Background: Different Cupriavidus metallidurans strains isolated from metal-contaminated and other anthropogenic environments were compared with C. metallidurans type strain CH34. The latter is well-studied for its resistance to a wide range of metals. Results: Comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) indicated that the extensive arsenal of determinants involved in metal resistance was well conserved among the different C. metallidurans strains. Contrary, the mobile genetic elements identified in type strain CH34 were not present in all strains but clearly showed a pattern, although, not directly related to a particular biotope nor location (geographical). One group of strains carried almost all mobile genetic elements, while these were much less abundant in the second group. This occurrence was also reflected in their ability to degrade toluene and grow autotrophically on hydrogen gas and carbon dioxide, which are two traits linked to separate genomic islands of the Tn4371-family. Conclusions: Metal resistance determinants are shared by all C. metallidurans strains and their occurrence is apparently irrespective of the strain’s isolation type and place. Cupriavidus metallidurans strains do display substantial differences in the diversity and size of their mobile gene pool, which may be extensive in some (including the type strain) while marginal in others.