Car Rentals

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Part 1: Listen and Read: Listen to the recording on car rentals, answer the questions, and then read along with the audio recording.

I went on a vacation last week, and I needed a way to get around the area, so I rented a car for the trip. I contacted a car rental agency and asked them about the types of vehicles they had available. As it turned out, I rented an SUV (sports utility vehicle) because I was planning on doing some sightseeing and driving in some national parks. I was able to get the weekly rate of $55 a day, not including tax; however, the SUV came with unlimited miles, so I didn’t have to pay extra for the number of miles I drove. Of course, I had to pay for my gas, and I had to return the SUV with the same amount of gas that was in it when I started my trip. The manager of the car rental agency recommended that I buy the additional car protection plan—insurance that would cover the vehicle in case of an accident—but I told him that my own insurance covered rental cars, so I didn’t bother paying the extra money for the additional insurance. Before I left, I did a visual inspection of the SUV to see if it had any dents or scratches on it so I wouldn’t be liable for previous damage to the car. Finally, I signed the rental agreement and then started my vacation. I returned the SUV a week later without a problem.

Part 2: Discussion

Besides going on vacation, what are some other reasons why someone would rent a car? Have you ever rented a car? Is so, what was your experience like?

Part 3: Online Investigation

There are many factors that influence the type of car people rent and drive. Suppose you were on vacation in Hawaii, and you wanted to rent a car. Which type of vehicle would you choose and why? Would you purchase additional insurance to protect you, the car, and the owners of the other car in case of an accident? Discuss your choices and reasons and then use the Internet to determine an approximate cost for the vehicle for a week. Compare rental companies as needed.

Part 4: Online Listening Practice (from