11 rental car types: which is best for your next trip?

January 3, 2015

Confused by the all the available rental car type options? Get to know the entire fleet for a smooth next trip with this quick and easy guide.

11 rental car types: which is best for your next trip?

Choosing a rental car from all the different classes available can be more confusing than deciphering road signs in a foreign language. Do you need an economy or compact? What’s the difference between premium and luxury? Which is bigger, midsize or standard SUV? With a little planning and understanding of the variants, you’ll be hitting the road with the perfect ride.

Some things to consider first:

  1. How many people are travelling?
  2. How much luggage will they’ll be toting?
  3. How important is gas mileage?
  4. What equipment comes standard?

Now, let’s get into the choices.

1. & 2. Economy and compact

These two classes are very similar. They both carry two adults and two children. The big advantage of the compact? It holds a little more luggage: one large suitcase and two small ones.

3. Standard

If you need more room in the trunk, go for a standard size. It still carries two adults and two children, but it holds two big suitcases and one small one.

4. Full size

Five adults is what this class can carry, plus a very respectable amount of gear in three large suitcases and two small ones.

5. Premium

The only significant difference between full size and premium is the level of comfort and amenity. It’s a bit nicer, which, depending on how far you're going, could be worth the additional cost.

6. Luxury

As the name suggests, this class is the top-end of the five-adult sedan. You, your passengers and your bags will travel in style. As with the others, you can comfortably fit three large suitcases and two small ones.

7. Convertible

Power, style, wind in your hair. Rental convertibles can carry four adults but only two bags. The roof collapses into the trunk area, so it needs room.

8. Minivan

If you're travelling with a large group, such as your family or members of a baseball team, rent a minivan. It hauls seven passengers plus two large suitcases and two small ones. Of course, if you have less people you can usually fold down the third row to store more bags.

9. Standard SUV

Always a good choice, a standard SUV carries five adults comfortably as well as three large suitcases and three small ones.

10. Full size SUV

The big rig of all SUVs. They hauls seven adults and four large suitcases.

11. Hybrid

Some rental companies have hybrids. This may come in handy if you are travelling long distances, especially on highways. They routinely deliver 4.2l/100km. And they are roomy, too, packing in five adults plus one large and three small bags.

Whatever you choose, safe travels.

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