Month: November 2021

What Is a Standard Car- Rental Car Basics

Knowing the different types of car categories offered by rental companies is a must. Here is what you can expect when booking a standard rental car.

A Ford Mondeo is considered to be a standard car in the world of rental cars.
a Ford Mondeo is classified as a standard car.

We have divided this quick guide into the following sections to make it as easy to follow as possible. Click one of the links below to quickly jump to each part of the blog post.

What Is A Standard Car?

A standard car is larger than an intermediate and smaller than a full-size. Frankly speaking, the name is rather self-explanatory. Standard rental cars are just that- standard. A prime example would be a Volkswagen Jetta, which can is a popular pick among rental companies worldwide.

All standard rental cars will share the following features:

  • space for up to 5 occupants (including the driver)
  • four doors
  • more cargo space than an intermediate car
  • good fuel economy
  • roughly the same size as a Volkswagen Jetta

Note that some rental companies offer slightly larger cars, such as MPVs and some crossovers, that are classified as standard. Continue reading to find out more about different examples of standard rental cars.

Standard Car Models

Keep in mind that you are not guaranteed a particular make and model when booking a rental car. You’re actually booking a rental car type instead. That’s why you’ll see the words Or Similar next to your rental car.

With that in mind, these are some cars you may receive when booking a standard car:

  • Volkswagen Jetta
  • Kia Sportage
  • Vauxhall Insignia
  • Buick Verano
  • Citroen C4 Grand Picasso
  • Ford Mondeo
  • Volkswagen Passat
  • Ford C-Max
  • Renault Laguna
  • Vauxhall Corsa

When You Should Rent a Standard Car

Standard cars are ideal when an intermediate rental car just doesn’t cut it in terms of space, for example on longer trips. After all, a standard car has enough room in the trunk for at least one more piece of luggage compared with an intermediate car. Rear-seat passengers can expect more legroom, too.

On the flip side, standard cars are harder to park in tight spots. Fuel economy may be worse than your average intermediate or compact car, as well.

If you’re planning to drive a few hundred kilometers with two to three passengers and their luggage, a standard car may just be perfect. If you crave more space, consider renting a full-size instead.

Know More About Your Rental Car Type

As mentioned above, you always book a rental car type as opposed to a specific make and model. Although you are not guaranteed a particular vehicle, you can work out many of its features and specifications.

Rental companies around the world use the four-character ACRISS code to classify their fleets. The code includes information on the car type, category, drivetrain type, transmission, and even whether or not it has air conditioning.

Don’t forget to book your next rental car through RentalmooseOur platform offers thousands of rental cars from trusted suppliers all across the world. Browse from over 15 000 different locations and find your ideal car today.

We plant a tree for every rental car booked with us, as a way of contributing towards a better tomorrow. Find out more about us here.

What is a Compact Car- Rental Car Basics

2021 Volkswagen Golf is considered a compact car by rental car companies.
Courtesy of Volkswagen

The car rental world is made up of nearly 20 different categories. Keeping up with them all can be difficult, especially if you haven’t rented a car in a while. Here’s a quick guide to help you figure out what exactly a compact car is according to rental companies.

Rental companies are constantly shifting their fleets, hence guaranteeing renters a particular make and model would be virtually impossible. That’s why rental companies actually rent car types, as opposed to particular models.

To keep things simple and clear, rental companies throughout the globe use the same unified car classification system. The ACRISS code consists of four characters that describe the type of car offered by the company.

The first letter in the ACRISS code describes one of the 18 different car categories. Compact is one of them.

We’ve divided this blog post into the following sections to keep it as short as possible:

Without further ado, let’s dive in!

What is A Compact Rental Car

Compact cars are medium-sized. They are smaller than intermediate cars and bigger than mini cars.

Remember that a rental company cannot guarantee you a particular make and model. For this very reason, the exact dimensions and specifications of compact cars can slightly vary. Some rental companies also classify small SUVs, such as the Nissan Juke, as compacts.

You can expect every single compact rental car to have the following:

  • space for up to 5 occupants
  • 4 doors
  • excellent fuel economy
  • similar in size to a Nissan Versa

In addition, some rental companies may also offer economy cars as well as compacts. Note that both of these types are very similar to each other, though a compact will typically be a little larger.

Examples of Compact Rental Cars

Compact rental cars are, despite the name, pretty spacious. As mentioned above, a Nissan Versa is considered a compact car. Some more examples of compact rental cars include:

  • Nissan Versa
  • Volkswagen Golf
  • Vauxhall Astra
  • Ford Fusion
  • Volkswagen Beetle
  • Nissan Juke
  • Ford Focus
  • Hyundai i30
  • Kia Soul
  • Peugeot 306
  • Opel Meriva

When Is It Best To Rent a Compact Car

As compact rental cars are smaller than intermediate and full-size sedans, they are ideal for driving around the city with friends or family. Compact cars can easily fit into tight parking spaces, and their small engines are renowned for exceptional fuel efficiency.

