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What does it mean to rent a vehicle category?

When you rent a car through Rentalport, you will come across one specific feature that similar search and booking platforms have in common. You are usually booking a vehicle category, not specific vehicles. You may be asking: Why is that? Is it an effort to mislead the customer? In this article, we will describe the exact way in which the booking of a vehicle category works. 

First of all - what is a vehicle category?

Each vehicle can be included in a certain category according to different criteria. A category is sometimes called a class. To simplify, we can say that a vehicle category is a group of vehicles, which is determined on the basis of various criteria - for example, the number of doors, the volume of luggage space, body type, chassis height, or the type of road for which the vehicle is intended. You will find categories such as mini, economy class, middle class, upper-middle class, SUVs, vans and commercial vehicles, and many more. On the Rentalport portal, you will find more than 20 vehicle categories, thanks to which it is more than probable that the customer will find a vehicle that suits his needs. It means that the more vehicle categories there are, the more detailed the criteria for comparing vehicles are. Each vehicle fits into the right category with its competitors.

How does car category rental work in real life?

"Blind reservation" is the phrase that best describes this form of reservation. The customer, in principle, needs any car in the category he has chosen and does not care about the brand of the vehicle, because he counts with the fact that there are only minimal differences between vehicles in the same category. If such a "blind reservation" still costs him less than a reservation, of a specific car model, then there is nothing to discuss. In practice, the customer can book a vehicle category and deal with the fact that the vehicle he sees on the picture when booking is illustrative and can eventually get another brand of vehicle in the category. If the customer insists on a specific brand and car model has the opportunity to book that specific vehicle over the phone for an additional fee. However, it should happen that a reserved category is not available upon takeover, Rentalport guarantees the same price for a higher category vehicle in that case. This system is excellent, the car rental companies have more freedom in managing the fleet and the customers can always get the category he wanted or even a vehicle of a higher category than the one he originally booked! Categorization is usually determined by the reservation platform in order to maintain clarity and fairness.

What can happen when booking a vehicle category?

  • When taking over the vehicle, the customer will receive a specific vehicle for rent, which he sees in the picture when creating the reservation
  • When taking over the vehicle, the customer will receive a vehicle of a different brand in the selected vehicle category than the vehicle he sees in the picture when making the reservation
  • When taking over the vehicle, the customer will receive a vehicle of a higher category than originally booked

If you rent, for example, the Economy manual category to which the Škoda Fabia with a manual transmission belongs, then you will get a vehicle from the fleet portfolio in the given category, depending on which vehicles are available. It can be Škoda Fabia, Volkswagen Polo, Renault Clio, and other similar vehicles from this category. A similar system works in the other 20+ categories that Rentalport has available.

What categories can you find on the website, which brings together the most car rental companies in Slovakia?

These are, for example, the categories Mini, Economy, Compact, Intermediate, Standart, SUV, 7-seater vehicles, 9-seater vehicles, vans and commercial vehicles, luxury vehicles, and many more. Rentalport also separates vehicles on the basis of the body type and transmission whether it is a combi version or a vehicle with an automatic transmission. This means that these categories are as much detailed as possible to fit the customer's requirements.

Why is it like that?

Although people in Slovakia are not quite used to it yet, this model is used quite commonly abroad. The reason is very simple. A specific car model may not be always available for logistical or technical reasons, or it simply happens that another customer wants to extend the rental of his vehicle or does not return the vehicle on time, so it becomes unavailable to another customer at that moment. Car rental companies have opted for this model in order to be able to proceed very flexibly in such a situation and offer the customer adequate compensation at the same price. Therefore, even if you do not get the car that you saw when booking in the picture, do not panic, as everything is probably fine, you just got a different brand of vehicle in the same or even better quality.