Rental car contracts and receipts often look like alphabet soup--an array of acronyms and abbreviations without explanation. Understanding what all those abbreviations mean can help you understand what you're signing when you rent a car and avoid hidden charges. This glossary contains some of the most commonly used terms from major car rental companies like Hertz, Enterprise, Alamo and Avis.
Computerized Driving Directions. Computerized driving directions are printouts from map and direction software that guests can use to plan their trips. CDD kiosks, where guests can use touchscreen computers to look up directions, are often available in newer rental establishments.
Additional Authorized Operator. An additional driver added to the rental contract who is allowed to drive the car. Car rental companies usually restrict the drivers permitted to operate a rental car to the person who made the reservation and a secondary driver, such as the renter's spouse or employee. The renter can add an additional authorized operator, like a friend or girlfriend, to the lease contract at an additional cost, and that additional authorized driver must sign the rental contract and agree to abide by the rules set therein.
American Automobile Association. AAA ("Triple-A") is an auto club that gives fee-paying members access to roadside service, special insurance, and discounts at hotels. Many car rental companies offer special rates to AAA members, typically noted on rental contracts or receipts.
United States Dollars. A rental car contract will often read "USD 35.00" instead of "$35," to avoid confusion with currencies like the Canadian dollar.
Airport Concession Fee Recovery. When rental companies rent cars through airports or train stations, those venues keep part of the rental cost. This fee is charged to consumers to recoup that amount for the rental company.
Hotel Concession Fee Recovery. Essentially the same fee as an ACFR, levied to recoup funds lost to hotels.
Air Travel Card. A secure form of payment similar to traveler's checks that are issued and validated by an airline.
Miscellaneous Charge Order. A form of payment issued by an airline to cover travel fees besides airfare.
Liability Insurance Supplement/Additional Liability Insurance. This is supplemental insurance that covers up to a pre-set limit for bodily injury and property damage, and protects against uninsured/underinsured motorists.
Loss Damage Waiver. An agreement, provided at an additional cost, that absolves a renter of financial responsibility if the rental car is lost in any way (i.e. stolen or damaged beyond repair). If a rental car is lost without an LDW in place, the renter is typically responsible for up to the full value of the car and additional expenses.
Personal Accident Insurance. Supplemental insurance that covers accidental death or personal injury to the renter and passengers.
Personal Effects Coverage/Person Effects Protection. Supplemental insurance to cover personal items lost or damaged.