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Old 12-29-2016, 10:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Why can't I rent a 4wd or AWD vehicle?

My wife and I are heading out to the southwest for a week long road trip and want to rent an AWD or 4WD vehicle. A portion of our trip will be spent skiing in Taos and in Colorado. Our current vehicle reservation is with Alamo and they say a 'standard-SUV' is the vehicle we want. This returns a GMC Terrain, then changed to Hyundai Santa Fe, or similar. While both these vehicles are available from the factory with AWD I'm going to bet Alamos aren't.

I've called and spoken with several people from Alamo and even called other outfits and none can guarantee me an AWD vehicle. For grins I asked the woman at Alamo, who has worked there for several years, that if I was in front of her right now with this reservation if I would get an AWD and she said no. I also got out of her that she hasn't seen an AWD anything come through in awhile, even the Jeeps.

So how screwed am I with 2wd in this part of the country? Say Albuquerque to Denver? All companies state that chains cannot be installed on their vehicles nor do I want to buy or deal with the hassle of installing them.
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Old 12-29-2016, 11:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Odd. Skip alamo?

Enterprise gave me a 4x4 jeep patriot when my mustang got hit. Took it to the beach. Didn't need 4x4.... but since we had it we went places we wouldn't have in fwd.
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Old 12-29-2016, 11:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'll skip Alamo if I have to but I've had similar responses from the other companies at the airport. All of their websites say the same thing, as in not being specific to being 2wd, 4wd or AWD. I have a feeling some of the high end, $$$, audis and BMWs are AWD but I'm not wanting to blow my travel wad on a stupid vehicle.

For the most part I don't think any of them are motor heads or care. Most don't know much for the questions I've been asking.
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Old 12-29-2016, 11:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hertz gave me a 4x4 Tahoe last month in Vegas.

Just get something rwd and Lincoln lock the mother fucker.
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Old 12-29-2016, 11:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I rented a 4x4 tahoe in hawaii
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Old 12-29-2016, 11:18 AM   #6 (permalink)
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My inlaws get a 4 wd every time they visit us in Boulder jic it snows, even if it's the middle of August They use Enterptise and never pick it up at the airport. They take a shuttle to Denver and rent it there as it's MUCH cheaper.
ymmv
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Old 12-29-2016, 11:23 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I rented a 4x4 tahoe in hawaii
did the same with a Jeep Liberty on Maui. I wheeled it too. Glad they never looked underneath it because I did rearrange a crossmember a little.
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Old 12-29-2016, 11:24 AM   #8 (permalink)
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If you can get a 4x4 in HI maybe there is hope for me. I'm trying to be optimistic. I'm just bummed these guys aren't giving me good news. The good thing is that we'll be at the airport so there will be choices and maybe we can get upgraded to something that will work for us, even if it's a minivan.
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Old 12-29-2016, 11:24 AM   #9 (permalink)
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My wife rents from Enterprise and we have requested and gotten 4x4 SUV's several times when we were going on ski trips.

That said I don't think you "need" 4wd or AWD from ABQ to Denver unless you plan on side trips to a snowy area. The most common spot to close between the two is Raton pass and when it's closed they don't GAF if you're in a deuce, when the pass closes it's closed to all traffic. I drive that route frequently and in all kinds of winter weather and not had issues with cautious driving and up until recently a FWD car.
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Old 12-29-2016, 11:25 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Alamo has always been shit. Their cars suck, their selection sucks, and the people that work there suck

Go with Enterprise or Hertz and you will get what you are looking for.
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Old 12-29-2016, 11:26 AM   #11 (permalink)
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My inlaws get a 4 wd every time they visit us in Boulder jic it snows, even if it's the middle of August They use Enterptise and never pick it up at the airport. They take a shuttle to Denver and rent it there as it's MUCH cheaper.
ymmv
We've got a pretty good deal through Costco at the airport in ABQ. I guess if worse comes to worse we can shuttle into the city. Our drop off at the end of the trip is Denver.
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Old 12-29-2016, 11:28 AM   #12 (permalink)
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My inlaws get a 4 wd every time they visit us in Boulder jic it snows, even if it's the middle of August They use Enterptise and never pick it up at the airport. They take a shuttle to Denver and rent it there as it's MUCH cheaper.
ymmv
None of the airport places have 4WD's typically, atleast that's what I've noticed.

Off airport, you can. Hell, I rented a 4wd F250 about 3 months ago when I had to do the cam phasers on my F150, had it for a week.
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Old 12-29-2016, 11:32 AM   #13 (permalink)
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We had no problem getting a 4x4 Suburban from Enterprise in Denver several years ago. I'd move to another company.

