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In route stops with luggage in Hyundai Tucson

Hello Travelers, I'm wondering about leaving our luggage in the back of our Hyundai Tucson while making stops in route to our next stay. For instance, we leave from Chartres for Chinon, and would prefer to stop at Chenonceau before arriving in Chinon. Another instance is between Chinon and Sarlat stopping at Oradour Sue Glane. We are also planning to leave Uzes for Toulon with a stop in Aix en Provence.

I have tried looking at pictures of these cars on line and I can't tell how visible the luggage would be in the back. Currently this is
the only vehicle I could get from CDG that was automatic. If you had this vehicle did you feel comfortable leaving your luggage for
a stop?

Posted by
105 posts

I would be uncomfortable having exposed luggage and valuables in a vehicle if I planned stops at tourist sites enroute to my next destination. Back when I regularly rented vehicles in France, I always reserved cars with trunks - and I didn't always get them. At some point about a half dozen years ago, I stopped renting cars over there. Too many issues like the one you raised, plus in general dealing with vandalism, finding safe overnight parking, and traffic cameras everywhere, especially in small towns. It seemed to me that every tourist site parking lot you enter in France will have signs warning you not to leave exposed valuables, lots are not secure, and so on. I know that was the case in Normandy, constant reminders.

Posted by
118 posts

Assuming you have as yet not actually picked up your rental? You may get something totally different.
We always try to rent a small sedan, but you obviously know that.

Posted by
2774 posts

We had a Volvo station wagon style vehicle. It had a pull-down cargo cover so we never had to worry about our luggage being visible. Naturally we didn't leave valuables in the car, and we removed our luggage whenever we could.

Posted by
7645 posts

I would NOT assume there will be a cargo cover. Probably, but not a certainty.

If there is no cover, luggage will be visible to anyone who chooses to look

Posted by
186 posts

We rented a Hyundai Tucson from Saint-Pierre-des-Corps train station (AVIS) near Tours in late Aug, and returned it in Carcassonne about two weeks later. (I didn't ask for a Hyundai Tucson, just an automatic - and was a little taken aback when I saw the size of this vehicle. The Tuscon was quite large for many of the narrow roads we traversed in SW France, and it already had a scratch and small dent on the passenger side from a previous renter. Despite my concerns, I added no additional scratches or dents. The vehicle was equipped (fortunately) with sensors on all sides. BTW, a few days later I rented a same-class vehicle from another AVIS, and was relieved when the make/model was physically smaller than the Tucson.)

There was a cargo cover, and the windows were lightly-tinted.

We left our luggage (under the cargo cover) in the vehicle at several stops, including a large city, and did not have a problem. One of the places we stopped matches one mentioned in your post: - during our drive from the Loire to Uzerche, we made a stop at Oradour-Sur-Glane.
Of course, we never opened the back of the vehicle (and thus did not expose our luggage) at any of the places we stopped.

One measure we took was to lock the handles of our two suitcases together when they were laying in the cargo space. That wouldn't have stopped someone from removing them, but it would have made it more challenging and more visible.

Posted by
21 posts

Thanks everyone, I'm going to spend more effort to try to get an automatic sedan, for security and size! Nice idea on locking
your luggage handles together!

Posted by
402 posts

We have a Tucson and yes your luggage would be visible. Just ask to be sure there is indeed a cargo cover or such. They drive nice and are comfortable. You can always cover it with a sheet or something as well but be sure not to leave your valuables or ID's in the car.

Posted by
7645 posts

You can always cover it with a sheet or something as well

And that is what it will look like ... a sheet over a bunch of luggage

Posted by
2439 posts

None of the stops you mention particularly worry me in terms of luggage theft, as long as there is a luggage cover, which is nearly guaranteed except in the smallest cars or if it somehow went missing. Sedans are rare here, most cars are hatchbacks, so do not count on getting a sedan.

Posted by
6129 posts

Try to organize as much of your touring as possible leaving luggage at the hotel. i.e. base for 2 or 3 days and daytrip from there. The problem as a tourist is you have no idea if the place you park with all your stuff is one of those notorious spots where a local gang strips luggage out of tourist cars. We know people who lost everything stopping at a beach en route once.

We always carry our messenger bags with meds, electronics etc if we do leave luggage in a car and we never open the trunk or hatchback and fuss with luggage at a stop. If you need to stow stuff stop along the way well before reaching the destination and leave NOTHING visible even a newspaper or sweater -- people might hope that they cover a purse and break in.