For example, a 2021 Volkswagen Golf can drive up to 39 miles on a single gallon of fuel. That equates to only around 6 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers. Rent a compact car and you’ll never have to worry about gas prices again!

If you’re planning a longer trip with more than two passengers and their luggage, you may be comfortable in an intermediate car, though. A couple going on a romantic weekend to Lake Tahoe from LA will be perfectly happy with a fuel-efficient compact.

Know More About Your Rental Car Type

We already mentioned that rental companies use a unified four-character ACRISS code to describe their rental cars. Did you know that you can figure out the car type, category, drivetrain, fuel type, transmission, and even if it has A/C, all by looking at its ACRISS code?

Remember that you are never guaranteed a particular make and model when booking a rental car. Instead, you’re actually booking a car type defined by its ACRISS code. That’s exactly why you’ll see the words or similar next to the make and model when browsing through rental cars.

Don’t forget to book your next rental car through RentalmooseOur platform offers thousands of rental cars from trusted suppliers all across the world. Browse from over 15 000 different locations and find your ideal car today.

We plant a tree for every rental car booked with us, as a way of contributing towards a better tomorrow. Find out more about us here.

What Is An Intermediate Car- Rental Car Basics

2020 Hyundai Elantra, an intermediate rental car, driving off into the sunset.
A Hyundai Elantra is an intermediate car. Photo courtesy of Hyundai USA

There are nearly 20 different vehicle categories in the world of car rentals. Keeping up with all of them can be harder than it seems. Find out what you can expect when booking an intermediate (or midsize) rental car.

Rental companies are constantly changing the vehicles offered at different rental locations. That’s why it’s simply easier to offer types of cars, as opposed to particular makes and models.

Suppliers throughout the globe use the same unified four-character code to classify their rental cars. There are 18 different car types within the ACRISS system, and intermediate or mid-size is one of them.

To keep this guide clear and simple, it has been divided into the following sections:

Without further ado, let’s jump right in!

What Exactly is an Intermediate Car

Simply put, an intermediate (also referred to as mid-size) car is larger than a compact and slightly smaller than a standard.

Although the particular make and model will vary depending on the rental companies’ availability at your desired location, all intermediate rental cars are similar. No matter which car you receive, any intermediate rental car will have the following:

  • four doors
  • space for up to 5 occupants
  • similar to a Toyota Corolla

You can also expect a similar amount of room for cargo and passengers across all intermediate rental cars. The fuel economy and engine specifications shouldn’t vary too much between the different makes and models, either.

Note that some rental companies will also classify some crossover SUVs as intermediate cars. In that case, the size may be a little bigger than the average sedan.

Examples of Intermediate Cars

As mentioned above, all intermediate cars are roughly the size of a Toyota Corolla. Here are a few more examples of popular rental cars that fall within the intermediate category.

  • Toyota Corolla
  • Fiat 500X
  • Hyundai Elantra
  • Skoda Octavia
  • Nissan Qashqai
  • Chevrolet Cruze
  • VW Jetta
  • Seat Toledo
  • Jeep Renegade
  • BMW 1-Series
  • Ford Mondeo
  • Peugeot 3008

When Is It Best To Rent an Intermediate Car

Intermediate, or mid-size rental cars, are larger than compacts. As a result, you can comfortably travel with up to 5 occupants and their luggage. Intermediate cars are perfect when you need more space than a compact car, and still want to maintain similar fuel economy.

An intermediate rental car can prove to be ideal for day trips from busy cities with your family or friends. If you’re planning to spend a weekend at Cape Cod and drive from Boston, for example, an intermediate car would be perfect.

Know More About Your Rental Car Type

As mentioned above, rental companies use the ACRISS 4-character code to classify their rental car types. By looking at the ACRISS code, you can find out what kind of car you’ll get, as well as its type, transmission and drivetrain, fuel type, and whether it has A/C.

Keep in mind that you never book a particular make and model when renting a car. That’s why you’ll see the words “or similar” when booking the vehicle.

You can check out our guide to ACRISS codes to learn more about rental car types. That way, you’ll always be prepared beforehand.

Don’t forget to book your next rental car through RentalmooseOur platform offers thousands of rental cars from trusted suppliers all across the world. Browse from over 15 000 different locations and find your ideal car today.

We plant a tree for every rental car booked with us, as a way of contributing towards a better tomorrow. Find out more about us here.

Driving in California-A Tourist Guide

California is one of the best tourist destinations in all of the United States. A private car is unarguably the best way of getting around, especially if you’re planning to visit multiple cities.

Even if you’re planning to stick to one city, like Los Angeles, you’ll be better off with a rental car. This particular city extends for nearly 45 miles (70km) from north to south!

Driving in California for the first time can seem a little scary, at least at first. We’ve prepared a guide to help you navigate through California’s traffic laws and regulations. That way, you can make the most out of your California holiday.

To keep this guide as convenient as possible, it has been broken down into the following sections. You can click one of the links below to quickly jump to each section.

Without further ado, let’s jump into this post!

