Your guide to car types

You know what you know and you know what you don’t know sometimes – and for most folks renting cars – you’d be surprised at just how little they know about makes and models. And knowing your cars is important – because the type of car you rent has a huge impact on how much you pay.

Here’s the basic car types you should know – as rental car companies classify them.


Coupes are simply two door vehicles with a fixed roof. Some common makes and models of a coupe are the Mini Cooper, Audi A5 and Volkswagon Beetles. They’re small, good for getting around in cramped traffic places like cities. They’re bad if you have a lot of stuff, people and/or are generally a bigger person.


Sedans are classified as four-door cars with three essential components to the their design: A place for the engine, a place for passengers and a place for cargo. If you’re traveling abroad, you may hear them referred to as a saloon. Common makes and models of a sedan are an Audi A4, Honda Civic or a Toyota Corolla.


The main feature of the hatchback is that it’s got a door in the back of the car that opens like a hatch. That’s literally everything. Sizes and shapes of hatchbacks vary greatly, but they’re generally smaller cars. So if you have a lot of people, it’s probably not the best choice. But what they CAN do that a coupe can’t – is store an awful lot of stuff. The VW Golf, Ford Fiesta and Kia Rio are common hatchbacks.


Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV’s) are probably the most popular type of cars in the US just because of their sheer versatility and practicality. They’re bigger cars that come with four wheel drive functionality. They can go off-road and handle snow well. They’re safe, can store stuff, people, you name it. They can get a little bit more pricey though because they tend to consume more gas than most cars. Common SUV’s include Hyundai Santa Fe’s, Nissan X-Trail, Subaru Forester and the popular Honda Pilot.


Convertibles simply have removable roofs. That means you can drive the car with a roof or without one. Whichever you fancy. Known for slick performance and lots of sizzle aesthetically – they’re super fun cars. They’re just not the most practical for, well… practical traveling. Not a lot of storage space, seating, etc. But boy oh boy, they do look good! Some popular convertibles include the Jaguar F-Type, Chevy Corvette, and the Porsche 718.

If you’re confused about what to get or what the differences, advantages and disadvantages are when you’re at the rental desk, just ask! We’re happy to help yo

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