Motor - A-Z Car Rental Glossary





Stands for Airport.


Car Class 

Across the entire car rental industry, rental car classes include small (compact and economy), medium (intermediate and full-size), large (premium and luxury), SUV (intermediate, standard and full-size), specialty (convertibles, mini vans and 12-passenger vans) and Driver's Choice (other assorted car types). As you upgrade your car rental in class and price, you'll tend to find more extras like expanded passenger and leg room and better features.


Car Hire/Rental company

This is a company that rents vehicles for short periods of time (generally ranging from a few hours to a few weeks) for a fee.


Collision Damage Insurance

This means your liability for damage caused to the rental vehicle is relinquished if it is involved in a collision. The waiver is limited to a certain amount and often excludes glass (windows etc.), tyres and any towing.


The waiver usually carries an excess/deductible of a certain amount: this means that the renter will be liable for a certain amount. This amount will be frozen off your credit card on arrival.


Complete Cover Package

This is an insurance package that includes CDW, theft and third party insurance and reduces the excess significantly. It does not include Personal Accident Insurance or Glass/Tyre waiver. A fee for this is payable on arrival and is usually set at a daily rate. It can also include tax.


Corporate Rate

This is the rental rate for businesses that have corporate accounts with the particular rental company.


Daily Rate/Daily Rental

A daily rental is for a 24-hour period. The daily rate applies when a rental does not qualify for a weekly or weekend provision.


Damage Excess Reduction

This is an amount you pay per day to reduce the amount of Excess on the vehicle. This can include tax.



When a car is hired, CDW (Collision Damage Waiver), Theft and Third Party Liability are generally included in the car rental price. There is almost always an Excess (also referred to as Super CDW, Non Waiver or Deductible) on the CDW and Theft portions of the rental. This means that in the event of theft or damage to the rental vehicle, the renter must pay the first portion of the cost, i.e. the Excess, to the car rental company. The amounts can vary.


Extra Day Charge

If a car is rented at 11:00 a.m. on a Tuesday, for example, a daily rental is due back to the return location by 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday – 24 hours later. Renters are requested to abide by the terms on the rental agreement. If a daily rental is not returned within 24 hours, an hourly fee will be charged in addition to the original daily charge. For rental cars returned more than three hours late, renters will be charged for an extra day.


Glass/Tyre Waiver

This removes or reduces the renter's liability for damage to the windows or tyres. These are not covered in the Collision Damage Insurance. It is usually charged at a daily fee.


Liability Insurance

Every country has a minimum amount of insurance needed for someone to be permitted to drive. This covers the renter's liability for any damage caused to other people and/or other people's property. The insurance is limited and there may be excess, i.e. you may be liable for any amount over and above the value of the insurance.


Mileage Allowance

Depending on your reservation/rental agreement, you have a mileage allowance that entitles you to drive your rental car a specified distance at no charge before a mileage surcharge takes effect. Some rate plans include unlimited mileage.


Mileage Charges

Unless your car rental reservation/rental contract mentions unlimited mileage, your total fee will include any additional kilometres you use beyond the terms of your agreement. This fee is noted in the rate section of your reservation and rental agreement.


One-way Car Rental

Renters pick up a car at one location of the rental company and return it to a different location of the rental company.


Personal Accident Insurance

PAI insures the renter for the duration of the rental in the event of their accidental death or bodily injury (coverage is 24 hours a day, in or out of the car). The renter's passengers are also covered while entering, occupying or exiting the vehicle. This cover is sold at the counter. If you purchased personal travel insurance, you should check with your insurance company to see if this provides adequate cover.


Theft Insurance

This removes or reduces the renter's liability for the attempted theft or theft of the rented vehicle. The waiver may carry an excess/deductible amount, which means that the renter will be liable for a certain amount of the value of the vehicle damaged or stolen.   The Theft Insurance provided by the car rental company covers theft of the rental vehicle only. It does not cover your personal effects, which would normally be covered by either your travel insurance or your household insurance.  There is generally an Excess on the theft portion of the rental. For negligence issues you are contracted by your rental agreement signed with the agent.


Third Party Insurance

This means your liability for damage caused to other vehicles is relinquished if it is involved in a collision. This is included in the rate.


Unlimited Mileage

When your car rental contract includes unlimited mileage, you can drive anywhere, as far as you like, without incurring mileage surcharges.

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