Hiding luggage in rental van/suv

Old Mar 21st, 2016, 06:30 PM
  #1  
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Hiding luggage in rental van/suv

We are a group of 4 women, traveling with 4 moderate pieces of luggage and carry-ons. We likely need a bigger vehicle, but most of them wouldn't have a locked trunk or place to keep the luggage hidden while we are enroute. Do most of the SUVs or small vans come with a cover for the rear compartment? (called a tonneau cover here in Canada). Thanks.
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Old Mar 21st, 2016, 06:45 PM
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You need to make sure when you rent that the vehicle has one - and also that you pickup the car at a large rental office (preferably airport) to have hte best chance of getting what you reaerved.
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Old Mar 21st, 2016, 06:54 PM
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You will need to decide whether or not you will leave luggage unattended in the vehicle. We never have.
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Old Mar 21st, 2016, 07:20 PM
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Down size to carry ons only. You should be able to get by w/ a 20 or 21 in roll aboard each. Then if you get a saloon (sedan) or a hatchback your bags will be concealed.
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Old Mar 21st, 2016, 10:23 PM
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Firstly, rental cars are highly visible to thieves. Here are just a few telltale signs:

1. rental company stickers in the windows

2. the little white diesel fuel only sticker at the refuel point

3. the faded area around where the diesel fuel only used to be if you remove it.

4. departmental identification on the license plate. For example, Europcar licenses all of their cars in 06, or Alpes-Maritimes.

5. the lack of driver´s side floor mats.

I would not leave luggage or valuables of any kind in a parked car.
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Old Mar 21st, 2016, 10:35 PM
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Actually all Europcar-owned vehicles are registered in 76. Hertz vehicles are registered in 60.
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Old Mar 21st, 2016, 10:47 PM
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All of us feel nervous about leaving luggage in the car but here is an item that might help, although this doesn't apply in the case of a van like the OP

At least Hertz and Avis have extra insurance you can buy called Super PAI which covers theft from a trunk

"AVIS presents has in most of the European countries a coverage superior to the PAI. You can buy Super PAI. This implies an increase in the daily rate, but nevertheless you can enjoy superior levels of coverage to those of the PAI.

This insurance also covers the theft of personal objects from the trunk of the vehicle, if there was a break thru by force. The personal clothes, suitcases and other objects (excluded any useful object or professional tool)."

Not sure how much more this costs.
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Old Mar 21st, 2016, 10:47 PM
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Obviously I do not rent cars anymore in France kerouac but I seem to remember at one time Europcar registered in Alpes-Maritimes.

Still, the point remains. Driving a Seine-Maritime (76) registered vehicle around anywhere removed from Rouen will draw attention to thieves.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2016, 01:32 AM
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All the indicators of hire cars are correct. But do not forget French etc do rent cars too. So not all hire cars are driven by non Europeans.
I have travelled many times cross France with my Station Wagon full never had a problem.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2016, 02:22 AM
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When I've done this I've found a vehicle with a large upward opening door on the rear end (no idea what Canadians call this type of vehicle). These normally have a little piece of formed card that drops across the luggage space which hides what you have left there. Then I've chosen places where I can back the vehicle up against a wall. Many years ago I was sent on an anti-kidnapping course and this was lesson 1 day 1 course 101, "always prepare for a fast get-away".

I've only once left any sort of luggage visible in a car main body anywhere in Europe, result a smashed car window and the idiots who stole the contents then drove the wrong way onto the motorway almost ending up with further loss of life. So don't.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2016, 03:42 AM
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Four people shouldn't need a people mover or van.

A full size or luxury sedan should be in the same price range and handle you and your bags IF you follow janisj's advice to do carryon only. There are lots of posts and Internet sites telling you how to do this.

Bilboburgler's advice is excellent. I have always been terrible at reversing, but I just got my first car with a reversing camera, and it is now a doddle. Practice.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2016, 04:03 AM
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"Obviously I do not rent cars anymore in France"

Then perhaps you shouldn't write on a subject, pretending to be an authority.

