Compact or Convertible? How to Find the Best Hire Car for You

May 28, 2013, 08:37 ET from

LONDON, May 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- helps travellers make sense of car hire categories

Many European car hire companies use a similar format to break down vehicles into categories that consumers then choose between. Commonly used car categories include mini, economy, compact and luxury, but how do you know which would suit you best?

It is unusual to be able to request the specific car model you would like to hire; instead a particular model is used as a guideline and the vehicle given will be similar in terms of size and speed. For example a 'mini' car may be similar to a Toyota Aygo while an 'economy' vehicle may be close in comparison to a Peugeot 207. Features you can normally be specific in requesting are the number of doors required on the car, manual or automatic gearboxes and air conditioning.

Michael Bond of said: "Although many people would like the ability to request specific cars, regrettably, this would be a near impossible task for car suppliers to manage. Fortunately, the wide variety of categories used does mean that people can still be specific when requesting what they would like to drive or what their needs are. Each rental and each holiday is different, so travellers need to decide what they would like to get out of their trip with regard to the vehicle."

"If looking for luxury there are premium, sport and convertible models available, while those looking for practicality and average space may only require a five-door compact vehicle. People carriers are widely available for larger families or big groups, while those on activity holidays that may require transporting equipment, such as skiing, can request an SUV so they have all the room they need."

For those travelling outside of the EU it is important to remember that the common car hire categories that car hire customers are familiar with here may vary in other parts of the world, and in some cases the terms used could mean widely different things. The US for example tends to use different categories, so clarify this with each individual supplier to ensure you have the correct car waiting for you on collection.

To check the latest offers and availability from in European and other destinations, visit 

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