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Rental Glossary

A list of terms and definitions related to operating a rental business. You can use this rental glossary to understand the most common technical terms in the industry as well as some of the features unique to Booqable.


Availability - The equipment status indicating whether it is ready for use or currently rented out. This status is crucial for managing inventory and ensuring that customers can access the necessary equipment when needed. Availability helps in planning and optimizing the use of resources within a rental company.

Availability Calendar - An online booking system feature that displays equipment availability in real time. Customers can easily see when items are available for rent, helping them plan and make reservations according to their needs.

Asset Management - A broader term that encompasses the tracking, valuation, and overall management of a company's assets, including rental equipment. This concept is essential for maximizing the lifespan and profitability of each asset, ensuring they contribute effectively to the business's bottom line.


Barcode - A scannable code in numbers and a pattern of parallel lines used to efficiently identify and track equipment inventory. Barcodes simplify managing and locating equipment across different locations, enabling quick checkouts and returns and ensuring accurate inventory control.

Barcode Label - A printable material that contains a barcode symbol and other information about the product or item to which it is attached. Barcode labels are crucial for organizing inventory, facilitating tracking, and speeding up the checkout and return processes.

Barcode Scanner - A device used to read the information encoded in a barcode. Barcode scanners can be handheld or stationary and use laser, CCD (Charge Coupled Device), or image-based technology to capture and decode barcode information, facilitating quick and accurate inventory transactions.

Barcode Symbology - A specific type of barcode format or standard, such as Code 39, Code 128, or QR code, used to encode data in a barcode. Each symbology has unique characteristics suitable for different applications, such as inventory management,or product identification.

Barcode Tracking Software - A software system that uses barcode technology to track and manage inventory, including rental equipment. This software enables rental companies to monitor equipment movement, location, and status efficiently, improving operational efficiency and reducing errors in inventory management.

Batch Scanning - Scanning multiple barcodes in a single action or session. Batch scanning improves efficiency in inventory management tasks, such as stocktaking or processing large shipments, by allowing various items to be processed quickly.

Booking Confirmation - An automated email or message sent to the customer after a successful booking. It typically includes reservation details, such as the equipment rented, rental period, total cost, and necessary next steps or policies.

Breakdown - A term used to describe the failure or malfunction of equipment, rendering it inoperable and requiring repair or maintenance. Minimizing breakdowns is essential for maintaining equipment availability and customer satisfaction and reducing repair costs and downtime.

Buffer Time - Additional time added to the rental period to account for equipment preparation, cleaning, and inspection before and after each rental. Buffer time helps ensure that equipment is ready for the next customer and that the rental company can maintain high-quality standards.


Cancellation Policy - The terms and conditions govern whether and how customers can cancel their booking. This policy includes details on deadlines, refunds, and cancellation fees and is crucial for managing inventory and customer expectations.

Consumable - Items used up or depleted during the rental period and cannot be reused, such as water bottles, cleaning supplies, or batteries. These items are often essential for the operation or maintenance of rented equipment and are usually charged separately or included in the rental price, depending on the rental agreement terms.

Contract - A legal agreement between the rental company and the customer detailing the equipment rental's terms, conditions, and obligations. This document is a binding commitment outlining responsibilities, rental period, payment terms, and other agreed-upon conditions, ensuring both parties' clarity and protection.

Cross-renting - Similar to sub-renting, it refers explicitly to rental companies renting equipment from each other to fulfill customer demands, often due to geographic or logistical constraints. This term emphasizes the collaborative aspect within the rental industry.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) - A strategy and technology for managing all your company's relationships and interactions with potential and existing customers. In equipment rental, a CRM system can track customer inquiries, rentals, feedback, and service history to enhance customer service and retention.


Damage Waiver - A fee or add-on to rental agreements that cover the cost of damage to the equipment during the rental period, excluding damages due to negligence or misuse. This provides customers peace of mind and can be an additional revenue stream for the rental company.

Delivery Charge - A fee customers pay for delivering equipment to a specified location, typically based on distance, time, or other factors. This charge compensates the rental company for transportation costs and provides a convenient service for customers who require equipment delivery.

Down Payment - An upfront payment made by the customer when booking or renting equipment, typically a portion of the total rental cost. This payment secures the reservation and commitment from the customer, providing the rental company with financial assurance and helping manage cash flow and inventory availability.

