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Old 08-27-2010, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
799 posts, read 1,591,401 times
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Can someone recommend a rental car--

We are vacationing in a few weeks. Our personal car is a honda odyssey with 3rd row when my aunt tags along on trips. However for the 9 day trip to San Diego/LA we need something more economical!!

We have a 2 yr old in a full sized car seat and plan to put the 4 yr old in a booster.

It is hard to determine which rental car sedans have big enough back seats for a middle passenger btw 2 car seats!!! How small can we go before it is too cramped? I hate how you pick a class and they say it will seat 5 passengers but they don't take into account car seats which don't "give."

The longest ride will be a day trip to LA and the rest of the trips are probably 30-45 mins at most.
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Old 08-27-2010, 02:13 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
10,715 posts, read 22,325,919 times
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I would rent a mini-van the have decent rates seat 7 and will give you lots of room for the trip and still get decent fuel milage
van rental | rental car types | Budget Rent A Car
https://www.hertz.com/rentacar/byr/i...deHomeView.jsp
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Old 08-27-2010, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,750 posts, read 25,526,667 times
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I would say that you could get away with a mid-sized car, something like a Malibu or Fusion, provided the booster is not one of the huge boosters, and the adult in the middle is not of larger stature.
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Old 08-27-2010, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
13,388 posts, read 42,713,043 times
Reputation: 11465
Quote:
Originally Posted by alise007 View Post
Can someone recommend a rental car--

We are vacationing in a few weeks. Our personal car is a honda odyssey with 3rd row when my aunt tags along on trips. However for the 9 day trip to San Diego/LA we need something more economical!!

We have a 2 yr old in a full sized car seat and plan to put the 4 yr old in a booster.

It is hard to determine which rental car sedans have big enough back seats for a middle passenger btw 2 car seats!!! How small can we go before it is too cramped? I hate how you pick a class and they say it will seat 5 passengers but they don't take into account car seats which don't "give."

The longest ride will be a day trip to LA and the rest of the trips are probably 30-45 mins at most.
Are you flying out and then renting the car in CA, or are you driving cross-country from NC?

If the former, go to your nearest friendly local rental lot, bring your car seats, and do some test-fitting. Offhand something like a Chevy Malibu is remarkebly capable and economical considering it's size. A Nissan Altima would probably work, maybe a Ford Focus - although the Focus is getting into the small side of what is likely to work.

If the latter, I don't see this as a fun vaction at all, I'd stay home before I did that one.
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Old 08-27-2010, 05:42 PM
 
Location: The Circle City. Sometimes NE of Bagdad.
17,482 posts, read 18,638,752 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
Are you flying out and then renting the car in CA, or are you driving cross-country from NC?

If the former, go to your nearest friendly local rental lot, bring your car seats, and do some test-fitting..
Best idea yet. But I think the Malibu or similar size car is going to be to small when you start to consider luggage.
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Old 08-27-2010, 05:47 PM
 
6,368 posts, read 13,346,010 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
Are you flying out and then renting the car in CA, or are you driving cross-country from NC?

If the latter, I don't see this as a fun vaction at all, I'd stay home before I did that one.
Aw come on. Where's your sense of adventure?
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Old 08-27-2010, 06:08 PM
 
Location: The Big D
14,874 posts, read 36,242,086 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
If the latter, I don't see this as a fun vaction at all, I'd stay home before I did that one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gimme3steps View Post
Aw come on. Where's your sense of adventure?
I'd have to leave it at home on that road trip. YIKES!!! That is NOT a "vacation". That is called torture.

OP, will you also be hauling strollers along on this trip? If so, then trying to rent the smallest thing available that can handle the two car seats AND an adult in the backseat is probably going to mean you are going to be sitting in the front seat w/ a stroller or two in your lap as the trunk is not going to be near large enough to hold any amount of luggage much less a stroller.

It is off season so you should be able to get a good deal on a minivan and everyone would have some breathing room. The aunt would not have to climb over the car seats to get in and out of the vehicle, PITA, imho. The gas mileage is not going to be that much more for everyone to have a seat that can accomodate them w/ some comfort as well as all of the things needed for a family w/ kids this age. If you are driving from NC to California I would NOT do that trip in a small economical car at all. Just take the minivan and be done w/ it. If it is properly maintained then the gas mileage should be pretty good.
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Old 08-27-2010, 08:10 PM
 
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
799 posts, read 1,591,401 times
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addtl details--

Aunt is just about 5', maybe 130 lbs (doesn't have wide hips)

booster seat for 4 yr old is the small backless kind that uses the seat belt (so it can be picked up and moved to climb into middle.

We are FLYING into San Diego airport and the hotel is 3 mins from airport!!! We will have a small folding Combi stroller. We can take the shuttle to the hotel with the luggage if necessary.

Biggest concern is the 3 passengers in the back seat!
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:33 PM
 
Location: The Big D
14,874 posts, read 36,242,086 times
Reputation: 5787
But you DO plan on taking the stroller with you whenever you go somewhere. Right? It is going to have to fit into the trunk of whatever you rent or your going to be holding it on your lap in the front passanger seat. It doesn't matter how close the hotel is to the airport as that is only going to be twice but the rest of the time you are most likely going to have the stroller with you.

Look at the prices online for rental cars. You can get good deals on larger cars where it won't be an issue about everyone and everything trying to squeeze in.
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Old 08-30-2010, 06:40 AM
 
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
799 posts, read 1,591,401 times
Reputation: 410
Quote:
Originally Posted by momof2dfw View Post
But you DO plan on taking the stroller with you whenever you go somewhere. Right? It is going to have to fit into the trunk of whatever you rent or your going to be holding it on your lap in the front passanger seat. It doesn't matter how close the hotel is to the airport as that is only going to be twice but the rest of the time you are most likely going to have the stroller with you.

Look at the prices online for rental cars. You can get good deals on larger cars where it won't be an issue about everyone and everything trying to squeeze in.

The stroller we have is a small compact glorified umbrella stroller--actually has a carrying strap! It will fit into a Honda Civic trunk and still have plenty of room.

I have a Chevy Impala reserved at Alamo. I went on Orbitz and was able to see about 10 rental companies--the cheaper ones had really bad reviews (Fox, Advantage, Payless) for $250ish for the week + 2 days. Alamo was $295 for the full size and Hertz was almost $400. Amazing the differences in the prices for the same car grades. Upgrading to minivan puts us up into $500-$600 HUGE difference.

We do plan on taking a trip to Car Max to check out actual size and I will keep looking for bargains! I found an online coupon that really made Alamo a great deal compared to the other national brands. I have credit card discounts, AAA for Hertz/Budget and no matter how I work the # they were almost $200 more for the same class. That will pay for gas!
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