We needed to rent a car to travel from Rome to Tuscany. In order to fit our family of 5 plus several suitcases we needed to rent a very large car. We had a hard time getting advice on this and in Italy, the choices were limited. We ended up renting from Hertz in Rome which was conveniently located near our hotel – The Marriott Flora. We rented a large black Mercedes van – The Vito, the very basic version.
We hadn’t seen one like this in the States. It fits nine passengers,with three bench seats -including three in the front seat which made the competition for “shotgun” much easier. The car is big but a bit quirky – it lacked cup holders and the back seat could get pushed up but refused to go back down. It is an automatic but will actually turn OFF each time we are at a stoplight or if you pause for a few seconds. When you take your foot off the gas it starts right back up.
My husband stopped a couple times to put gas in the car in Italy and that was a new experience as well. The first time he planned to go into the station and grab a few granola bars and some water. He came out explaining there was a bar and champagne but no granola bars or snacks.
At one gas station there was no attendant, in fact it was completely empty – but he was still able to buy gas. I don’t think that’s possible in the states but maybe I’m wrong.
My husband inserted 80 euro into the machine but it only cost 65. Instead of getting change he got a receipt/form that indicated he needed to mail that piece of paper in in order to get his change.
Overall the car worked out great – lots of room to nap! But be aware there are high tolls – over 50 Euros from Pompeii to Rome. I’m not sure how else it would happen with so many people and so much luggage. The kids are hoping to get that Mercedes ( I believe it’s the Metris in the states), when we get back to California. We sold our cars to go on this trip so we may just have to do that!