* Prices may differ from that shown
I was confused when we were 8 people and can't fit into universal 7-seater category. I searched a lot with standard car hire firms without any success. Then I came across this mini-bus category I never heard of. I had two options - Mercedez Viano 8-seater and VW Transporter with 9-seat. I confirmed with "Capital Car Hire" that I can drive that mini-bus with my normal car license. VW Transporter was more spacious with lot of luggage space in the boot and was cheaper than Viano, £85 per day compared to £125 for Viano. So I booked VW Transporter for 3 days.
It was silver mini-bus which looked huge from outside yet compact from inside. I was in doubt that I will be able to drive it. The interior was standard for that category with no excecutive leather seats there. Dashboard was quite modern and simple, and driving position high up with car like small power steering wheel. All the controls for radio / cd / AC were well laid and within reach.
Very powerful AC / Heater with outlet to all 3-rows of seats. 2 people can sit in to front passenger seat with separate compfortable seat belts. Very spacious boot space, where I could fit atleast 7-8 large suitcases !! Easily removable seats. Rear parking sensors.
Initially struggled with Automatic Gear Box and very strong brakes.. But got used to it in 5 minutes. Drives like a car (if not exactly like a car). Hight up driving position with better visibility. Good pickup on TDi diesel engine. Excellent mini-bus, and I did not find any problems driving around in the city and narrow roads.
Fantastic experience. But still I will try Mercedez Viano next time so I can compare both.