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Need help finding rental car for trip! Please!

Need help! I have to rent a vehicle (from WA SEA-TAC airport website - multiple links for rentals) that can handle 3 adults, 1 infant (car seat), at least 3 medium sized suitcases, a stroller, a medium sized cooler, and possibly souvenirs. We will need it for 10 days, but only need the max trunk space for 4 (most of our stuff will be stationary for the rest of the time - hotel). Also, we were looking at standard/full-sized/compact SUVs because they are on the cheaper side…we have a tight budget…any help appreciated! Thank you!

Look at a site like Orbitz. Example type vehicles and a people/luggage calculation are shown so you can get an idea of what may fit into the vehicle. Then check against the vendor’s own website. Sometimes they better there.

It looks like Fox and Sixt are generally the cheapest today, but also have low customer satisfaction ratings for pick up. Don’t know how far off-site their offices may be.

thank you. i didn’t think to use orbitz…

You need a midsize or full size sedan. I am using their lingo here. That translates into a compact or midsize car in everyday life. A compact would be like a Toyota Corolla and a midsize would be similar to a Toyota Camry. The Corolla is a “midsize” rental and a Camry is a “full size” rental. I prefer sedans to SUVs because the trunk affords privacy while a SUV allows some view of the cargo area. Any SUV should be fine if you go that way. I had a Jeep Cherokee rental in Utah this past winter and it was my favorite of the 5 or 6 rentals there. Look at the rental car web sites. They often have a pictograms that shows the number of people and cargo capabilities of their fleet.

Why not a minivan? It is much more easier to load stuff/people/car seats in it.

Yep, this kind of trip is perfect for a mini-van.

A Camry is call ‘fullsized’ by rental agencies. That’s the minimum I’d get with your crowd. But each rental company has details on their web sites. A minivan would be perfect, I agree. We’ve rented them twice, LOTS of room.

Minivan for sure!

@queen of the highway
I’m Not Sure If You’ve Got An Alamo ( I Have None Here) Or Enterprise (Related Companies) Available. They Rate High In Customer Service And Are Competitive With Others, Price-Wise.

Check Off-Airport Locations For A Better Deal. I know Enterprise Will Come And Pick You Up (And Drop You Off). I can’t speak for other rental agencies.

I recently rented a car in April for 10 days (a week @ weekly rate, plus 3 additional days) from an off-airport site Enterprise lot. I booked a “Full-Size”, unlimited mileage car online, and used a discount code (found online search), too. When I got there the place only had 1"full-size" car available, ready to go, a Chrysler 200. When I questioned this car a bit (Black car to go to Florida? Too Little?) they upgraded me for free to a 2016 Dodge Journey (Cross-Over?). It would meet and exceed your size requirements. I put 3,500 miles on it and we were very comfortable.

The folks at Enterprise were polite, very customer friendly, thorough, and took their time with me at check-in & check-out, and did whatever it took to make me an extremely satisfied customer. I will return next time.

P.S. It almost turned into quite the vacation trip as the young women working the counter were begging me to take them to Florida with us. :smile:


Some clarification about SEATAC airport. Before I retired, I spent a fair amount of time in the Tacoma/Olympia area on business. The City has established an enterprise taxation zone in and around the airport, so all the rental car companies as well as other businesses like hotels in the area are required to charge the enterprise taxation zones rates for airport franchise fees and taxes, even if they are off-site. In fact nearly all the rental car companies are off-site from the airport.

Unless you go towards downtown Seattle quite a ways, you cannot find a rental car company that has lesser airport fees and taxes. Taxi fees, etc, make it not economical to pursue what might be a more economical course.

I Believe You… That’s Unbelievable! Taxes, Government, Regulations…

I live in an extremely rural location and don’t get out much. I live on the shore of a 10,000 acre lake in the forest. I never knew renting a car could be so convoluted. That’s unbelievable, but I believe you.

I’ve heard and read about car inspections for emissions, tax on soft drinks, tolls on roads, HOV lanes, water use restrictions, intersection cameras, etcetera, but around here pretty much anything goes.
I guess here, we are relatively free… for now…


I don’t know your dates, but I checked through Costco and at the airport a full size car for 10 days in July is $733. If you pick the car up downtown Seattle and return it to the airport it’s $722, so that’s no saving.

With Orbitz if you rent and return downtown Seattle I saw $538. If you rent downtown and return at the airport it was $663. Pickup and return at the airport it was $805.

I have no idea what your plans are, but taking a hotel shuttle to downtown (either free or pretty cheap) and picking up a car there could be a big savings.

Ouch! I Guess That’s Life In The Big City!
Those Rates Are 2X Higher Than What I Paid For 10 Days In April Out Here! :neutral:

That’s why those folks make the big bucks, eh?

I think you want a minivan, Jeep, or SUV or something in that range. I don’t think you’ll get everything in a sedan. Don’t you have to commit to Orbitz? So that if for some reason you need to cancel, too bad, its a done deal? I think I paid ab out $300 for two weeks in Orlando. Fly into somewhere else and drive in if you must go to Seattle.

"Fly into somewhere else and drive in if you must go to Seattle. "

Oooo… I Like That Idea. I’d avoid those money hungry people and their taxes, rules and fees. Go somewhere with an off-airport agency that will pick you and appreciate your business.

I just checked Portland, Oregon. Same sort of prices.

You might try, scroll down to “Name Your own price” for cars and shoot them a low ball offer. I generally reserve a car on Costco or Oritz because there is no commitment, then start offering cheap prices on Priceline. You can bid on the same size car every two days. And, always go back to the place where you made your first reservation, because the prices change often and often get cheaper.

The problem with flying “somewhere else” is that you have to fly into a small airport. That will require another stop or two (or three). The added time and added cost for using a small airport would negate the rental car savings. As you may know, airlines charge a ton to use small airports.