Orbit's Travel Blog - 05.01.2023.

Rental Car Luggage Capacity: The Ultimate Guide

Are you planning a trip abroad and wondering how much luggage you can take with you? Explore the best way to maximize your rental car’s capacity.

We all know the importance of hiring the right car for our trip. A lot needs our attention when finding the best rental car, like the size, transmission, and insurance. In addition, taking the right vehicle by considering luggage capacity is essential for your rental experience. You can also find a car rental checklist to ensure you have all the correct information before hiring a car. 

We can all relate to the frustration of arriving at our destination after a long trip. Find your car rental provider and get there with all your luggage and family. After a quick session with the car rental agent, you have your car and are ready to hit the road. But there is one thing left, the ultimate Tetris game on how to fit all that luggage into the car. 

To avoid this unnecessary inconvenience and having to struggle to fit your luggage or even going back to the agent and rent a bigger vehicle with its costs. Therefore, it is essential to keep in mind the luggage capacity when you are selecting your rental car. 

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Good factors to consider for your trip.

In car rental, each vehicle is categorised into groups. In these groups, definitions can be found about how many seats it has, doors and luggage capacity. The most common groups are; Mini, Economy, Compact, Intermediate, Standard, Full-size, Estate, Minivans, SUV, Premium and Luxury. 

Understanding how these groups are defined can make it easier when it comes to selecting the right car. The other vital factors to keep in mind when choosing the right vehicle are as follows: 

People and Luggage: To determine what type of vehicle you should hire. You will need a clear idea of how many people will be travelling and how many suitcases there will be. When you have narrowed this down, you can use the filters on the search form to find the size you need. 

Budget: We can all relate to wanting to find the best deal. Knowing what budget you are willing to spend will also help you determine what vehicle you should book. Remember that the bigger the car, the higher the price will be. So if you need ample luggage space or many seats, it is good to know that it will cost more than a small city car. 

Extras: If you are travelling with children, having a child seat is required by law. Make sure you book any child seats in advance. Car hire companies cannot guarantee their availability on location if it has not been pre-booked. Suppose you are travelling in the wintertime and have more luggage or extras like ski gear. Make sure to select a vehicle that will fit those criteria. You will most likely need to choose a bigger car in that case. 

Location: If you are planning to stay within city limits having a smaller vehicle is excellent as they are easier to park and get around narrow streets. However, suppose you plan to travel outside city limits. In that case, you may want to rent a larger vehicle with a bigger engine. 

Orbit Car Hire Tip: In Europe, cars are usually smaller than the once you rent in Australia and the US. So it is good to remember that you might not need to look into the luggage capacity as much when renting outside of Europe. 

Couple loading luggage to a rental car

Rental Car Luggage Capacity Guide 

To have a clear idea of the luggage sizes, we have narrowed it to small and big. Dimensions for small are 45x36x20cm, and large are 48x34x78cm. Small is a typical carry-on suitcase, and big is an ordinary suitcase that does not fit as a carry-on. 

 Car Group


Luggage Capacity 

Orbit's Tips 

Mini 2/4  2 Small Bags  Great for two persons travelling in cities
Economy 4 1 Big bag

1 Small bag

Great for 2-4 persons travelling on a budget.
Compact 5

2 Big bags

1 Small bag 

Great for a family travelling with minimum luggage
Intermediate 5

2 Big bags

2 Small bags

Ideal for longer drives for groups looking to travel on a budget. 
Standard 5 2 Big bags

2 Small bags

Full-Size 5

2-3 Big bags

2 Small bags

Perfect for long road trips
Estate 5

3 Big bags

2 Small bags

An ideal family vehicle with excellent luggage space
Minivans  7-9

4-5 Big Bags

3 Small bags

Perfect for bigger groups travelling together 

3 Big bags

2 Small bags

Ideal for long road trips and drives on unpaved roads
Convertible 5 1 Big Bag Great for hot locations
Luxury 4/5

2 Big bags

2 Small bags

The perfect option for those looking for premium travel.  

This list is informational only. Car hire companies do not guarantee models, so specific sizes can vary. You can contact us if you have any questions about more details about luggage space in rental cars. 

