Tag: tips

Driving in France-A Comprehensive Tourist Guide

Renting a car and driving yourself is easily the best way to see France. This comprehensive guide will tell you everything you need to know about driving in France. That way, you can rent a car and enjoy your holiday traveling around France with maximum peace of mind.
Volker Glatsch

Renting a car and driving is easily the best way to see France. This comprehensive guide will tell you everything you need to know about driving in France. That way, you can rent a car and enjoy your holiday traveling around France with maximum peace of mind.

To keep things simple, we’ve divided this guide into the following sections:

Simply because you are a tourist does not mean you should drive recklessly. Respecting traffic laws applies to both citizens and tourists, and understanding the various legal requirements will save you from a lot of trouble in France.

First, in France, the driver and steering wheel is on the left side, but people drive on the right side of the road. So if in your country drivers keep right, this will be the first confusing part of driving in France. 

Do You Need An International Driving Permit In France

No! You can use your home country license to drive in France as long as you are a tourist and thus don’t intend to stay for a long time in France. Additionally, you must be over 18 years, and the license must be in the Roman alphabet. So if your country issues driving licenses to people under the age of 18, you cannot drive a car in France, but you are allowed to drive a scooter or a small motorbike.

Here are other legal requirements you need to observe when driving in France.                           

Speed Limits

Type of RoadMaximum Speed (km/h)
Main Roads within city limits50
Main Roads outside city limits80
Two-lane expressways110
Highway130

Alcohol Limit

In France, you are arrested with a BAC of 0.05% or o.5g/l.

If you are a new driver i.e. you have had your license for less than three years, the limit is 0.2g/l.

Never drink and drive.

Speeding Fines

Here are penalties you can face for breaking driving laws in France:

  • French traffic authorities can impose on-the-spot fines of up to 750 euros
  • You can pay anywhere between 11 and 750 euros for breaking traffic laws. The amount can be reduced if you pay on time and increased if you are late.
  • Your vehicle can be confiscated for serious traffic offenses such as:
  1. Hit and run
  2. Refusing to stop when a traffic officer stops you
  3. Driving without a license
  4. Driving without insurance
  5. Being caught repeatedly for driving under the influence

What You need when Driving in France

A valid driving license is a must-have, no matter the country you’re in. However, there are other things you must have when driving in France, which are not all standard requirements in other countries:

  • Reflective jackets, one for each occupant, and they must be within easy reach
  • Warning triangle
  • breathalyzer/alcohol test
  • A spare bulb kit
  • Snow chains in some areas, especially during winter

Check your rental car, it should be equipped with all the necessary items listed above.

If you are on a road trip and intend to enter France by car, you can not carry meat, milk, or other dairy products brought in from outside the European Union.

Is Driving in France Safe

In general, France is perfectly safe to be discovered by car. Remember to stay alert and vigilant, just as you would in any other place around the world.

Remember to follow the traffic laws so that you don’t risk ruining your vacation with a hefty speeding ticket.

Driving In France- Key Tips

Holidays are for fun and creating beautiful memories, whether you are alone with friends or family. Nothing dampens the holiday spirit like being pulled over by police, arrested, or fined. 

So here are essential things you should know before renting a car in France.

Hands-Free and Bluetooth Devices

France has banned the use of mobile phones, Bluetooth, and hands-free devices. Keep your mobile phone away as you drive.

Road Tolls

If you intend to stick to city limits, you are safe. However, once you are out of the city limits, the major highways are toll roads, and they are marked by blue and white signs.

You pick a toll ticket when you enter the toll portion of the highway, and you will pay at the exit. Toll roads are paid by the kilometer so make sure you include these when budgeting your road trip.

Speed Camera Detectors

Speed camera detectors alert you when you are speeding so that you can slow down. But you will have to do without them when driving on French roads. If your navigation system comes with speed camera detectors, you will have to disable them unless you are ready to pay a  €1500 fine.

Clean Air Sticker

Each country has set its own rules and regulations on pollution, and French is no different. Some French cities have adopted clean air zones, and unless your car displays a clean air sticker, you may not be allowed to drive through these cities. If you are caught inside the zone without one, you will pay a fine of 64 euros.

To drive freely through the clean air zone, ensure you get a clean air sticker online by entering your vehicle’s details. The categories of vehicles that can enter clean air zones vary from city to city, so make sure you start this process before your holiday starts. That way you will organize your trip and sightseeing based on the cities you can enter with your car.

Bonus- Rent A Car In France

Looking for a rental car in France? We’ve got you covered!

Head over to Rentalmoose and find your perfect rental car for your trip to France. Browse through over 15 000 locations worldwide, pick from a selection of trusted suppliers, and choose from thousands of different vehicles.

We plant a tree for every booking made with our platform. Reduce your carbon footprint when renting a car with Rentalmoose.

Click the banner below to get started!

Driving In Spain- The Ultimate Tourist Guide

Driving in Spain is one of the best ways to see this gorgeous country. Check out tips and tricks for tourists driving in Spain.

Spain is the ideal destination to discover by car. Before setting off in this exciting country, make sure you know all the regulations and rules of the road! This is your definitive guide to driving in Spain for both first-timers and experienced travelers.

Our guide covers anything from the basic legal requirements all the way to unspoken rules of the road only the locals know about. You can click any of the bullet points below to quickly jump to each blog post section.

You need to be at least 18 years old to drive a car in Spain. Note that all drivers must hold a valid driving license. Depending on where you are from, you may need an International Driving Permit as well.

Do You Need An International Driving Permit In Spain?

Yes, you do need an International Driving Permit to drive in Spain if your driving license was issued outside of the European Union. This means that travelers from countries such as the US, the UK, or Australia will need to get an IDP to drive in Spain.

