Rental cars for western travel

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  1. #1

    Rental cars for western travel

    Hi all - hoping to tap the wisdom of those who travel west to ski. We are headed to Mount Bachelor in a few weeks and trying to find a rental vehicle for the 4 of us (plus a possible 5th). No sites I've looked at indicate whether vehicles are 4 wheel/all wheel or if ski racks are available. Do I need to make some phone calls? Or is there an easier way to find something to get us around for a week?
    Thanks in advance.


  2. #2
    Good luck with that. I've experienced this dilemma each time I've tried to rent out west, and you have a better chance learning the codes to open the nuclear football than you will getting a 100% "yes" or "no" on 4WD on a blind SUV rental. The good news is, apparently, most SUVs in the major's fleets are in fact either AWD or 4WD, but in order to guarantee that I imagine calling direct is your only hope.


    EDIT: If you are 100% committed to 4WD, however, do so in advance. I was at the rental counter in SLC a few years ago getting a sedan, and a storm was coming in, so they skyrocketed the cost of rentals of the 4WD/AWD vehicles. And I do mean skyrocket. As in well over $1,000 increase for a week over what the same vehicle was going for just the day or two before.
    Last edited by BenedictGomez; Feb 2, 2019 at 6:14 PM.
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  3. #3
    kingslug's Avatar
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    Very tough to get a guarantee on that
    Lets go!
    I'll drive.

  4. #4
    Try to get a 4wd, since many places will require chains with 2wd if it snows. I was able to rent an SUV when I visited Colorado on vacation.

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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by BenedictGomez View Post
    If you are 100% committed to 4WD, however, do so in advance. I was at the rental counter in SLC a few years ago getting a sedan, and a storm was coming in, so they skyrocketed the cost of rentals of the 4WD/AWD vehicles. And I do mean skyrocket. As in well over $1,000 increase for a week over what the same vehicle was going for just the day or two before.


    I appreciate the help from all, thanks! Guess I'll be making some phone calls early this week (with the understanding there will be no guarantee).

  6. #6
    Anyone used Turo?

  7. #7
    Edd's Avatar
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    Rental cars for western travel

    Quote Originally Posted by MommaBear View Post
    Anyone used Turo?
    A co-worker just used it last week for an SLC trip. It was 3 younger guys so I suspect they went cheap. He said the car smelled and was generally dirty.

    I almost always reserve a 4WD out west and Iíve never failed to get it. But Iíve also received no guarantees beforehand.

    I recommend Autoslash.com for a good deal. Itís a little weird because they get back to you with a quote but it worked out well for me and others I know.

  8. #8
    I researched this for my trip to bc because we have 3 hour drive from Spokane. The suvs r awd. They generally don’t have ski racks to offer nor do they have snow tires.

  9. #9
    machski's Avatar
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    The best bet for being more likely than not to have 4WD/AWD is to rent a regular or full size SUV and skip the smaller ones. Most of the small SUV's tend to be FWD only if that is an option on that particular model. When I have had ford explorers, Chevy Tahoes, etc, they have always been AWD/4WD but when I have gone smaller (Ford Escape comes to mind) it has been FWD. Bachelor this time of year you need AWD/4WD as that is required on the highway to the mountain from Bend (or snow tires/chains which you will not get in the US from rentals). Been out there when it snows, they only grit the roads, no salt used. I had an Escape on 1 trip and I could feel it sliding (and that was in April).

    Good luck!

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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by HowieT2 View Post
    I researched this for my trip to bc because we have 3 hour drive from Spokane. The suvs r awd. They generally donít have ski racks to offer nor do they have snow tires.
    Denver and SLC have much more traffic going ski areas. And a few of them really demand snow tires. I would suspect itís much easier to make money off offering snow tires and ski racks in those cities.

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