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Hertz compact car

I am renting compact car from Hertz in Avignon and description says 5 persons, 1 big bag, 2 small bags.

There were two options in compact class at different prices. Cheaper one was Mercedes car and Renault Capture as 2nd option and it was bit pricier.

We are 2 adults and 2 kids and we will have one big bag and 2 carry-on. I am aware of the fact that I may not get Renault Capture hatchback. I am now looking at worst case scenarios. If I get the smallest compact car, can I still fit four of us and bags?

Thanks

Posted by
2778 posts

How big/little are your kids? I'm guessing that, while 5 people might fit in a compact car, it would be ...ummm, compact. But with 4, if the kids are kid-sized rather than adult sized, you might be ok. You do want to make sure that the bags can all fit in the trunk so that you don't leave anything visible to trouble.

Sometimes I've been able to search for the specific car model on the manufacturer's website and get a better idea of the dimensions of the interior and the trunk.

Posted by
162 posts

Are you reserving the exact car?

I reserved a Fiat 500 to be picked up in Avignon TGV and ended up with my choice of a 4 door full size Citroen SUV or a full size 4 door Mercedes E class. What I wanted was a Fiat 500.

The bad news I have never gotten the car I reserved at a European car rental agency. The good news is - for you - that the upgrade has always resulted in a larger car not a smaller one.

That being said the Capture has a pretty roomy back area and could probably handle your party. My concern would be not whether it would fit but whether it would fit under the back area cover. If you're not parking with your bags in the car then that's not an issue but having your car visibly filled with luggage parked in a city is something I would recommend against.

Get full coverage, have a great trip!
=Tod

Posted by
5648 posts

The baggage capacities listed on rental Websites have seemed to generally understate the actual capacity in the trunk, but you don’t, of course, want to pay for more than you need just in case your bags won’t fit with the 4 of you. We’ve never had more than 3 in a rental car in Europe along with bags (although 4 or 5 people on a short drive, while the bags were back at our lodging), but if there are times you’ll be parking your car with luggage inside, we’ve always wanted to have all baggage out of sight, in the trunk or a panel-covered hatch.

Micro cars might not fit a big bag and 2 carry-ons, but a “compact,” bigger than the tiniest car category, should. Opt for a bigger size, but in addition to a probable costlier rental price, a bigger car will likely cost more in fuel. It might not be tons of extra euros, but it all adds up. Will you be toting food, a cooler, or souvenirs at some point, taking up more space, too?

Posted by
8832 posts

How much driving will you be doing? Being crammed into a tiny car is not the best idea for happy travels.

It may be a good idea to have a bit bigger car. What do you have at home?

kid 1--He touched me

kid 2-did not

kid 1-did so

kid 2-liar

Parent -- Do I have to stop the car?

Posted by
5648 posts

There are even minivans, and some manufacturers are still making station wagons. But smaller cars are easier to fit in parking spots, a good thing, despite some potential limitations with other things.

Posted by
7205 posts

If you arrive and the car is too small (which is likely) then just ask for an upgrade and pay the difference. Or the simplest is to just rent a decent sized vehicle that will hold everybody and all luggages...that would be the least hassle thing to do.

Posted by
4140 posts

A "C" category (compact) seems enough for 1 large and 2 small bags, I wouldn't worry too much. And the kids will have enough room. It is the size of car most French people have and travel with.

Posted by
335 posts

We reserved a compact from Autoeurope and we picked it up from Hertz at the Nimes rail station last month. The car we received was a Ford Focus diesel. It could hold five but four would have been better. It had a fairly large cargo space and got awesome mpg's.
We have rented from Hertz twice in France and each time it was great. The car we got would be great for your family. Last year we reserved the same class of car and received a Skoda. It was okay, but this years car was much nicer. Both were new cars. When are you picking up your car? I always get the complete insurance coverage. AutoEurope is awesome.

Posted by
1842 posts

We always rent from Hertz directly whether for work or personal travel. We rented a car in May to drive from Paris to Loches. I too was concerned about space since we were picking up our grandson and his luggage after he spent a year in college in Paris.

Renaults and Citroen crossovers are not as commodious as the Honda, Mazda and Kia crossovers we are used to. You may be able to fit fine, but be prepared to upgrade when you pick up your vehicle.

BTW, check with your insurance company, but normally your auto policy will not cover you in Europe. You'll need to purchase your own insurance. Unless you buy from a third party, don't decline their offered coverage. It was pricey, but we went with comprehensive coverage.

Posted by
1821 posts

Don't waste energy worrying about this. It doesn't matter what you booked, they won't have it anyway based on my experience. If what they offer you isn't big enough upgrade to the next size. I'd try and get a diesel.
Booking through a third party never makes sense to me.
I'd rethink the "one big bag and two carryon" strategy (unless your wife can't carry a bag) because you'll be lugging the big one yourself.

Posted by
517 posts

I think you will be fine with a compact car if all you will have is one big bag and 2 carry-on. What are the dimensions of your big bag?

Posted by
7205 posts

I don’t trust rental car companies even on a good day. But being in a foreign country at a rental car counter who is attempting to extort every penny from your pocket - and you have little recourse - is something I will always avoid. At least with AE or Gemut I feel like I have a layer of insulation/protection.

Posted by
2916 posts

Being crammed into a tiny car is not the best idea for happy travels.

I rented a Renault Captur from Hertz (through AE) in Lyon this Spring, and it's certainly not a tiny car. It's bigger than I would like, but it's the smallest class for automatics. I miss the old days of renting very small cars in France. They were easy to maneuver in the streets of French villages. French cars have gotten bigger; the villages have not.

