If you're in a business that involves you or any of your employees traveling frequently and renting a car, then you might benefit from knowing car rental key terms. From different types of insurance coverages and waivers offered by most car rental companies (such as Supplemental Liability Insurance and the collision damage waiver) to additional or hidden charges, such as an extra-day charge and airport concession recovery fees, there are many terms and phrases used by the car rental industry.
Car rental companies offer several car classes to renters. Car class refers to the types of vehicles available from a car rental company. Car class covers different makes of vehicles as well as extra features.
Supplemental liability insurance (SLI)
Most car rental companies offer optional Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI). This protects renters against liabilities in case of an accident. This coverage is above and beyond what the driver's own insurance covers.
Collision damage waiver
All car rental companies will offer what is called a collision damage waiver (CDW). This waiver frees a renter from most of the responsibility for any damage to the rental vehicle that might be incurred while the renter is in possession of the car.
Daily car rentals are charged on a 24-hour basis. If a renter keeps a rental car for longer than that 24-hour period, additional charges are incurred. An extra-day charge takes effect when a renter turns in a vehicle after a certain number of hours past the 24-hour mark.
Personal accident insurance and personal effects coverage
While a renter's own insurance typically is enough to adequately cover a rental car, some renters might want additional coverage supplied by the rental company. Personal accident insurance (PAI) protects the renter for bodily injury or death, while personal effects coverage (PEC)covers theft of personal property from the rental car.
Airport concession recovery fee
Many car rental companies have offices located at airports for convenience to travelers. However, rental companies will often charge an additional fee, called an airport recovery fee, to cover the cost they incur from renting the office space at the airport.