If you have a driving license issued in a country that’s part of the EU, you do not need an IDP.

Tourists can use an International Driving Permit for up to 12 months in Spain. Remember that an IDP is only a translation of your original driving license. It is only valid when accompanied by your original driving license.

Speed Limits In Spain

Road TypeMaximum speed (km/h)
Residential Area20km/h
Built-up Area50km/h
Outside Cities70-100km/h
Highways90-120km/h

The speed limits above generally apply to most roads in Spain, unless road signs enforce a different speed limit.

Note that the speed limit on every road type is decreased to 50km/h whenever the visibility drops below 50 meters. This rarely happens, but can be caused by extreme weather conditions such as snow, fog, or heavy rainfall.

Rules Of The Road In Spain

General Rules and Regulations

You must hold a valid driving license, and an IDP if necessary, to drive a car in Spain.

Drive on the right-hand side of the road.

All occupants must have their seatbelts fastened at all times.

Drinking and driving is a crime. The maximum blood alcohol levels may not exceed 0.5g/l, or 0.25mg/l when tested with a breathalyzer. Never drink and drive.

Child Seats

Children under 135cm tall cannot ride in the front seat of a car. Additionally, they must travel in an approved child restraint, child seat, or booster seat that’s appropriate to their size.

Use of Mobile Phones

It is illegal to use a mobile phone without a hands-free kit. Texting and driving, driving with an earpiece or headphones are all traffic violations that are strictly enforced. Do not use your phone while driving in Spain, keep both hands on the wheel and focus on the road.

Overtaking and Using The Left Lane

You may only overtake on the left side. This applies to all road types, from multi-lane roads in cities to highways.

Stick to the right lane when driving on a highway. Only use the left lane to overtake slower traffic.

Right of Way

Generally speaking, the car on your right-hand side has the right of way at an intersection. Naturally, this rule only applies if there are no stop, yield signs, or traffic lights that would indicate otherwise.

Turning Right On Red

This may come as a shock to drivers coming from countries where turning right at a red light is allowed. Turning right on red is forbidden all across Europe. Some countries may have arrows next to the lights (either green or flashing yellow, depending on the country) that indicate when turning right is allowed, though.

Speeding Tickets

You will be required to pay for any traffic violations on the spot if caught red-handed. In addition, the police may impound your vehicle if you are unable to pay the speeding ticket on the spot. You will receive the vehicle back once the ticket has been settled.

For maximum peace of mind, it’s best to stick to the speed limits when driving in Spain.

Toll Roads In Spain

Most of the roads throughout Spain can be driven on for free. However, there are some paid highways and toll roads scattered around the country. The following Spanish highways are toll roads:

  • AP-51 from Villacastin to Avila
  • AP-6 from Villalba to Adanero
  • AP-61 from San Rafael to Segovia
  • AP-68 from Bilbao to Zaragoza
  • AP-71 from Leon to Astorga
  • C-32 from Castelldefels to El Vendrell

You can check out the current fees for each one of these Spanish toll roads on this website.

Local Tips For Tourists Driving In Spain

Hazard Lights On Highways

This is good practice, no matter the country you’re driving in. Turn on your car’s hazard lights when approaching a traffic jam on a highway or expressway. That way, the drivers behind you will know to slow down in time.

Driving On Roundabouts

Pay attention when approaching a roundabout in Spain, especially in busy areas.

Unnecessary Use of The Horn

Excessive and unnecessary use of the horn is not only annoying but also forbidden by law. Drivers who honk for no reason can receive a penalty.

Paid Parking In Cities

Look out for parking meters, especially in large cities. Many areas require payment to park, even on-street spots. Trying to find a parking space in Madrid or Barcelona can be a stressful and chaotic experience. You may want to look for paid parking lots ahead of time.

You cannot park within 5 meters of an intersection or a bend. Otherwise, the vehicle may be towed at your expense.

Bonus- Rent A Car in Spain

Looking for a rental car in Spain? We’ve got you covered!

Head over to Rentalmoose and find your perfect rental car for your trip to Spain. Browse through over 15 000 locations worldwide, pick from a selection of trusted suppliers, and choose from thousands of different vehicles.

We plant a tree for every booking made with our platform. Reduce your carbon footprint when renting a car with Rentalmoose.

Click the banner below to get started!

Driving In Greece For Tourists- Ultimate Guide

Driving in Greece for the first time can seem a little overwhelming, even for tourists visiting from neighboring countries. Some of the local traffic laws and regulations aren’t as common as you may think. That’s why it’s best to come prepared. We’re here to help! Check out all you need to know about driving as a tourist in Greece.

For maximum convenience, this blog post is divided into the following parts (click the links to quickly jump to each section)

Looking for more travel inspiration? While you’re at it, check out some of our top hand-picked destinations around Greece, perfect for your next holiday.

You must be at least 18 years old and hold a valid driving license to drive in Greece. The driver must also have their ID or passport, depending on the country they’re coming from.

Always make sure that all the required paperwork is in order before getting behind the wheel. If not, you risk losing all insurance in case of a collision.

Note that an International Driving Permit may be required, depending on where you’re coming from. More on that below.

Do You Need An International Driving Permit in Greece?

Yes, you do need an international driving permit to drive in Greece.

Unless your driving license was issued in EU and EEA countries. If not, you will need to get an IDP to legally drive a car in Greece.

An International Driving Permit is essentially a translation of your domestic license. Note that it has to be presented alongside your original state-issued license to be valid.

