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When it comes to renting a car, you’re likely to come face-to-face with a lot of industry specific terms and acronyms, which can make the process somewhat overwhelming and confusing. Renting a car should be a simple process, fun even. Having to spend time figuring out the meaning of every acronym relating to it—a CDW versus an LDW, for example—isn’t. Which is where this handy dictionary comes in. We have uncovered some of the most searched for car rental terms and have set about explaining them in simple English. Meaning, the next time you rent a car, you’ll be able to search, book and pickup your vehicle with ease.

RELATED: 5 things you should know before renting a car abroad

Unlocking car with car key.

Car Class

Car class refers to the size and type of your rental car. For example, “small” includes “compact and economy” vehicles. The size and type can, however, vary from one car rental provider to the next.

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)

CDW is a type of protection that limits how much you’ll be charged for car rental repairs, and is essentially the same as Loss Damage Waiver (LDW). While it generally covers damage done to the car’s bodywork, it’s worthwhile confirming the exact details with your rental car operator.

Excess Reduction Fee

Without this extra cover, as the driver of a rental car, you are liable to pay an excess, irrespective of who is at fault. This includes damage to the vehicle or its theft.

Full Prepay

This option allows you to make full payment of your rental car before picking it up. One of the main benefits of paying in advance is that you will generally get your rental car for a reduced fee.

No Show Fee

A “no show fee” is a charge you will more than likely have to pay if you fail to pick up your prepaid rental car on a specified date and time. It is usually taken off your refund.

One Way Car Rental

This is an easy one, and handy, too. What it means is that you can pick up your rental car from one location and return it to another. In other words, you don’t need to return it to the original pick-up point.

Personal Accident Insurance (PAI)

When you rent a car, you can add on PAI. This offers protection for you and your passengers for accidental medical costs, or in the worst-case scenario, accidental death while driving or riding in a rental car.

Roadside Assistance Protection (RAP)

Sign up for this and you’ll benefit from 24/7 breakdown coverage (where available). This means that in the event your rental car becomes undrivable, and you find yourself stranded, a mechanic will be sent to either fix your car or tow it away. The kind of protection you get, and what that includes, varies from company to company.

Return Refueling

Most car rental providers will typically request that you return your rental car with the same amount of fuel it had when you picked up the vehicle, which is ordinarily a full tank. If, however, you return your vehicle with less than the original amount, you will usually be charged for the difference. It’s advisable you plan in time for a refuel before you return your rental car.

Theft Protection

Theft Protection protects you from some of the unknown costs that can occur if your rental car is stolen under your care. It may not cover the entire costs, however, so it’s always sensible to check what other protection is out there.

Unlimited Mileage

With unlimited mileage, there is no limit to the number of miles you can make with your rental car. In short, even if you rack up a considerable number of miles during your rental, you won’t be charged extra. Again, do check the specifics with your operator.

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