Words and expressions for renting a car abroad


Renting a car during a vacation or business trip has become commonplace. And if in Russian we usually don’t have problems with this, then in English the idea of renting a car can be broken by a banal language barrier. Let's try to prevent this and provide options for phrases and sentences that you may need.

The combination "rent a car" itself can be found in the following variations:

  • rent a car
  • hire a car
  • pick up a car

Where to rent a car?

  • Pick up locations
  • Car hire desks - car rental desks (at the station, at the airport)
  • Car hire company - car rental company

Places to use the car

It is possible that when signing a car rental agreement, you will be asked questions about where you are going to use it. The following options are possible:

  • Out of town location - outside the city
  • City center location - in the city center

You should also be informed about the places where you can return the car - drop off locations.

Car body types in English

  • Hatchback - hatchback
  • Saloon or sedan - sedan (it is important here that there is a trunk - boot or trank)
  • Estate car or station wagon - station wagon
  • Sports car - sports car
  • MPV (Multi-purpose Vehicle) or people carrier - minibus or family car (for no more than 8 passengers). More than 8 passengers are transported by minibus
  • SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) - SUV (all-wheel drive is important here - four wheel drive and off-road driving - off road)
  • Convertible - convertible
  • Campervan - a van that has a mini-toilet, beds, and other amenities.
  • RVs or Recreational Vehicles - a more upgraded version of the van: with a shower, kitchen, etc.

Rental Details

When you draw up a rental agreement, you will be asked to inspect the car for damage - signs of damage . The same phrase will come in handy when you return the car.

Convenience in the car is also the basis for choosing the right model. Among the most common requests are:

  • Sat Nav or Satellite Navigation or GPS - satellite navigation
  • Air conditioning - air conditioning

Possible malfunctions on the road

As with your own car, you can encounter a number of unforeseen situations in a rented car that are important to be able to describe - to call for help, for example. To do this, you will need the following phrases:

  • Broken down - broken
  • Garage - car repair shop
  • Car mechanic - car mechanic, car repair master
  • Tire puncture - tire puncture
  • Motorway service station - car repair shop on the highway
  • Petrol station or gas station - gas station
  • “A full tank please” - “Full tank please”
  • “Could you tell me how to get to….?” or “Could you give me directions to…?” - "Could you tell me the way to ..?"

Required documents for car rental

To rent and travel by car, you must have the following documents with you:

  • proof of identity - identity card
  • passport - passport
  • driver's license - driver's license
  • international driving license - international driving license