While many local rental agencies throughout Greece will accept foreign licenses without an IDP, this process is not lawful. Driving in Greece without an International Driving Permit (except for those issued in EU and EEA countries) can land you in quite a bit of trouble.

Speed Limits in Greece

Below you’ll find the standard speed limits. Follow them, unless signs state otherwise.

  • Urban Areas- 50km/h (30mph)
  • Outside Urban Areas- 90-110km/h (55-70mph)
  • Motorways- 120km/h (75mph)

Think twice before speeding in Greece! Violations up to 20km/h over the limit are subject to a fine between 40 and 100 euros. If you’re caught going 50km/h and above over the limit, your license can be suspended for 60 days. Serious speeding can be punished by as much as 350 euros, as well as court for the most serious offenses.

Regulations and Traffic Laws in Greece

Traffic in Greece is on the right-hand side of the road. Check out some more useful regulations that you should be aware of before driving in Greece.

Seatbelts

All occupants in a car must have their seatbelts on at all times. Those who fail to comply risk getting a 350 EUR penalty.

Overtaking and Lane Changes

It is illegal to overtake at junctions, pedestrian crossings, bottlenecks, speed bumps, bends, and whenever the visibility is too poor to execute the maneuver safely. Crossing solid line markings on the road is forbidden, too.

Changing lanes at junctions and pedestrian crossings is illegal, much like overtaking.

Drivers should remain on the right-most lane of multi-lane roads unless overtaking slower vehicles. The left lane is strictly for overtaking only.

Right Of Way

Cars on your right-hand side have the right of way at an intersection unless signs state otherwise.

This also applies to roundabouts- cars that are already on the roundabout must yield to those entering. However, most of them have signs that state otherwise and force the entering cars to yield instead.

Turning Right On Red

Turning right at a red light is strictly forbidden in Greece. Some traffic lights have a separate light for right-turning cars- either a green arrow or a flashing yellow one.

Children, Child Seats & Restraints

It is forbidden for kids under the age of 10 to ride in the front seat of an automobile.

All children until the age of 12 must be placed in a child restraint that fits their size. Furthermore, kids aged 4 and under must have a child seat.

Children that are either older than 12 or over 1.35m tall don’t need a child restraint anymore.

Headlight Use Regulations

If the visibility is poor during the daytime, drivers are required to switch on dipped headlights.

Full beam headlights cannot be used in urban areas.

Drink & Driving

The maximum permitted level of alcohol in the bloodstream is 0.05%. Anything above the said limit is considered driving under the influence.

Naturally, this is very illegal and strictly enforced. Drink driving is not only incredibly dangerous but also a serious crime. Never drink and drive.

Toll Roads in Greece

There are only two toll roads in Greece, both located on the mainland. One of them is the route from Athens to the Peloponnesus, while the other is a highway from Athens to Thessaloniki.

All other roads in Greece can be driven on for free.

Local Tips For Driving In Greece

  • Don’t use your horn unless it is crucial to do so. Unnecessary use of the horn can be punished with a ticket
  • Most drivers won’t stop to let pedestrians cross at zebra crossings. If you do so, prepare to get honked at, or even rear-ended in the worst-case scenario
  • Locals use hazard lights when preparing to park, especially in large cities like Athens or Thessaloniki
  • Look out for motorbikes, as many riders tend to not follow the laws very carefully. Steer clear!
  • Potholes are plentiful, especially in remote parts of the country. Look out!
  • Driving in Athens is very chaotic. If you’re only going to visit Greece’s capital, consider using public transport and taxis instead

BONUS- Rent A Car in Greece

Looking for a rental car in Greece? We have got you covered!

Go to Rentalmoose now and choose from over 15 000 locations worldwide. We only work with verified suppliers, such as Hertz or Europcar.

Rentalmoose plants a tree for every single booking made with our platform. Click the banner below to get started!

How To Rent A Car- Rental Car Basics

How To Rent A Car? Step-by-step Instructions

Renting a car has never been this easy! With Rentalmoose, you can book a rental car within just a few minutes. Here’s how to rent a car using our innovative platform.

1. Choose A Location

This is the first step to booking your rental car with Rentalmoose. Simply head over to our platform and type a location in the search bar. This can be anything from an airport or train station, through to cities and their districts, or a selection of different regions.

We serve over 15 000 locations all over the globe. That way, you can rest assured that we’ll have offers for you. No matter where in the world you’re going.

The number next to the location indicates how many rental cars are available in that spot. Note that some of the locations in our database have too many rental cars. You’ll be asked to provide a more granular spot from a more specific locality level.

For example, let’s say you’re looking for a car in LA County. Since we have roughly 200 cars there, you’ll have to clarify a more specific pick-up spot somewhere within LA County. You’ll only see the most relevant offers that way.

2. Select Your Dates For Pick-Up and Drop-Off

Once you’ve picked your desired location, you’ll need to specify two dates to rent a car with us.

The Pick-Up date is the day when you’ll grab the keys to your rental car. This date will also mark the beginning of your rental period.

The Drop-Off date is when you’ll give the car back to the rental company. This will also mark the end of your rental period. It’s crucial to return the rental car by that day. Otherwise, you can face additional fees for late drop-off.

Once your dates are locked in, this is where things get really exciting!

3. Browse Through Different Rental Cars

The destination is picked, and the dates are selected too. Now, you’ll get to see all the different cars to choose from!

All of the rental cars you see are offered by our trusted, verified suppliers. You can sort the results by best value (lowest daily rate) or see the most expensive picks first. Click the different body styles to filter out the ones you wish to book. You can also use the map view to get a more detailed look on where the rental cars are located.

