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Navigating Car Rentals and Driving Directions: A Comprehensive Guide Renting a car for your next journey

Discover essential phrases, vocabulary, and phrasal verbs to confidently navigate the car rental process. From reserving your vehicle to understanding insurance options, we’ve got you covered. Plus, master the art of asking for driving directions with key expressions and phrasal verbs for smoothly manoeuvering through unfamiliar roads. Whether you’re exploring new destinations or seeking travel convenience, this guide equips you with the language tools you need to hit the road with confidence.

Prepared with love by: My Personal English Coach


Helloooo! Just a few words of support for those of you who are starting your experience in our Conversation Club and don’t feel very confident. 

Don’t worry, we’re here for you!

On this page, you’ll find the vocabulary that can help you speak with your Club Partners (other MPEC students you’ll be paired with for guided conversations).

If you feel like you need to prepare before the club session, you can review the content of this page in advance. We are your Coaches and we know you well! We know that using Idioms & Phrasal Verbs can be a real challenge, so those are often the language elements we’ll suggest you use 🙃

After the preparation (you’ll find both the vocabulary and the conversation questions on this page), we invite you to participate in the Club session. You have received an email with the ZOOM link for the session:

On Tuesdays, the Club takes place from 7:00 PM to 7:30 PM, and on Thursdays, from 1:00 PM to 1:30 PM. If you haven’t received the access instructions via email, please, get in touch with us:

If you want to practice more after the Club session, you can come back here to do the Follow Up activity (at the bottom of the page). Are you ready? Let’s begin!


Ready for your portion of Phrasal Verbs?

Renting a Car

  • Pick up: To collect or receive the rental car.
    • I’ll pick up the car at the rental agency.
  • Drop off: To return the rental car.
    • We need to drop off the car before 5 PM.
  • Check in: To register and provide necessary documents at the rental agency.
    • I need to check in at the counter to get the keys.
  • Fill up: To refuel the rental car before returning it.
    • Make sure to fill up the tank before you bring the car back.
  • Set off: To start a journey or trip.
    • We’re setting off on a road trip tomorrow.
  • Pull over: To stop the car by the side of the road.
    • Let’s pull over and check the map.

Driving Directions

  1. Turn around: To go in the opposite direction.
    • If you’ve gone too far, you’ll need to turn around.
  2. Get on: To enter a road or highway.
    • Get on the highway and stay in the right lane.
  3. Get off: To exit a road or highway.
    • Get off at the next exit and follow the signs.
  4. Go straight: To continue in the same direction without turning.
    • Keep going straight for a few more miles.
  5. Pull up: To stop the car briefly, often by the side of the road.
    • Pull up by that convenience store, and I’ll ask for directions.
  6. Pull out: To leave a parking spot or pull onto the road from a stop.
    • Wait for the traffic to clear before you pull out.
  7. Turn into: To enter a road or driveway.
    • Turn into the second street on the left.
  8. Turn off: To leave a main road or highway onto a smaller road.
    • Turn off the main road and follow the signs for the city center.
  9. Speed up: To increase your driving speed.
    • You’ll need to speed up to merge onto the freeway.
  10. Slow down: To reduce your driving speed.
    • Slow down as you approach the intersection.

Download All The Vocabulary for the Conversation

Round 1 – Let’s Warm Up

  1. Have you ever rented a car for a trip? Any tips or funny stories to share?
  2. Do you prefer renting a specific type of car when you travel? Like an SUV, compact, or something else?
  3. Ever found yourself in a situation where you had to ask for directions in a foreign language?
  4. Navigating unfamiliar roads can be a challenge. What’s your go-to strategy for finding your way around?

Round 2: Let’s Explore it!

  1. Insurance options can be confusing while renting a car. How do you usually approach that part of the process?
  2. When you ask for directions, do you prefer using a map, GPS, or asking locals for help?
  3. Language barriers aside, what’s the most interesting place you’ve discovered while trying to find your way?
  4. Got any go-to phrases for asking locals for driving directions? Share your favorite ones!

Round 3: The Final One – We Role Play!

In this real life scenario role play, you can take turns to play the role of Alex and Brooke. If you feel confident, just dive right in – if you need some creative support, you can read the role play script below.

Renting a Car and Asking for Directions

Participant A: Alex

  • Goal: Rent a car for a weekend getaway.
  • Instructions: Research different car rental companies and their rates. Decide on a car type and insurance coverage. Approach Participant B to ask for directions to a nearby attraction.

Participant B: Brooke

  • Goal: Help Alex with directions and engage in conversation about local attractions.
  • Instructions: Be knowledgeable about the area and ready to give clear driving directions to a local landmark. Provide information about nearby attractions and suggest a scenic route.

Scene Setup: Alex walks into a simulated car hire agency where Brooke, a representative, is stationed behind the counter. After completing the car hire process, Alex decides to strike up a conversation with Brooke to get directions to a nearby scenic overlook.

Role Play Script:

Alex: (Walking up to the counter) Hello there! I’m looking to hire a car for a weekend trip. Could you assist me, please?

Brooke: Of course, I’d be delighted to help. Where are you planning to go?

Alex: I’m off to Hillside Village for the weekend. Any recommendations on the best type of car and insurance coverage?

Brooke: Excellent choice! Considering the winding roads around there, I’d recommend an SUV. As for insurance, we offer a standard package that covers most situations. Would you like to add any extra coverage?

Alex: Sounds splendid. Let’s go with the SUV and the standard insurance package.

Brooke: Perfect. I’ll just need your driving licence and credit card for verification. (Completes paperwork)

Alex: Cheers! Also, while I’m in Hillside Village, I’d love to visit a scenic overlook nearby. Could you provide me with directions?

Brooke: Absolutely. When you leave the car hire agency, turn left onto Main Street. Drive for about 2 miles, then you’ll reach a roundabout. Take the second exit onto Hillside Road.

Alex: Got it. What’s next?

Brooke: Carry on along Hillside Road for about 4 miles until you spot a sign for “Skyview Lookout.” Take a right onto Skyview Lane, and it’ll lead you to the overlook.

Alex: Brilliant, thanks! Any other attractions or routes you’d recommend?

Brooke: Absolutely. If you’re up for a slightly longer drive, you can take the scenic route by heading south on Maple Avenue. It offers some breathtaking views of the countryside. Plus, there’s a charming café en route, perfect for a pit stop.

Alex: That sounds like a plan. Thanks so much for the directions and tips!

Brooke: You’re most welcome! Have a fantastic trip and enjoy the drive!

(The role play concludes with Alex leaving the car hire agency equipped with a car, directions, and a sense of anticipation for the upcoming weekend adventure.)


After The Club: The Follow Up

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