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Rental car types

Ever wondered how rental car types agencies categorize their vehicles? Explore the criteria that determine rental car sizes, from Mini to Economy and Full-size.

Each rental size aligns with a designated car class, typically indicated by rental companies. In Europe, they frequently provide “or similar” alternatives, guaranteeing a vehicle from the specified car rental classes, even if it’s not the exact model. For instance, reserving a Toyota Yaris might result in receiving a Volkswagen Polo. Car rental companies globally utilize standard classification codes such as ACRISS or SIPP. But what do these codes encompass, and how do they distinguish between rental car classes?

Here’s an extended rental car sizes chart guide

Car SizeNumber of SeatsNumber of DoorsTrunk CapacityBrands and Models
Economy42-4SmallToyota Yaris, Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Accent
Compact52-4StandardHonda Civic, Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus
Midsize54Standard/LargeToyota Camry, Honda Accord, Ford Fusion
Full-Size5-64-5LargeChevrolet Impala, Ford Taurus, Nissan Maxima
SUV5-84-5VariesToyota RAV4, Ford Explorer, Honda CR-V
Luxury4-52-4VariesMercedes-Benz E-Class, BMW 5 Series, Audi A6
Convertible2-42SmallFord Mustang Convertible, Chevrolet Camaro Convertible
Minivan7-84-5LargeDodge Grand Caravan, Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna
Pickup Truck2-52-4VariesFord F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, Toyota Tacoma

Mini Car Rentals

Choosing a mini car from the rental car categories comes with advantages. You secure an economical and efficient vehicle, making it an ideal choice for travelers on a budget. However, drawbacks include limited luggage space, potential discomfort for tall passengers on longer journeys, and it may not be the best option for high-speed driving on autobahns or highways.

Booking a mini car doesn’t guarantee the exact advertised vehicle, as rental companies often provide “or similar” options, offering a comparable car with similar engine size, dimensions, and luggage space. Examples of mini cars frequently include models like the Toyota Aygo.

Economy Car Rentals

The Economy car category, the second smallest after mini, is suitable for city driving and comfortably accommodates two to three people, with a maximum capacity of four. Positioned between mini and compact cars, it offers a budget-friendly option and improved size compared to minis while maintaining fuel efficiency. Examples include the Ford Fiesta.

Rental car types

Compact Car Rentals

Compact cars, classified as medium-sized in the rental car industry, offer versatility for up to four individuals on shorter trips or two to three persons on longer journeys. Positioned as the third smallest class, above mini and economy groups and following intermediate, compact cars are fuel-efficient, provide generous luggage space, and are well-suited for highway driving. The Ford Focus serves as an example in this category.

Intermediate Car Rentals

Intermediate cars, larger than compact cars but smaller than standard cars, are suitable for up to four people on both short and long distances. Some car rental companies also classify crossover cars within this type of rental cars. While offering additional luggage space and comfort for passengers in the back seats, intermediate cars may pose challenges in parking within smaller spaces. Examples include the Toyota Camry.

Standard Car Rentals

The standard car category in car rentals, often referred to as large cars, is designed for five passengers and is ideal for long drives. These vehicles offer ample luggage space and comfortable seating in the back. Examples of standard cars include the Peugeot 301. However, when booking, there’s a possibility of receiving a similar vehicle within the category.

Rental car types

Full-Size Car Rentals

Transitioning to the full-size car category, these vehicles stand out as the largest, excluding SUVs, trucks, or vans. With substantial luggage space, they are ideal for accommodating four to five passengers on extended journeys. Examples include the Ford Fusion. Similar to standard cars, booking a full-size car may result in receiving a comparable vehicle within the category.

Estate Car Rentals

Estate cars, also known as station wagons, boast larger trunk sizes than full-size and lower car classes. Suitable for five passengers with luggage, estate cars offer fuel efficiency. However, parking in smaller spaces may pose a challenge due to the extended trunk space. Examples of estate cars include the Ford Focus Wagon, and when booking, you might receive a similar vehicle within the category.

Minivan Car Rentals

Minivans, or passenger vans, come in various capacities, accommodating five, seven, or nine passengers. With larger trunks and ample space for passengers, they are suitable for groups with more luggage. Examples of 5-seat minivans include the Volkswagen Touran. Booking a minivan may result in receiving a similar vehicle within the category.

Crossover Car Rentals

Crossover cars, considered premium and similar to SUVs, offer comfort and easier handling. While lacking the same off-road performance as SUVs, crossovers are stable, easy to maneuver in smaller areas, and simple to park. Examples include the Toyota C-HR, and when booking, you may receive a similar vehicle within the category.