Remember that you’re booking a car class, and not a particular make and model. Even though you see a Ford Focus in the picture, it does not necessarily mean that you’ll get the same model. You can read more on that and the meaning behind the “or similar” in this blog post.

Note that you may need to wait a couple of seconds for all of the available cars to load, depending on the speed of your internet connection.

4. Optional- Tick Any Additional Filters

This step is completely optional. You can hit the “Advanced Search” button to apply extra filters or modify your request.

Different Drop-Off Location

The “Same Drop-Off Location” is enabled by default. Untick the box and specify your drop-off location for a one-way rental. Note that these are usually subject to an extra fee.

GoGreen- Electric And Hybrid Cars

GoGreen filters allow you to easily browse through electric cars and hybrids. Note that these types of cars are not very common among rental companies just yet, so not every location is going to have rental cars that meet the GoGreen criteria.

Deposit

Most suppliers will require a safety deposit. You can filter out rental cars with high deposits by choosing relevant prices from the drop-down menu.

Self Liability/Deductible

This is the maximum amount of money you’ll need to put towards repairs in case of damage to the rental car. Premium insurance plans may bring this number all the way down to zero. Find out more about rental car insurance.

Allowed Mileage

Some rental companies set a daily mileage allowance, passing it will cost extra money added on top of your final bill. Pick rental cars with unlimited mileage if you’re planning to go on a long road trip.

Transmission

Pretty self-explanatory. If you’re not comfortable with a stick shift, you can filter them out in favor of automatics. This is how to rent a car with your desired choice of transmission.

5. Pick Your Desired Rental Car And Click “Book And Pay Now”

Once you’ve picked your favorite rental car, proceed by clicking “book and pay now”. The amount you see on the bottom is how much you’ll have to pay to reserve the car. This is not the final quote for the rental– this will be displayed next to underneath the photo of the car.

Don’t worry, you do not have to pay anything just yet!

6. Add Any Additional Items And Click “Book And Pay Now”

You’ll see the details of your booking once again, this time in a clearer layout. Here, you can also see some helpful information regarding the booking- like what exactly is included in the price, the driver requirements, and so on.

Read and accept our Terms and Conditions and the Privacy Policy, as well as the T&Cs of the rental company. Once the two boxes are ticked, you can hit the “Book And Pay Now” button once again. If you have a coupon, click “USE COUPON” first, type it in, then press “apply” to lower the reservation fee.

Rentalmoose insider tip: We offer free cancellation up to 48 hours before the pick-up date. This applies to every rental car booked with us.

7. Fill In The Driver & Payment Details

It’s crucial to fill this info correctly, as it will be double-checked by the rental company during pick-up. Fill in the driver details, as well as the payment information. This is the last step on how to rent a car via Rentalmoose!

Note that the credit card used here has got to be under the same name as the primary driver. Additional drivers need to be reported to the rental company beforehand. If you let unauthorized drivers use the rental car, all your insurance can become invalid.

8. Pay For The Reservation (& Plant A Tree!)

Last but not least, you’ll need to pay the reservation fee. Once again, this is the price to lock in your booking. You’ll still need to pay the rest of the total quote at the rental desk, so plan accordingly.

We charge a small tree-planting donation for every booking made with our platform. That way, we’re able to plant a tree every single time anyone books a rental car using Rentalmoose. This is one of the ways we contribute towards a better tomorrow.

9. Your Booking Is Confirmed

That’s it, you have booked your rental car via Rentalmoose! You’ll get the booking confirmation sent to you by email. It’s best if you print it out and present it during the pick-up process.

What are you waiting for? Click the button below to get started!

All 67 Countries That Drive On The Left

At first sight, you may think that only a handful of countries drive on the left-hand side of the road. It may surprise you to hear that there are over 60 countries that drive on the left! That’s roughly a third of all countries in the world!

It’s crucial to know what side of the road to drive on, especially if you’re visiting a country for the first time. Driving “on the wrong side of the road” may seem a little scary at first but you should be able to get the hang of it fairly quickly.

A quick tip: If you’ve never driven on the left side of the road before, you may want to get an automatic instead of a manual car.

These countries are scattered all across the planet.

Why Do Some Countries Even Drive On The Left?

First of all, let’s understand why nearly a third of all countries in the world drive on the left side of the road. It’s time for a quick history lesson.

Let’s go back a few hundred years, way before cars were even a thing and people used horses as a primary source of transportation. Back then, horse riders in the UK would ride on the left-hand side of the road. This meant that their right hand was unobstructed. That way, they could easily access their swords and always had a free hand to greet passersby.

In America, on the other hand, a wagon led by two horses was a very popular setup. Riders would sit on the horse on the left-hand side, leaving their right hand free to whip the other horse when necessary. As the wagon was usually pulled by two horses, riding on the right-hand side of the road provided better visibility.

The trends carried over when people started switching from horse-drawn carriages to cars. As a result, most countries influenced by the UK still drive on the left-hand side of the road to this day. Roughly 70% of the world drives on the right.

Without further ado, let’s jump into the list of countries!

African Countries That Drive On The Left

A total of 15 countries in Africa have traffic on the left side of the road. These include the well-known tourist hotspots, such as Mauritius, Seychelles, Tanzania, Kenya, and South Africa. Keep this in mind when renting a car there.

  • Botswana
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mauritius
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • South Africa
  • Swaziland
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Saint Helena
  • Seychelles
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
Left-hand side traffic seen in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. Kenya is one of 15 African countries that drive on the left side of the road.
A busy intersection in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.

American Countries That Drive On The Left

As previously mentioned, there aren’t any countries that drive on the left in North America. However, the same cannot be said about the Caribbean. In fact, 19 countries in Central and South America drive on the left side of the road. You may be surprised to hear that this includes the US Virgin Islands!

