5 ladies and their luggage - which car?

Mar 17th, 2012, 05:50 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 677
5 ladies and their luggage - which car?

My group is small this year, just five of us. Am debating what class car to request. With 4 I know we would be comfortable in something like a Laguna. But five? I don't think we could put the five of us in a regular car (even if it says it seats 5) and have room for our luggage. I've asked everyone to take no more than 2 pieces, carry-on size or smaller, but even so...

My first thought was that we'd need a Renault Espace or similar, folding down the two back seats to make space for the suitcases. But I've never driven anyhting bigger than my Ford Taurus. How easy or difficult would it be to handle and park the Espace or similar 7-seater in small villages in Provence? And will the three passengers in the middle row be comfortable? Are there other configurations possible? Is there anything slightly smaller that might work as well?

I've considered renting two smaller cars but that would be more expensive especially since we will have to do two separate rentals, one for 6 days Avignon - Avignon and another for 8 days, Tours (Saint-Pierre-des-Corps) to Caen. We're taking the train from Avignon to Tours. So we are already going to have to pay the extra fees twice; I'd hate to have to do that 4 times!

I'd be happy to hear from anyone who has rented a car for 5 or more or has experience driving the Espace or something similar. All comments/ideas welcome. Thanks!
Betty1 is offline  
Mar 17th, 2012, 09:37 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 4,238
You'll have to put a firm requirement in.

I went on holiday in Europe with spouse, sister and husband. Got a "guarantee" from my sister that they would limit to 1 22" or smaller each. That they did, and one additonal bag each, and a large backpack. The car/van I rented couldn't begin to hold it all.

You might want to get their empty bags and try it on a car or van, just to see how much space it will take.
Rastaguytoday is offline  
Mar 18th, 2012, 10:00 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
We have found that 4 people plus luggage is the most you can get in any sedan in Europe (even then we had a ouple of small carry-ons in the back seat).

I would be realistic about how much luggage people will have - and assume that you will need some sort of van.
nytraveler is offline  
Mar 18th, 2012, 10:21 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 364
Agree that with 5 plus luggage it should be a van. With a van, driving isn't so much a problem on highways, but in tiny villages and most enclosed parking garages it's a night mare. Narrow, curving alleys can be daunting and may not be for the faint of heart.

Also, with a rental you can only request a class of car not an specific make/model; we've found there can be a huge difference in luggage space within the same class!

We have leased a Kangoo numerous times and with limitations on luggage size, it could work for 5 ladies. We had no problem driving and/or parking with this particular car.

Good luck on finding the right vehicle. Wish I could help more.
klondiketoo is offline  
Mar 18th, 2012, 12:39 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,322
A minivan is called a monospace in France.
kerouac is online now  
Mar 18th, 2012, 02:46 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 4,238
If you want to get an idea about the various vans available, a simple task it to pretend to rent from an American car rental in wherever you want to pick the van up.

Go to Hertz, Budget, Avis,etc... and when they give you a car selection, make sure you see all. I know that Hertz has a popup that shows you details of each van, in terms of passengers and number of suitcases.

I only say American, because it would just give you a sample of what's out there.
Rastaguytoday is offline  
Mar 19th, 2012, 06:34 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 677
I just spent several minutes composing a response to your comments but before I could submit it, my power blinked off and I lost it. AAARRRGH!

I don't have time to do it all again now so I'll just say thanks for the comments thus far. Anyone else have anything to offer?

I plan to call AutoEurope/Kemwel in the next day or two but hoped to get some ideas from you guys first.
Betty1 is offline  

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