Dry Hire - The rental of equipment without the provision of operators or additional services. This option allows customers to utilize their expertise or personnel to operate the equipment, offering flexibility and potential cost savings for skilled users while increasing the rental company's inventory utilization.


E-Signature - An electronic signature, legally recognized, used to consent or approve documents online, including rental agreements. This technology facilitates faster transactions, reduces paperwork, and provides a secure and efficient way of executing contracts, enhancing customer experience and operational efficiency.

Equipment Agreement - A contract specifying the terms and conditions under which equipment is rented, including each party's duration, payment, and responsibilities. This document ensures clear communication of expectations and legal protections, serving as a foundation for a successful rental transaction.

Equipment Booking System - Software or a digital platform used to manage reservations, scheduling, and availability of rental equipment. These systems streamline the booking process, offer real-time availability updates, and integrate with other business functions, improving service delivery and operational management.

Equipment Bundle - A set of complementary equipment offered as a package, often at a discounted rate, compared to renting each item individually. Bundling equipment can provide customers with value-added solutions for their specific needs while also increasing rental volume and revenue for the company.

Equipment Calendar - A scheduling tool or software feature that displays bookings and equipment availability over time. This tool aids in planning maximizes equipment utilization and helps avoid double bookings or scheduling conflicts, enhancing operational efficiency.

Equipment Checkout System - A process or software used to manage the issuance and return of equipment to customers, including verification, documentation, and tracking. This system ensures accurate record-keeping, improves customer service, and helps prevent losses or discrepancies in the inventory.

Equipment Checkout - Issuing equipment to customers, including verifying the reservation, inspecting the equipment, and completing necessary paperwork. This crucial step ensures that the equipment is in good working condition and that both parties understand and agree upon all rental agreement terms.

Equipment Depreciation - The reduction in value of equipment over time due to use, wear and tear, or obsolescence. Understanding and managing depreciation is essential for financial planning, pricing strategies, and determining the optimal timing for replacing or upgrading equipment within the rental fleet.

Equipment Downtime - When equipment is unavailable for rental due to maintenance, repair, or other reasons. Minimizing downtime is critical for maximizing rental revenue, maintaining customer satisfaction, and ensuring the reliability and longevity of the equipment inventory.

Equipment Loan - A temporary transfer of equipment from one party to another, often without a rental fee, typically for trial, evaluation, or courtesy purposes. Equipment loans can build customer relationships, provide valuable feedback, and potentially lead to future rentals or sales.

Equipment Loss - The occurrence of rented equipment being lost, stolen, or otherwise not returned by the customer. This situation requires effective tracking systems, clear rental agreements, and possibly insurance coverage to mitigate financial losses and maintain inventory accuracy.

Equipment Maintenance - The routine servicing and repairs necessary to keep equipment in working order and extend its lifespan. Effective maintenance practices are crucial for ensuring equipment reliability, safety, and customer satisfaction and optimizing the rental fleet's overall performance and value.

Equipment Management - Overseeing all aspects of a rental business's equipment, including procurement, maintenance, tracking, and disposal. Effective equipment management maximizes utilization, profitability, and customer satisfaction while minimizing costs and operational risks.

Equipment Pricing - The strategy and method used to set rental rates for equipment based on various factors such as cost, demand, and market competition. Pricing strategies must balance competitiveness with profitability and consider customer value perception, offering flexibility through multiple pricing models and options.

Equipment Rental Software - A specialized software solution to help rental businesses manage equipment inventory, bookings, and other operations. These systems provide comprehensive tools for reservation management, customer relationships, billing, and reporting, driving efficiency and growth.

Equipment ROI - A measure of the profitability of renting out equipment, calculated as the net income from rentals divided by the equipment cost. Monitoring ROI is essential for financial planning, investment decisions, and assessing the performance of different equipment types within the rental fleet.

Equipment Scheduling - The process of organizing and planning the rental and availability of equipment to ensure optimal utilization and meet customer demand. Adequate scheduling balances equipment supply with demand addresses seasonal variations and maximizes revenue opportunities.

Equipment Shortage - A situation where the demand for equipment exceeds the available supply, often resulting in lost rental opportunities. Managing shortages requires strategic planning, inventory expansion, or partnerships with other rental companies to meet customer needs and capture market demand.