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • Cayman Islands
  • Dominica
  • Falkland Islands
  • Grenada
  • Guyana and Suriname
  • Jamaica
  • Montserrat
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • British Virgin Island
  • US Virgin Islands
Beautiful day on the Cayman Islands, one of the American countries that drive on the left-hand side of the road.
A colorful street, Cayman Islands

Asian Countries With Left-Hand Traffic

15 countries in Asia drive on the left side of the road. If you’re planning to go to Bali, drive across Malaysia, rent a car in Singapore, or any of the other countries listed below, be ready to drive on the left. The traffic culture may seem a little chaotic in some Asian countries!

Blue SUV on the beach in Malaysia, an Asian country that drives on the left side of the road.
Car On A Beach in Malaysia

European Countries That Drive On The Left

4 European countries have traffic on the left-hand side of the road. Europe is the continent with the fewest amount of countries with left-hand side traffic. Aside from Antarctica and North America that don’t have any, that is.

Sunset at the port in Malta, one of just 4 European countries that drive on the left side of the road.

Countries In Oceania That Drive On The Left

Last, but certainly not least, is Oceania. Most travelers know that Australia and New Zealand both drive on the left. However, a whopping 14 countries on this continent drive on the left-hand side of the road.

  • Australia
  • Cook Islands
  • Fiji
  • Kiribati
  • New Zealand
  • Nauru
  • Niue
  • Norfolk Island
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Pitcairn Islands
  • Solomon Islands
  • Tokelau
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu

Bonus- Rent A Car In Any Country

Use Rentalmoose the next time you book a rental car anywhere in the world. Our platform serves over 15 000 locations worldwide. We only offer rental cars from trusted, verified suppliers. You’ll find LHD and RHD cars, depending on your desired destination.

Rentalmoose is working towards a better tomorrow. We plant a tree for every booking made with our website. You can use our GoGreen filters to only look for eco-friendly electric cars, hybrids, and PHEVs.

Hybrid vs Electric Cars- How Are They Different?

Audi plug-in hybrid car lineup. Hybrid vs electric cars is an ongoing debate among those in favor of green mobility.
Audi MediaCenter

Want to get behind the wheel of a hybrid, PHEV, or EV, but don’t know where to start? We’re here to help! Find out the difference between a hybrid vs electric cars, as well as PHEVs, and decide which one is best for you.

There are many reasons why you should start driving an EV, PHEV, or a regular hybrid. These vehicles are not only better for the environment, but can also quickly prove to be more fuel efficient and convenient. Not to mention their outstanding performance!

Let’s get back to basics, however, and distinguish the key differences between a PHEV, EV, and a hybrid.

We’ve broken this guide down into the following sections to make navigation easier. Click one of the links below to quickly jump to each section.

Plug-in Hybrid, Hybrid, and Electric Cars- The Basics

Generally speaking, hybrids and electric cars can be broken down into three types: PHEV or plug-in hybrids, hybrids, and EVs or fully electric cars. The key difference between all three being the drivetrain itself.

Plug-in Hybrids or PHEVs

PHEVs, also known as plug-in hybrids, have gained lots of popularity in the last years. One could even argue that they provide the perfect balance between gas and electric drivetrains. A PHEV features a regular gas-powered motor combined with an electric battery pack. Most can be driven in electric mode, though the fully-electric range is typically under 100 kilometers (60 miles).

As the name suggests, you can plug an PHEV to charge it. The ability to charge at home is extremely convenient and cost-efficient, especially for short trips. Longer trips may require the use of the car’s gas powerplant.

Hybrids

The drivetrain that powers a hybrid is virtually the same as the one found in a PHEV. Hybrid cars rely on the car’s gas engine as well as an electric drivetrain. Regular hybrids, however, typically have an electric motor that’s much smaller than the ones found in plug-ins.

As a result, regular hybrids aren’t able to drive anywhere near as far using electricity. In fact, some hybrids cannot be driven in fully electric mode at all!

Another difference between regular hybrids and PHEVs is the charging. Ever wondered how a regular hybrid charges the electric powertrain, since it cannot be plugged into external charges? In reality, hybrids are charged through regenerative braking, as well as help from the internal combustion engine.

Electric Cars or EVs

Electric cars are powered purely by electricity. Unlike PHEVs and hybrids, EVs do not have an internal combustion engine at all.

One of the key perks of driving an electric car is the fact that you can charge it for free at home. Since an EV is only powered by its electric drivetrain, the batteries are larger than the ones found in PHEVs.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s look into the key differences between these car types!

Impact On The Environment

Naturally, electric cars take the cake here. This is all because, unlike PHEVs and hybrids, electric cars do not have an internal combustion engine at all. As a result, they do not burn any fossil fuels. While both PHEVs and hybrids generate some pollution, the figures are a lot lower than regular gas-powered cars.

Let’s not forget that the transportation industry is the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the US (source). Swapping your gas-powered vehicle for an electric car can dramatically reduce your carbon footprint and positively impact the envrionment.

Did you know you can dramatically reduce your carbon footprint while traveling? Use the GoGreen filters when browsing rental cars at Rentalmoose. That way, you will be able to filter only EVs and plug-ins. In addition, we plant a tree for every booking made with our platform!

Cost Efficiency

Curious about hybrid vs electric cars when it comes to cost efficiency? It should come as no surprise that electric cars remain the most cost efficient to drive. After all, EV owners can charge their vehicles at home, or make the most of extensive charging networks worldwide. Many chargers are free to use, too.

