2WD SUV's at the Bozeman Airport?


Do I need 4wd to drive to Big Sky? YES!

Every winter we get countless last-minute, panicked phone calls of individuals desperately seeking an All-Wheel-Drive or Four-Wheel-Drive rental car. There are two reasons for this. First, and absolutely foremost, you need a four-wheel-drive car in Big Sky during the winter. Heck, it snows in Big Sky literally every month of the year, but you really, really need four-wheel-drive in the winter. In every pre-trip info packet from Property Managers or VRBO owners, you will see a requirement for a four-wheel-drive vehicle. This info is often not read until the day before arrival, and then blamo’, the realization sets in.

Guaranteed 4wd and AWD SUVs

The second reason we get so many last minute calls for 4WD or AWD rental cars, is that we are the only company in Bozeman that guarantees 4WD or AWD rentals. We do not have anything else, so there is simply no other option. And very often when a renter from an on-airport franchise goes out to their assigned rental car, they find it is actually 2WD. See Point #1.

Just last night 12/29/18, we heard a story of a family in Big Sky that was provided a 2WD rental Suburban- for $450/ day! A franchise company that starts with “A” told them, the renters, that they move a number of 2WD SUVs from California to Bozeman to accommodate the Christmas rush. No sympathy. No apologies. Take it or leave it.

Car rentals with snow tires. 

I personally cannot believe that any company would rent someone a rear wheel drive SUV in Bozeman, in the winter. There simply is not a more dangerous car to drive. Add to the fact it most certainly has the terrible factory ‘All-Season’ gas-save highway tires, and honestly that is like handing someone a death sentence. You might get lucky and have decent road conditions, or you could spend your Christmas drowning in the Gallatin river. Historically it seems 85% or so that rent SUVs at the Bozeman Airport will get a 4WD or AWD rental car. But for that remaining 15%- geez, good luck.

The moral of the story: Plan in advance? That means nothing as they are just as likely to swap you out for a 2WD car last minute or if you booked a year in advance. Or, book your Bozeman/ Big Sky rental car with a company that guarantees you an AWD or 4WD rental car.

UPDATE: We just had some renters return one of our Chevrolet Suburban Super Roadwarriors- our least expensive option. They exclaimed repetitively how happy they were with the rental, especially considering his brother had rented a Suburban from one of the franchises. He stated our car was cleaner, less expensive, and did not slide off of the road getting into the VRBO like his brother’s rental Suburban did.






Step 1.

On our Reservations page, enter your requested rental dates. Available inventory of each item will be displayed. Select what you desire and add to your cart.

Step 2.

Verify your Cart and rental dates/ times. A 15% credit card deposit is required to confirm all bookings. You will be prompted for flight info and contact info, as well as the CC deposit.


Pick up your rental car at the office at your scheduled time. If you are picking-up after-hours, we will be in touch with you about our Protocols.  Big Sky is awesome, go and enjoy! 


Prior to your departure flight, swing by the office to drop off your car. If it is prior to our 9am open, you can leave the car at the Bozeman Airport. Your CC on file will be billed the balance due.


Explore Rentals is Bozeman’s original, independent car rental and outdoor gear rental agency. We have been Bozeman’s best reviewed car rental business since we started in 2011. Offering only 4WD and AWD rental vehicles ensures our customers will be driving the safest, and best rental cars available.

Located right next to the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN), we are able to provide extremely convenient, and superior, services to our guests. If you have any questions, or would just like to chat- give us a call: 406-922-0179.