Car rental - Kelowna with winter tires?

tobyinsydney

Hard Yards
Jun 18, 2007
60
3
58
Heading to Rossland for a month in Feb 2011 and picking up a car in at Kelowna Airport on the way through... we will be hoping to ride at some other resorts in BC other than just Red so my question is...

Has anyone had luck securing a vehicle with winter tires rather than just All-seasons?

We are a couple and don't need the space or cost of a SUV, so are looking to rent a mid-sized car (focus or similar).

Any rental agencies that have winter tires as an option?

Thanks for your help!

 
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trappers

Safety not guaranteed
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I ran into the same problem with Avis last year. I think most hire companies only supply All-season tyres. That said, unbless you are really going into the boonies, all seasons should be fine. They know how to salt, grit and clear the roads properly over there
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sly_karma

Green Bastard
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Dec 12, 2005
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So far Quebec is the only province that has mandatory winter tires on all vehicles. The major rental outfits turn their vehicles over at between one and two years old, so they don't like spending money on a second set of tires that won't be worn out at sale time. Therefore it's highly unlikely you'll get winters on a BC rental, but it can't hurt to ask. Do make sure what you get is not rear wheel drive, as those really need winters (preferably studded).

I like front wheel drive for snowy roads, but be aware that climbing steep inclines is their achilles heel - the steeper the pitch, the more the engine weight heads rearward and off the drive wheels. Normal highway grades will present no problems, but on slopes above about 10% you might find trouble taking off from a standstill in certain snow conditions. As far as I'm concerned, this is about the only spot where 4WD has any useful advantage over FWD in snow. As far as braking and cornering are concerned, they're about the same.

Hope this helps.
 

tobyinsydney

Hard Yards
Jun 18, 2007
60
3
58
Thanks for the help guys.

Yeah really looking forward to being back in BC.. I lived in those parts for 2 years -1997/1999 so I know about driving on bad roads and snow. Also know the salting and plowing is pretty good.

Just don't want to miss out on freshies when we can't get up the Whitewater road with our crappy rental tires!
 

trappers

Safety not guaranteed
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Grab a set of chains for those days ... and yes FWD is essential ... you can always reverse up a hill
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tried this a few times in Norway, and surprisingly it actually did help!
 
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surfie_guy1

One of Us
Sep 16, 2004
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Yeah same as trappers, I hired a car for 3 weeks in BC and got the all terrain tires. None of their cars had snow tires or studdes ones. We just bought some crappy chains for $60. Didn't ever have to use them, but then again it didn't dump while we were there.
 

bhoffo

First Runs
I'm an addict for both Silver Star and Big White resorts.... my experience over the past 10 years is that winter tyres aren't really a necessity, as said earlier the roads are well graded and salted which reduces the need. However if you have doubts about what is needed or best drop the hire companies an email - there are many on the Kelowna Airport site or just do a google search for car rentals in Kelowna... they will answer you without a doubt - they don't want their cars damaged through misinformation so I'd expect you would get an honest answer..
 
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