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Glossary

Additional Driver(s)

Additional Driver(s)

People that will operate the car hire other than the person that makes the reservation.


Every car hire company has a different policy for additional drivers. Some will charge a fee for each day of the rental, while others will charge a fee for the entire rental period. The average prices for one additional driver are about 5.00 EUR per day or 15.00 EUR per rental period. Most car hire companies will put a limit on the amount of additional drivers they allow. It is essential that only authorized people drive the vehicle for the contract to be valid.

Age Restrictions

Age Restrictions

The minimum or maximum age allowed by the car hire company for a customer.


The absolute minimum age to get a car hire is 18. That being said, it is basically impossible to find a company that will enter a normal rental contract with a driver that is less than 22 years old. Most car hire suppliers set the minimum age restriction at 25 years old. Anyone younger than 25 will usually be required to pay a higher price for the rental. This is because younger drivers carry a higher risk. Many car hire companies also set a maximum age restriction. Every company will have a different policy regarding elderly renters. Usually the maximum age restriction is around 70 or 75 years old.

Airline Details

Airline Details

The information regarding the flight number, airline company and arrival time at an airport.


It is important to provide your flight information in case your plane is delayed or cancelled. The independent car hire company will be notified if there is a problem with your flight and your reservation will be held. Some car hire suppliers require airline details. You should also contact your car hire supplier if you know your flight has been delayed or cancelled. This will protect you against extra fees for being late or absent for the scheduled pick-up time.

Airport Pick-up

Airport Pick-up

The commencement of the car hire period from an airport location.


Airport pick-up is often the most convenient place to start the car hire period. All of the airport fees are included in the price quoted on our website (unless otherwise stated). The car hire kiosks are usually in central locations in the arrival areas of the airports for simple airport pick-up. The parking lots will be located in close proximity to the airport terminal or there will be a free shuttles to the parking area. Airport pick-up ensures that you will get the car hire immediately following your arrival.

Breakdown Protection

Breakdown Protection

Independent car hire suppliers will provide free assistance in the event of a vehicle malfunction.


Although rare, if a vehicle has some problems, the car hire supplier will give you a course of action on how to handle the situation. It is important that you inquire about breakdown protection at the car hire pick-up location. You need to follow the instructions given by the car hire company so you will not be charged a fee for an improper procedure. In general, you should contact the car hire supplier in the event of a breakdown. Never allow someone to do work to the vehicle unless it is authorized by your car hire supplier.

Cancellation

Cancellation

Terminating the car hire reservation or confirmation for any reason.


Cancelling a car hire reservation is a tricky subject. Please see the Decode Car Hire cancellation and revision policy for more information. In general, you can cancel your reservation with Decode Car Hire within 7 days after you make the reservation for a full refund. In other cases, you may be charged administration fees. We charge these fees because the rental car companies charge us. When the rental company confirms a reservation, they are holding a car for the customer and they cannot offer it to another person. If there is a cancellation, that means there is lost business for the independent car hire supplier and they will charge a fee. If you need to cancel a reservation with Decode Car Hire please go to our cancel booking page or contact us by phone. The cancellation fees are about 25.00 GBP.

Car Hire Office Hours

Car Hire Office Hours

These are the working times for the individual car hire suppliers.


In large airports, the car hire working times are often 24 hours per day. In other cases, there will be defined working times. Car hire suppliers also look at their reservations to determine the hours of operations. This allows them to cater to specific customers. If you want to pick-up a rental car outside of the defined car hire office hours, you can incur some additional charges. If you wish to drop-off your rental car outside the office hours, there might be the option to leave the car keys in a drop box. Some companies may also charge a fee for off-hours return. If you make a reservation outside of the office working hours two situations can occur. One, you will not be able to book the car for the requested time. Two, you will be contacted about the fee for off-hours pick-up and or drop-off. The average cost for an off-hours pick-up charge can range anywhere from 15.00 EUR to 60.00 EUR depending on the company. If you do not wish to pay the additional fees, you will be given a full refund of any money paid.

Cash Rental

Cash Rental

Paying for a car hire with paper money instead of a credit card.


Many rental companies will allow customers to hire a vehicle and pay with cash. They will require you leave the deposit amount in cash as well. The deposit amount is usually reserved on your credit card, but for a cash rental, you will need to leave all the money as a deposit. You will get the deposit back when you return the car. They need the cash deposit in case there is a claim on the vehicle at the end of the rental period. You can pay in cash at the car hire kiosks, but you need to use a different payment method for the Decode Car Hire website. It is not possible to make a reservation on Decode Car Hire with cash. You will need to use a credit card, Paypal or a bank transfer.

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)

A fee charged by the independent car hire suppliers to reduce the driver's deductible price in the event of an accident.


