Intermediate Car Hire
When you are planning a holiday that involves any amount of driving it is very important to get the size of car right for the size of your party, and the various members within that party. In the US car hire world, the Intermediate category is also known as a Mid-size, and it is probably the second most popular of the various car categories. I would say that the Economy car is the one we see most bookings for when talking in terms of cars rather than people carriers or Sports Utility Vehicles – SUV’s.
The Intermediate cars will suit families or groups of four, or five if the back seat members are smallish. If your trip will involve four or five full-size adults I really would advise you to pay a little extra to go up to the Full size category at the very least and to give due consideration to the Premium category. Room wise there is not much between the Premium and Luxury so that is much more down to personal choice and budget.
Here is a list of some of the models available within this class of hire car:
- Chevrolet Cruz
- Chrysler Sebring (hard top)
- Dodge Avenger
- Dodge Caliber
- Honda Civic
- Hyundai Elantra,
- Hyandai Sonata
- Kia Forte
- Kia Rondo
- Nissan Sentra
- Pontiac G6
- Pontiac Vibe
- Subaru Impreza
- Toyota Corolla
- Volkswagon Jetta
As you can see, it is quite a list! The luggage room in this class is therefore, understandably, a guide rather than a promise. Generally, these cars will take a couple of pieces of luggage – but if you have large suitcases – then there may only be room for one large suitcase and two or three hand-luggage bags.
Back in the year 2000, we took our young baby for his first US holiday and along with the travel cot and pushchair we had managed to condense our luggage into two, very smart and brand new, hard shelled suitcases. We really thought we were the proverbial bees-knees, until we tried to put all of this into the back of our hired car. Well, the corners of a hard shelled suitcase don’t bend or give at all! There was simply no way that both suitcases were going into the back of that car despite the fact that neither suitcase was what I would call large! Normally, this would be a cue for the car hire company to rub their hands together with glee, and charge a small fortune for a very necessary upgrade. Fortunately for us, we were travelling in a group and we were able to distribute our paraphernalia around the 3 cars within our group. Needless to say, these cases did not travel again! It is worth making a quick sub-note here that for that trip we hired a car seat direct from the supplier. It was covered in faux leather (presumably to make it wipe clean) so it was incredibly hot for him after a day in the sun along with being very hard on his little body, as a result, I always now encourage clients to take their own car seats when hiring a car in the USA.
Our rather embarrassing, but probably not unique, situation can largely be avoided by booking the right car in the first place, but it is possible that with a different model we may have managed to squeeze them in. This is where Dollar Choice and Alamo Choice really come in to their own. In brief, this means you can choose your particular car from a line up of available models within your category. This brilliantly simple idea was not available back in 2000 sadly.
So, if you expect to be taking more than a couple of modest size cases with you, you should really be looking at the next category up – the Full size car.
Meantime, if you have any questions about the capacity or suitability of any of the cars for your trip or group, then please just do give us a call in the office, or drop us a line and we will try and give you as much help as possible – given that we can’t see your suitcases!!