These are some useful phrases and tips to help you rent a car or a bicycle abroad. Don’t hesitate to try our SmallTalk English for Immigration course to role-play real-life dialogues and get prepared for your new life abroad!
Check out all SmallTalk English speaking courses here.
- I’d like to …
- I’m looking for (a) …
- I need (a) …
- I need some help with …
- I have a couple of questions.
- Where can I …?
- Could I …?
- Could you help me please to …?
Types of vehicles: saloon (= sedan), hatchback, SUV (= four-by-four), low-emission hybrid, compact car, van, electric car, luxury car, sports car, convertible, classic (= vintage) car, motorbike, bicycle.
Car hire (=rental): daily, weekly, monthly, long-term.
Transmission: manual, automatic.
Payment conditions: pre-pay online, pay on arrival, deposit, (extra) insurance, free cancellation, discount.
Locations & time: pick-up, drop-off (=return).
Other: number of seats/doors, minimum driving age, air conditioning, prepaid fuel, child seat, unlimited free miles, large boot (for bags), pet-friendly.
Read the dialogues out loud.
Dialogue 1. Hiring a car
Car hire agent: Hello! Can I help you?
Client: Hi! I’d like to rent a car please.
Car hire agent: Have you hired from us before?
Car hire agent: Could I see your driving license please?
Car hire agent: Thank you. So, what kind of car are you looking for?
Client: I need a big family car. I’m travelling with 3 children.
Car hire agent: It won’t be a problem. We have a large modern fleet of vehicles to meet your individual needs and budget requirements. Will you need a child seat?
Client: Yes, just one. We also need a large boot for 2 suitcases, 4 or 5 doors and air-conditioning.
Car hire agent: I see. For how many days would you like to hire a car?
Client: For 3 days from this Saturday to Monday.
Car hire agent: OK. Automatic or manual?
Client: Definitely automatic.
Car hire agent: I see. We’ve got several models to choose from but I’d recommend you this one. It’s only 95 pounds per day including insurance. What do you think about it?
Client: That’s exactly what I need. Thank you.
Car hire agent: I’d like to run through some of the basics. The petrol tank will be full so if you return the car with a full tank there’s no extra charge. If you get any parking tickets or speeding fines, you’ll have to pay for them yourself.
Client: That’s fine. Can I take a look at the car?
Car hire agent: Sure. We can do it now.
Client: I really like the car. I’m ready to hire it.
Car hire agent: Great. I’ll need to fill in some documents. Where would you like to pick up the car?
Client: Could I do it at Gatwick airport?
Car hire agent: Sure. Would you like to drop it off at the same location?
Client: Yes, please.
Dialogue 2. Hiring a bicycle
Hire agent: Hello!
Client: Hello! My friend and I would like to hire a bicycle.
Hire agent: All right. Do you prefer an ordinary one or an e-bicycle?
Client: Ordinary ones are just fine.
Hire agent: OK. Do I understand it right that you need two bicycles?
Client: Yes, exactly. One for me and one for my friend. How much is it?
Hire agent: It’s 2 dollars per hour or 20 dollars per day.
Client: Hmm… We were planning to hire it for 3–4 hours. Is it possible?
Hire agent: Sure. You can pay for 3 hours and then pay extra if you are late.
Client: Great. Can we look at the bicycles?
Hire agent: OK, let’s have a look. Here they are. We’ve got male and female models as you see.
Client: Right. These red ones look great. Can we hire helmets too?
Hire agent: Sure, they are included in the price together with a lock and light. Security is our priority.
Client: I’m impressed. Where should we sign?
Hire agent: I need a minute to do paperwork. Could you hand your IDs please?
Client: Here they are. Can I pay by card?
Hire agent: No problem, you can pay by card or in cash. The contract is ready. Please sign here and here.
Client: Done. Thank you.
Hire agent: You are welcome. Please take the helmets, lights and locks. Have a safe journey!
Client: Thanks. Bye!