Thursday, July 28, 2016

How to Maximize Space in Small Cars

By David Moss

While many SUVs and trucks continue to get bigger, several car models are sticking to smaller sizes that are more economical and environmentally friendly. Between a lower purchase price, fewer maintenance issues and more fuel efficiency, it is little wonder that many people are choosing to drive small cars. However, there are times when a small car can be a disadvantage, such as on the moving day or on a long vacation with several other people. For these instances, there are a number of ways that you can maximize the space of your small car.

Nissan Cube with Thule Roof Carrier

Storing belongings on the roof of your car is one of the easiest ways to increase vehicle’s space. Some cars are already equipped with a roof rack or roof rails, but if your particular model does not have these storage options, you can always buy and install them. Make sure that you look for a roof box that is aerodynamic in shape and size so that you can continue to reap the benefits of fuel efficiency.

If you are having trouble finding a roof rack that fits your car or that is aerodynamic, consider using the cargo space behind your back bumper. You can attach cargo baskets, a bike rack or even a container of your own design just behind your bumper to store your luggage, athletic equipment and any other gear that you need to haul. The best part of this storage is that your fuel efficiency will not be compromised since this cargo space has nothing to do with aerodynamics.

Fiat pulling boat trailer

In terms of the actual space of your vehicle, attaching a trailer is the most efficient solution. However, it is also the most questionable option. Before you buy a trailer to haul your possessions, you have to make sure that your car is large enough and properly equipped to tow the weight of a trailer. Many compact cars are incapable of using a trailer.

There are many hidden spaces in a car that can be used for storage. There are the obvious locations, like the glove box and center console, but check out your car for other possible locations. Some cars are now being equipped with removable passenger seat cushions that lift up to reveal storage inside the passenger seat itself. Others have cargo spots in the floor of the backseat, using removable lids where the backseat passenger’s feet sit. You can also use the spaces under both front seats to store items like snacks and water bottles. As you are looking for these and other storage spaces, always make sure that your visibility is not obstructed and that you can drive safely at all times.

There are also many ways that you can create more storage and maximize the small space in your car. You can attach car organizers to hold snacks, toys, DVDs and other small items to the backs of your seats, or you can use a tool belt with pouches to store notepads, pens and other small objects within easy reach. Cockpit cargo carriers are useful for holding mechanical gadgets, and you can even build your own coat rack from a mesh bungee.

David Moss is a freelance automotive writer from Detroit. He has been obsessed with cars since he was little. When he realized he could combine his love of writing with his passion for cars, his fate was sealed. You can reach him at @davidcmoss

1 comment:

Ian Cassley said...

Thanks for posting this Andy. Rather than finding more room for 'stuff' another option is taking less. We did a couple of major road trips in our 92 Ford Festiva with five of us in the car and no trailer or roof top carrier. Granted, we weren't camping along the way so that reduced the amount of stuff we had to take. Our three youngest, who were 15, 13, and 10 at the time, sat in the back... cozy yes, cramped maybe a little bit, while my wife and I sat up front.

Check out this link for more details on how we packed for a 2 week, 10,000km road trip..