The collision damage waiver (more commonly known as CDW) is not exactly an insurance plan. In reality, it is an agreement from the car hire provider to “waive” or not claim a high deductible from the renter if there is an accident causing damage to the vehicle. When the driver purchases CDW from the car hire provider, it reduces the deductible to a price usually under 250.00 EUR. There is sometimes an option to purchase “super collision damage waiver” which will lower the deductible to zero. Normal CDW usually costs about 25% of the rental price. Super CDW can cost upwards of 35%. CDW is included in all of the rental prices quoted on Decode Car Hire’s website (unless otherwise stated).

Confirmation Number

Confirmation Number

A number provided to you from Decode Car Hire that is visible on your rental voucher.


The confirmation number is used to guarantee your car hire with the individual supplier. The confirmation number is the same for Decode Car Hire as it is for the individual supplier. You will only receive the confirmation number on your voucher after the reservation is confirmed.

Contract

Contract

The document outlining the terms of the rental agreement that you sign with the individual car hire company.


Each car hire company will require you to sign their contract before they give you the keys. It is important that you read and understand all of the information in the contract before you sign. You can learn about the information in the contract from this glossary and other resources on this website. Do not sign the contract until you are sure that you are ready. Please note that Decode Car Hire is not a party to or a witness to the signing of the contract. It is between you and the independent car hire company.

Cross Border Travel

Cross Border Travel

Taking the car hire outside of the country that you started from.


Every car hire company has a different policy for this type of mobility. If you are planning to take the car hire for cross border travel, you need to be sure that it is allowed. The contract you sign may be void if you take the car outside of the country of origin. With the emergence of the Schengen Zone in Europe and other friendly relationships between countries, cross border travel is often not a problem. You can contact Decode Car Hire if you would like to find a car hire company that will allow this type of travel.

Delivery

Delivery

When the car hire is brought directly to you instead of acquiring it from a pick-up location.


Some of the individual car hire suppliers offer to deliver the car hire to you. Normally, you can have the car delivered anywhere within a certain radius from the car hire office. Other companies are willing to deliver the car hire for an small service fee. You can find out more about car hire delivery if you contact us.

Drop-off Date

Drop-off Date

The day and month that you wish to return your car hire to the independent car hire supplier.


Make sure you enter the correct drop-off date or you might cause yourself some unwanted stress. If you schedule your drop-off date too early, you will need to return the car before you want to . If you schedule the drop-off date too late, you will have to give the car back before the end of the rental period and there are no refunds for early return.

Drop-off Location

Drop-off Location

The place that you will return the car hire at the conclusion of your rental period.


The most common drop-off locations are airports and downtowns. Large cities will have many more options for drop-off locations but they are all in convenient places around the city of origin. You can filter your drop-off locations on our search engine to include or exclude certain places.

Drop-off Time

Drop-off Time

This is the time that you will return your vehicle to the individual car hire company.


It is strongly recommended to be early for the drop-off time. If you are late for the drop-off time, you might be charged for an extra day. The rental price is calculated on a daily basis and if your drop-off time is even 15 minutes into the next day, it counts as an extra day. Be sure you carefully select your pick-up and drop-off times before you make the reservation.

Early Return

Early Return

Dropping off the car before the scheduled drop-off time.


It is always possible to give the car back before it is due. Unfortunately, you will not be entitled to a refund for any money when you make an early return. It is because the car hire prices are prorated depending on the amount of days in the period.

Existing Customer

Existing Customer

Someone that currently has a reservation with Decode Car Hire or someone that has made a previous reservation.


If you are an existing customer, you can easily log into your account and check on the status of your reservation. If you are a returning customer, you can sign in and finish new reservation faster than before. Existing customer information is saved so the next time you hire a car, your data will be automatically generated.

Fleet List

Fleet List

These are the available cars for hire at destinations all over the world.


When you make a search for the city you desire, the fleet list of available cars for each location will be shown. The rental cars at each pick-up location are known as the fleet list for the given company. The fleet list for Decode Car Hire includes all the cars from all the worldwide locations.

Independent Car Hire Supplier

Independent Car Hire Supplier

This is our partner in the location that you will pick-up the car hire.


You will be informed of your independent car hire supplier when you receive your booking voucher. This is the company you will need to visit in order to pick-up your car hire. We have partnerships with the biggest and most reputable car hire suppliers as well as the local providers. Some of our most well-known partners include Avis, Budget, Dollar/Thrift, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt.

International Driving Permit

International Driving Permit

A document that translates your current license into more than 10 different languages.


The international driving permit (IDP) is a very important document that is required for some countries. The IDP will translate your current license into a language that is acceptable for the participating country. Please note that the international driving permit is not a substitute for your license, it must be used together with your current license. See our FAQ page for more info about IDPs.

