When you come to hire your vehicle, you'll presented with a number of choices, from budget to luxury cars. We've put together a guide to help you consider which type is best for you, based on features and your personal needs.
What to consider when selecting a rental car
Whether you're deciding whether it's worth selecting a premium car, or you’ve been offered an upgrade, it's important to consider your personal needs. We've put together a list of things to consider before selecting a rental car.
Type of trip is important. If you're on a long holiday with lots of cases, chances are you'll need a larger boot to store your bags. Sometimes bigger cars don't have bigger boots, so it's important to check that the car you're hiring has enough storage space for your needs - particularly if you won't have any seats spare to overflow luggage.
Your passengers. It may seem obvious, but sometimes we forget to consider the suitability of a car for our passengers. For example, if you're travelling with people who have difficulty getting in and out of a car, it may help to hire a car that's higher up. Or if you're going to be using car seats (but have a full car) it may help to ensure that there's enough space in the back for your passengers to sit safely and comfortably.
Hidden costs such as fuel are important to consider. You may spot a great deal on a luxury 4x4, but it'll likely cost you more in fuel than a smaller car.
Demand plays an important role in determining how much a type of vehicle will cost to hire. For example, in some instances - perhaps in an area where people hire cars more for business trips than family holidays - an estate car or people carrier could work out cheaper than a smaller car.
Time of year is also important to consider. Convertibles and coupes tend to be less expensive to hire during cooler months. If you're driving in a hot country, you may want to double check that your car includes air conditioning and you may opt for a model without a leather interior (which may heat up very quickly).
An overview of rental car types
The "Mini Class"
The "mini" class of car (e.g. Peugeot 106, Ford Ka, etc.) – this tends to be a very small vehicle – can seat 4 but probably more ideal for 2 – especially if you have a lot of luggage! This is usually a manual transmission gear box without air conditioning.
The "Economy" Class
The "economy" class of car (e.g. Vauxhall Corsa, Renault Clio, etc) – whilst still a small car economy vehicles aren’t quite as small as the mini class and should fit 2 adults and 2 kids with enough space for luggage. Like the mini class it is usually a manual transmission gear box without air conditioning.
The "Compact" Class
The "compact" class of car (e.g. Ford Focus, Peugeot 307, etc) – a larger vehicle that can easily sit 4 people (5 if necessary), however, you’re likely to pay more for this – especially if it has automatic gear box with air conditioning.
The "Standard" Class
The "standard" class of car (e.g. Renault Laguna, Audi A4, etc) – a large car that can sit up to 5 adults comfortably, as well as a large amount of boot space for luggage. This kind of vehicle usually includes air conditioning as standard and usually has an automatic gear box.
The "Full Size" Class
The "full size" class of car (e.g. Mercedes C-Class, Ford Galaxy, etc) – a large car (can be an MPV or Estate) that can sit 5 (sometimes more) people with comfort – as well as plenty of boot space for luggage). It usually includes power steering, an automatic gear box and air conditioning as standard.
The "Prestige" Class
The "prestige" class of car (e.g. BMW Series 5, Range Rover Discovery, etc) – a sporty vehicle with a big engine, air conditioning, automatic gear box, power steering and the usual extras you’d expect to find in a car like this.
About the author
This is a marketing article from insurance4carhire by our car hire excess insurance business unit director, Adam Summersby. Adam is a respected leader with 11 years’ varied experience in niche personal and commercial lines insurance, including caravan, site operators and excess reimbursement, with proficiency in leadership, sales and account management.