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It is never too late to plan a vacation with family and friends but if transportation is the problem that stopped you from going for it then you need to stop worrying.
You can easily rent a variety of minivans at local car rental companies such as Enterprise or Hertz but knowing exactly which specific model of minivan you want to rent is important before you go.
Virtually all minivans that you can rent will work well for any family trip but the versatility of the Chrysler Pacifica, Voyager, or Dodge Grand Caravan make them the best choice.
Since all three of these vehicles offer the stow and go for the rear seats you can easily fold the second row seats down and only put people in the third row or fold half of the second row down for a gaming area.
Because of the ability to fold any of the rear seats into the floor or none at all on the Chrysler and Dodge minivans they are really the best option when you are renting a car.
Many people think that when renting a minivan they should choose the most reliable brand as they don’t want to risk breaking down. While that is of course important, all national rental chains only keep vehicles for a couple of years before selling them so no matter which minivan you rent it will be almost new with very low miles so the chance of breaking down is almost nonexistent no matter which model you rent.
However, it is important to note that at all of the nationwide car rental companies you can’t choose a specific minivan to rent as the vehicles that they have on their lot changes on a daily basis. So if you absolutely have to rent a specific minivan model you will want to rent from a smaller local rental company or even through an individual from a website like Turo.
Some local rental companies as well as some people on Turo won’t offer unlimited miles like the national chains though so if you are planning on going cross country make airs you won’t exceed the mileage limit or only rent from places that give you unlimited miles.
What are some things to consider before renting a minivan?
Before zeroing on a minivan, make sure to be thorough with the following things:
- Be sure you know how many people are traveling with you so that you can book a minivan with enough seating capacity.
- In minivans, the cargo space increases with more seats that you fold down. Therefore, making a list of the people and their corresponding luggage is a good plan.
- Make sure that you plan the pickup and drop off properly so you aren’t too early or late. This is especially important if you are flying somewhere as being late to the airport because of the rental taking too long to drop off can be frustrating.
- Lastly, the most important thing to keep in mind is the location of your visit. You need to make sure that any minivan that you rent will be able to handle the terrain that you will be driving on. If you plan on going off road it might be better to rent a vehicle with more ground clearance such as an SUV.
Which vehicle should you rent?
The most crucial decision when renting a vehicle is which size or type of vehicle you should get. As mentioned at the start of this article, you typically can’t choose an exact model of vehicle when renting one so deciding on the type of vehicle is the most important.
Since in this article I’m specifically talking about renting a minivan then I want to address why someone would choose to rent a minivan over an SUV.
The main reason why many people choose to rent minivans is how easy they are to get in and out of as well as their versatility.
All minivans can easily hold 6 adults with plenty of room to spare. If a couple of passengers are children then the comfortable capacity of minivans will go up to 7-8 people (depending on the model). Not only can the people fit easily inside they can also easily get to and from their seat even if they are in the back row.
The back row of SUVs is really only useful for children since climbing in and out is a giant pain but with minivans, adults can easily get to and from the back without too much difficulty.
A minivan also offers much more storage space for luggage or other cargo than an SUV does. A minivan has a deep well behind the rear seats making it possible to fit 4-5 large suitcases in the back of the van… try doing that with an SUV!
That isn’t to say that SUVs aren’t any good as they certainly are popular vehicles and the extra ground clearance and the “cool” factor helps their sales a lot but when you are talking just straight versatility or which vehicle is the best to rent for a trip then the minivan wins hands down!
Which is the best minivan brand?
If you are a family that does not go out on vacations very often and only plans one after a lot of discussion then you deserve the best experience from the moment you step into your vehicle. You will want to enjoy every second of your vacation as you do not treat yourself enough and you deserve it too.
Since you often can’t choose a specific minivan when renting one it makes taking the best minivan brand on your vacation more difficult. However, if you are planning on buying a minivan for regular use then knowing which brand or brand is the best is a very important factor.
There are really two minivans that are considered the best in terms of reliability and features. Those are the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna.
That isn’t to say that the other minivans on the market are horrible choices but those two models are considerably better and will last you a lot longer than the other models.
However, if you are looking at minivans from the pure versatility standpoint then you will want to get a Chrysler or Dodge minivan that offer Stow and Go. Being able to fold any of the rear seats down into the floor is a giant bonus as is the extra storage space that is under the second row floor if the seats are up.
Chrysler and Dodge minivans likely won’t last you as long as a Honda or Toyota will but unless you plan on keeping your minivan for 200,000+ miles you likely won’t reap the rewards of the better models like Honda or Toyota.
What is the most reliable minivan?
If there is one minivan that can be relied on for many years or decades to come, it is the Toyota Sienna. Even though the most liked minivan is the Honda Odyssey, the most reliable minivan is the Toyota Sienna.
It is reliable, it is safe, it is comfortable, has extra space, and provides plenty of space for cargo as well. It provides the best highway experience and the improved Toyota Sienna has also overpowered every other minivan based on looks.
The Sienna comes with a backup camera, comfortable seating, and a three-inch touchscreen entertainment system. It has a premium range of models as well so you can enjoy even more luxurious travel if you choose.
Which minivan has the most comfortable seats?
When you rent a minivan and are heading towards your vacation, the most important thing about your ride is probably its seats. The level of comfort should make you melt into your seat and cheer you up automatically whereas a hard cushioned seat will make you hold your back and wish you had rented something else.
The most comfortable seats offered in a minivan are in the Toyota Sienna Limited edition, Chrysler Pacifica Limited Platinum, and the Honda Odyssey Elite.
All three of these models have excellent seats and allow you to be quite comfortable no matter how many hours you are on the road.
Which minivan has the most cargo space?
When you rent a minivan for a vacation with family you should make sure to check the cargo space in it carefully because the luggage always ends up doubling by the time you are ready to leave. The most spacious cargo providing minivans is the Toyota Sienna in cubic space but in versatility if you aren’t using all of the seats the Chrysler or Dodge minivans are better.
Being able to fold the seats into the floor in the Chrysler or Dodge makes them extremely useful for hauling all kinds of cargo and since you don’t have to worry about removing the seats and since they fold completely into the floor these models are simply better for hauling things.
Is a minivan safe?
Minivans are very safe and are actually one of the safest vehicles on the road.
They rarely flip over as they don’t have a high center of gravity like an SUV does but because of their larger size they are also less likely to get completely crushed in the event of an accident.
Minivans are incredibly safe vehicles which makes them an excellent choice for renting or owning one.
Which is the safest minivan?
While planning for a vacation, every little detail needs to be looked at thoroughly to be sure of no last-minute goofs especially when it comes to safety. According to the National Highway Traffic Security Administration, the safest minivans are; Honda Odyssey followed by Chrysler Pacifica, Chrysler Voyager, Toyota Sienna, Kia Sedona, and the Dodge Grand Caravan.
All minivans are exceptionally safe so taking your family or friends in one isn’t something that you have to really worry about.
I hope that this article has been helpful in answering your questions about renting a minivan as well as other important information when choosing a specific minivan.
Ultimately you have to look at how you are planning on using the minivan and then make a decision.
If you are wanting to fit as many people as possible then you will want to find an 8 passenger minivan to rent. However, if you are looking for a minivan that offers versatility for extra cargo when you have less passengers than you will want a Dodge or Chrysler minivan.