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Comprehensive Car Rental Glossary

car rental glossary usa

When it comes to booking a rental car, there is a lot to think about. The last thing you want is to hear some car rental terminology that you don't understand. VroomVroomVroom has put together a list of frequently used car rental industry terms to save you any confusion at the rental desk. 

Additional Driver

This refers to any drivers listed on the rental agreement in addition to the main driver. Suppliers often charge a daily fee to add other drivers.

Age Surcharge

For drivers under 25, suppliers will charge an additional daily surcharge. The amount charged differs depending on the car rental company.

Child Seat

You can request a child seat with your booking. Keep in mind there is limited availability, so make sure you supply all relevant information as soon as possible. 

Collision Damage Waiver

Without purchasing Collision Damage Waiver, the customer is liable for the full cost of the vehicle. 

Debit Card

While some suppliers may accept debit cards, this is not the case for all car rental companies. Most will require that you have a credit card in the lead drivers name.

Driving Restrictions

Read your rental agreement carefully to see if there are any restrictions to where you are allowed to take the car. For example, most suppliers do not permit you to drive the vehicle on unsealed roads. 

Loss Damage Waiver

Purchasing Loss Damage Waiver reduces the renters liability for any damage caused to the rental vehicle. The cost of this may vary by supplier and location. 


If you are picking up a vehicle at one location and returning it to another, your rental may incur a one-way charge. 

Personal Accident Insurance

This is offered by car rental companies. This is a type of insurance covering medical expenses.