Rent-A-Car Lingo

Listed below are some frequently used terms that you should know before you rent a cheap rental car:

Time Savers:

Automated Terminals

Automated terminals are a great time saver when you need to quickly drop off your cheap rental car. However, you may have to be a returning customer to take advantage of this service. At these kiosks, you can pay your fees and receive a receipt without dealing with a sales representative.

Express Pickup

Express Pickup allows you to pick up your vehicle without checking in with a representative. This service might be convenient if you are a frequent renter. The service costs, on average, about $50 per year.

The Express Return

The Express Return is usually a drop-off box for the car keys, or a representative waiting for you in the parking lot. This convenient service will save you time if you are in a hurry.

Drop-off Boxes

As mentioned above, some car rental agencies will provide drop-off boxes to return keys and rental forms. A receipt is usually mailed the next business day.

Personal Profile

Most car rental agencies will have a database storing rental user information. Personal Profiles usually include renter information, credit card numbers and car preferences. These databases make renting easier for you when you are reusing the same agency.

Valet Service

Valet service is an alternative to airport shuttles or taxis. This is perfect for you if you are planning to go directly to the airport after dropping off your cheap rental car. Agencies that offer valet service will send an employee who will drive you from the car rental lot, and then drop you off at the airport. The cost for this service will vary, sometimes it is at no charge but remember that each rental agency sets its own policies and prices.

Insurance Options:

A Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)

A Collision Damage Waiver can also be referred to as a "loss damage waiver". It is basically a form of optional insurance that completely releases (some CDW's will have a per incident deductible) all responsibility from you, in the case of damage to the car.

Liability Coverage

Liability Coverage is a form of insurance that protects you and/or the rental agency from having to directly pay for the other vehicle's damage or an injured 3rd party in an accident.

Personal Accident Insurance (PAI)

Personal Accident Insurance protects you against some medical bills. PAI is usually more expensive than standard travel insurance.

Personal Effects Insurance

Personal Effects Insurance will protect you against any damage to your personal property.