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Full size van rental

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Full size van rental

We are a group of 9 people traveling to Banff and Jasper national parks in early July and would like to rent a vehicle sufficiently big to carry all passengers and luggage. I have already checked out the usual car rental sites and none of them are renting full size vans. Appreciate if you can point me to a few businesses that rents these vans. I am a US resident and have a regular (Class C) drivers license. Are there any special requirements for drivers license in Alberta, Canda to drive such vehicles for personal use ?

Appreciate your responses.

9 replies to this topic
Calgary, Canada
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for Canadian Rockies
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1. Re: Full size van rental

I don't think you need a special license, but it's pretty much impossible to rent a vehicle that large. None of the regular rental companies, to my knowledge, will rent a van that size. You have to go with specialty companies, and that gets very tricky with regards to location/license etc. They tend to be set up for corporate/business rentals, not individual rentals.

Also, full size vans will just about hold 9 people, but certainly not 9 people and luggage. Nor should you really be driving that kind of van unless you have experience with larger/heavier vehicles - they have very different stopping distances, centre of gravity, braking, sightlines etc. from cars or SUVs.

Parking that large a vehicle will also be very tricky -- you'd be looking at having to park in the very limited RV/truck spots in townsites and major tourist sites. It will almost certainly not fit in any underground parking structure at a hotel or the parking garages in Banff. And be very hard to get into and out of small surface parking lots -- or too big for the spots.

I think we'd very strongly suggest that you rent two vehicles. That will give you plenty of space for luggage, much easier to find parking and a lot more flexibility if the whole group doesn't want to go to the same place at the same time.

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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2. Re: Full size van rental

I believe that in Alberta, you can drive an 11-passenger van with a regular driver's license, but I'm not sure if that is the case in BC. (Are you planning to visit BC at all? Mt. Robson Provincial Park, or Yoho National Park?)I would recommend looking up that information online; look for the provincial government website.

As mentioned, these are a specialty rental. I am not sure who has them. You could try contacting any of the major car rental companies' offices in Calgary (directly, not via the online reservation system) for further information; if any of their affiliates have them, they'll let you know. Some of the majors are Avis, Hertz, Budget, National. Also, try these guys: https://www.drivingforce.ca/Rent/VehicleTypes

Oshawa, Canada
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3. Re: Full size van rental

Not sure that even an 11 passenger van will have sufficient room for 9 adults and luggage for 9.

seattle
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4. Re: Full size van rental

Look at Driving Force rentals in Calgary. I've seen several of their vans in Banff and they fit your needs. Most will charge for time and mileage and your car insurance will not insure the van as its considered a commercial vehicle so you need to add insurance.

https://www.drivingforce.ca/

Calgary
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5. Re: Full size van rental

Driving Force is good, also try VISA Rentals.

West Grey, Ontario
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6. Re: Full size van rental

12/15 passenger vans.

Respectfully, these vehicles are meant to be driven by professional drivers or people with experience operating larger vehicles.

Each of these vans is based on a truck frame, with a suspension system capable of carrying the extensive weight of 15 passengers, plus any additional luggage / cargo. It does NOT handle anything at all like a car, or even a mini-van.

Braking distances are greatly increased, clearances due to length, width and height must be carefully monitored at all times, and turning radii are much greater. Adding passengers raises the vehicle's centre of gravity, so given the greater seating capacity of 15-passenger vans, they become increasingly difficult to handle and less stable, as additional passengers are added.

National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) research shows there is a greater risk of rollover because many drivers lack experience driving the larger vehicles. Because 15-passenger vans handle quite differently than smaller passenger vehicles due to their increased length and width, NHTSA recommends only experienced drivers familiar with their handling should operate them.

These vans are prohibited for student transportation in dozens of U.S. states and in three Canadian provinces: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Quebec. The latter two provinces instituted bans after seven high school basketball players and their coach’s wife were killed, when the 15-passenger van they were traveling in, crashed in January 2008.

If you're an average driver who has never handled anything bigger than a car, or even a mini-van, it would be a very foolish idea to consider putting your family into a 15 passenger van.

I would suggest 2 mini-vans.

Best Regards

Jasper, Canada
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7. Re: Full size van rental

You can't drive a 15-passenger van in Alberta with just a regular driver's license (as the OP has stated he has).

Calgary, Canada
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8. Re: Full size van rental

I would suggest two 7 passenger minivans. It will likely be cheaper (no mileage charges) and much more comfortable to split 4 and 5 adults up with bags.

Greater Sydney...
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9. Re: Full size van rental

The OP was visiting early July.

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