What is a Compact Car- Rental Car Basics

November 24, 2021
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.


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