehicle: 4-Wheel Drive".

    Nope. Believe it or not they make 2WD models of the "Recreational Activity Vehicle: 4-wheel drive", which rental car companies do own.
    I'm heading to CO shortly and have a RAV 4 through advantage which I know will end as 2wd. It looks like Payless has some 4wd wagons, anyone ever use them? I saw the chaos at the Fox rental counter in SLC and would never ever use them .

    If its supposed to snow, I might just do Turo to ensure a 4wd but tim unsure how the insurance works out.
    Snowflakes matter

  4. #24
    We were in Utah two weeks ago and rented from National. We got a Toyota Highlander AWD. I asked about snow tires and the agent said that none of their cars had them. I did see a few cars with ski racks (probably 20%) and most cars were SUV's.

    I do like the idea of buying chains and keeping the receipts. My bigger concern is that I have zero idea of how to put chains on the car and I would imagine that I'd be attempting to do so in poor conditions.

  5. #25
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    Still blows my mind that rental car companies inside the US will not rent you chains with the cars. When we were in NZ, all the big US rental companies offered chain rentals with the cars straight up front out of Queenstown. Could have rented chains too out of Auckland when we were on the North Island but didn't as both Ruapahue resorts have sealed roads (even though they have chain requirements too at times). I do not get why out west US they do not rent out chains with their cars since they will not equip the rentals with snow tires. They seem to in other parts of the world.

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  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by machski View Post
    Still blows my mind that rental car companies inside the US will not rent you chains with the cars. When we were in NZ, all the big US rental companies offered chain rentals with the cars straight up front out of Queenstown. Could have rented chains too out of Auckland when we were on the North Island but didn't as both Ruapahue resorts have sealed roads (even though they have chain requirements too at times). I do not get why out west US they do not rent out chains with their cars since they will not equip the rentals with snow tires. They seem to in other parts of the world.

    Sent from my SM-T830 using AlpineZone mobile app
    While I agree that it would be a good way for the rental co's to make a few bucks, I'd be curious as to two things. Is there a possibility of damage to the car if the driver doesn't put the chains on correctly? What is the liability to the company if the driver doesn't know how to use the chains correctly and injury occurs?

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by machski View Post
    I do not get why out west US they do not rent out chains with their cars since they will not equip the rentals with snow tires. They seem to in other parts of the world.
    Could it be mandated by local legislation in Australia? I'm thinking in the US it's probably because they're worried if a chain gets thrown or broken it will damage the rental car. Given we turn-over rental cars to the secondary market at pretty low mileage in America, I can see how that's not a small concern to the rental car company.
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  8. #28
    machski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenedictGomez View Post
    Could it be mandated by local legislation in Australia? I'm thinking in the US it's probably because they're worried if a chain gets thrown or broken it will damage the rental car. Given we turn-over rental cars to the secondary market at pretty low mileage in America, I can see how that's not a small concern to the rental car company.
    It was New Zealand but I know in Europe they rent out chains as well. It could be due to our loose litigation society here in the USA. My guess is that it is a lack of perceived demand in the US. Even in mountain locations, I bet the majority of US drivers don't even know tire chains are a thing and renters probably even less so!

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  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by machski View Post
    My guess is that it is a lack of perceived demand in the US. Even in mountain locations, I bet the majority of US drivers don't even know tire chains are a thing and renters probably even less so!
    I was with a friend of my dad's last weekend (that skis a lot) that was talking about how years ago people used these things called "snow tires" in the winter but now all-seasons are good enough. Me and my dad both proceeded to tell him that we both have snow tires on our vehicles and would never trust all-seasons. He seemed surprised to find out people still swap tires in the winter. So yea, I wouldn't at all be surprised if most US drivers don't even know tire chains are a thing.

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by mikec142 View Post
    I do like the idea of buying chains and keeping the receipts. My bigger concern is that I have zero idea of how to put chains on the car and I would imagine that I'd be attempting to do so in poor conditions.
    We lucked out in OR as all they had left was a suburban when we arrived to pick up our standard SUV. 2nd day to the mountain, huge dump, roads not plowed, traffic backed up and we are sitting waiting for it to move again. Several cars ahead of us and one behind had people hop out and start putting on chains. At one of the cars ahead, a woman is standing in the middle of the road with the instructions spread wide while two guys were kneeling in the snow trying to figure out how to get the chains on. Couple of guys from another car hop out and help them out. Amazing how quickly they got them on! All the "chain up" areas weren't plowed out so either, so next best thing was out in the road while traffic was halted.

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