Crossover Car Rentals

Crossover cars, akin to SUVs, provide enhanced comfort and ease of driving, making them stable, maneuverable, and parking-friendly. Renting a crossover delivers comfort similar to an SUV but with easier handling. However, for mountain adventures, SUVs might be more suitable due to superior performance. Rental bookings for crossovers often entail receiving a similar vehicle, such as the Toyota C-HR.

SUV Car Rentals

SUVs, or suburban utility vehicles, are crafted for reasonable size and adept handling on rough roads. With a specially designed chassis, optional AWD or 4×4, and ample trunk space, SUVs excel on paved and moderately rough roads. Renting an SUV provides higher ground clearance and spacious luggage storage, but drawbacks include a lack of 4×4 capability and generally lower fuel efficiency. Examples include the Ford EcoSport in the SUV category.

4×4 Car Rentals

Larger than regular cars, 4×4 vehicles feature elevated ground clearance and a four-wheel-drive system, excelling on rough roads and challenging terrains. Renting a 4×4 delivers a 4WD system, robust chassis, and versatility for various roads. However, they are less suitable for standard roads and exhibit higher fuel consumption, requiring a minimum age of 25 for rental. Examples include the Toyota 4Runner in the 4X4 category.

Convertible Car Rentals

Convertible cars in rental services boast a soft, foldable rooftop, perfect for warm destinations and accommodating two passengers. Renting a convertible offers an open-roof experience for romantic or business trips, though fuel efficiency may be impacted. They are ideal for a maximum of two passengers. Examples include the Ford Mustang in the convertible category.

Premium Car Rentals

Premium cars offer additional features, extra passenger space, and a larger trunk capacity compared to regular cars. Suitable for up to five passengers with luggage, premium rental cars may have a high-security deposit requirement and typically require renters to be at least 25 years old. Examples include the Mercedes Benz CLA in the premium category.

Luxury Car Rentals

Luxury cars in rental services are high-end vehicles offering superior comfort and features. Ideal for those seeking stylish travel, luxury cars belong to prestigious brands. Bookings for luxury cars might result in a similar vehicle, and examples include the BMW 5 series in the luxury category.

Cargo Car Rentals

Cargo vans in car rentals provide spacious cargo capacity for transporting oversized items. Available in various sizes to accommodate smaller to substantial loads, cargo vans are ideal for moving or transporting large items. Rental bookings for cargo vans may result in a similar vehicle, such as the Ford Transit Connect in the cargo category.

Common inquiries about car classifications

Differentiating between types of rental cars, full-size and standard car rentals hold distinct characteristics. Full-size rental cars emerge as the largest vehicles in their class, excluding SUVs, trucks, or vans. They offer generous passenger space and a more expansive trunk when compared to standard cars.

Economy versus compact car rentals: Economy cars represent the second smallest category in car rentals, while compact cars are slightly larger than their economy counterparts. Compact cars are generally considered medium-sized rentals, often taking the form of hatchback vehicles.

Defining a compact car rental: Compact cars, also known as medium-sized rentals, are frequently hatchbacks, though this is not guaranteed.

Comparing full-size and standard rental car sizes: Full-size rental cars surpass standard rental cars in size, being the largest class without including SUVs, trucks, or vans.

Ensuring an automatic transmission rental: To secure a car with an automatic transmission, utilize the search filter on Orbit Car Hire. Find this filter on the upper left side of the webpage under “Car specifications.”

Choosing the color of your rental car: Selecting the color of your rental car is unlikely. Inquire with the agent about the availability of different colors within your chosen car category.

Opting for a particular car model within rental car vehicle types may provide “guaranteed model” choices, assuring you receive the exact model you booked. Opting for options labeled “or similar” doesn’t guarantee the specific model but ensures a similar car with comparable engine, dimensions, and specifications.

Providing examples of full-size rent a car: Full-size cars encompass models like Ford Fusion, Toyota Camry, Dodge Charger, Chevrolet Impala, Nissan Maxima, Toyota Avalon, and Kia Cadenza.

Defining a mid-size rental car: A mid-size rental car is synonymous with a compact car and includes models like Mazda 3, Volkswagen Jetta, Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Ford Focus, and Toyota Auris.

Understanding rental car sizes: Rental car sizes, in order, are Mini, Economy, Compact, Intermediate, Standard, Full-size, Estate, Minivan, Crossover, SUV, 4X4, Convertible, Premium, Luxury, and Cargo Van.

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