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Thread: Rental car suggestions - need a big vehicle [5 adults, 2 children]

  1. #1
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    Cool Rental car suggestions - need a big vehicle [5 adults, 2 children]

    Not sure if this is the appropriate place to ask for help - it's sort of DLR-related in that it does relate to our upcoming trip to DLR.

    We're looking to hire a rental car for 5 adults, 2 kids in carseats, and a reasonable amount of luggage plus a folded-down stroller. We need a big car/van. I've looked at Avis, Hertz, Budget, Thrifty, and National and they all go as big as something like a Dodge Caravan. Am not familiar with US car models but it sounds as though that would fit all of us passengers but probably not our bags.

    Does anyone know other companies in the LAX/OC area that I could try? We're needing to do a one-way rental with pick-up at LAX and drop-off at San Fran airport. Any advice much appreciated.




    Mum, Dad, an 8.5 year old wannabe princess and a 6 year old stormtrooper from New Zealand- we can't wait!

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  3. #2
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    Try Enterprise, they have large SUV's and large Passenger Vans.

    http://www.enterprise.com/car_rental/home.do


  4. #3
    The Hollywood Chain Gang CariBelle's Avatar
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    Budget (who I always use) offers a 12 passenger van, but check at the rental counter you will be using to make sure they carry it. http://www.budget.com/budgetWeb/html...occupancy.html


  5. #4
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    We used Hertz a couple years ago and were able to get a suburban. We had 4 adults and 4 kids (15, 13 7 and 4) and all the stuff that we had to have with us. Worked well.


  6. #5

    I have a Suburban, last of the big ones, it would work. However the newer ones are smaller than mine. I would go with the 12 to 15 passenger van if you are in town.

    On the other hand, the Suburban is 4 wheel drive and can go anywhere.

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  7. #6
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    When you do decide which rental car you want, you can get great deals on priceline. People commonly report getting fullsize cars from Hertz at LAX for $17 a day using priceline. IDK what rates are like for larger vehicles through them. Betterbidding.com is one site that can help you through the priceline process and give you ideas of what kind of bids it will accept.


  8. #7
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    I agree Priceline and Hotwire are your best bets for finding a cheap rental. For that size group, I would be looking to rent a mini-van class.


  9. #8
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    Thanks very much for all the tips. Will go do some more research. Much appreciated.




    Mum, Dad, an 8.5 year old wannabe princess and a 6 year old stormtrooper from New Zealand- we can't wait!

  10. #9
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    You can also check to see if they have rooftop luggage racks. Basically, it's a big solid suitcase that hooks to the roof. This will give you a lot more room for luggage. If they don't have it, try UHaul.

    God gives every bird its food, but He does not throw it into its nest.

  11. #10
    Registered User DisneylandDad's Avatar
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    Just my opinion but I would NOT reserve a minivan for your group. As others have said, a 12 or 15 passenger van would be big enough for sure, probably with room left over. A large or full size SUV would probably be ok too but some models do not always a lot of room left for luggage storage despite having enough seating room. If a full size van is not an option for whatever reason, have you considered two vehicles? Not sure what else to suggest but, good luck with your trip planning.


  12. #11
    Disney Dreamer
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    Do you not need a special licence to drive a 12 passenger van?

    I know you do here (not california) as I have a friend who can only legally drive her 12 passenger van with the back seat taken out ( her husband has the special licence)

    It dosent matter how many people are in the van it matters how many CAN go in the van

    I honestly think a BIG SUV or long minivan would be fine - its not like you are travelling every day with your luggage!

    Would 2 smaller cars be cheaper?


  13. #12
    Banned
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    I don't believe you need a special license here in California, unless you are driving a vehicle for hire (cab or airport shuttle), or a large van transporting people for like a free shuttle (hotels and such).


  14. #13
    Registered User DisneylandDad's Avatar
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    No special license or endorsements are needed for a 12 or 15 passenger van unless it is used in commerce in the United States. One item to note though, some insurance companies limit what size of vehicle they will cover with regards to rental vehicles so keep that in mind.
    The only reason I even mentioned space for baggage in certain models of SUV is where the OP is traveling from.
    I know when we travel internationally, my wife forgets that we are not going to the middle of the Antartic Ice Shelf and we could actually buy something if she somehow forgot anything. If the OP group are heavy packers with a stroller and two car seats it could get tight pretty quick. The minivan would be even more cramped. the roof rack idea might be a help if the OP could find that option.


  15. #14
    At home in the hills candles71's Avatar
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    I remember my dad having to get a special licence to drive a large passenger van (mid80s) here in California. But I don't remember if it was 12 or 15.


  16. #15

    Depending on how much stuff you have and how much driving you plan to do the mini-van could work.

    A Dodge Caravan has seats for seven passengers, two in the front with a space between the seats, two in the middle which will either be two "Captains" chairs that have a space between them, or a short bench seat for two with space next to the door and a third bench in the back that seats three. All your people will be able to sit and have a seat belt. Behind the rear seat will be the storage area for your luggage. A "Grand Caravan" will be slightly longer giving this storage a bit more space but most rentals will be the shorter Caravan. Either one will likely not hold all your luggage unless you travel light. But, there is that space between the seats in the front and middle (or next to the door depending on the type of seat). Also kids in car seats have room at their feet where you can put some luggage. Plus if you aren't doing much driving with the luggage and the passengers are kids or tolerant adults, you can do some squeezing at your feet with less than comfortable seating. This will work fine if you are driving from the airport to the hotel to drop off luggage and then the rest of your driving is without the luggage. If you are doing a lot of travel with the luggage, then you will likely want a larger vehicle.