Since plug-in hybrids can be charged at home just like EVs, they can be equally cost efficient. It all boils down to how much of the driving is done in the car’s fully electric mode. If the car remains in electric mode only, it can be just as inexpensive to drive as an EV. This is not possible with regular hybrids that require support from the gas motor at all times.

It’s also crucial to note that even if a plug-in hybrid is only driven in electric mode, it’s highly recommended to have some gas in the tank. Driving a PHEV with no fuel in the gas tank can cause irreversible damage to the vehicle!

Range

Automakers have continuously been increasing the range of their electric vehicles for the past years. This is a much needed step to convince more buyers to go either fully electric or switch to a hybrid or a PHEV.

According to a report by InsideEVs, the median electric car range has surpassed 250 miles (400km) in 2020. In comparison, that same figure was at under 100 miles (160km) just 5 years earlier. It can safely be assumed that this number will only continue going up in the next years.

If you’re planning to go on a long road trip, a plug-in hybrid may be the best pick. Strictly when it comes to range, that is. That brings us to the next point.

Charging Time

This is unarguably one of the most controversial points about driving EVs and plug-in hybrids. The truth is that, even with the introduction of fast superchargers, it still takes at least half an hour to charge an EV. That’s why plug-ins are simply the most convenient, at least in terms of the charging time. After all, you can simply fill up the gas tank and be on your way in just a few minutes.

The reality is that having to stop for at least half an hour for every few hours of driving isn’t too convenient. Especially considering that a gas-powered car can be filled up in just a couple minutes. Charging your electric car using a regular wall socket can take well over half a day.

Audi Q5 charging. Hybrid vs electric cars- which is best and what are the differences? The charging time is one of the key benefits of a PHEV over an EV.
Audi MediaCenter

For this very reason, most owners of EVs and plug-in hybrids prefer top-up charging. Instead of waiting for the battery to run out completely, EV owners prefer to tup the car up at work or overnight. The same way you’d charge your phone- most of us plug it in at night no matter if the battery is completely empty or not. That way, you can make sure that your vehicle is always charged when you need it.

Plug-in hybrids tend to have a much shorter range than EVs. A 2021 Audi Q5 plug-in, for example, has a range of just 20 miles in fully electric mode. While this can be enough for the daily commute, it won’t cut it for longer trips.

Charging time is not applicable at all when it comes to regular hybrids, however. As we already mentioned, they are charged through regenerative braking and/or the car’s gas engine. No external charging needed here!

Performance

You have probably heard that electric cars are famous for their physcis-defying acceleration. The Tesla Model S Plaid is powered by a monstrous electric drivetrain rated at over 1 000 horsepower. As a result, it can accelerate to 60 miles per hour (a little under 100km/h) in less than 2 seconds, making it the quickest EV as well as the quickest production car ever. That’s nearly a second quicker than a Lamborghini Huracan EVO, too.

The reason why modern electric cars are absurdly quick is actually quite simple. Electric powerplants are able to generate a lot of power virtually instantly. This means that the driver can access all the car’s power as soon as they put the pedal to the metal. In comparison, an internal combustion engine does require some time to reach peak power.

In terms of performance, it really is a no-brainer. Electric cars are the clear winner, followed by PHEVs and then hybrids.

Hybrid vs Electric Cars- Which One Is Best

It really depends. As you can see, there’s a variety of different factors that you need to consider before deciding whether to use an EV, PHEV, or hybrid. While a PHEV may be tempting for the daily commute, the 250mile+ median range of an EV can be the better pick for a long trip.

The choice between hybrid vs electric cars boils down to personal preference, as well as how much you value of the factors mentioned above.

Don’t forget to book your next EV/PHEV/Hybrid via Rentalmoose. Check out our platform to browse rental cars at over 15 000 locations worldwide. You can also tick the GoGreen checkbox to filter only electric and plug-in hybrids. Reduce your carbon footprint when traveling by car with Rentalmoose.

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

How Long Does It Take To Charge An Electric Car?

Blonde woman charging Jaguar electric car with a level 2 charging point- which is one of the quickest ways to charge an electric car.

Different types of electric car charging points nad kW ratings may seem a little overwhelming at first. Naturally, you’ll want to know how long it takes to charge an electric car before hopping behind the wheel of one.

No matter whether you’ve never driven an electric car before, or simply wonder what the different ways of charging an electric car are, this quick guide is for you!

For maximum convenience, this blog post is broken down into 5 different sections. Click the links below to quickly jump between relevant parts of the article.

How Long Does It Take To Charge An Electric Car

To be completely honest, it depends on a few different factors. Charging an electric car can take as little as 20 minutes, or as long as an entire day in worst cases. What causes these figures to be so far apart? Continue reading to find out.

What Affects The Charging Speed of An EV

The time it takes to charge an EV all boils down to just 5 different factors:

  1. Battery Size- a larger battery pack will take more time to charge than a small one.
  2. Charge Level- naturally, the less charge your battery has the longer it will take to fill up
  3. Maximum Charging Speed Of The Car- some electric cars will charge faster than others. Most EVs are able to utilize rapid charging points, unlike plug-in hybrids. Make sure that the maximum speed of the charger is either equal or larger than the rate of the eletric car.
  4. Maximum Charging Speed Of The Charger- this is just as important as the maximum charging speed of your EV. For example, a Tesla Model 3 can gain up to 330 miles (530km) of range in just 30 minutes of charging. However, that can only happen when the car is plugged into a 150kW rapid charger. A slower charger will restrict the maximum charging speed, even if the car itself is capable of charging at a faster rate.
  5. Outside temperature- you probably noticed that your phone’s battery does not perform well in the cold. The same goes for electric cars and their batteries. The range of an EV will be reduced in cold weather, and the charging time may be extended too.