Equipment Tracking - The use of technology to monitor equipment's location, status, and usage throughout its rental lifecycle. Tracking technologies enhance operational efficiency, security, and customer service by providing real-time equipment availability and condition data.


Inventory Audit - A thorough examination and verification of a company's inventory records and physical stock to ensure accuracy and integrity. Regular audits help identify discrepancies, prevent theft or loss, and maintain accurate financial reporting, supporting effective inventory management.

Inventory Barcode System - A comprehensive system that combines barcode technology, scanners, and inventory management software to track, manage, and optimize inventory levels. This system streamlines operations, reduces errors, and enhances visibility across the rental process.

Inventory Count - The process of physically counting all equipment in stock to verify record accuracy and manage inventory levels. Conducting regular inventory counts helps ensure data accuracy, supports financial audits, and aids in detecting issues such as loss, theft, or damage early.

Inventory List - A detailed record of the rental company's equipment, including descriptions, quantities, and locations. This list is essential for tracking inventory levels, planning purchases, and providing information for insurance and financial reporting purposes.

Inventory Management - The practice of overseeing and controlling inventory ordering, storage, and use to ensure that the right amount of stock is always available. Effective inventory management reduces costs, improves cash flow, and enhances customer satisfaction by providing timely equipment availability.

Inventory Tracking - Monitoring the movement and levels of inventory to maintain accurate records and prevent stockouts or excess. This practice involves using technology to track equipment across different stages of its lifecycle, from procurement to rental, maintenance, and eventual disposal.

Invoice - A document issued by the rental company to the customer detailing the services provided, equipment rented, and the amount due. Invoices serve as a formal request for payment, providing precise and detailed financial records for both parties and supporting transparency and accountability in business transactions.


KPIs - Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are measurable values demonstrating how effectively a company achieves its business objectives. In the context of equipment rental, KPIs may include metrics such as equipment utilization, equipment ROI, and average rental duration, providing insights into operational performance and areas for improvement.


Last-Minute Booking - A reservation made shortly before the rental period begins, often requiring quick turnaround and availability checks. Last-minute bookings can present logistics and inventory management challenges but offer rental companies opportunities to fill gaps in their schedules and maximize equipment utilization.

Late Fee - A charge imposed on the customer for returning equipment after the agreed rental period has expired. Late fees incentivize timely returns, compensate the rental company for potential lost revenue, and help manage inventory availability for other customers.

Lead Time - The period between when a rental is booked and when the equipment is required to be available or delivered. Managing lead times effectively is crucial for ensuring customer satisfaction by meeting expectations for availability and delivery and requires efficient planning and logistics coordination.

Long-Term Rental - A rental agreement for an extended period, typically months or years rather than days or weeks. Long-term rentals offer rental companies stable revenue streams and opportunities for customer relationships while providing customers with cost-effective and convenient access to equipment.


Online Booking System - A digital platform that allows customers to view equipment availability and make reservations. Online booking portals provide convenience, accessibility, and self-service options for customers while streamlining the rental process and reducing administrative workload.

Online Payment Gateway - A service that processes online payments securely, allowing customers to pay for rentals using credit cards, digital wallets, or other electronic payment methods. Online payment gateways provide convenience for customers and rental companies, supporting efficient transactions and reducing administrative workload.

Online Reservation System - A digital platform allowing customers to book and reserve equipment online. This system automates the booking process, showing real-time availability, and often includes payment and contract management features.

Operating Hours - The specific times a rental company is open for business, including customer service, equipment pickup and return, and administrative tasks. Communicating operating hours to customers helps manage expectations and ensures efficient service delivery.


Packing Slip - A document listing the equipment needed for a specific rental order, including quantities, descriptions, and any special instructions. Pull sheets help rental staff prepare orders accurately and efficiently, ensuring that customers receive the correct equipment for their rental.

Preventive Maintenance - Regular and routine maintenance to help keep equipment running, preventing unplanned downtime and expensive costs from unanticipated equipment failure. It's crucial for prolonging the life of equipment and ensuring it's always ready for rental.

Pricing Structure - The framework used to determine rental rates includes factors such as duration, equipment type, and additional services. A well-designed pricing structure balances competitiveness with profitability, offers transparency to customers, and adapts to market conditions and customer needs.


Quote - A formal document to a customer detailing the cost and terms of a potential rental, often used to communicate pricing and availability before a reservation is confirmed. Quotes help customers make informed decisions and provide a basis for rental agreements and customer communication.

