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The old matrix had been used successfully for many years but with an increasing number of changes in motor vehicle design it is was necessary to expand the matrix to facilitate more precise and descriptive coding.

Key factors:

  • Increasingly diverse chassis types in motor vehicle design
  • Growing demand to specify different fuel types
  • Need to differentiate between 2/4 wheel drive SUVs
  • Greater demand to offer specific models and promotion vehicles
  • Need to facilitate enhanced search logic via online booking services
  • Improved information for consumers to make an `informed choice’ when making a car rental booking

Old matrix

M Mini B 2-Door A Automatic R Yes
E Economy D 4-Door M Manual N No
C Compact C 2/4-Door Car        
I Intermediate W Wagon/Estate        
S Standard V Van (passenger)        
F Full-Size L Limousine        
P Premium S Sport        
L Luxury T Convertible        
X Special F 4-Wheel Drive        
    P Pick Up        
    J All Terrain        
    K Van (Cargo)        
    X Special        
    R Recreational        


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 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 Air
D Compact Elite L Limousine D Auto AWD I Hybrid No Air
I Intermediate S Sport     E Electric Air
J Intermediate Elite T Convertible     C Electric No Air
S Standard F SUV     L LPG/Compressed Gas Air
R Standard Elite J Open Air All Terrain     S LPG/Compressed Gas No Air
F Fullsize X Special     A Hydrogen Air
G Fullsize Elite P Pick up Regular Car     B Hydrogen No Air
P Premium Q Pick up Extended Car     M Multi Fuel/Power Air
U Premium Elite Z Special Offer Car     F Multi fuel/power No Air
L Luxury E Coupe     V Petrol Air
W Luxury Elite M Monospace     Z Petrol No Air
O Oversize R Recreational Vehicle     U Ethanol Air
X Special H Motor Home     X Ethanol No Air
    Y 2 Wheel Vehicle        
    N Roadster        
    G Crossover        
    K Commercial Van/Truck        


Features & benefits of the expanded matrix

  • Category – 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



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.


  Old Matrix Expanded Matrix
Ford Focus Compact Compact
BMW 1 Series Compact   Compact Elite

  • Oversize category was been added to cater for the `Hummer’ type vehicles. Currently popular in North America but with growing demand elsewhere.
  • Types – nine additional types were 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 has became a key issue. Consequently this has now been incorporated into the 3rd character. This enables improved consumer choice globally when making bookings.
  • Passenger Vans – in the old matrix and Passenger Vans are classified using the same algorithm as regular cars whereby cost and volume determine the Category (1st character)
  • In the expanded matrix, classification of the Passenger Vans Category (1st character) will be enhanced to identify passenger capacity, as per the chart below:
IV 6+ Seats
JV Elite 6+ 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



  • Q4 2006 – ACRISS delivered a new Classification System based on the new matrix requirements. This ran in parallel with the existing system to enable `in-house system’ testing and staff education.
  • Q4 2006 – Global Distribution Systems (GDS) implementation coordinated to synchronise the switch, to enable car rental companies to standardise coding across all GDS at one time
  • Q4 2006 / Q1 2007 – ACRISS members began implementation.
  • In order to allow each company to schedule and co-ordinate change to suit specific system requirements, there is no industry implementation plan. Companies can of course opt out if they wish but may do so at a loss to industry standardisation, optimisation of the market place which the expansion of the codes provides and maintenance of ACRISS mission to avoid misleading information.

Global agreement & acceptance

How was this achieved?

  • In 2003 requests began in earnest to ACRISS Members and generally within the industry to expand the current matrix
  • By 2004 the US showed support for the expansion, largely due to the problems experienced in the SUV market
  • ACRISS was elected to drive the project being the only forum capable of handling such a change, the project commenced Q4 2004
  • As the current ACRISS remit is EMEA only, legal opinion was sort for ACRISS to be permitted to create an environment to facilitate global participation
  • Subsequently ACRISS formed a sub-group in the US to engage the key contacts and ensure all requirements were considered.
  • After more than a year of dialogue agreement was reached on the new matrix. This communication included two Global meetings attended by all the major RAC companies and all 4 GDS’.
  • Ensuring the buy-in from the major online players was also key to acceptance and the Sub Group meetings were attended by a number of representatives.
  • Non ACRISS Members are encouraged to participate in the Classification System to enhance information quality and improve consumer choice

Next steps:

  • ACRISS will review and develop enhanced coding requirements for Commercial Vans
ACRISS Association of Car Rental Industry Systems Standards
EEIG European Economic Interest Grouping
® European Registered Association
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Principal Members: Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterpise, Europcar, Hertz, Maggiore & National.

Allied Associates: Amadeus, Travelport, Sabre, Titanium Systems and Blacklane, 
Honorary Associates  IATA, GEBTA, ACRA, Travel Agents, Tour Operators & Industry Press

For further information:

Contact ACRISS on:
Email: info@acriss.org
Web: www.acriss.org