License Requirements

License Requirements

The minimum driver’s status you need to obtain a car hire.


Almost all independent car hire suppliers require that drivers be over the age of 21 and have been a licensed driver for at least one year. All independent car hire suppliers will have different license requirements. Our search engine will not allow you to hire a car for the companies that restrict your provided age due to license requirement restrictions. For this reason, it is imperative that you enter factual data during your reservation request.

Live Support

Live Support

Our customer support team is standing by to accept your calls.


You can contact us via telephone between the hours of 7 am and midnight (GMT). Click here to determine your time zone. Live support is an easy way to get more information about your current reservation or a future reservation. For our telephone numbers, please look at the bottom of the page or visit the contacts page.

Member Sign-up

Member Sign-up

Become a member of Decode Car Hire for easy website usage and to receive special offers via e-mail.


Visit our member sign-up page and enter your customer details. You can also choose to receive e-mails from Decode Car Hire. Your customer information will be saved and it will be easy for you to hire a car from our website.

One Way Rental

One Way Rental

This is when you pick-up the car hire at one location and return it to a different drop-off location.


One way rental is usually a very expensive option. Depending on the distance between pick-up and drop-off locations, the service fee for a one way rental can be more than the car hire. You cannot make a reservation for a one way rental on our website, however, you can call us and we can contact our partner to see if they offer this type of mobility.

Optional Equipment

Optional Equipment

Additional gadgets and necessities that are purchased for use with your car hire.


You can reserve optional extras on our website, but you will need to pay for them separately when you arrive at the pick-up location. Optional equipment includes GPS navigation systems, child seats, additional drivers and more.

Partner

Partner

The independent car hire supplier that works with Decode Car Hire to provide the vehicle.


Decode Car Hire does not have any cars. We are the link between you (customer) and our partner (independent car hire supplier). Our partners have formal agreements with us to provide you with a car hire upon the presentation of your voucher. Browse this website for more information about our partners.

Passenger Capacity

Passenger Capacity

This is the maximum amount of people that can ride in a specific car hire.


It is important that you do not exceed the passenger capacity of the vehicle. The contract you sign with the independent car hire supplier will not be valid if you have too many passengers in the automobile. Furthermore, you can receive fines from the police if you are stopped and your passenger capacity is over the acceptable limit.

Payment Method

Payment Method

The form that you pay money to Decode Car Hire and at the office of the independent car hire supplier.


Acceptable payment methods for Decode Car Hire are through credit/debit cards, bank transfers and Paypal. Independent car hire suppliers prefer if you pay with a major credit card, but they will also accept other payment methods in some instances. Cash, debit cards, and bank transfers may also be accepted from independent car hire suppliers, but it varies from each company.

Pick-up Date

Pick-up Date

The day and month that you wish to acquire your car hire from the independent car hire supplier.


Make sure you enter the correct pick-up date or you might cause yourself some unwanted stress. If you schedule your pick-up date too early, you might be absent and forced to pay additional charges. If you schedule the pick-up date too late, you will not be able to get your rental car on the day you arrive. Furthermore, you will pay a higher price if you need to ask the independent car hire supplier to change the dates of your rental.

Pick-up Location

Pick-up Location

The place that you will acquire the car hire and start your rental period.


The most common pick-up locations are airports and downtowns. Large cities will have many more options for pick-up locations in convenient places around the city of origin. You can filter your pick-up locations on our search engine to include or exclude certain places.

Pick-up Time

Pick-up Time

The predetermined time you wish to acquire your car hire from the independent car hire supplier.


Do not schedule your pick-up time to close to the arrival time of your flight if your pick-up location is at the airport. You need to account for the time it takes to exit the aircraft and walk to the car hire kiosk. It is best to make your pick-up time at least one hour after your flight is scheduled to arrive.

Post-Rental Charges

Post-Rental Charges

Fees that the independent car hire suppliers collect after the conclusion of the rental period.


There are a number of reasons you can be charged following the conclusion of your rental period. It is best to read the terms and conditions from your independent car hire supplier to know all of the post-rental charges you may be subject to paying. The most common fees are for a gas tank that is not full, a parking ticket, a traffic violation, an unreasonably dirty car hire or some minor damage caused to the vehicle. Protect yourself from the post-rental charges by adhering to the contract and by doing a preliminary check of the car hire before you drive it off the lot. Notify the independent car hire supplier of any small defects to the automobile before you drive away so you will not be unfairly charged.

Pre-Rental Inspection

Pre-Rental Inspection

Checking the car for any problems before you take it off the parking lot.


