Car Rental Vehicle Guide  

I made this car rental vehicle guide because one of the first decisions you must make when pricing a rental car is what size and type of vehicle you need.  

There are many factors that will guide your decision.  Sometimes that size
and features of what kind of vehicle you may want,  don't correspond with how much you want to spend!

Keep everything in mind when preparing to rent.

(See further down this page for size guides for specific vehicle categories)

Number of passengers

Is it just you and someone special or are you travelling with your spouse and 4 kids?

Luggage/cargo capacity

This factor is also determined by the number of passenger and sometimes the length of your rental! I can get away with one suitcase for a few days but for a week or more that’s not an option.

Many renters wonder if they can remove the seats from a minivan rental. This is not allowed by the car rental companies. The vehicle is intended for passengers and their lugguage, not for use as a small cargo van.

Fuel Economy

With the high price of gas right now, fuel economy is a bigger factor than it ever was before. Some renters are sacrificing comfort to save at the pump.


Sometimes what you want and what you can afford are two different things! Your rental vehicle needs to meet your needs and be a good value for your hard-earned dollar.


Is a CD player a must-have? Are you doing some highway driving and need cruise control? Different vehicles types and sizes can offer different options. Make sure your vehicle fits your needs!

I checked through the vehicle listings for different rental companies; although there are some slight differences in how some companies categorize certain vehicles and name them, for the most part they were all pretty consistent. I have put together the following car rental vehicle guide with information that I hope will help you in making your decisions about what size car or vehicle to rent.



Mid size/Intermediate 

Full size 




Compact SUV 

Mid size/Standard SUV 

Full size SUV 

Premium SUV 


For the next category on this list there are no specific features and capacities listed as in the other categories.

Car rental companies vary in what specialty vehicles they offer. In this category there is often a limited availability, but it usually allows you to guarantee a make and model. The price is generally higher in this category than for a regular vehicle of the same size. I have given a list of the types of Specialty Vehicles that I found while searching fleets for different companies. 

Hybrid Rental Cars, although usually categorized as a specialty vehicle, really deserve a section of their own. 

There are also few car rental companies that now offer Smart Car Rentals. See our Q&A Where can I rent a smart car? page for more info. 

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