Choosing the right car group can be the difference between a smooth trip or a major headache! When you hire a car you are not guaranteed a specific make or model, hence why rental companies use the sometimes dreaded “or similar” when describing car groups. Here we give you some examples of what you can expect to get depending on the category you choose to book. It is also important to remember that in Europe most of the cars will have a manual gear box, so if you need and automatic make sure you book one! In the US the opposite is true, all vehicles there will be automatic.
Rental Car Groups
|Mini||2/4||4||1 large||City trips, for one or two people|
|City and short trips|
|Compact||2/4||5||2 large||City and mid-length trips|
|Compact Estate||5||5||3 large||City and mid-length trips with extra luggage|
|Mid-length to long trips|
|Intermediate Estate||5||5||3 large||Mid-length to long trips with extra luggage|
|Mid-length to long trips with extra comfort|
|Standard Estate||5||5||3 large||Mid-length to long trips with extra comfort and luggage|
|Full-size||5||5||3 large||Long trips, extra comfort and better performance|
|Full-size Estate||5||5||3 large||Long trips with extra luggage|
|Luxury||5||5||3 large||Travelling in style|
|Convertible||2||4||1–2 large||Open-air driving experience|
|SUV||5||5||1–3 large||Long trips and rural roads|
|People Carrier||5||7/9||2–6 large||Groups and large families|
This is the smallest category offered by car hire companies, they include the Kia Picanto, Hyundai i10, Peugeot 108 and Fiat 500 amongst others. They could be 2 or 4 doors and usually have a 1 litre engine. If you need to be guaranteed 4 doors make sure you book a bigger category.
This group contains slightly bigger hatchbacks, examples of vehicles in this category are the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa, Seat Ibiza and Citroen C3. These vehicles will have 2/4 doors and a small engine size. Again if you need to have a 4 door vehicle make sure you book a bigger category.
This tends to be the most popular category and the majority of the suppliers’ fleets will consist of vehicles like the Vauxhall Astra, Hyundai i30, Ford Focus and Peugeot 308. These will have 4 doors and usually a 1.4 or 1.6 litre engine. There are also estate versions of these cars which is great if you are travelling with more luggage.
The intermediate category will usually be saloon vehicles such as the Hyundai i40, Chevrolet Cruze, VW Jetta or Skoda Octavia. These vehicles will usually have a 1.6 or 2.0 litre engine and estate versions are also available if you need more luggage space.
Examples in this category include the Ford Mondeo, Vauxhall Insignia, VW Passatt and VW Jetta. In terms of size this category is similar to the Intermediate but these cars will usually have more powerful engines and be better equipped. You can also book estate versions of these vehicles.
Alfa Romeo Guillia, BMW 3 series, Audi A4, Kia Optima are examples of vehicles in this category, They are very well equipped and have powerful engines. Estate versions are also available.
This category will give you prestige vehicles such as the Jaguar XE, Mercedes Benz E class, BMW 5 Series, Audi A5
Examples of vehicles in this category are the Honda CR-V, Nissan X Trail, Hyundai Tucson, VW Tiguan.
If there are more than 5 people travelling then this is the category for you, vehicles include the Seat Alhambra, VW Sharan, Ford Galaxy and Vauxhall Zafira. Some suppliers will also offer 9 Seat vehicles.