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Do Rental Minivans Have DVD Players? (Can You Make Sure It Does?)

Are you looking for some way to get away from the hustle and bustle of your everyday life? Well, here is a plan you could do easily. Why not get in a minivan with your family and hit the road to spend the weekend in some nearby beautiful spot? 

As you are heading over to your favorite car rental place and the kids are fighting in the backseat you will likely begin to wonder if the minivan your renting comes with a DVD player or not. 

Some rental minivans do have DVD players in them but it is quite rare. Even if you were to find a rental company that has some minivans with DVD players in them rental companies won’t allow you to reserve a specific vehicle or even guarantee specifics of a rental vehicle. 

The only way to guarantee a rental minivan has a DVD player is to rent from a peer to peer car rental company such as Turo. Since with these types of rental companies you are renting a specific minivan from a specific person then you are guaranteed to have the features of that specific minivan when you go to pick it up. 

If you rent from a company such as Enterprise, Hertz, Budget, etc. they will only allow you to reserve a type of vehicle and not a specific make, model, or features on it. 

To many people this seems silly. Afterall, don’t they know what vehicles they have on their lot? 

However, they actually don’t have any idea what vehicles will be on the lot even tomorrow let alone when you place a reservation weeks or months in advance. That is because all of the different branches of a national car rental chain will typically shuttle cars between each other depending on where they are needed at. 

I used to work at a car rental company and multiple times a week myself and the two managers would make runs to either pick up or drop off vehicles at other car rental branches near us. The cars that we had on a lot would change on a daily basis as we would get more from other branches, get new ones in, or have cars out for repairs or recalls. 

No national car rental chain can ever guarantee a specific model or feature for you because of these sorts of things that are always happening and causing which cars are on the lot to change. 

The only way to guarantee a DVD player (or any feature) in your rental vehicle is either to rent from a peer to peer rental company or to simply buy DVD players for the vehicle before your trip. 

Do some rented minivans come with DVD players pre-installed in them?

When you rent stuff, there is no guarantee in what condition the vehicle might be in (although it will be fully functioning) or what features they might or might not have. Nevertheless, renting a minivan is a cheaper way to enjoy some things that would otherwise cost quite a lot. 

If you are to rent a minivan make sure you do so from a trusted source. There is no guarantee whether or not the minivan you rent will have a DVD player pre installed in it  or not when renting from any national chain. In many cases, they will not have a DVD player, whereas in other cases they will. 

So before you invest in renting a minivan make sure all your requirements are met. If having a DVD player is one of your requirements then you will want to either rent it from Turo or a similar place. 

Even if you rent from a place that has a minivan with a DVD player you will still need to make sure that it is fully functioning as it’s possible that the previous renter broke it without anyone noticing. 

Can you install a DVD player in your minivan?

Having a DVD player in your minivan goes a long way to keeping everyone entertained on long road trips. A few years ago having a DVD player in your vehicle was the pinnacle of luxury but many car manufacturers have stopped including them with the fear that DVDs will become obsolete. 

So if you have a minivan or are renting one you might be wondering if you can add a DVD player to it. 

You certainly can add a DVD player and multiple screens to your minivan and it can be done without spending a fortune as well. You can find ones that are designed to be mounted to the roof or more commonly the headrests of the front seats. 

You can find a dual screen model with good reviews on Amazon here

One thing to consider though is whether it is worth the price to buy a portable DVD system like the one above or if you are better off simply buying tablets instead. You can find many different Android tablets for under $50 which means you can get 2 tablets for the same price as a DVD player system and those tablets will be far more versatile. 

When my wife and I talked about getting a DVD player system in our vehicle we ultimately opted to go the tablet route since they can be used all of the time and not just when we are on road trips. 

We then download some movies from Netflix or Disney+, hook the tablet up to the Aux of the vehicle and play the movie right from the tablet. It saves us from having to bring a bunch of different DVDs along as the tablets can be used at home too. 

How to install a DVD player in your minivan?

If you have decided that you 100% want to install a DVD player system in your minivan then it’s important to know exactly how to install it. Obviously you wouldn’t want to permanently install a DVD player in a rental minivan but if you own a minivan then a permanent installation would be nice.

The easiest way to install a DVD player in your minivan is to buy the ones that attach to headrests instead of those that mount to the ceiling. You will save a lot of money by using the headrest models over ceiling mount ones. 

If money isn’t an issue then the best way to install your new DVD player is to hire it done. This way you will not have to worry about messing something up in your vehicle and it will work a lot better and more smoothly too. However you will have to pay a good chunk of money to be able to go this route. 

In many minivans it’s even possible to take the car to the dealership and have them add the DVD player after you own the vehicle but going through your dealership to do this will likely be the most expensive option. 

Is there enough space to install a DVD player in a minivan?

Minivans are pretty spacious. One of the benefits of travelling in a minivan is its huge storage and the ease with which you can carry many things in the storage. Minivans are designed to accommodate a large family quite comfortably for long hours. 

There is definitely enough space in the minivan to install important things such as a DVD player. These are typically installed on the roof or headrests and both of these options have plenty of space that you can use. 

Many of us may not consider DVD players to be an important thing. But when the going gets tough and you start to feel a bit drained or the kids are really tired of being in the car, then a little bit of music or some movie or TV series could save the day. 

What are the things to remember while using a DVD player in a minivan?

DVD players to a certain extent may cause a bit of trouble for the driver too. He/she may feel distracted because of the movie that is being played behind them. Even though a driver has to maintain the safety of the car and its passengers, it becomes a bit difficult to carry on with it when there is a lot of loud noise inside the car. 

It makes it a bit more difficult to listen or focus on things going on outside the car when there is a movie being played inside. Here are some safety measures that one should take while using a DVD player in the minivan to keep as safe as possible. 

  1. Install the monitors on the back of the front seats. This would mean the monitors would be behind the driver and hence not distract as much.
  2. While listening to music or watching videos make sure you are wearing headphones. Too much loud music would make it difficult for the driver to concentrate on the activities outside the car on the road. This could in some cases prove to be fatal.
  3. Try not to make too much ruckus involving the DVD player. When children do not get what they want to hear or watch there is a chance a ruckus gets brewed up. Try not to reach such situations.


Road trips with family are fun. Once you let yourself out of your daily routine and take a breath of fresh air, you will find your energy gets replenished quite easily. You would feel the kind of freshness which you would never feel even after days and nights of long sleeping hours. 

Mother Nature has that effect on us. So next weekend, rent a minivan, fit your portable DVD player, grab your keys, start the engine, and hit the road to have the time of your life!