Tag: rental car

What Is An Estate Car- Rental Car Basics

the bmw 330e is a perfect example of an estate car, often also called a station wagon.
BMW Press

Keeping up with all the different car types can be difficult at times. After all, rental companies offer roughly 20 different types of cars to choose from! Find out what to expect when booking an estate rental car, also known as a station wagon.

Click one of the links below to quickly jump between different sections of this blog post.

What Is An Estate Car

An estate car is essentially a sedan with an extended roof line and a hatchback trunk. Access to the rear space is possible through the rear doors, as opposed to the trunk lid. In addition, most station wagons feature rear seats that fold down. That way, you can decide whether you need more cargo space or room for additional passengers.

Believe it or not, it’s surprisingly easy to distinguish an estate car from other types of cars, all thanks to their unique design. An estate car features A, B, C and D pillars in its design.

Every single estate rental car will have the following:

  • space for four or five passengers
  • a spacious hatchback trunk
  • similar to a BMW 3 Series Touring

Estate Rental Cars-Sub Categories

Many rental companies break down their estate fleets further. Check out the following sub-categories of estate rental cars you can often come across.


As the name suggests, compact estate cars are slightly smaller in size. This can be a Toyota Auris STW, for example.


Full-size estate cars are going to be the biggest ones, providing more space for cargo and passengers. This can include cars such as the station wagon variant of an Audi A4.


Luxury comes at a higher price, and luxury estate rental cars are no different. Expect to pay more for a station wagon Mercedes-Benz or an upscale Audi A6, as opposed to a more budget-friendly alternative.

Crossovers and MPVs

Some rental companies will also consider large crossover SUVs and MPVs in the estate category. If that’s the case, you can expect to receive a Toyota RAV4 or a Ford Galaxy.

Is An Estate Car The Same As A Station Wagon

Yes. An estate car is exactly the same as a station wagon. Most rental companies in the United States will refer to this type of vehicle as a (station) wagon. In the United Kingdom, they’re called a station wagon.

Examples Of Estate Cars

As mentioned above, estate cars can easily be identified by their unique body style. When booking an estate rental car, you can expect to pick up one of the following vehicles:

  • BMW 3 Series Touring
  • BMW 5 Series Touring
  • Volkswagen Passat Estate
  • Audi A6
  • Audi A4 Estate
  • Toyota RAV4
  • Skoda Octavia Estate
  • Ford Focus Estate
  • Citroen C4 Picasso
  • Toyota Auris STW
  • Seat Leon ST
  • Opel Insignia Touring
  • Kia Ceed Estate
  • Ford Galaxy
  • Volvo V70 EState
  • Vauxhall Zafira

When It’s Best To Book An Estate Car

A quick glance at one of these cars is enough to understand that they’re all about space. That’s why they’re ideal whenever you need to fit up to 5 occupants along with their luggage.

Travel comfortably with the entire family for hours on end in a luxury estate, or book a compact estate to take your friends around town.

You can also fold down the rear seats. Then, you’ll end up with a two-seater and plenty of cargo space. Perfect for transporting a large piece of furniture, for example.

Learn More About Your Rental Car Type

You may not be aware that you only book a vehicle type, and not a particular make and model. That’s why you’ll see the words “or similar” next to every vehicle offered by rental companies. What does that mean exactly?

As rental companies’ fleets are constantly changing, it’s difficult for suppliers to predict which exact vehicles will be available at each location.

That’s why rental companies use a four-character code- called ACRISS- to classify their entire fleets.

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.

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.

Car Rental Insurance In Mexico- A Comprehensive Guide

Mexico is filled with fun attractions and plenty of things to do for all kinds of travelers. It’s no surprise that this country attracts nearly 100 million tourists every single year. Traveling by car is unarguably the best way to see the best of what this country has to offer. Check out our insightful guide to car rental insurance in Mexico before setting off!

To keep things simple, we have divided this blog post into the following sections. Click the links below to jump to each topic.

Without further ado, let’s jump into the guide!

Pristine sandy beach in Cancun, Mexico. Insightful guide to car rental insurance in Mexico will help you discover this country by car.
Pristine beach in Cancun. Check out our Mexico road trip travel guide.

How To Rent A Car In Mexico

For the most part, renting a car in Mexico is exactly the same as in the United States. You will need the following items to rent a car in Mexico:

  • Major credit card under your name
  • Driver’s license issued at least a year before the start of the rental period
  • Valid passport

Note that there are common extra car rental fees that can be added to your rental bill. These include a premium location surcharge, mainly for airport pick-ups and drop-offs, a young driver fee, or a late drop-off fee.

Most rental companies will require a security deposit before handing over the keys. The deposit is usually taken from the credit card used when booking your rental car. While some local companies may allow you to cover the deposit via debit card, it is not common practice.

Rentalmoose insider tip: Booking using local currency may save you from overpaying for bad conversion rates.

Your US Insurance Is (Probably) Not Valid In Mexico

This is indeed quite a bummer. Many credit card plans come with rental car insurance (more info here). However, most providers don’t extend this coverage south of the United States.

Credit Card coverage will not be accepted in Mexico. Purchasing additional coverage in Mexico is the best way to go.

Note that this will also apply to travelers who drive their own vehicles into Mexico. Most US auto insurance plans are not valid in Mexico.

