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johnjan2009 Dec 18th, 2010 10:58 PM

Question about Winnipeg U-Drive Rent-A-Car at Winnipeg Airport(YWG)
Still in the midst of looking for a good deal on rental car and saw this Winnipeg U-Drive Rent-A-Car company which charge only $35 per day which is best I found so far. Is this a good rental car company at Winnipeg? Also, will a car like ford focus or nisan versa or toyota corrola will do in going around Winnipeg? I heard about the extreme weather conditions so I'm a bit worried on which rental car I should go for. Also, this rental car company seemed closed at 4pm daily and we won't arrive until 5:30pm so I'm assuming we can come back next day to the airport to pickup the car. I really appreciate to hear from everyone who is familiar in the Winnipeg area and if any recommendations on a rental company with cheap rates...Thanks in advance for the help..

krp329 Dec 20th, 2010 02:58 PM

I've never heard of this company before - not that that really means anything, other than they are not one of the big-name multinational rental companies. I googled and found their website and they appear to be a local company, with several Winnipeg offices (including one NEAR the airport, not AT the airport), and one in another town not too far away. You might want to check with the Better Business Bureau, to see if they have any history of complaints against them.

Any car purchased in Canada will be equipped for winter conditions (with a block heater) however, I don't know if rental companies routinely provide an extension cord for plugging in the car's block heater. (If it cold - e.g. below -20C, and the car hasn't run in awhile, you should plug the car in for an hour or two before you try to start it.) Also, it is quite rare for rental cars to have winter tires on them (rather than all-season tires). I'm not sure where you are from (do you have winter driving experience?) but traction is not as good, and stopping distances are quite a lot longer on snowy or icy roads if a car is not equipped with winter tires.

johnjan2009 Dec 21st, 2010 02:20 PM

thanks, krp329.. I appreciate your inputs... I'm from California and don't have much experience on winter driving except when I go visit tahoe or nevada area... I also thought winter tires should be part of a standard when renting car in canada.. any idea of ballpark extra charge if I ask rental to equip the car with winter tires? for some reasons, it don' mentioned anything included in the car... I'm looking for another trans canada renta co which pretty reasonable price but no mentioned detailed features... it just say honda accord or camry which is $20 per day in toronto...

krp329 Dec 21st, 2010 05:25 PM

"Marketplace", a national consumer affairs show on our national public TV network aired a segment a couple of years ago about this: (I'm not sure if you can access the video in the US but you should be able to read the introduction.)

Quebec is the only province where winter tires are required by law during the winter. Most rental car agencies do not switch their tires (think of all the extra costs involved, needing storage for the out-of-season tires etc.) I have seen some agencies (usually in the mountains in BC) advertising cars available with winter tires - for an additional charge, of course. I don't think it's an "option" (referring to your request for a ballpark figure for an extra charge) - they will either have vehicles that have them, or they won't.

In February 2007, we rented a car in Smithers, BC that not only had no winter tires on it, it had very bald summer tires. The roads were very icy and we could hardly drive it anywhere, except for the main highway and the streets in town that had been cleared.

I'm not sure I understand the last part of your post, johnjan. If you are looking for a rental agency that is all across the country, that would be many of the same big names you probably have down there.... National, Budget, Avis, etc. There is also Enterprise (not sure if they are international or not) and "Rent-A-Wreck" (which does not actually rent wrecks) I'm not sure if we have Alamo up here in Canada or not. I'm sure googling "Winnipeg car rental" will pull up all your options.

You can save a lot of money on a car rental if you don't have to buy their insurance. Does your own auto policy cover a rental (ours had us buy an inexpensive extra rider for this, covers us in both Canada and the US ... I think it was $25 per year), or check if any of your credit cards include rental auto insurance coverage. (I have both a VISA and an American Express card that include car rental insurance, in both Canada, the US, and Europe - as long as I charge the full cost of the rental to that card.)

johnjan2009 Dec 23rd, 2010 03:51 PM

hey krp329, I appreciate all your info. Yes, my insurance(geico) extend my coverage up to canada free of charge.. This is a good thing on this insurance co.

For the last part of my posts, there is another car insurance company in toronto(I'm heading there in New Year) named trans canada.. Ford explorer type of SUV is pretty reasonable at $40 per day... I saw in BBB that it is rated as C... Let me know if you know anything about this co..


krp329 Dec 24th, 2010 11:20 AM

Never heard of them either .... googled them to learn more.... like the Winnipeg-based company, it is a smaller, local (Toronto & Montreal) company.

It's not that I am distrustful because these are smaller companies (travel forums are full of consumer complaints about all of the majors too), but I am always leery of a "too good to be true" offer, and when a company's rates are significantly lower than their competitors'. In that case, what I want to know is where they are cutting their costs that they can offer the "same" (?) service more cheaply than the major players in the business? In some cases, it may be because the cars are a year or two older than those rented by more well-known companies. (Is this a problem? Maybe not if they are well maintained, and if they have offer roadside assistance if there is a problem.) Also, a "C" from the BBB is hardly a glowing endorsement, either.

As always - read the terms and conditions very carefully (always, with any company, even the majors) - I note that with transcanada, the unlimited mileages don't apply if you take the car out of province, and they charge an additional $8.95 per day if you want to take their car to the U.S.

If price is your main criteria in renting, have you looked at Also, why not rent a smaller vehicle, if you are looking to save money? In nasty driving conditions, you'll often see SUVs in the ditch, probably because their drivers are overconfident and don't slow down and drive suitably for the conditions; they think they are immune and can must sail along at highway speeds... but most SUVs have a higher centre of gravity and are therefore more prone to spinning and flipping.

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