Released January 2018.

Updated January 2021

The ACRISS Car Classification system of coding cars into rental categories via an algorithm goes back some 20 years. Over that period, new cars have evolved and occasionally we need to review and update the classification and algorithm used to classify these cars.   This became apparent with the emergence and popularity of the SUV and Crossover car types in Europe.

SUVs (Sports Utility Vehicles) and Crossovers cars are currently coded by the second letter of the ACRISS Car Classification system which relates to Vehicle Type:

  • F for SUV
  • G for Crossover

In 2017 a grey area within the SUV and Crossover types emerged and subjectively, vehicles fell into either type.>  >The smaller and larger of these car types which tend to be marketed as front wheel drive are more readily classified as Crossovers and the much larger type have more emphasis on four-wheel drive fall comfortably into the SUV category.

However, between these is an ever-increasing number of cars that could be placed in either category.  Historically, cars of this middle Vehicle Type were offered primarily as 4x4s and fell easily under the SUV type. In recent years there has been a shift towards dispensing with four-wheel drive at this price point, shifting to front-wheel drive with benefits to purchase price, economy and CO2 emissions and 4x4 transmission now forms a smaller part of the overall market mix for these cars.

In 2017 ACRISS commissioned our experts in this field to come up with a proposal for these middle-ground cars and further analysis cemented the fact that there is a genuine ‘grey’ area within this category.Our panel of experts reviewed each of these cars specifically and came up with a consensus on the classification.

Within the Standard class, vehicles are categorised either as an SUV or a Crossover, but no car/model appears in both categories.

Attention was also paid to two key areas. Certain models are now classified as Premium SUVs, a reflection of the ability to charge more for these cars due to their perceived status. Second, any categorisation that relies upon seating capacity has been removed.

  • Premium SUVs – allocated to certain brands where customers are prepared to pay more for specific brands and models.
  • Special SUVs – this category is reserved for cars that fit a certain price/prestige for specific models.

The Elite classification still applies to more expensive/more powerful vehicles of each model range.

Also in a small number of cases where 4x4 transmission is fitted to Crossovers, the third letter of the Classification System (AWD transmission) still allows 4x4 to be picked out. Which means it is still possibly under this system to have a 4x4 Crossover that is not an SUV.

It was a huge undertaking for Car Rental Companies as it represents major changes to the way the algorithm and coding used to work.   The ACRISS members were committed to making these changes and rolled it out and update all their codes within their systems.    

Any questions please email