Can You Charge An Electric Car At Home?

Yes! One of the great things about driving an electric car is that you can charge it right at home. Virtually all EVs come with adapters that let owners charge them from regular outlets.

Note that using your regular power plug is the least efficient way to charge your electric car. An EV may gain just a couple of miles of range per every hour of charging this way. In practice, this means that fully recharging the battery pack may take over a day, depending on the battery capacity. Nonetheless, it’s still a great way of top up charging an EV. What does that mean exactly?

Top Up Charging Explained

As the name suggests, top up charging is all about topping up the battery whenever possible. It proved to be more convenient for owners of electric cars, as opposed to only charging the car after letting the battery run out.

For example, an EV owner will often charge their car at the garage overnight or at their workplace, regardless whether the battery is empty or not. Continuously topping up the battery, as opposed to only charging it after it runs out all the way, is top up charging. Slower charging points are ideal for this.

Different Types Of Electric Car Chargers

As we have already mentioned, there are a few different types of electric car charging points. We can sort them by their maximum charging speed. Let’s start with the slowest one, which is a regular power plug.

Charging At Home- Level 1 Charging (The Slowest Option)

Range- roughly 5 miles (8km) / hour

Charging at home using a conventional socket is great for top up charging, or whenever you want to gain a bit of range over the course of a few hours. Afterall, it’s quite convenient to increase the range of your electric car if it’s going to be parked in one spot either way. It is, however, the slowest way to increase the range of an EV.

If the battery on your EV is completely drained though, you may want to reconsider charging the car using a standard plug at home. It can take well over a day to fully recharge, especially if the battery has a high capacity.

Luckily, there is a way more efficient solution for charging your EV at home!

Charging At Home & Public Stations-Level 2 Charging

Range- up to 40 miles (65km) / hour

Charging at home using a dedicated wallbox is a lot more convenient than a regular plug. You can expect to gain up to 40 miles, or 65 kilometers, of range per hour. An EV left to charge overnight is guaranteed to be topped up in the morning.

Many public charging stations utilize this type of connection, rated at between 6 and 20 kW.

The only downside is that a wallbox has got to be professionally installed at your home. If you’re on the go in a rental electric car, you can always double-check whether the hotel you’re staying at offers a level 2 charging point.

Fun fact: Tesla offers one of the most efficient charge-at-home wallboxes on the market. A 22kW home charger that comes with the Model 3 is able to add as much as 40 miles (65km) of range per hour!

Rapid Charging- Level 3

Range- fully charged in around an hour

Level 3 charging points are as close as EVs can get to gas-powered cars in terms of the filling-up time. A drained electric car battery should take no longer than an hour to become fully recharged. Level 3 charging stations are rated at anywhere between 50kW and 350kW. Naturally, the latter will charge even quicker.

If you drive one of the latest Tesla cars, however, there is an alternative that’s even quicker.

Tesla Superchargers (Also Level 3)

Range- fully charged in 40 minutes

Tesla Superchargers are undoubtedly the quickest way to fill up an electric car so far. It takes just 40 minutes to go from a drained battery to a full one. Most Superchargers deployed today are rated at between 150kW and 350kW, though even more powerful ones are expected to roll out in the near future.

Can non-Tesla electric cars use Superchargers?

Yes! Tesla recently made Superchargers available to other makes and models. That’s right, the network of 30 000+ Superchargers worldwide can be accessed by EVs of all kinds, and not just Tesla products.

Check the official website for more details. All you need to do to access a Supercharger in a non-Tesla EV is download the Tesla app.

BONUS- Rent An Electric Car

Curious to see what it’s like to drive an electric car? Look no further!

Go to Rentalmoose and browse rental cars in over 15 000 locations worldwide. Select the GoGreen filters to see EVs and plug-in hybrids in your desired location.

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

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.

Compact

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

Full-Size

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

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.

Driving In Mexico- A Complete Tourist Guide

Driving in Mexico can seem a little overwhelming at first. Check out our comprehensive guide, ideal for those who are planning to drive in Mexico!

There is so much to see in Mexico. Wonderful attractions, such as ancient Mayan ruins, are scattered all over the country. If you’re planning to make the most of your trip, the best way is to travel within the country by car. That way, you can freely move between different cities and regions in Mexico.

A Comprehensive Tourist Guide To Driving In Mexico

Can Foreigners Drive in Mexico

Yes! International tourists are permitted to drive in Mexico. Naturally, you have to meet the local laws to be eligible to drive here. In practice, this means the following.

You need to have a valid driving license. You only need an International Driving Permit if your domestic license is not in English. If your license is only in Japanese, for example, you’ll need to obtain an IDP.

Can You Drive In Mexico With A US License

Yes! As mentioned above, you can drive in Mexico with a foreign driving license as long as it’s in English. If you own a US-issued driving license, you can freely use it when driving in Mexico.

Requirements To Rent A Car in Mexico

If you’re planning to travel between different cities in Mexico, it’s best to rent a car for your trip. You can use Rentalmoose to browse through rental cars across over 15 000 locations worldwide. We only offer cars from trusted & verified suppliers.

Rentalmoose insider tip: Renting a car in Mexico? Don’t forget about proper insurance! Your credit card insurance may not provide coverage in Mexico.

The minimum age to rent a car in Mexico is 21. Drivers between 21 and 25 years will likely be charged with a young driver fee. This daily fee will be added on top of your rental quote.

In addition, most rental companies will require the renter to have at least 2 years of driving experience. This is verified by the issue date on your license.

The vast majority of rental companies in Mexico will require a credit card issued under the renter’s name. Debit cards are often not accepted.

