Top Gear Car Rental Edition
August 24, 2012 5:26 PM   Subscribe

What is the best car (make/model) for me to rent?

I'm planning a trip to Manchester, England this January (previously). And am going to rent a car for the duration. There will be two of us most of the time, but only I will be driving. (I can drive a manual).

The problem is my size, I'm 6' tall with a 72" waist. This means I can't fit behind most steering wheels. With the added problem that most of my height (and mass) is in my torso. I currently drive a Scion xB (Gen 1). I fit okay with a seat belt extension but my head touches the roof if I sit up straight.

My priorities are first comfort and safety. Second enjoyability, I'd prefer a nice foreign car over a truck or van. And third price.

So my questions are:
1) Of the available rental cars in England which ones will I be able to drive?
2) How can I be certain that I'll fit? What about seat belt extensions?
3) Of those cars, which is the nicest to drive? What do you recommend for me?
4) Is there a particular company/place I should rent from?
posted by zinon to Travel & Transportation around England (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Per #4: Hertz has a few collections where you get to pick an exact model instead of the more common 'Audi A4 or similar', which might work for you. Maybe one of their Volvos or similar.

And you probably already know this, but make sure you've got your international driver's license. Hertz checks those.
posted by grudgebgon at 5:47 PM on August 24, 2012

The British are in bed right now, which may make replies a bit scarce until tomorrow, but anyway. One car that comes to mind given that you mention the Scion xB is a Citroen C3 Picasso, which is best classed as a big small car, and has good headroom. The Renault Scénic also fits that bill. That, at least, gets the ball rolling.
posted by holgate at 6:25 PM on August 24, 2012

Sorry you have not received more responses. I rent cars quite regularly in the UK/Ireland and can not offer any specific recommendations. I would suggest you use kayak or ( UK aggregator) to identify your preferred vendors and prices. Then use your trusty Skype to call them directly regarding accommodation requirements--there maybe a special number you can call for persons with special needs. My experience in renting is that two door hatchbacks tend (note the words "tend" and in "my experience") have more potential legroom and distance from the wheel than a sedan because there is the assumption the back will not be used. There are full size cars available but the prices starting getting up there. Hope your trip is rewarding and what you hope.
posted by rmhsinc at 9:30 AM on August 25, 2012

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