Car Rental Glossary

Can be difficult

At Enjoy Car Hire we know that understanding car rental glossary can be difficult, as we work in the industry it is easy for us to use our jargon, abbreviations, and shortened words and think that others are aware of what we are talking about, in every industry there is what may seem to Joe Normal a secret language.


Hopefully, with this guide, we can unlock some of those common phrases that you are hearing and also explain from an insider's point of view what they actually mean.


Car rental glossary: Broker



A company/website that offers car hire deals from a number or car rental providers. A broker will negotiate a price with numerous suppliers in each location and then give you the customer a choice of vehicles to choose from, once booked it will be passed to the local car hire company to service the rental.





Car rental glossary: rental provider

Rental Provider


This is the company that will give you the car, they can be called the numerous names such as a supplier, rental company, local agent, hire company. These are the guys who own the cars and who you will sign the contract with when you arrive. For example our Slovenian rent a car provider Atet.




 car rental glossary: Excess



An "Excess" is the amount that you as the hirer/renter are responsible for if you damage the car. This is almost always held on a credit card at the beginning of your rental and released when you return the car back. If you damage the car then this is the most you would pay in the case of the damage.


An Example:

  • If your "Excess" is €1000 and the damage you have caused is more than this you will only be charged €1000.
  • If your "Excess" is €1000 and the damage you caused is €300 then they will take this amount and unblock the rest on your return.




Car rental Glossary: car insurance

C.D.W - Collison Damage Waiver


This is heavily linked to the excess above, a majority (all in Europe) come with CDW which is a standard insurance, this means that you would never have to pay for the full amount of damage on a car if it exceeds your excess (see above)


An Example:

"CDW is provided with an Excess of €1000" basically means that you have insurance but would have to pay the first €1000 of any damage.





theft protection

T.P - Theft Protection


This is commonly mistaken as "Third Party" because the same letters are used when this is already included in the CDW above. "Theft Protection" is the same as CDW but instead of the case of an accident it covers you if the car is stolen. Be aware though this can be void if you have acted negligently and don't have the keys!




Shuttle bus 

On Airport - Off Airport


This is the location of the pick-up point, it will advise if the car is actually collected at the airport or off-site using a shuttle bus. In some cases shuttle bus rentals can be very quick and because they are only servicing customers who have prearranged the car hire they do not have queues like the others with airport collection where people are trying to hire a car without already booking in advance.




Car collision 

S.C.D.W - Super Collision Damage Waiver


This is an additional insurance offered by the renter of the car and is payable locally.


It can vary as to what it does but generally, it will reduce the excess down to a lower amount usually zero.


This can have exclusions such as glass, wheels, tyres still and can be a very costly way of protecting your excess.


By taking an SCDW, it can reduce the amount that the supplier will block on your credit card at the start of the rental so it can be a good thing if you are short of the credit limit.


Essentially with SCDW, you are buying out the risk leaving the rental company to take the brunt of any damage costs.


It is worth noting that you will be required to file the correct paperwork to ensure you are fully covered and some cases a police report is needed.






  One way

One-Way Rental


This is a term used for rentals that start in one location and end in another, a fee is usually attached to this service and can be quite pricey, it is worth looking out for an additional cost if you are planning on taking the car back to a different location that you picked it up from.





United kingdom

Cross Border


If you wish to take the car out of the country that you are renting in you will need to check the "Cross Border" rules. Even within the EU where there are no real "borders", there can be a charge for taking the car to another country. Failing to advise the rental company may result in a being stuck without any assistance if needed when in another country or worse still avoiding the insurance offered.





Closed sign


Out of Hours


It is a common myth that airports are open 24/7 and it is an even more common myth that car rental companies are open at the same times as the airports. Some rental companies have set hours that they work and if you are planning on picking up the car or dropping it back outside of these hours then you will need to pay to do so.







No Show


This is a term used to someone who does not turn up to collect the car, if you are delayed and have given a flight number then your flight will be tracked however failure to do this especially in a high season when cars are at a premium can result in the car being resubmitted into the fleet and you being marked down as a "no show" your booking is then subsequently cancelled.






Airport Surcharge


Usually, an airport surcharge is included in the price however in some location you will find that there is a mandatory surcharge for collection at the airport.




Young/Senior Drivers Surcharge


If you are renting a car and you are a certain age you could come across a surcharge, this is mainly for young drivers and is an added insurance for the car rental company, however, there are occasions where a senior driver charge is levied.




 gas filler

Fuel Policies 


Enjoy Car Hire are very strict on fuel policies so it is easy to find out what we are offering however below is a guide of the fuel policies that are out there on the market and that can trick you into thinking you have a low price when really the saving you are making is eclipsed by the sneaky cost of fuel on arrival. Enjoy Car Hire operate with the fairest of them all, either Full-Full or "Bring it back as you collected with"



You pick the car up with a full tank and return it with a full tank.

Bring it back as you collected. (good)


Full-Full (with Admin)

You pick the car up with a full tank and return it with a full tank however you are charged an admin fee for doing this, sometimes 25% of the tank price. (bad)



You pick the car up with a full tank and you are requested to bring it back empty, if fuel is left in the car there is no refund. The cost of the fuel upfront can be vastly different to the cost of a price from the fuel station. (ugly)


No need for Enigma


Feel free to call us whenever in doubt and feel like you need to decipher. Do not hesitate. We are here to help. 









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