Absolutely agree with you Legs. However, given specifying snow tyres on your SUV is an impossibility on rentals out of San Fran (see thread "US Car hire with winter tyres… sorry, I don't know how to create the link) its all a bit academic. Sean, I've been on exactly the same car hire journey in the last month. The unfortunate reality seems to be that you cannot "lock in" an AWD / 4WD. The best you can do is specify an "SUV" then request an AWD / 4WD variant on a no promises basis. Winter tyres, as sensible as they seem for what you will be undertaking, are a fantasy in US rental land. Best you can hope for are a good set of M+S all season tyres.
And here's what my Hertz contract says "Rentals commencing between Oct 01-Mar 31 in areas that experience winter weather will be equipped with all season tires, ice scraper and de-icer washer fluid." Clearly, if I were hiring out of Salt Lake City there would be no ambiguity in this statement. But hiring out of San Francisco, does it experience "winter weather" (whatever that means...)?He’s talking about winter tyres (completely different to M+S).
That's good to know. And have you ever had an LAX/SFO pickup where the hire company tried to give you a 2WD SUV or have they always been the AWD/4WD model variants?Just hire an SUV with M+S rated rubber - it's the best you can do and has always served me well. In all my years of renting SUVs out of LAX/SFO, we have never once arrived to find the car didn't have M+S hoops, but just check when you collect. Pop into a big auto/snow outlet, grab yourself a small shovel and plastic ice brush/scraper and you're set.
Looking at the current Hertz SFO fleet, your best bet will be a Nissan Pathfinder.
Your bigger issue will be the one way rental - the big depots don't like losing their cars and charge accordingly. I just did a dummy on a 3-week booking - $2k if returning to SFO, $3k returning to DEN. Unavoidable but be aware.
That's good to know. And have you ever had an LAX/SFO pickup where the hire company tried to give you a 2WD SUV or have they always been the AWD/4WD model variants?
yeah I can't understand why not. I dont think car hire companies would want their cars getting pranged all the time