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What Size Rental Car?

My wife and I will spend 5 days driving around Provence. Can we rent the cheapest small car? Do they fit 2 suitcases and will they have enough power to tour the hill towns? We are in our sixties and luckily in good shape but if it means spending a little more to not be crammed in like sardines what size car should we rent? Thanks, David Z from California

Posted by
267 posts

David, Tim and Andrea are right on the target. Small is sooooooooo much easier to get around in. We too are 39+ <g> and have always rented small models (typically, two doors with hatch backs). Last month, we had a peppy Mini-Cooper (3000 km in Croatia) and last year I snagged a 3 cylinder Peugot (2000 km) - GREAT mileage. Many of the European models are quite "boxie" giving you plenty of space in the interior. Also we travel with small bags (sometimes roller bags) which are a breeze to carry up & down stairs and then toss into the trunk (hatch). Get a european GPS (I use my iPhone) and a back up Michellin regional map.
Happy & safe travels.

Posted by
9776 posts

I always get the smallest car I can. You will find narrow roads and small parking spaces. Even the smallest car will fit two suitcases, unless they are particularly large.

Posted by
8700 posts

To get an idea of how much luggage a particular car will hold, go to Along with pictures of cars in each category, there will be icons showing luggage capacity.

Posted by
629 posts

WE haven't had any problem renting the 'cheapest' small cars. They will fit 2 suitcases (or bags), 2 adults and will have plenty of power. You should not feel crammed in like sardines. The only reason for 2 people to order a larger car is to avoid having any luggage or bags on the back seat. Keep the interior of your vehicle clear of any bags and break-ins should never occur.

Posted by
425 posts

Whether you want manual or automatic transmission may affect what is available. Smaller automatics are more rare.