I also have gotten a 4x4 C2500 and a 4x4 F-250 pretty recently down here in Texas. I was kinda surprised they keep them regularly down here.
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Old 12-29-2016, 11:34 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Alamo has always been shit. Their cars suck, their selection sucks, and the people that work there suck

Go with Enterprise or Hertz and you will get what you are looking for.
Yup... Enterprise ftmfw.

Always had the best experience w them.
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Old 12-29-2016, 11:37 AM   #15 (permalink)
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We had no problem getting a 4x4 Suburban from Enterprise in Denver several years ago. I'd move to another company.

I also have gotten a 4x4 C2500 and a 4x4 F-250 pretty recently down here in Texas. I was kinda surprised they keep them regularly down here.
They keep 4x4s in rental fleets here for "commerical" use and for people going to mexico. Last I was told, most rental co's will only rent a truck if headed south of the border.
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Old 12-29-2016, 12:02 PM   #16 (permalink)
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We've rented 4wd and awd in mt and Id, the 4wd Yukon was reserved, the edge was simply reserved as an SUV, I was pleasantly surprised to see awd and ecoboost on the back of it.
That was enterprise, last year we got a patriot thru thrifty. The 4wd lever looked like a pop top on a soda can, I didn't want to break it off, so I didn't touch it. We named it Steve, and he didn't have the metabolism to heat up pizza on the engine, but was damn cheap to rent
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Old 12-29-2016, 12:03 PM   #17 (permalink)
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My wife rents from Enterprise and we have requested and gotten 4x4 SUV's several times when we were going on ski trips.

That said I don't think you "need" 4wd or AWD from ABQ to Denver unless you plan on side trips to a snowy area. The most common spot to close between the two is Raton pass and when it's closed they don't GAF if you're in a deuce, when the pass closes it's closed to all traffic. I drive that route frequently and in all kinds of winter weather and not had issues with cautious driving and up until recently a FWD car.
Thanks, it's good to get some first hand knowledge of the area. Our trip will take us to Colorado via Hwy 285, that day is from Taos, NM to Salida, CO. From Salida we're headed to CSprings via 285 > 24 past Pikes Peak and through Manitou Springs.

I called up Enterprise and none have 4wd/AWD for the time period I need. That and the cost for a standard SUV is more than double what our reservation price currently is.
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Old 12-29-2016, 12:12 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Snowy roads you say? Rental car you say?...I'd be requesting RWD and buying the extra insurance. :scandinavianflick:

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Old 12-29-2016, 12:16 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Thanks, it's good to get some first hand knowledge of the area. Our trip will take us to Colorado via Hwy 285, that day is from Taos, NM to Salida, CO. From Salida we're headed to CSprings via 285 > 24 past Pikes Peak and through Manitou Springs.
If you are going to be on 285, as long as it hasn't snowed in 12 hours it should be plowed and passable. They focus on the interstates first and then roads like 285 get plowed second. 285 is a pretty well traveled road though and should be well taken care of. I'm not sure when you are arriving, but there is another storm predicted to arrive saturday-monday but the predicted snowfall totals aren't too much. We used to use our Jetta TDI as our ski trip vehicle and even at places like Wolf Creek, once I got it going out of the parking lot after over a foot fell while we were skiing, it was fine on the roads so long as you don't haul ass or drive like a tard.

Are you leaving from ABQ? If so, drive straight through ABQ, take the 599 bypass through Santa Fe, and don't stop in Española. Right where 285 and 84 split there is a gas station if you need to fuel up again. I'd skip Española and drive right thru it...unless you need to get your heroin or stolen Oxy fix. If you get into trouble while traveling in Northern NM post up and maybe I can help out, I'm in the area. Just kidding, there's no cell reception in the area and you'll just turn into another Donner party
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Old 12-29-2016, 01:38 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Thanks man, you've been a big help.

We'll be arriving and staying in ABQ Sunday night, leaving to Santa Fe the next morning. We may be in Santa Fe for two days then staying in or near Taos (Wednesday). Then from Taos to Salida via 64 then 285.
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Old 12-29-2016, 01:39 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Proper tires gets you safer driving than just 4wd.
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Old 12-29-2016, 01:42 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Proper tires gets you safer driving than just 4wd.
A rental with proper tires? Never heard of it...
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Old 12-29-2016, 01:43 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Proper tires gets you safer driving than just 4wd.
So he should request proper tires?
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Old 12-29-2016, 02:27 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Every year when we fly into Denver to go skiing we rent a 4x4 suv. Q40, Burban, and a 4runner so far. They do cost more but since you never know what the conditions will be in advance we just pay for it and don't have to be concerned with those issues. We get quotes from several agencies and take the best option.
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Old 12-29-2016, 02:43 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Anytime I book a rental in advance I always reserve the cheapest subcompact they have available and then upgrade once I'm at the counter, much cheaper that way.
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