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Car hire: what an upgrade is, its advantages, and when to get one

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Renting a car is the solution for many situations: going on a holiday tour, making a grand entrance to a wedding, or attending business meetings. With the car hire service, you can choose the right car for each moment.

But what if you want to switch to a fancier car and add extras?

In this article, we’ll explain how to make these changes easily through an upgrade service. After reading, you’ll know the answer to the following answers:

  • What is an upgrade?
  • What are the advantages of getting an upgrade on your rental car?
  • When can you get an upgrade in the car hire service?

In a car hire service, what is a car upgrade?

The word upgrade means an update or improvement in software versions, equipment, or services.

In the context of a care hire service, a car upgrade means more features, more comfort options, or extra services. Below, you’ll find the different types of upgrades you can get.

1 - Category upgrade

Car rental companies group their vehicle fleet by characteristics and purpose. The most common are:

  • Economic: They’re small cars, ideal for short city trips.
  • Executive: Suitable for longer trips. They offer better levels of comfort and have spacious boots.
  • Minibus: these 9-seater vehicles are an excellent solution to carry groups of people for one-time events, birthday parties, or family trips.
  • Mixed (passenger and cargo): to move house, and carry sports equipment, photography gear, clothes, or materials for parties, conferences, and other situations.

Example of an upgrade:

You booked an economy car for an intercity trip. You want to upgrade to an intermediate/large category for additional comfort and space.

2 - Feature upgrade

After booking, you can switch the vehicle you were given to one that offers more comfort options and features.

Some of the most requested options include:

  • Higher cubic capacity or power;
  • Diesel or electric engine;
  • Automatic instead of manual gearbox;
  • Rear-view camera;
  • Number of doors;
  • Parking sensors.

Example of an upgrade:

The car you’ve booked runs on petrol and you request to switch your hire car to an electric vehicle.


3 - Service upgrade

In a car hire service, in addition to choosing the category and features of your car, you may add extras that help improve the level of comfort and safety of your trip, such as:

  • GPS;
  • Child seat;
  • Toll payment service;
  • Insurance with a higher level of coverage: protection in the event of glass damage, theft, and/or personal accident.

What are the advantages of getting an upgrade on your rental car?


A car upgrade allows you to improve the quality of your trip. The main advantages are:

1 - Comfort and accessibility

By upgrading your car, you can get more storage space in the boot, 5 doors instead of 3, an automatic gearbox, and good-quality upholstery, among other features, which increase the comfort of every passenger.

2 - Higher passenger and/or cargo capacity

No one needs to be left out on a holiday or weekend trip with friends. Upgrading your car hire from a 5-seater to a 7-seater, for example, allows you to fit more passengers and/or luggage than you originally planned.

3 - The safety of every passenger

You can fit children under the age of 12 and less than 135 cm tall, with the upgrade on your car hire service, which allows you to add a suitable car seat.

4 - A peaceful trip

Use the automatic toll payment system to enjoy more freedom when choosing your itineraries and not worry about future payments while travelling.

5 - Cost savings

Switch your petrol or diesel hire car to a hybrid vehicle. In addition to directly cutting fuel costs, the car's performance may also help you save money and achieve better mileage.

When can you get an upgrade in the car hire service?

Getting an upgrade on Drivalia’s car hire service is a simple process with no red tape. You may request your desired changes at any time:

At the start of the contract: possible in case of advanced booking or on the car pick-up day itself.

During the period of the agreement: if you have already picked up the car, but want to revisit your choice, simply contact us and make your request.

In both cases, the upgrade will only depend on the availability of the vehicles that match your requested changes. A new agreement is then concluded with the updated rates.

At Drivalia, we make car hiring simple and efficient! With over 30 years of experience in the mobility sector, we know how to meet the specific needs of each client.

Count on us to help you find the perfect solution for you and have a great trip!

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