Another Explore Rentals first: guaranteed all wheel drive car, with snow tires.

Awesome in the snow

All of our AWD Subaru Outback rentals and 4WD Mercedes Benz Sprinter rentals have snow tires. No crappy off-brands; Bridgestone Blizzaks or Michelin X-Ice only. We are the first, and only, rental car company in Bozeman that not only guarantees AWD or 4WD cars, but also has true snow tires. This costs us quite a bit more in operating expense, which in turn means we are usually not the cheapest option. However, if you get caught in a blizzard headed to Big Sky, you will be extremely thankful for your decision. There is simply nothing safer for winter driving conditions than a Subaru Outback with premium snow tires. Since we changed our Subaru fleet to all have snow tires in 2016, we have seen a 85% reduction in accidents! Here is an article in Forbes on best cars in snow. Not a surprise the Subaru Outback is number 1. Here is an article in Yahoo Travel about renting cars in Montana.

Sprinter 4x4 RentalsIf you are looking to move a whole bunch of people in the winter, or just want to cruise in style, our Mercedes Benz 12-passenger, 4×4, Sprinter vans are the safest (and best) option available anywhere in the country. We are the only company in the US that rents these awesome machines. All of our Sprinters have Bridgestone Blizzaks in the winter, and 10-ply All Terrain tires in the summer.

Our rental fleet of Chevrolet Suburbans have Michelin Defender LTX M+S (Mud + Snow) tires. These are vastly superior to the OEM tires that our on all of our competitors rental Suburbans.

On the left, ratings of the OEM Chevrolet Suburban tires, Michelin Energy Saver AS. On the right, our tires, Michelin Defender LTX. These ratings are provided from


OEM Suburban Tires
Original Equipment Tires on Chevrolet Suburbans 2015 – 2018
Explore Rentals upgraded 10-ply Michelin Tires
Explore Rentals upgraded Michelin Defender LTX MS LRE Tires


Why good tires matter on rental cars
Standard rental suburban from the Bozeman Airport, returned with a flat tire.


Who would think tires make a difference on a rental car? In Montana, they make a HUGE difference. Most likely during your time exploring you will be on gravel roads. Our gravel roads are typically well maintained, however, it is not uncommon for a larger than gravel sized rock, or a pot hole, to make its way into your path. This is not an issue for for many smaller, lighter vehicles as the tires have the strength to absorb the impact while supporting the weight of the vehicle. With larger vehicles, such as full-sized SUVs, standard factory tires are often NOT able to absorb the impact. The result: an unrepairable flat tire.

Over the past years as SUVs and pick-ups have been more known as Soccer Mom cars versus working trucks, manufacturers have been reducing costs by installing road tires on their vehicles. We take off these tires from our Suburbans and replace them with far superior Load Range E (modern terminology for 10-ply) all-terrain tires. The result: no flat tires.

To put this in context: we kept the factory Goodyear HPs on one of our new rental Suburbans in 2011. In the first month of rentals this car suffered from 3 (three!) flat tires. Since then, we made the decision to upgrade the tires on all of our Suburbans to higher load capacity/ ply and more aggressive tread tires. Consequently, we have not had a flat tire on a Suburban rental since.

Last year we had a group of anglers rent a Suburban from us because of the superior tires. They have been coming to Montana for 20-years, and always rent a Suburban. One year alone they got 4-flats. This year with Explore- not a single one.

If you choose to rent a Suburban from a Franchise company at the Bozeman Airport, your rental will have these same factory highway tires. If and when you do get a flat tire, your rental company will charge you for a new replacement (currently $240 + mount and balance) and “Loss of Use” on your rental (full retail rate, up to $450/ day!). Plus, you will get to spend an hour or two rolling around in the dirt changing your tire.

You will still have to pay for a replacement tire if you get a flat in one of our rental Suburbans, however, the odds of this happening a greatly less compared to renting a Suburban from our competitors.

Here is an article on “How To Rent a Car That Will Keep You Alive in Montana.”

Explore Rentals is the only rental car agency in Bozeman that upgrades the factory tires on rental Suburbans to superior tires appropriate to Montana conditions.