Before You Leave- California Car Rentals

Planning is key to a fun and stress-free holiday. Ensure you’re all set before leaving for California using the information below.

Rental Cars in California

You can find your rental car via Rentalmoose. Rentalmoose features only verified suppliers across over 15 000 locations worldwide. Browse through rental cars from Hertz, Europcar, National, Enterprise, Alamo, and more. We plant a tree for every booking made with our platform.

Who Can Drive a Car in California?

Teens as young as 14 can be permitted to drive a car in California in special cases. Drivers between 16 and 18 can drive with a provisional license, and anyone over the age of 18 can apply for a regular driving license. However, you need to be older in order to rent a car in the same state.

In fact, most California rental companies will permit drivers who are at least 21 years old to rent a car, as long as they’ve had their driving license for at least a year. Note that young drivers may not have access to the entire fleet though. Luxury cars or powerful drop-tops are usually reserved for drivers with more experience.

Big Sur, Pacific Coast Highway

Renters aged between 21 and 25 should prepare to pay an additional young driver fee. This daily fee will be added on top of your rental bill for anyone under 25, as well as seniors (usually over 65 years old).

Did you know that renters can face up to 20 additional fees when renting a car? You can learn how to avoid them in this blog post.

International Driving Permits- Are They Required in California?

An International Driving Permit is not required by tourists driving in California. You can simply use your foreign driving license. Note that some rental companies may ask for an IDP, even when it is not legally required by the state or country you’re in. It’s always best to double-check directly with the supplier before setting off.

You can check out this blog post for more information on renting a car in California. You’ll find out all about the standard insurance, how to avoid young driver fees, and more practical information.

California Traffic Laws and Regulations

Seatbelts and Other Mandatory Safety Measures

Seatbelts are an absolute must for all occupants in a car.

In addition, motorcyclists are required to wear a helmet at all times. This applies to their passengers, too.

Speed Limits

Watch your speed at all times, as the limits are strictly enforced throughout the state.

These are the speed limits in California unless there are signs that state otherwise:

  • 15-25mph (25-40kmh)- school zones, railroad crossings with poor visibility- under 400ft in both directions
  • 25mph (40kmh)- urban areas, such as business and residential districts
  • 55mph (90kmh)- two-lane undivided highways
  • 65-70mph (105-110kmh)- multi-lane highways, such as freeways or interstates
  • 55mph (90kmh)- maximum speed for vehicles towing trailers

As mentioned above, speed limits are strictly enforced in the state of California, much like in the majority of the US. The police can even use aircraft to enforce speed limits. If you’re caught speeding, you can expect to pay up to $900 for serious offenses. Criminal charges are possible for reckless drivers, too.

Overtaking and Lane Changes

A general rule of thumb is to stick on the right lane on highways and use the ones on the left for overtaking.

Overtaking on the right side is allowed, as long as there are at least two clearly-marked lanes going in the same direction.

Lane Splitting

Lane-splitting is legally permitted for motorcycles in California. Be sure to look out for bikes when driving!

Carpool (HOV) Lanes

Carpool lanes are a clever way to reduce the number of vehicles on busy roads. You can spot them on some of the busiest freeways in the states, especially in big cities such as Los Angeles or San Francisco. They are marked by a distinctive diamond-shaped pattern on the surface.

You can use carpool lanes, as long as you have at least two (or three in some places) occupants in the vehicle, including the driver. Note that vehicles towing trailers are forbidden to use carpool lanes, no matter how many people are in the vehicle.

Turning Right at A Red Light

The ability to turn right at a red light continues to amaze many European tourists in many US states.

In California, it is legal to turn right at a red light, unless there are signs that prohibit it. Note that you must first come to a complete stop at the red light before turning right.

Pedestrians Have The Right of Way

Pedestrians have the right of way at any intersection. Crosswalks do not need to have lines painted on the road. What’s more, pedestrians are permitted to use unmarked intersections, unless there are signs that state otherwise.

busy hollywood boulevard lots of tourists in front of chinese theatre on a sunny day in hollywood california

Use of Mobile Phones, Texting and Driving

It is illegal to use a mobile phone when driving in California. This is a distraction that can have deadly consequences for you, as well as other road users. Keep your hands off your phone when driving.

Fully hands-free devices are the only exception.

Drinking and Driving

Much like the rest of the United States, California takes drinking and driving very seriously. Although the legal limit is 0.8%, you can still be charged for drunk driving if you’re impaired, even if the alcohol level is below the legal limit.

Drivers caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs will be arrested on the spot. Never drink and drive.

Smoking in The Car

If you’re driving with children, it is illegal to smoke tobacco products in the vehicle. Not only is it against the law, but also incredibly bad for your health.

Opened Containers

Driving under the influence is a very serious crime in California. To help reduce the number of drunk drivers out on the roads, the officials have made it illegal to have any open alcohol containers within the passenger compartment of a vehicle- including the glovebox. If you have any open alcohol bottle, it has to be transported in the trunk.


Rentalmoose OÜ 2020