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Help needed with car rental - which model?

Peterborough UK
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134 posts
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Help needed with car rental - which model?

We are 4 adults touring California and Nevada in June, with 4 large suitcases, plus typical hand luggage. Looking for a large car capable of holding the luggage comfortably, and not all car rental websites are fully explicit on this. Plus, if possible, we don't want something that's unnecessarily gas-guzzling. Our trip will cover a lot of miles so comfort is important as well. As we are not familiar with some USA models, can anyone point us in right direction re options of Cadillac DTS, Chrysler 300 or other similar?

San Francisco...
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for San Francisco
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1. Re: Help needed with car rental - which model?

Well it is hard for us to guess what 4 large bags and typical hand luggage means and if that will fit. When we have 4 people and our 4 large bags and airline compliant hand bags, we rent a mini can or an SUV because we just don't know what we can get unless we book a specifc car on Hertz. Their premium or luxury cars may fit 4 typical large bags but no way will they fit 4 or even two carryons plus the large bags If you want to get technical, you can google the trunk space for the models you are looking at and then see if all your bags will fit

Hertz and Avis sites have the number of bags that fit in the cars next to the car info and they are quite accurate

You want to make sure things are not visible when you leave luggage in a car or SUV in a remote area enroute

Edited: 21 February 2013, 18:33
Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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2. Re: Help needed with car rental - which model?

It sounds as if you'll need a full size SUV and unfortunately will just have to endure the lower MPG. Keep in mind gas prices here are around $4 per gallon so it's not nearly as bad as in the UK.

A mini van might work and will probably get better mileage.

The smaller to mid size SUVs will hold the four of you in comfort, but I'm not sure about your "4 large suitcases" as well as extra misc hand luggage and stuff!

Los Angeles
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for Los Angeles
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3. Re: Help needed with car rental - which model?

Keep in mind that most rental companies are not going to ensure you a specific model of car. Most of their web sites will say something like "Chrysler Sebring (or similar)". They do this because when you show up to pick up your car, they may simply be out of Chrysler Sebrings (which is often out of their control - not everyone brings back their car when they say they will). Normally if they give you something "similar", it will indeed be a similar sized car to (in this example) a Chrysler Sebring. If for some reason they are also out of similarly sized cars, they should give you something larger, free of charge. Of course, larger cars tend to get worse fuel economy and the rental company is probably not going to reimburse you for the difference you spend on fuel.

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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4. Re: Help needed with car rental - which model?

Does your itinerary still begin in Las Vegas? We rented a "Full Size" car for a trip in 2010, and National offered us our choice from a line of seven or eight ~ every one was a silver Mercury Grand Marquis. That car had the biggest trunk I'd seen in years and the ride was very comfortable. Of course we looked a little out of place on the roads to trailheads in Death Valley NP, but we were comfy!

If you're picking up at the Las Vegas airport, ask folks on that forum what kinds of cars they've been getting for the Full Size, Full Size Premium, or Luxury rentals.

Definitely consider an SUV as well. If your trip includes lots of drive by scenery, the folks in the back will appreciate having a good view. Some of the newer full size or luxury cars have small back windows. Dodge Charger image: ridelust.com/wp-content/…Rear-Seats2.jpg

Dublin, California
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5. Re: Help needed with car rental - which model?

I'd go with the mini van suggestion.

Peterborough UK
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6. Re: Help needed with car rental - which model?

Thanks for all the input. We are now flying into SFO, rather than Las Vegas, so will enquire of recent renters on that forum. I was aware of the lack of certainty re exactly which model one gets from the car rental company, but was trying to avoid the hassle of discovering that we couldn't get the luggage in as we set off. I have tried to check out some car manufacturers websites for dimensions etc, but its difficult to tell how xx cu ft relates to suitcase dimensions. Good idea to consider minivan re window visibility for passengers.

Visalia, CA
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7. Re: Help needed with car rental - which model?

Go for the minivan or full size SUV. If you are starting in SF and staying a few days, wait until you are ready to leave before picking up your rental vehicle. Otherwise you will have to pay for parking (if you are staying in the city).Cost $32 a day on my most recent trip plus the garages are cramped and hard to manuver a large vehicle in.

London, United...
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for Lake District
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8. Re: Help needed with car rental - which model?

I would definitely go with a minivan. They are generally bigger than a UK Ford Galaxy and have enough space for 4-5 people to be fairly comfortable and have space for luggage such as yours. Even the full size sedans will not be big enough. A Chevy Blazer size SUV would probably be ok too if your cases can be stood up easily.

9. Re: Help needed with car rental - which model?

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