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  1. #1
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    Mar 2008
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    Good luck renting a car with snow tires in Canada

    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Canadian Rockies
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    1,075
    Ya its pretty crazy really. I drive 93 from Jasper to Lake Louise a few times a winter and you see terrified tourists in rental cars way way over their heads out there with low clearance cars with no snow tires. Tow companies do well.

  3. #3
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    Nov 2009
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    CA
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    So....having never driven the road from Calgary to Banff to Golden...how important is AWD? Late March drive time.

    I have no (NONE) knowledge about Canada (I'm from down south), chain controls, restrictions, passes on that road, elevation gain, etc etc etc.

    Figured we'd rent a mini-van and bring the chains just in case,...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    317
    If the Trans-Canada isn't in good enough condition for you to drive without chains I would strongly recommend you don't drive on it. Driving a chained up vehicle slowly when some heavy transports and super duty pickups are NOT chained up is a recipe for a VERY nasty accident. Better to wait until the storm is over and the road is cleared.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    131
    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    ripbum and smidders national rentals all sport snow tires....no studs though and worn down to the wear indicators lol. Ipikes with about 2/32 tread left on the car I just rented.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    northern BC
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    yeah but yer in the narth west whereas most of the people coming to in BC are going to fly into cow town rent a car and head to one of the hills in SW BC or into a hut and this CBC artical was talking specificaly about Alberta car rental agencies
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    3,835
    Related story, ya'll raise some hearty folk up there eh?
    If you can't drive on some ice or wrassle a cougar stay the fuck out.
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmont...-dog-1.3914210

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    UK
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    410
    Having rented many cars there (and the US) you are lucky if they even put anything but straight water in the windscreen washers.
    Quote Originally Posted by b dubya View Post
    Tricks are for hookers

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    19
    Rented a corolla at Calgary airport last February for a month long trip in BC. Mandatory winter tire rules (never saw enforcement) on BC passes. I live in Vermont and drive bad roads all the time but the scene is much different out there. Cal-Banff-Golden-Revi on Trans Can is pretty gnarly when storming because the plows just can't keep up. They use a lot of gravel (not sand) so watch your windshield and don't tailgate. Since it is the major east west route through Canada, it is littered with trucks and is NOT a divided highway everywhere and it is super twisty and narrow in spots. My rental agency charged an additional $400 for a car with new snows on it... sprung it on me at the rental desk at 11:00 pm so I just sucked it up. All in all a front wheel drive corolla with new snows was great. Blasting snow banks into Asulkan lot and up over Rogers pass several times. Personally, I would rather have snows on a front wheel drive than slicks on an AWD since you can literally be on snow surfaced roads for hours at a time.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    1,078
    Rented a car two years ago over the Christmas holidays for a wedding in Lake Louise. Naturally it had A/S tires.

    One the way back to Calgary on Highway 1 all of a sudden traffic comes to a crawl and the road is a solid sheet of ice. Had to pull off a full on evasive maneuver into the next lane (luckily nobody was there) to avoid rear ending the car in front of me. The stability control fully saved my ass. Winter tires would have made that way less intense since the tires basically had zero traction.

    Then again, I rented a Hyundai Sonata so maybe that was the problem.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    YetiMan
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    10,761
    Quote Originally Posted by Article
    'Sliding doesn't make anybody feel good'
    Hah! OK whatever.

  12. #12
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    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
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    doesn't really matter if you tailgate or not cuz your windshield will run into a rock thrown up by a truck going the other way on the narrow hyway when I was a road warrior i would normaly get 2 doz rock chips in 1 winter season

    yeah shitty narrow roads most of them 2 lane and the plowing is all contracted out to the lowest bidder so at some point they can't keep up
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by hball View Post
    Rented a corolla at Calgary airport last February for a month long trip in BC. Mandatory winter tire rules (never saw enforcement) on BC passes. I live in Vermont and drive bad roads all the time but the scene is much different out there. Cal-Banff-Golden-Revi on Trans Can is pretty gnarly when storming because the plows just can't keep up. They use a lot of gravel (not sand) so watch your windshield and don't tailgate. Since it is the major east west route through Canada, it is littered with trucks and is NOT a divided highway everywhere and it is super twisty and narrow in spots. My rental agency charged an additional $400 for a car with new snows on it... sprung it on me at the rental desk at 11:00 pm so I just sucked it up. All in all a front wheel drive corolla with new snows was great. Blasting snow banks into Asulkan lot and up over Rogers pass several times. Personally, I would rather have snows on a front wheel drive than slicks on an AWD since you can literally be on snow surfaced roads for hours at a time.
    Quote Originally Posted by narc View Post
    Having rented many cars there (and the US) you are lucky if they even put anything but straight water in the windscreen washers.
    Solid advice. Thanks y'all.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    317
    Quote Originally Posted by hball View Post
    Mandatory winter tire rules (never saw enforcement) on BC passes.
    That should read mandatory "winter" tire rules - the Ministry of Transportation consider an all-season tire with 3.5 mm tread a "winter" tire (providing it has the M+S stamp on it which I think all the ones sold in BC do have). So if the RCMP did do checks they wouldn't be able to ticket many. However, what they can do is ticket you for not having suitable tires for the conditions when your Ministry of Transportation approved all season tires land you in the ditch.

