Everything You Need to Know about Renting a Car in the Winter Time
When traveling to cold climates in the winter, people often make the mistake of assuming that renting a vehicle with 4-wheel drive or all-wheel drive should be their first priority. If you plan to plow your vehicle through a blizzard or up to a ski hill with poorly maintained roads and switchback turns on the way to the lifts, then having the power and control of an all-wheel drive vehicle will help. For driving on city streets, however, 4-wheel drive won’t do you much good.
7 Winter Road Travel Tips
1. Slow Down
The most important piece of advice for any winter driving (in a rental car or your own car) is to slow down. You should also leave lots more space between you and other cars on the road. In order to stop in time and avoid sliding into the vehicle in front of you, there should be at least a six-second gap.
2. Ask for Anti-Lock Brakes
Perhaps more useful than an all-wheel drive vehicle, anti-lock brakes will prevent your brakes from locking if your vehicle starts to slide (in a stop or on a curve). These brakes cannot completely prevent you from sliding, but they will help you maintain control of the vehicle.
3. Choose Front-Wheel Drive
Most contemporary vehicles (other than fancy convertibles and sports cars) are designed with front-wheel drive. This will help you maintain control and prevent too much fishtailing or spinning out on slick roads.
4. Make Sure Your Car Has All-Season Tires
All-season tires in good condition, with a healthy tread, will help you maintain traction on slippery roads. Before you leave, be sure your vehicle is equipped with a spare.
5. Keep a Full Tank
If you plan to drive through any rural areas, always keep a full tank of gas. Even if you don’t have far to go, a tank of gas means the ability to keep your car running with the heat on, should you go off the road.
6. Prepare for the Worst
Pack your car with extra clothes, snow boots, blankets, water, and snacks just in case you get stranded off the road. You might also consider purchasing a small shovel, in case the car gets stuck in a drift and you need to dig out.
7. Spring for Collision Insurance
Make sure you have good insurance. You might even spring for a rental company’s collision waiver or insurance policy. You’ll wish you had it, if you careen over black ice into the next vehicle’s bumper.
Book a Winter Rental Vehicle in Fort McMurray
While driving cautiously in winter weather is always a must, Young Motors’ rental vehicles are fully prepared to safely carry our clients through the snow and over icy road conditions. For safe travel this winter, contact Young Motors at any of our three locations in Fort McMurray to fill out a contact form or call us to book a rental vehicle.
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