There are several different classes of auto provided by cheap car rental companies. This allows for a wide range of prices and options when renting your car, whether you’re on a budget or have a ton of people and luggage. Although each company will vary slightly as far as selection goes, there are a few basic categories which are pretty common.
The Economy Car
If you’re looking for the ultimate in cheap car rental, the economy size is your new best friend. Not only are the rental prices lower for economy cars, but the gas mileage is usually outstanding compared to larger vehicles. Economy cars may also be called compact cars, although some companies may offer compact cars as a separate rental category. If this is the case, compact usually costs a little more than economy.
The next level up after economy/compact are the midsize or standard vehicles. Again, some companies may separate these into two separate categories (or more) while others include all mid size and standard vehicles under one “standard” rental category. These cars seat more passengers than economy/compact cars, and also have more cargo room.
Cars to Avoid
If you are aimed at cheap car rental, you should definitely avoid larger vehicles. Trucks, vans, minivans and SUVs will all cost quite a bit more to rent than either economy or standard vehicles. The larger class of rentals also get worse gas mileage, so you’ll be paying more at the tank than with other rentals.
Luxury rentals are another no-no if you’re trying to save money. Forget the brand name cars and look for something that’s more budget-friendly.
Making Your Choice
When it comes time to decide which rental car will work best for you, don’t forget to take into consideration more factors than just price. For example, you have to have enough seating for everyone in your party, and room for any luggage you may have. The family who needs to rent an all-wheel drive vehicle in order to get to their campsite will have very different needs from the single businessman who’s just using the car to get from his hotel room to his conference and back again. If your goal is cheap car rental, take a look first at the economy and compact cars, and go from there.