To investigate this further, we will explore each rental car's size and luggage capacity. 


2-4 persons & 2 small bags

As the name mentions, this category is for mini vehicles. It is in most cases the cheapest car to rent and at the same time the smallest. It is an excellent option for everybody travelling inside city limits and for two people with minimum luggage. The mini category is for you if you want to travel on a budget and do not have too much baggage. 

Examples: Toyota Aygo & Hyundai i10. 


4 Persons & 1 Big bag + 1 Small bag

The economy group comes right after the mini in terms of size. They are ideal for city drives and can also suit longer drives for two-three people. It gives you additional luggage space that the mini does not offer. The Economy is ideal for groups of 2-4 persons travelling on a budget. 

Examples: Citroen C3 & Ford Fiesta


5 Persons & 2 Big bags + 1 Small bag

Compact cars can be considered medium-sized vehicles. It is perfect for groups of four with medium luggage. It is suitable for long drives and travelling on narrow streets. It can also be great for two people with a lot of baggage. 

Examples: Ford Focus & Toyota Auris 


5 Persons & 2 Big Bags + 2 Small Bags 

Intermediate is one size up from compact, allowing it to offer more luggage space and comfort for groups of up to five. It also gives more engine power than the compact and Economy groups making it great for long drives. 

Examples: Toyota Avensis & Volkswagen Passat 


5 Persons & 2 Big Bags + 2 Small Bags 

Standard can also be described as large vehicles. They are similar to Intermediate, offering similar luggage space and space for people in the car. It is excellent for long drives and those having two large bags and two carry-on bags. 

Examples: Peugeot 3008 & Opel Insignia


5 Persons & 3 Big Bags + 2 Small Bags

Full-size vehicles are great for groups of 5 people with luggage. You will find it a larger car without being too big and offer good luggage space. It is a good option for longer road trips. 

Examples: Peugeot 5008 & Toyota Camry 

Car trunk full of luggage


5 Persons + 3 Big Bags & 2 Small Bags

The Estate category is perfect for families travelling with luggage and extras like a stroller. It gives excellent space in the back seats and big luggage space. It is suitable for long road trips and suitable for city travel. 

Examples: Skoda Octavia Station Wagon & Volkswagen Passat Estate Wagon 


7-9 Persons & 5 Big Bags + 3 Small Bags

Minivans will offer more seats than in other categories. It can be found with seven and up to 9 seats. The extra benefit of Minivans is the luggage space. As it will allow more people in the car, it is also built to accommodate the passengers' luggage. 

Examples: Renault Trafic & Ford Tourneo 


5 Persons & 3 Big Bags + 2 Small Bags 

SUV will, in most cases, provide an AWD or 4WD. It will also offer a higher ground clearance versus other categories. As a result, it is excellent for long drives and for driving on unpaved roads. In addition, the luggage space in the SUV is ideal for three bigger and two smaller bags. 

Examples: Toyota Rav4 & Hyundai Tucson


2 Persons & 1 Big Bag

Convertible will, in most cases, come with seats for two persons. It is a smaller vehicle meaning that the luggage space will be sacrificed. It will allow you to store up to one suitcase. It is excellent for those travelling to warmer countries who want to take the most scenic road trips

Examples: Mercedes CLK & Ford Mustang 


5 Persons & 2 Big Bags + 2 Small Bags

Luxury vehicles will come in decent sizes when it comes to luggage capacity. You can find many options with brands like Audi, BMW and Mercedes Benz. The Luxury group is excellent for people looking to travel with maximum comfort and without sacrificing luggage space. 

Examples: Audi A6 & BMW 5 Series. 

Best rental car for luggage space?

To simplify, we have listed five cars that will surprise you with their luggage space. 

  • Toyota Rav4 
  • Skoda Octavia
  • Renault Clio 
  • Toyota Corolla 
  • Volkswagen Golf 

Find the best car hire deals that suit your needs.

Now that you have a clear idea of what type of vehicle will suit your needs best. You can compare car hire for your next trip today. If you want more travel inspiration, you can also read about How car rental rates work. For more car hire tips and tricks, look at our other blogs

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