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renting a passenger van

We are 9 (6 adults 3 babies) looking to drive around Portugal. We need all 3 rows of seating for the passengers. Does anyone know whether the Renault Trafic van has rear storage capacity to stow 2-3 large suitcases and 5-6 carry on bags? Are there other easily available 9 passenger vans available at the usual airport rental companies? Thanks.

Posted by
3815 posts

Hmmm... Not sure the rows can sit 3 if there is a baby car seat in there. 2 vehicles sound like a better bet, probably not more expensive anyway.

Posted by
8612 posts

I would suggest a couple of 7 passenger vans.

Cannot envision how you could seat 3 across with baby seats.

Unless you are used to driving a big stick shift vehicle a fully loaded 9 passenger van is likely to be a nightmare.

A quick look on expedia, found 7 passenger AT van at $836. A 9 passenger van ( could not find this size with AT) is $1400+

If any drive is going to be more than an hour long, the 9 passenger van looks dismal

Posted by
724 posts

YouTube always has reviews of cars. The English language videos might be right-hand drive models, but they'll illustrate the seating/storage space the same.

Posted by
2580 posts

for a long enough rental, it's considered cheaper to lease rather than rent. Might apply doubly to passenger vans.

Posted by
6869 posts

The Renault Trafic van appears to be a mini van, and it won't have enough room for your luggage.

You might want to sign into AutoEurope.com and see what's available. They're showing a minivan is for $476 a week--a very good rate. A full size van is $1651--a whole lot more $. It'd be cheaper to rent two minivans.

Posted by
1245 posts

I vote for 2 vans. Three Babies will need more sleep. Adults can take turns Baby Sitting while other couples go out to dinner and some Vino...then rotate. Another thing is that one Van can be the nap coach...so kids don't get too cranky. Do look into leasing if you are going to be there long enough to make it worthwhile. Look into Campgrounds; these are not rustic but have a lot of things like self service laundries, stores, cafes, pools and games, etc. Some have Cabins or cottages. Bon Voyage!

Posted by
844 posts

Google Renault Trafic cargo space and you’ll find videos and photos that might be helpful. I would caution that even if you were able to fit all the suitcases and carryon bags (which I doubt), don’t forget all the other bags: personal items, backpacks, diaper bags, groceries, souvenirs, etc. Then you want all of the bags covered anytime you parked the van, or you would be a target for theft.

Driving (and parking) a full size can could be a serious challenge. Odds are it will not fit in any parking garages, or parking spaces on the street. We had a station wagon once and that was a challenge in some places. I would seriously look at two vehicles. Maybe one minivan to haul a bunch of bags, and a second smaller car/suv.

Posted by
111 posts

I agree with the idea of two mini vans versus one full size. Something else to consider; the most difficulty we had when in Italy, with a full size car rental, was finding a parking spot that the vehicle would fit into.

Posted by
5465 posts

It is true that we found a rental car useful in Portugal. But you should consider how small parking spaces are in European garages, and how narrow the access ramps are. Medieval cities have some narrow corners and archways. And less ... .... modernized countries ... ... have more illegal double parking and parking half-in a travel lane (i.e. on the curb).

I have NEVER received the car I ordered in Europe, and almost never in the US. Can you drive a standard shift if that's what turns up for you? I have never seen a three-row van that had room for six full suitcases and six carry-ons behind the last seat. But I'm no car expert.

I suppose it makes a difference whether you are going to "historic" Portugal, or "beach and golf Portugal."