Is It Safe To Drive in Mexico

To be completely honest, that depends. Safety remains a concern for many international tourists visiting Mexico. Tourist areas such as Cancun are perfectly safe. The same goes for the vast majority of the country. Drug violence remains a serious problem in the country, and it’s best to stay up to date on local news.

There are some areas that are not recommended to visit, such as Toluca Highway. It’s often referred to by locals as the carretera de la muerte, which translates to the Highway of Death. The name is pretty self-explanatory. You may want to drop it from your itinerary.

That said, you should always be vigilant and aware of your surroundings, just like any other country you travel to.

There is absolutely no need to freak out. You can find some helpful tips for driving in Mexico below.

Tips For Tourists Driving in Mexico

Check out the information below to prepare you to drive in Mexico for the first time.

  • Stay vigilant
  • Avoid driving at night
  • Take cuotas (toll roads)
  • Look out for topes

Stay Vigilant

Naturally, you always want to be vigilant and fully aware of your surroundings when traveling abroad. The same goes for driving in Mexico. There is absolutely no need to panic and freak out that something bad will happen.

Simply stay aware of what’s going on around you at all times. Just like you would anywhere else.

Avoid Driving At Night

A couple of decades ago, this piece of advice would refer to banditos- local gangsters who would rob drivers, especially in remote areas during the night. Over the last years, the number of banditos has dramatically decreased.

The main reason you should drive in Mexico during the day is actually the quality of roads. Major toll roads (we’ll get to those in a second) are well-paved. The same cannot be said about side roads, especially in remote parts of the country.

If you do happen to break down in the middle of nowhere, you may have to wait until daytime for assistance to arrive. That’s why it’s best to simply avoid driving at night altogether.

Take Cuotas, or Toll Roads

At first, you may think that this is related to banditos or drug-related violence, like the advice to drive during the day. However, it’s recommended to stick to cuotas, or toll roads, due to the quality of roads. Cuotas tend to be well-paved, unlike minor streets. The difference is even more apparent in poorer regions of Mexico.

Look Out For Topes

Topes are speed bumps. They can be found all over Mexico, especially on busy highways and in big cities. You may expect speed bumps to be painted in bright yellow to ensure they’re visible. That’s not exactly the case.

In reality, many topes remain completely unmarked. As a result, they’re very difficult to see. Some topes are built by locals, hence seeing them is even more challenging. If you hit one going too fast, you may require roadside assistance. Look out for topes!

Know The Traffic Laws When Driving in Mexico

This is an absolute no-brainer. Be familiar with the traffic laws in Mexico, both the official ones as well as the unwritten ones. Let’s go over both of them.

Mexico Official Traffic Laws

  • The legal driving age in Mexico is 18
  • Every occupant in a car needs to have seatbelts on
  • Drink-driving is a crime. The legal limit is 0.08%
  • Using a phone while driving is forbidden, unless with a hands-free kit
  • Left-hand highway exits- Highways in Mexico have areas where drivers can safely stop and make a u-turn past their desired exit
  • Call 911 in case of emergency
  • Call 074 for roadside assistance- Los Angeles Verdes (more on that below)

Speed Limits in Mexico

  • Urban Areas- 40km/h
  • Open Roads Outside Urban Areas- 80km/h
  • Highways- 100-110km/h

First and foremost, be familiar with the official laws as well as the speed limits.

Unwritten Traffic Rules in Mexico

  • An oncoming vehicle flashing their headlights at you is a warning to slow down. The first vehicle to flash their lights has the right of way. If someone is flashing their headlights, you are expected to yield
  • Left turn signals can mean one of three things- the car in front is turning left, letting you know that there is space to overtake, or taking the right-hand side exit to then make a left
  • It is common to drive on the shoulder to make more space for overtaking vehicles. Expect to see overtaking vehicles on your lane, and use the shoulder to accommodate them
  • As mentioned above, many speedbumps are hard to see. Drive cautiously

Los Angeles Verdes- Roadside Assistance in Mexico

Knowing this is crucial for any tourist driving in Mexico. Los Angeles Verdes, or the Green Angels, are a fleet of green-colored trucks that provide roadside assistance. The personnel speak both Spanish and English, and will be able to get you back on the road in no time.

You can reach Los Angeles Verdes at 074, a 24-hour toll-free number. It’s best to write this phone number down, just in case.

Note that Los Angeles Verdes only operate in the daytime and on major highways. This is yet another reason why you should avoid driving in Mexico at night and stick to toll roads.

Road Trip in Mexico- Travel Ideas

Mexico is full of fascinating places to visit, and going on a road trip is one of the best ways to see the country!

Road Trip Around The Yucatan Peninsula

This is by far our favorite road trip itinerary in all of Mexico. You set off in dreamy Cancun, and then drive south via Tulum and through to San Cristobal de las Casas. Then, you’ll make your way back to Cancun via the west coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.

This is a truly unforgettable road trip. Expect lots of driving in Mexico, as there’s plenty to see!

Day Trips From Mexico City

The region around Mexico City is truly fascinating. You can rent a car from the capital and go on multiple day trips, or combine them all into one grand road trip. Check out our curated travel guide.

Tulum and its Surrounding Areas

If a road trip around the entire Yucatan Peninsula is too much driving, check out our favorite things to do in and around Tulum. There’s more to Tulum than fancy resorts, and you won’t want to miss out on any of that.

Cabo San Lucas and Baja California

Cabo is a fantastic destination in its own right. Check out our travel guide on the best things to do in Cabo San Lucas. We’ve included a few small road trip ideas around Baja California, too!

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.

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