It is a good idea to inspect the car hire before you drive it off the parking lot. The car might have some imperfections that you should tell the independent car hire supplier about before you go. This will guard you against paying post-rental charges that you are not responsible for. You should also make sure that the car hire has a full tank of gas. It is the policy of the independent car hire suppliers to provide you with a full tank and for you to return the car with a full tank.

Reference Number

Reference Number

An 8 symbol series of letters and numbers starting with the two letter country code for your country of residence. If you are from Great Britain, your reference number will be similar to this: GB1BC4E6.


This is a number that is given to you from Decode Car Hire. The first two letters of the reference number represent your home country. For example, GB1BC4E6 starts with the letter GB to represent that the customer is from Great Britain. This is the number to use if you have any questions for Decode Car Hire regarding your reservation. Please note, this is not the confirmation number. The independent car hire supplier does not use the reference number that we provide. Independent car hire suppliers are only concerned with the confirmation number.

Rental Period

Rental Period

The duration of time that you reserved the car hire.


The rental period is the amount of time between your pick-up date and time until your drop-off date and time. One day is calculated as any part of a 24 hour period. Therefore, if you make a reservation for 2 days and 15 minutes, it will be counted as 3 days. For this reason, it is importation to check that your pick-up date and time and drop-off date and time will provide you with your desired rental period, but not to be too long so that it is uneconomical.

Reservation

Reservation

A request for a car hire from this website.


When you make a reservation with Decode Car Hire, it is not finalized until we confirm the reservation with our partner. You will receive an e-mail from us that we are processing your reservation request. After that e-mail, we will send another one that confirms or declines your reservation request.

Same Day Reservation

Same Day Reservation

A car hire request that is made the day you need to pick-up the car.


It is not possible to make a reservation request for the same day on our website. You can only make a reservation for a car hire at least 2 days from the current day. If you are in dire need of a car hire, you can contact us by telephone and we will try our best to find you a car hire for the same day.

Security Deposit

Security Deposit

An amount of money that is held on your credit card or in cash for the duration of your rental period.


The independent car hire supplier will require that you leave a security deposit in the event that you need to pay the deductible on an insurance claim. You will be refunded at the end of the rental period as long as there is not a claim for the deductible. They will charge you in the event of an accident or theft of the vehicle.

Snow Chains

Snow Chains

Metal chain tire covers that are necessary to drive the rental car in areas that have a lot of snow.


You will be required to use snow chains for your car hire if you are traveling in a country that mandates them by law. The price of snow chains is about 35.00 GBP for the entire rental period. Apart from winter months, many countries will require the use of snow chains if you plan to take the car hire into the mountains. Snow chains are extremely helpful in an alpine environment and they are often obligatory.

Theft Waiver

Theft Waiver

Protection for the renter that reduces the liability in the event that the car hire is stolen.


The theft waiver (TW) is included in all of our car hire prices (unless otherwise stated). TW is not an insurance plan, but an agreement from the rental car provider to “waive” or not claim a high deductible from the renter if the vehicle is stolen or if there is an attempted theft. When the renter purchases the theft waiver from the car rental provider, it reduces the deductible to a price usually under 800.00 GBP. There is sometimes an option to purchase a “super theft waiver” which will lower the deductible to zero. The TW is usually not valid unless the renter retains possession of the keys.

Third Party Liability Insurance

Third Party Liability Insurance

This is to protect a renter in the case that the other driver files a claim following an accident.


Third party liability insurance is included in all of our car hire prices (unless otherwise stated). In the event of an accident, this insurance will cover you if you are responsible and the other driver makes a claim against you. In many places around the world it is illegal to drive without third party liability insurance. Third party liability insurance will not only protect you against claims, but it will offer you peace of mind whilst driving.

Unlimited Mileage

Unlimited Mileage

There is no restriction on the distance you can travel in the car hire.


All of the prices quoted on our website include unlimited mileage (unless otherwise stated). In some cases, you can opt for a distance restriction to lower the final price of your car hire.

Voucher

Voucher

This is your proof of purchase to present upon car hire pick-up.


You will be e-mailed the voucher after we confirm your reservation. You must bring this voucher to the independent car hire supplier to receive the price you are quoted on our website. The independent car hire supplier must honor this voucher. Contrarily, if you do not present the voucher upon car hire pick-up, all of your previous actions are void and you will not be refunded any money. It is possible to print out multiple copies of the voucher, but it can only be used once.

Winter Fee

Winter Fee

A fee charged by independent car hire suppliers that have outfitted their car hires for cold weather conditions.


The winter fee is included in the price you are quoted on the website. It includes winter tires and or snow chains, anti-freezing fluids, and the cost of maintenance following each rental. The winter fee is actually a good thing because it means the independent car hire suppliers take good care of their fleet and they will provide you with a well running machine.