Car Hire Costs: Is it Worth Upgrading Your Hire Car?

When you come to hire your vehicle, cars fit into a variety of categories. These vary between car hire firms, however, as a rule of thumb, the smaller and less exciting the car, the cheaper it will be to hire (although not strictly true in all cases).

We have put together a list of things to be aware of when considering the type of car to hire:

Getting an upgrade car hire

If you’re offered an upgrade you should compare the features you’re getting, for example, a top-range compact vehicle could be better than a lower range standard car.

As alluded to earlier – lower range vehicles are not always the cheapest to hire. In some instances estates and multiple people carriers (MPVs) could work out cheaper than smaller cars – it does depend on demand in the country you’re hiring in.

In the warmer summer months convertibles / coupes tend to prove more expensive than any other time of the year.

Buy car hire excess insurance before you rent your car

When it comes time to discuss excess insurance for your car hire be aware that it can be cheaper to buy from an insurance provider – such as To find out more we recommend reading: What is car hire excess insurance?

Need more information about the classes of cars available through a car hire company, check out this list we’ve put together:

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, 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.

Final Thoughts...

Whenever hiring a car it’s important to go in armed with the facts so you can ensure you’re getting the best deal for your money. For more money saving tips we recommend reading our range of insurance and car hire guides.