Car Rental in Spain for family of 5

Anyone have experience with renting minivans in Europe? We are driving from Granada to Seville at the end of the year with our three adult children. 5 in total with one large bag and one small bag each. I see the Seat Alhambra and the Mercedes Vito 9 and the Viano 7. Do we need the Mercedes Vito 9? It looks huge by European standards. Any thoughts on agencies? EuropeCar, Auto Europe? The US companies? I have already seen the caution against driving in the old section of Seville. Also, I see that an international driver's license is a must in Spain. Thanks,

Posted by Adrienne
Vienna, VA
30 posts

I had a positive experience renting with Hertz in Spain. We had four adults, and got the largest size Mercedes that was not a minivan. It was just barely big enough. If I were you I would go for the larger Mercedes van, partly because I think you will need all that room for your luggage. We had four bags total, and one had to ride between the two back seat passengers. Several people in front of us at Hertz had to ask for bigger cars once they saw what they had reserved, so honestly I don't think you can go wrong with the bigger van. We had international driver's licenses, which they did not check, but you should go ahead and get them anyway. Hopefully you are picking up your car on the outskirts of Granada - because that city was not fun to drive in either. On the other hand, the highway driving between Seville, Cordoba and Granada was quite easy, and had nice scenery. Have a good trip!

Posted by Sasha
Bainbridge Island
1590 posts

How long will you need the car and what prices are you looking at? AutoEurope is showing $276or more for a one-day rental for the larger vans you mention, and it is not clear if that includes the drop fee for the one-way trip. The 5 of you can go by train for 140 euros.

Posted by Ed
7978 posts

Use kayak vice Autoeurope to see more possibilities. There shouldn't be a one way fee, but you can check by making a dummy run with a drop in the same location as the pick up. Daily rate for a short term rental will be a lot more than the rate for a longer period. Five people plus ten bags means you need the largest thing you can get unless you want to pile stuff on the seats and in your lap.

Posted by John
Westlake, TX, USA
20 posts

Thanks. I will rent that big Mercedes van today. We are taking the train where we can, and we are using the car to see the southern countryside and the hill towns.

Posted by Irv
Beverly Hills, MI
370 posts

You are right, you do need an International Driving Permit in Spain. The rental company doesn't give a damn if you have one or not but if you get stopped for a traffic violation without one, the fine is 250 Euros on the spot, then they decide about impounding your car since you can't legally drive it. If you have an accident it's lots worse.

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7211 posts

If you plan to keep the car more than 17 days, consider leasing. Rental prices go up drastically as you get to bigger cars. Even though there are pick up/drop off charges in Spain, leasing can still be the better deal. We leased a seven seat Renault Scenic II for our family of five - self, wife, two teenage boys and a younger girl. Each of us had one carry-on bag, the youngest just a large daypack. The seven seat Scenic II was perfect for us. If we had been larger people or carried more luggage we would have needed something bigger. Since you are talking about a large bag and a small bag for each of you, I would suggest a much larger vehicle. The leasing site shows how much each of their vehicles will carry. Don't overestimate the size of the car you're renting, or you will have luggage stacked to the roof and on people's laps.