We (family of 5 including kids ages 12, 11, 11) plan to rent a car or van in France for 10 days starting in Marseille to Normandy to Paris. It is a lot of miles but a train will not work for our situation.
We need help with some issues regarding car rentals in France:
Are cars from all major rental companies non-smoking? If not, what are your recommendations to get a vehicle that has not been smoked in?
Is there much of a price difference (greater than 10%) for renting a car at the airport counter versus making a reservation 15+ days in advance?
We are hoping to do a walk-up reservation as we do not know much about the French cars and vans as in many cases there is not a comparable model in the US. We’ll be driving a lot of miles and want to make the vehicle we choose is comfortable for our family (I’m tall and don’t fit well in some cars), quiet, non-smoking and will fit our baggage. We hope to use only 3 standard size suitcases plus backpacks for each of us, but the luggage capacity on many French cars shows a maximum of 2 standard suitcases plus 2 small suitcases. There is a possibility we will have 4 standard suitcases but I’m really hoping we can pack lighter than that! We definitely don’t want to reserve a car or van only to find it won’t meet our requirements. Other suggestions?