It isn't that theft is likely; it is that it has such un pleasant consequences when traveling. e.g. i did our laundr this morning -- we have a washing machine in the apartment but not a dryer and we like to use a dryer to have the clothes ready quickly --- so we haul the washed clothing to the laundromat to dry them. One of us stays there reading while they are running to make sure they don't get stolen. Is this likely? No. BUT if it happened it would literally be virtually all of the clothes we have on our trip so it would be really annoying to have to deal with it if it did happen. Similar with a car and your luggage for a trip -- no clothes and a major hassle.

Posted by
3167 posts

To add to what Jeff B says, we carry a couple of bicycle chains so that we can lock the handles of the bags together and lock at least one of them to some metal part of the cargo space. I believe that the theft of luggage from cars is one of those quintessential opportunistic crimes. Anything that slows down the thieves pushes them toward other targets.

Posted by
259 posts

I have left luggage semi exposed in my rental car a few times when making tourist visits. I don't think that any of us are really comfortable with this, but I have never had any problems because I make a point of finding a parking spot in the busiest area with the most people passing by at all times, even in a parking lot such as at the Pont du Gard. I would never leave important things in a car parked overnight.

Posted by
13 posts

It's been years since we visited Chenonceau or Oradour-sur-Glane, but we had a car for both visits, and the parking lots were hardly high crime areas. Times may have changed, and maybe thieves are better at getting into vehicles discretely, but during the day in the main parking lot of a well visited site, I'd have little worry about leaving my luggage in my locked car. Sure, cover under the luggage cover or in a trunk if you can, but even uncovered is not a big flashing red light of worry.
I would always suggest the normal precautions of protecting cash, passports, and irreplaceable valuables, so a degree of vigilance and precaution helps. Likewise, big city street parking on darker side streets overnight - like in the States - would be a worry, but honestly, daytime in France - especially cultural locations - is not where I worry.

Posted by
19217 posts

I'd treat a day in transit by car the same way I treat a day in transit on the train: I keep electronic gear in my purse (better) or tote bag and extra bankcards and cash in a money belt. I try also to remember to put prescription meds in my purse. As a woman I am used to protecting my purse but not so accustomed to carrying a purse and a tote bag at the same time; I fear a distraction might leave my tote bag unprotected. Note: Leaving medication of any type to bake in the trunk of a car during a summer trip wouldn't be good even if there there were no possibility of theft.

Posted by
211 posts

Joe32F writes:

And that is what it will look like ... a sheet over a bunch of luggage

Actually, if the car has tinted windows in the rear, as many do straight from the manufacturer, and you use a black bedsheet to cover what's in the back, an observer from outside the car would be unable to discern much, if anything, about what's in the car. You can buy an inexpensive black bedsheet at a Monoprix, Carrefour, E. LeClerc, Auchan, or similar store.

I've watched what I assumed were thieves in France walk around parking lots peering into car windows. They don't spend much time on any car unless there was something of value they could see. They need to work quickly and move on -- lingering around is not their typical work habit.

Posted by
211 posts

The above would depend, of course, on having black or dark gray upholstery in the back, so that it all blends together.

Posted by
259 posts

One time I noticed only after being on the road that my rental car was missing its trunk cover. I bought a cheap dark brown blanket at a hypermarket for about 6 euros and used that to cover the contents of the trunk for the rest of my trip. It was brilliant because when the blanket was in place, the trunk looked empty. (I still have that blanket!)

Posted by
203 posts

I've always hid the luggage (under a cover) then also locked it down with a padlock (or two or three) to the car itself with cables and strung them all together. Just making it extra difficult if someone decides to try to rob it, I've done this in the UK 3x and also Germany... but I have heard horror stories in France, so I would be really leery of leaving anything.

Posted by
324 posts

Not exactly the same, but we rented a very small car for our trip. I believe we had it 16 (17?) of our 21 days. It was a Fiat 500- we travel with only 40L packs and a very small xbody bag and an 18L daypack. We bought groceries and souvenirs and even a straw woven picnic carry/bag in Sarlat, and it all fit in the trunk which wasn’t visible. It was awesome!

Usually during the day we’d leave the daypack or some art on the backseat- including Chenonceau. We had not one bit of trouble and absolutely loved our little car. It was excellent to park and great for narrow lanes. I do drive a stick here in the states (‘04 Wrangler, so this was a BREEZE) but if one of you have ever driven one, it’s like riding a bike. Anyway, we had no trouble with our things if that helps. (Maybe because we don’t have actual luggage, I don’t know. )

Posted by
32 posts

We’ve rented SUVs in the US a few times, and none ever came with a cargo cover (they were available but you had to pay an extra fee). Never rented in Europe, but I wouldn’t assume there would automatically be a cover included. Probably wise to ask or see if it’s an option to add online to your reservation, especially if it’s something that will worry you/cause stress.

Good luck!