Car rental, car hire, rent-a-car, or…?

Different terms are in use worldwide to describe the services of renting vehicles for short periods of time. While ‘car rental’ or ‘rent-a-car’ (with or without hyphens) are by far the most wide-spread expressions, in British English, ‘car hire’ prevails.

See a funny take on the clash between British and American car rental culture: 

This series of humoristic videos released by the American brand Enterprise Rent A Car upon its entering the UK market illustrates well the confusion resulting from language variations between the American and British English. ‘Boot’ vs. ‘trunk’, ‘bonnet’ vs. ‘hood’, ‘indicators’ vs. ‘blinkers’ – the differences are many, however not too difficult to overcome with a little bit of good will.

If you rent cars frequently in different countries, you may find useful the list of expressions used for car hire in most important languages used in Europe. If some of them seem unpronounceable at the first glance, or the language does not use the Roman alphabet, do not despair: “Rent A Car” is an universal expression used throughout the globe.

German - autovermietung

Bulgarian - наемане на кола

Basque - autoen alokairua

Catalan - lloguer de cotxes

Croatian - najam automobila

Czech - půjčení auta

Danish - biludlejning / billeje

Dutch - autoverhuur

Estonian - auto rentimine

Finnish - autonvuokraus

French - location de voitures

Greek - ενοικίαση αυτοκινήτου

Hungarian - Autókölcsönzés

Icelandic - bílaleiga

Italian - autonoleggio / noleggio auto

Irish - carr ar cíos

Latvian - autonoma

Lithuanian - automobilių nuoma

Macedonian - изнајмувањенаавтомобили

Maltan - kiri tal-karozzi

Norwegian - bilutleie

Polish - wynajem samochodów

Portuguese - aluguer de carros / aluguer de viaturas

Romanian - închirieri auto

Russian - прокат автомобилей

Serbian - изнајмљивање аутомобила

Slovak - požičanie auta

Slovenian - najem avtomobila

Spanish - alquiler de coches / renta de autos

Swedish - biluthyrning

Turkish - oto kiralama / araba kiralama

Welsh - rhentu car

Find cheap car hire online – compare rates on Cartrawler 

Car rental, car hire, rent-a-car, or…?
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