Posted by
5556 posts

The key question is whether it’s a hatchback with a folding luggage cover. A huge bag won’t fit there. If you demand an automatic and they have one, it will be huge. Are you going to any medieval towns? The big car won’t fit. And the modern parking garages have smaller stalls than in the US.

I love that “villages haven’t gotten bigger!” I have rarely received the car I reserved. When my wife was with a Fortune 500 company that had an exclusive contract with Avis, she never got an automatic in Belgium (I mean BRU!) in 20 trips. Not once.

Posted by
2916 posts

The key question is whether it’s a hatchback with a folding luggage cover.

I believe that's exactly what the Renault Captur we rented was. The trunk wasn't exactly huge, but since it was only 2 of us, we could fit stuff (e.g., a couple of cases of wine) in the trunk plus back seat.

Posted by
185 posts

Tim,
Are you saying that choosing the Renault Captur and automatic will not fly? That is what we just did through AE as well. So I guess we would have to decide on the spot when we are actually there to either take a manual that is smaller or automatic that is another type of car? Glad I read your reply to pax traveller!

Posted by
292 posts

I had a Renault Captur automatic in the Loire Valley last month and did fine with it, even making it through the narrow gate into and out of my B&B parking lot twice a day without incident. Having said that, parking in the Loire Valley is much easier overall than in Provence (where I got stuck with a big Toyota crossover that nearly brought me to tears a few times when attempting to park), so my experience wasn’t an acid test.

The cargo area isn’t that big. I had a 25-inch suitcase plus a small carry-on, and while the area wasn’t full, I don’t think there would have been room for another suitcase.

Posted by
185 posts

Well based on Melissa's post, maybe there is hope for the Renault Captur automatic after all! I am not worried about luggage since there will only be two of us and our bags are not large, carry on size or less for the four bags and we can use the back seat since we will not be traveling around until the bags are safely at our lodging.

Posted by
5556 posts

Sorry, I didn't see your question. When we went to Frankfurt two summers ago, (another huge airport with many rental cars), Hertz had no automatics except one giant Transit Van, which I refused. Then we had to wait half an hour for a manual hatchback to be washed and turned around from return, for us to take.

I might add that I chose the rental brand to match return-station availability at a certain S-Bahn stop not too far from our out-of-town hotel. The next hotel was in Berlin, by train. I rented at FRA because we had four sightseeing stops to make before checking into the hotel north of Frankfurt.

I have returned in Avignon but not rented there.

Posted by
63 posts

Closing this with my update.

I got Renault Capture hatchback and it had enough room to keep our 1 big bag and three carry-ons. No problem.

I reserved Hertz rental car at Avignon using Auto-Europe. Pick up time was 2PM but we arrived there at 1:30 PM. Hertzs refused to rent me a car at 1:30 and asked me to wait till 2PM as it's already paid in full. I didn't get their logic but it took another 30 minutes to finish the paperwork. It was 2:30 when I got the keys.

Also, why is renting compact car is so expensive in Europe? Cost of Car + insurance + Gas + drop-at-another-location is about $800 for four days.

Posted by
4140 posts

The price you quote is very steep, was the other location in another country? A rental of similar length never cost me more than $300 (without gas). It is also very odd that they insisted the car not be rented before 2 (since cars are rented for 24 hour periods anyway). If I were you, I'd leave a negative review about that for the rental location.
Regardless, glad it went well.

Posted by
5697 posts

You may have answered your own question -- in the U.S. your own auto insurance plus credit card probably is sufficient but in Europe many people buy expensive full coverage insurance from the rental agency. That adds a chunk to the bill.

Posted by
3493 posts

It cost so much because of the drop at another location option.

Depending if it was even the same country, the cost can be extremely high for that option. Even here in Denver if I rent a car at the airport and then drop it at my local rental office, it can cost $150 -$200 extra just because they have to have someone drive it back to the original rental location. The price goes up even more astronomically when you cross state lines. Europe can't be any different in that aspect.

The gas option is also a money maker for the rental agency. They charge you based on a totally empty tank of gas. If you have even only a gallon left, they win. And the price of gas in Europe is considerably higher than in the US.

Posted by
11973 posts

I'd go up from the smallest. Most of the time they've given me either a Fiat 500 or a small Peugeot. If it's four door, they would all fit four people without too much trouble. Two door would work but will be somewhat inconvenient for four.

The trunk, however, is tiny. I'd guess it's either one bag OR two carry ons. My bag is a small shoulder bag, about 1/2 a full size carry on. There's more than enough room for that. The Peugeot also had room for my pack equipment (backpack tent, sleeping bag and roll up mat). Two full size carry on bags that are soft-sided would probably be fine. Adding a full size bag as well? I'm not optimistic - especially if they aren't soft-sided.

The good news is no matter what you reserve, or what they give you, if your bags don't fit you can go back to the agent and get another car. It's really not a big deal. I've been charged a little extra asking for something different (for diesel) but it's not a huge difference. If there's something that works in the same class, there shouldn't be an additional charge.

Posted by
2916 posts

It cost so much because of the drop at another location option.

That really could only be if it was a different country. I've rented one-way in France a few times, and there was either no extra fee or a fairly modest one, depending on the rental company.
As to the early arrival for pick-up, that happened to me, but the wait was apparently because the car was at another lot and had to be driven to the very small lot for pickup, plus maybe they had to finish any paperwork and prep work.
As to the Renault Captur, that's what I had recently, and was pretty happy with it.

Posted by
7692 posts

Ha! Right now I have a micro car ( or whatever the smallest one that you can rent is) that I rented for a week (exactly) through AutoEurope for $132.

I guess that’s the difference between Provence in summer and Brittany in September?! (I picked up the car at the train station in Lorient — where I will also be returning it Saturday.)