What are the different types of rental cars?
When you’re thinking of renting a car, you probably have a good idea of the kind of car you want. Depending on your trip, you might even have an exact model in mind. The trouble is in the language that car rental companies use to classify cars, as they may use terms that you’re not familiar with, or use different terms for the same thing. You might see the same car called intermediate, mid-size, or standard, depending on the company.
This guide will explain the most common different car rental categories in the US, the details of each category, and popular models in each. There are several other less common categories for people who are interested in high-performance or exotic cars that are not explained in detail in this guide.
Keep in mind that when you book a car in a particular category, you may not get the exact model you selected. Most car rental companies will show you a deal for a particular model “or equivalent,” or “similar options,” because they’re changing their fleets frequently and may not know if that exact model is available to book at the time of your departure.