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Car Classification Matrix

The original car classification matrix was created from the SIPP (Standard Interline Passenger Procedure) system used by the GDS (Global Distribution Systems) and had been used successfully for many years however with an increasing number of changes in motor vehicle design it was necessary to expand the matrix to facilitate more precise and descriptive coding. 

In 2006 the current Car Classification Matrix was launched replacing the original older Matrix to include these changes in motor vehicle design and to improve the information provided to the consumer enabling a better understand and confidence when booking car rental.

In 2020, further changes were made to the definitions for Electric and Hybrid cars with battery distance in miles/kilometres.

Key factors:

  • Increasingly diverse chassis types in motor vehicle design
  • Extensive list of different fuel types including electric and hybrid cars
  • Differentiation between 2, 4 and AWD wheel drive SUVs and other car types.
  • Greater diverse offering of specific models and promotional vehicles
  • Support of enhanced search logic via online booking services
  • Improved information for consumers to make an `informed choice’ when making a car rental booking

Car Classification System - Expanded Matrix

M Mini B 2-3 Door M Manual Unspecified Drive R Unspecified Fuel/Power With Air
N Mini Elite C 2/4 Door N Manual 4WD N Unspecified Fuel/Power Without Air
E Economy D 4-5 Door C Manual AWD D Diesel with Air
H Economy Elite W Wagon/Estate A Auto Unspecified Drive Q Diesel No Air
C Compact V Passenger Van B Auto 4WD H Hybrid 
D Compact Elite L Limousine/Sedan D Auto AWD I Hybrid Plug in 
I Intermediate S Sport     E Electric Vehicle
J Intermediate Elite T Convertible     C Electric Vehicle
S Standard F SUV     L LPG/Compressed Gas with Air
R Standard Elite J Open Air All Terrain     S LPG/Compressed Gas No Air
F Fullsize X Special     A Hydrogen with Air
G Fullsize Elite P Pick up (single/extended cab) 2 door     B Hydrogen No Air
P Premium Q Pick up (double cab) 4 door     M Multi Fuel/Power with Air
U Premium Elite Z Special Offer Car     F Multi fuel/power No Air
L Luxury E Coupe     V Petrol with Air
W Luxury Elite M Monospace     Z Petrol No Air
O Oversize R Recreational Vehicle     U Ethanol with Air
X Special H Motor Home     X Ethanol No Air
    Y 2 Wheel Vehicle        
    N Roadster        
    G Crossover        
    K Commercial Van/Truck        

ACRISS Definition for "Elite"

The term ‘Elite’ has been selected by ACRISS to identify a category of vehicle that is superior to another of equal body size. The difference between the two vehicles may be Price, Engine size, Performance, Fixtures, Features or any combination of these.

ACRISS Definition & Description for Electric and Hybrid cars

All Electric and Hybrid vehicles include Air condictioning as standard,  we have therefore removed this option/feature in the matrix so that the existing fuel type codes for both Electric and Hybrid vehicles could be used more effectively for the different variables like PHEV vs MHEV and Longer and shorter range EVs.

Features & Benefits of the Expanded Matrix

  • Category was increased with the introduction of an `Elite’ band for most existing categories.
  • The `Elite’ categories are designed to enable Car Rental companies to differentiate between standard and high-spec or luxury brand models of similar dimensions
  • Oversize category was added to cater for the `Hummer’ type vehicles. 
  • Types had nine additional types added, including: Roadster, Coupe, Special Offer / Promotional
  • The existing Type `F’ was changed from 4WD to SUV
  • Fuel Type – with the ever-increasing number of options available it was necessary to have the ability to distinguish the fuel type, this is particularly true in regions whereby tax breaks apply to certain fuels. This element has been incorporated into the 4th character
  • Drive – Due to demand, especially within North America, the ability to distinguish SUV’s as 2 wheel drive, 4 wheel drive, or ALL wheel drive had become a key issue. Consequently, this has now been incorporated into the 3rd character. This enables improved consumer choice globally when making bookings.
  • in 2018 the "L" type code expanded to include Sedan cars as well especially in certain markets where limousine indicates a sedan car.
  • In 2019 the Pickup Type “Q an “P” had new definitions to cover most of the different types of pick-ups available.
  • In 2020 and 2022 new definitions for Electric "E" and "C" and Hybrid "H" and "I" were introduced
IV 6+ Seats
JV Elite 6+ Seats or 5+2 Seats
SV 7+ seats
RV Elite 7+ Seats
FV 7+ Seats, plus more space
GV Elite 7+ Seats plus more space
PV 8+ Seats
UV Elite 8+ Seats
LV 9+ Seats
WV Elite 9+ Seats
XV 12+ Seats
OV 15+ Seats


Passenger Vans –In the expanded matrix, classification of the Passenger Vans Category (1st character) is enhanced to identify passenger capacity, as per the chart.

E and C codes for Electric Vehicles apply to all BEV but not combined with another energy source (hybrid, hydrogen)

For further information:
ACRISS Car Classification system (matrix) available to download

Further information available in Annex B of the ACRISS Code of Conduct.

or contact ACRISS on:
Email: info@acriss.org
Web: www.acriss.org