QR Code - A machine-readable code consisting of an array of black and white squares, typically used for storing URLs or other information for reading by the camera on a smartphone. QR codes can be used for equipment tracking and inventory management in rental businesses.


Rental Inventory - The total collection of equipment that a rental company owns and offers for rent. Managing rental inventory effectively involves balancing the types and quantities of equipment to meet customer demand, ensuring equipment quality, and optimizing investment and operational efficiency.

Rental Period - The duration for which equipment is rented to a customer, as agreed in the rental contract. Rental periods can vary from short-term to long-term, and flexibility in offering different options can cater to diverse customer needs and usage scenarios.

Rental Return - The process of customers returning rented equipment to the rental company at the end of the rental period. Efficient return processes ensure accurate inventory tracking, timely availability for other customers, and the opportunity to inspect and maintain equipment for future rentals.

Reservation System - A digital or manual system rental companies use to manage equipment bookings, ensuring customers can reserve equipment in advance. This system often includes features for tracking availability, scheduling, and managing cancellations or modifications.


Seasonality - Variations in business activity and demand for rental equipment related to the time of year or season. Understanding and planning for seasonality allows rental companies to adjust their inventory, pricing, and marketing strategies to maximize revenue and meet fluctuating customer demand.

Security Deposit - A sum of money held by the rental company as collateral against damage to the equipment or other breaches of the rental agreement. Security deposits protect the rental company's assets and incentivize customers to return the equipment in good condition while typically being refundable upon their return.

Self-Service Booking - A feature that allows customers to book equipment online without directly interacting with rental staff. Self-service booking systems provide convenience and flexibility for customers, reduce administrative workload, and support efficient inventory management.

Short-Term Rental - A rental agreement for a brief period, typically lasting days or weeks rather than months or years. Short-term rentals offer flexibility and convenience for customers while providing rental companies with opportunities to maximize equipment utilization and revenue.

SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) - A unique identifier for each type of item in inventory, used for tracking purposes. SKUs facilitate efficient inventory management, enabling quick identification, tracking, and reporting on specific items within a diverse equipment range.

Stock - The total equipment supply available for rental at any given time. Effective stock management ensures that a rental company can meet customer demand, maintain service quality, and optimize inventory investment and utilization.

Stock Identifier - Any code or number used to identify and differentiate stock items in inventory uniquely. Stock identifiers, such as SKUs or barcodes, are essential for efficient inventory management, allowing for precise tracking, ordering, and analysis of stock levels and movements.

Subrenting - Renting equipment from another company to fulfill customer orders when the original company's inventory is insufficient. Subrenting can help manage peak demand, maintain customer service levels, and explore new markets without significant upfront investment in additional inventory.


Tiered Pricing - A pricing strategy that offers different rates based on the duration, quantity, or other factors related to the rental. Tiered pricing provides flexibility for customers and rental companies, allowing customized solutions and maximizing revenue opportunities.

Turnaround Time - The time taken to prepare equipment for the next rental after it's returned. This includes cleaning, maintenance checks, and any necessary repairs. Minimizing turnaround time can significantly enhance equipment utilization and customer satisfaction.


Utilization - The measure of how effectively equipment is being used, calculated as the ratio of actual rental time to total available time. High utilization rates indicate efficient management and strong demand, contributing to the rental business's profitability and success.

Utilization Rate - Unlike equipment utilization, this term specifically refers to the percentage of time a piece of equipment is rented out versus the total time it is available for rent. This metric helps rental companies gauge the efficiency of their inventory management and identify low-performing equipment.


Waiver - A legal document by which the customer agrees to relinquish the right to sue the rental company under certain conditions, often related to equipment use. Waivers are an essential risk management tool, helping protect rental companies from liability and clarifying the responsibilities and risks the customer assumes.

Warehouse - A storage facility used to house equipment inventory when not in use, ensuring it is maintained in a ready-to-rent condition. Warehouses are critical in inventory management, protecting equipment from damage or theft, and supporting efficient logistics and distribution processes.

Wear and Tear - The expected and acceptable level of equipment deterioration due to everyday use during the rental period, as defined in the rental agreement. Understanding and managing wear and tear is essential for maintaining equipment value, customer satisfaction, and accurate damage assessment.

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