  15. #15
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    Mar 2008
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    northern BC
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    the RCMP might thro up a road block to check for drunks and/or vehical infractions in good weather but no t when its fucking cold so I don't remember tire checks either
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Strong and Free
    Posts
    349
    Last year I rented a car in Calgary, and got one with snow tires without even asking... in August.

    Quebec has the right idea making snow tires mandatory for all cars including rentals.

  17. #17
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    Mar 2008
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    northern BC
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrueNorth View Post

    Quebec has the right idea making snow tires mandatory for all cars including rentals.
    The year they did that everybody in Quebec had to buy tires so there was a run on snow tires in Canada
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Maple Syrup and Lumberjacks, eigh.
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    4,152
    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    the RCMP might thro up a road block to check for drunks and/or vehical infractions in good weather but not when its fucking cold so I don't remember tire checks either
    I've seen tire checks a couple times, but they're not that common. 2x on the way to Whistler (Funny seeing all the high end SUVs being made to turn around) and once just outside Hope heading up the coq.

    Weather was miserable each of those days. I don't imagine the cops were having much fun.

    Not to mention one of the sea to sky roadblocks was right before a long weekend. Total clusterfuck. Traffic backed up for miles, Drunks being towed, people having to turn back because of no winter tires and freaking out.
    ::.:..::::.::.:.::..::.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Colorado
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    9,400
    Just dont be a complete ass and ask before check out, they have them.

    400CAD extra for snow tires for a month? damn.
    Terje was right.

    "We're all kooks to somebody else." -Shelby Menzel

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    3
    I have a Jeep Cherokee (or equivalent) booked for my whistler trip. Will they seriously make me out chains on that if I don't have snow tires?

    I'm staying outside of town, might be well over an hour drive one way, each day, with chains. Yikes. Canada is kind of obnoxiously uptight.

  21. #21
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    Feb 2005
    Location
    Vancouver BC
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    Quote Originally Posted by wicked_sick View Post
    Not to mention one of the sea to sky roadblocks was right before a long weekend. Total clusterfuck. Traffic backed up for miles, Drunks being towed, people having to turn back because of no winter tires and freaking out.
    In 7 seasons of doing the Van/Whistler weekend warrior thing, I've yet to go through a tire check north of Squamish, I think they've done two days so far this season?

    I would honestly pay money for an HD highlight video showing people's reactions to being turned around and sent packing on a long weekend. Those same pricks are the ones putting people in danger/crashing/closing the highway. Good riddance.

  22. #22
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    Feb 2005
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    Vancouver BC
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    Quote Originally Posted by T Bar Fly View Post
    I have a Jeep Cherokee (or equivalent) booked for my whistler trip. Will they seriously make me out chains on that if I don't have snow tires?

    I'm staying outside of town, might be well over an hour drive one way, each day, with chains. Yikes. Canada is kind of obnoxiously uptight.
    See above, they almost never actually enforce the laws here, which sucks. The road is usually clear and totally fine on all seasons (by a competent driver), but when it snows down to the ocean (which it has a bunch so far this winter) it is not a safe drive without proper tires. If you are staying out of town, I would pay extra for a rental with winters, will be less painful than having to buy and deal with chains.

  23. #23
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    Aug 2005
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    Maple Syrup and Lumberjacks, eigh.
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    So long as your tires say M+S you're good in the eyes of the law. Damn near all all season tires have that designations.
    ::.:..::::.::.:.::..::.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    317
    Quote Originally Posted by T Bar Fly View Post
    I have a Jeep Cherokee (or equivalent) booked for my whistler trip. Will they seriously make me out chains on that if I don't have snow tires?
    See my comment above about BC 'winter' tire regulations. Unless you have less than 3.5 mm tread depth or have summer high performance tires you satisfy the ministry of Transportation rules. However that doesn't mean that your tires are safe to drive in winter storm conditions

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Portland
    Posts
    470
    Quote Originally Posted by meter-man View Post
    So....having never driven the road from Calgary to Banff to Golden...how important is AWD? Late March drive time.

    I have no (NONE) knowledge about Canada (I'm from down south), chain controls, restrictions, passes on that road, elevation gain, etc etc etc.

    Figured we'd rent a mini-van and bring the chains just in case,...
    We rocked a minivan from Calgary airport out to Revy and back - big snow year. We had a triple switchback driveway that took two day of attempts before making it - otherwise it's just like Minnesota with elevation. Clearance is key. If you know how do drive that is.

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