    The other alternative is to tie luggage to the roof. You don't need the hard sided rack to do this either. You can just put luggage on the roof and tie it down with a rope, but you will need the two rails on the roof to tie the rope to. Most minivans have those as standard equipment. It is the bar going across that isn't standard, but you don't need it.


  17. #16
    Registered User DisneylandDad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by candles71 View Post
    I remember my dad having to get a special licence to drive a large passenger van (mid80s) here in California. But I don't remember if it was 12 or 15.
    I specifically said the United States. I never mentioned the Peoples Republic of KaliFornia

  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DisneylandDad View Post
    The only reason I even mentioned space for baggage in certain models of SUV is where the OP is traveling from.
    I know when we travel internationally, my wife forgets that we are not going to the middle of the Antartic Ice Shelf and we could actually buy something if she somehow forgot anything. If the OP group are heavy packers with a stroller and two car seats it could get tight pretty quick. The minivan would be even more cramped. the roof rack idea might be a help if the OP could find that option.
    Ha ha, you seem to know me too well.

    Thanks for all the advice. I really appreciate it. Three of the five adults are light travellers - my husband and I used to be but having two kids seems to have meant the end of travelling light (and easily!). I really appreciate the detailled description of the Dodge vehicle, that is extremely helpful, thank you.



    Mum, Dad, an 8.5 year old wannabe princess and a 6 year old stormtrooper from New Zealand- we can't wait!

  19. #18
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    I agree with DisneylandDad's suggestion of 2 vehicles. It might even be cheaper to rent a couple of Compacts or Intermediates (Or pehaps a Compact and Intermediate) The gas usage would probably be the same (2 small or medium cars VS. a huge Van) If someone wanted to go out for some food or shopping and others wanted to stay at the Hotel you could take just one of the smaller cars. The smaller cars are easier to park and zip thru traffic as well. Only problem is you pay double for parking.


  20. #19
    Happiness is that smile MammaSilva's Avatar
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    You'd pay double for parking, for insurance, tolls on any bridges, and you have to have more drivers with less flexibility for trading off on the driving chores. Not to mention that no one in the group is familiar with the freeway system so it would be easy to get separated in the cities where one wrong lane change sends you off into the rabbits nest of mazes...I'd really spend the extra to get a larger vehicle and keep everyone together.

    Life is too short to wake up with regrets ~So love the people who treat you right
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    they just promised it would most likely be worth it~ remember, Sometimes Miracles Hide

  21. #20
    Registered User DisneylandDad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MammaSilva View Post
    You'd pay double for parking, for insurance, tolls on any bridges, and you have to have more drivers with less flexibility for trading off on the driving chores. Not to mention that no one in the group is familiar with the freeway system so it would be easy to get separated in the cities where one wrong lane change sends you off into the rabbits nest of mazes...I'd really spend the extra to get a larger vehicle and keep everyone together.
    I agree 100%.
    If it were me and it was at all possible I would go with a 12+ passenger van. Better to have more room than you need than not enough.

    I only mention the two vehicles as a last resort. The full size vans are sometimes hard to come by and with spacecadet needing to p/u in LA and drop in SF this may increase the level of difficulty finding a single suitable vehicle.

  22. #21
    At home in the hills candles71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DisneylandDad View Post
    Peoples Republic of KaliFornia
    Ha! my 4th grader is right this minute learning the Bear Flag Republic. We are a contrary bunch

  23. #22
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    Benicia, CA

    I would go with Enterprise Car Rental because you can guarantee a full size passenger van with them. There shouldn't be any problem with the one way rental from LAX to San Francisco. I used to rent from Enterprise when I worked as an outside salesperson and I did a lot of one way rentals. I always got the car I reserved.

    I remember one trip we took to Disneyland and there were 6 of us total - 4 adults and 2 children (one 8 year old and one 13 year old). I reserved a minivan and when we got to the airport the car rental company(the name of this company begins with A) told me they were out of minivans, but they had a full size Cadillac. Needless to say I was not happy, but what are you going to do? We barely fit all of our luggage in the trunk and then we were packed in that Cadillac and barely had any breathing room. We only needed the car to go from the airport to the hotel and back, then a short trip out to visit a friend who lives near Disneyland so we made do with the car they gave us. They did tell me I could call the next day and see if someone returned a minivan and they would exchange the car, but I didn't want to waste any of our vacation time going back up to the airport. Do yourself a favor and rent the 12 passenger van or large SUV with Enterprise.

    Karen


  24. #23

    The reason I gave such a detailed description of the Caravan in a previous post is because until a year ago I had one. I just remembered that a couple of years ago we took my sister along on a DL trip, so we had three kids and three adults. The kids were 2, 9 and 12 -- only one in a carseat. We drove from San Francisco to Anaheim, spent four days there and then down to San Diego where we spent three more days before driving home. We had one less person than you are talking about, but we brought all our food for the week -- well no we did do some shopping, but we brought an ice chest a big plastic container the size of an ice chest full of food and a case of water.

    We fit just fine in the van.


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