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Picking up a hire car: What to do when your luggage won’t fit

Picking up a hire car: What to do when your luggage won’t fit

It’s the start of a new adventure. You’ve just landed at your destination airport, and it’s time to pick up your pre-booked rental car. But when you go to pop your luggage in the trunk, you realise that it doesn’t quite fit. What do you do? In this blog post, we’ll explore what to do if your luggage doesn’t fit and the options you have to resolve this cost-effectively.

The first thing to do is not to panic. You’re not the first person to have this happen, and there are options available to you. The most important thing is to remain calm and figure out the best action for your particular situation.

If you have pre-booked your rental car, the first thing to do is to check your rental agreement. There may be a clause that covers this eventuality and will outline what you need to do next. If there is no such clause, or you are unsure of what to do, then here are a few practical things you can do to make sure this does not spoil your time away.

1 – Try rearranging your luggage

The first thing you can do if your luggage doesn’t fit in your rental car is to try rearranging it. This may involve taking some items out of your suitcase and repacking your suitcase differently. If you have a lot of small items, you may be able to slide them in the footwells and side pockets in other areas of the car.

2 – Carry lighter luggage on the laps of all those not driving

One option is to have some of the lighter luggage carried on the laps of those not driving. Whilst this may not be a great situation for passengers this will free up some space in the trunk for the larger and heavier items. And will make sure you get your luggage to your destination in one trip.

3 – Carry some luggage on an external carrier

If you have smaller items of luggage, then another option is to invest in an external carrier. These can be strapped to the top of the car or placed on a rack at the back of the car. This will free up space inside the car for other things.

When using the above option, it’s important to be careful. Make sure that you secure all items properly so that they don’t become loose and fall off while you’re driving. Also, be aware of any weight restrictions that may be in place for items placed on the roof of the car in the country you are visiting. And finally, make sure that you can still see out of the car properly before setting off.

4 – Hire a taxi or Uber to follow you with your excess baggage to your hotel or Airbnb

If you’re struggling to make your luggage fit, then another option is to take a taxi or Uber. This may cost a bit more money, but it will save you the headache of figuring out how to make everything fit. Plus, you can always use the extra space in the car to give passengers a more comfortable ride.

 (pro tip) Ask for help from the hotel

If you’re booked in to stay at a hotel, don’t hesitate to ask for help from the hotel. You may be surprised to discover that they may have a shuttle service from the airport to the hotel. You can split the travelling party, some travel on the shuttle bus whilst the rest take the vehicle rental.

Things to watch out for


If you choose to use the option to taxi or Uber your excess luggage to your destination, keep an eye on your luggage. While these services are generally safe, there’s always the possibility that your bags could get stolen. To avoid this, make sure you get one or two passengers to go with the taxi.

Ripoff taxi fees

You also want to make sure you are paying the right amount for the trip. Watch out for rogue taxi operators who may charge you extra for carrying your luggage.

Value for money

Make sure you compare that the cost of hiring a taxi is not equal or greater than the cost of getting an upgrade. This would completely negate the point of taking a taxi in the first place!

5 – Pay more money for an upgrade

If you’re still struggling to make your luggage fit and none of the above suit your needs, then you could always ask for an upgrade. This may cost a bit more money, but it will give you the extra space you need to make everything fit. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy a nicer car for the duration of your trip.

Some people may hesitate to ask for an upgrade because they think it will be too expensive. However, you may be surprised at how affordable it can be. Sometimes, all it takes is a few extra dollars to get the upgraded car you need and guarantee this unfortunate experience does not spoil your holiday.

If you want to save some money, then you can always try to get a free upgrade. This may be easier said than done, but it’s definitely worth a shot. To increase your chances of getting a free upgrade, be polite and courteous when asking for an upgrade,. Explain your situation and why you need the upgrade. If the person you’re speaking to is unable to help, ask to speak to a supervisor. Remember, it never hurts to ask!

6 – Make multiple trips to your Destination

Depending on the distance you may need to make multiple trips to where you are sending the night. This will take some extra time, but it’s better than struggling to fit everything into one trip and maybe cheaper than upgrading the vehicle just to satisfy a few trips.

Making multiple trips to your destination is especially useful if you’re travelling with family or friends. That way, you can all pitch in and help with the luggage. Some stay behind while others make the first trip. Then, everyone can take turns making the trip until all of the luggage has been safely delivered to your AirBnb or holiday villa rental.

7 – Ask for help from the car rental company.

They may have some good suggestions based on experience on how to pack the car you selected. They can also be good sources to share what others have done in a similar situation.

8 – How to avoid this from happening altogether?

– Plan your packing

The best way to avoid this problem is to plan your packing in advance. This means making a list of everything you need to bring and then figuring out the best way to pack it all into your luggage. Avoid carrying things you don’t need to carry in the first place.

– Use packing cubes

Packing cubes are an essential tool for anyone who wants to maximise their luggage space. They help you to organise your belongings and keep them from shifting around in your bag. This makes it easier to pack everything tightly into your suitcase, which will save you a lot of space in the long run.

– Roll your clothes

Rolling your clothes is another great way to save space in your luggage. It may take a bit more time to do this, but it’s worth it when you see how much space you’ve saved.

Packing for a trip can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. With a little bit of planning, you can make sure that everything fits into your luggage and avoid any stressful situations.

Use our Luggage calculation tool

If you want to make sure that your luggage will fit in the car, then you can use our calculator here. All you need to do is enter the make and model of your car, and it will tell you how much space you have to work with.

This is a great way to avoid any surprises when you’re at the rental car counter. And it will help you to plan your packing in advance so that you can be sure everything will fit into the holiday rental car.


If you’re struggling to make your luggage fit in your car, then don’t hesitate to ask for help. There are plenty of options available to you, such as taking a taxi or asking for an upgrade. Remember, it’s better to spend a bit of extra money than to ruin your trip by struggling to make everything fit. 

Just be sure to do your research beforehand so that you know what you’re getting into.