"but I seem to remember at one time"

Stuff you happen to remember from a long time ago probably no longer applies. How many people on this board are making contributions based on experience long gone? Just think of the wasted bandwidth and useless noise.

"I have travelled many times cross France with my Station Wagon full never had a problem."

I, too, travel with a full trunk (of very expensive camera equipment), and I know several people who do the same. I don't know one car renter who has ever experienced a trunk break-in. But I don't make a habit of parking in areas known for break-ins, and I do have insurance.

In fact, whether you keep anything in the trunk or not, in all the many years I've been posting here and reading travel boards, I don't recall many posts that complain about theft from a rented car. So, it doesn't seem very likely, even though it can happen. Your chances of a camera ticket are far greater, and that doesn't stop you from driving, does it?

"We are a group of 4 women…We likely need a bigger vehicle"

I've been in many mid-sized cars that comfortably seat four people. Trunk size always depends on the design of the car. The category of the car doesn't mean a whole lot, unless you are renting a van. I've experienced a few surprisingly small SUVs.

I travel with a piece of Duvetyne. It's a black, light-blocking cloth used in my industry. You can order a custom-sized piece from several places on the internet. I've used the Duvetyne to cover numerous items left in my car. I leave my Garmin and my MacBook Pro sitting on the front seat. I'm too lazy to continually put the tools away. The fabric is difficult to see and/or identify, even with the sun shining on it.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2016, 05:05 AM
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Then perhaps you shouldn't write on a subject, pretending to be an authority.

What pointless arrogance. I don´t rent cars because I own the car I drive in France.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2016, 07:43 AM
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European families, including those with all adults, manage to travel the continent in European saloon cars with all their luggage, and quite a lot more besides stored in the boot.
You do not need a station car or an SUV. SUVs often have shockingly small luggage areas. Very often the rental company removes the tonneau anyway, to avoid it being damaged/stolen.
If you don't want to travel with carry on only then try to chose small suitcases or soft duffels to make filling the boot easier. A little research online will give you an indication of how much luggage a particular model can hold, and how much legroom there is in the rear of the car. Of course there is no guarantee you will get that make/model but you will get a good idea. Car rental company indications should not be relied upon.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2016, 07:49 AM
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>>What pointless arrogance.)

>>I don´t rent cars because I own the car I drive in France.rest of us knew what you meant -- you know more about cars in Europe than most.

>>When I've done this I've found a vehicle with a large upward opening door on the rear end (no idea what Canadians call this type of vehicle).
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Old Mar 22nd, 2016, 07:50 AM
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FoodSnob, the Duvetyne is a good idea.

Your profile urges that we "acquire the right attitude."

Good advice. Worth following.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2016, 07:53 AM
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ah, a hatchback to a Brit is little thing for short journeys and people.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2016, 08:33 AM
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I have read a variety of tactics to deal with thieves breaking into rental cars. Everyone emphasizes to leave nothing valuable in the car whatsoever. Among the other suggestions:

* leave the glove compartment and other such areas open so a passing thief can see it has nothing worth taking without having to break in to find out.

* leave the car unlocked so thieves can check the car for valuables without having to smash the windows.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2016, 09:07 AM
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sundriedtopepo: Extra insurance may be a good idea, but...

1. You have to convince the insurance company that you really did have those bags, with that content and that value, in the car at the time of the theft.

2. Even if you can convince the insurance company that you had all those things you will not get the original value back. You may not even get enough money for decent replacements.

3. I don't think you will get the money immediately. So if the thief has run off with all your clothes and other things you will have to buy new stuff before the insurance company gives you the money for it. And, unless you are very rich (or have a credit card with a high limit), that could cut deeply into your travel budget.

4. And, of course, if some of the things left in the car and stolen have sentimental value they may be irreplacable.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2016, 09:11 AM
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insurance company may feel leaving the door unlocked invalidates the contract..
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