Mandatory Car Rental Insurance in Mexico

Just like the United States, Mexico has two types of car rental insurance- collision damage and liability. However, this is where the similarities between rental cars in the US and Mexico stop. Here’s why.

Personal Liability Insurance, also referred to as Third-Party Insurance, is mandatory when renting a car in Mexico. You cannot rent a car without this coverage.

Although this is the only obligatory type of insurance, it’s not always enough. In fact, it’s highly recommended to opt for additional coverage. You can also learn more about rental car insurance in other countries in this guide.

Personal Liability Insurance- Why It May Not Be Enough

As the name suggests, Personal Liability Insurance (a.k.a. Third Party Insurance) covers personal injury claims and material damage done only to the other driver.

That’s right, this basic coverage does not protect the renter or the rental car in any way. If you do happen to have a collision in your rental car without any extra coverage, you will need to pay for the damages out of your own pocket. The bill can quickly round up to tens of thousands of dollars.

Be sure to double-check the limit on your basic coverage before driving off. In most cases, basic liability insurance will only cover you up to 50 000 pesos, or $3800. Anything above that will need to be paid by the renter.

While we sincerely hope that you’ll never need rental car insurance, it’s always best to come prepared.

magical Día de los Muertos celebrations  in Mexico. The best way to discover Mexico is by car. Learn all about mexico car rental insurance.

Additional Rental Car Insurance in Mexico Explained

Be sure to check out the section below to avoid overpaying for what may seem like a great deal, at least at first. Avoid any misunderstandings and ensure that you have the exact coverage you want.

If you choose to buy additional insurance outside of your rental company, double-check whether it’s accepted. Some local companies won’t accept insurance bought outside of their company.

These are the different types of car rental insurance in Mexico. We’ll go over the details below.

  • Basic Car Rental Liability Insurance in Mexico
  • Supplemental Liability Insurance (SAI)
  • Collision Damage Waiver (CDW/LDW)
  • Personal Accident Insurance (PAI)

Basic Car Rental Liability Insurance in Mexico

You may be surprised to hear that basic liability insurance is included in your Mexico rental car. It’s a legal requirement for every rental company to include the basic liability in the day rate.

Every rental car in Mexico comes with this basic liability insurance. That said, you should consider adding extra coverage. Check out the options below.

Supplemental Liability Insurance (SAI)

As you already know, basic liability insurance is obligatory in Mexico. That has to be good news, right?

Well, not exactly. Many rental companies in Mexico will insist on purchasing SAI, or Supplemental Liability Insurance. This extended protection may come in handy, as it typically increases the coverage from the 50 000 pesos included in your basic insurance. However, this extended coverage is not mandatory.

Don’t forget that it’s always cheaper to purchase additional coverage in advance. If you decide to add extra insurance at the rental desk, expect to pay a higher fee.

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW/LDW)

A Collision Damage Waiver, also referred to as the Loss Damage Waiver, is not theoretically insurance. Instead, it confirms that your rental company is willing to waive some (or all) of the cost of damage done to the rental car.

Some credit card plans may come with a CDW policy, at least in the US. Note that most credit card insurance plans won’t work in Mexico. Double-check whether your provider offers extended insurance in Mexico. If not, you may want to consider purchasing CDW.

Personal Accident Insurance (PAI)

This is the only type of coverage that will protect you and other occupants in the rental car. For extra peace of mind, make sure you add PAI to your rental car quote. It will set you back under $10 per day.

Personal Accident Insurance will cover the cost of treatment, transport to the hospital, etc. Once again, we hope you’ll never actually have to use it.

What If You Decline Additional Car Insurance in Mexico

Here comes another bummer. When you decline additional coverage offered by your supplier and can’t provide proof of having external protection, the company may ask you for a larger security deposit.

This may seem like a good way to avoid paying for rental car insurance in Mexico at first. In reality, however, the security deposit can quickly become an enormous sum.

This security deposit can easily surpass $2 500. Make sure to have proof of separate insurance plans, and double-check with the company before picking up your rental car.

Damaged Rental Car In Mexico

Fighting rental car damage claims can be tricky, no matter which country you’re in. This should not discourage you from renting a car in Mexico. Nonetheless, every renter should be aware of the local procedures.

You may have heard about international tourists going to Mexican jail after a car collision. While this could happen, many of these horror stories are quite exaggerated.

Yes, you could get detained after a car accident in Mexico. The police do have the right to detain you until money matters are settled (this is where insurance comes in handy).

However, this only happens IF:

  • someone got injured during the car accident
  • police cannot determine who was at fault

Note that the local police can have your rental car towed and impounded, too. While the chance of this happening on your Mexico vacation is extremely low, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Bonus- Mexico Rental Car

Unsure where to book your rental car in Mexico? Be sure to check out Rentalmoose. We’re a global car rental broker that serves over 15 000 locations worldwide.

We only offer rental cars from trusted and verified suppliers.

Now that you’re all set, it’s time to continue planning your Mexico adventure! Check out some of our Mexican travel guides:

  1. Mexico Road Trip in The Yucatan Peninsula
  2. Day Trips From Mexico City
  3. Day Trips From Cabo San Lucas
  4. Best Things To Do In Tulum

No matter which destination you pick, be sure to book a rental car. The comfort of being able to adjust your itinerary on the go can only be achieved when traveling by car. A private vehicle is also a safe way to travel during the coronavirus pandemic.

We plant a tree for every booking made with our platform!

Rentalmoose OÜ 2020