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November 29, 2023

Why Is It Required to Hold a Deposit for a Rental Car?

The car rental company financially protects its property by making you hold a security deposit. With the deposit, the rental car owner ensures that the property - i.e. the rental car - is protected and that any excess costs of the renter can be paid immediately in case of damage. 

Why Is It Required to Hold a Deposit for a Rental Car?

The Deposit Amount

The height of the deposit depends on the rental car category, country, and the local supplier. Many car rental companies take deposits that are equal to deductible. Besides, additional extras as well as the fuel policy might affect the height of the deposit as well. We recommend that you check the rental conditions to verify the exact deposit amount.

How Do I Pay the Deposit at the Rental Desk?

In the rental conditions of the respective offer you will find which credit cards or other payment methods are accepted by the local car rental company to hold the deposit. Cash payments, Prepaid, Debit, Electron, Diners Club and virtual credit cards are generally not accepted. 

The credit card used for the deposit must meet the following requirements:

  • Embossed and internationally recognized credit card

  • Valid for at least 6 months after the drop-off

  • Issued to the main driver

  • With sufficient funds to cover deposit

The PIN code may be required to confirm the deposit payment / pre-authorization. Make sure to have your PIN code ready along with the credit card when picking up the vehicle. 

Hint: Visa and Mastercard are the most common credit cards. However, check terms and conditions to make sure whether AMEX or Diners Club cards are accepted by the car rental companies as a form of deposit payment. Some car rental companies require two credit cards for luxurious rental cars. This information is also included in the rental conditions.

Fully Comprehensive Insurance - Deposit Still Required?

Yes, even if you opt for a refundable deductible, you will still have to pay a deposit. In case you damage the rental car, the supplier will retain the deposit which will be refunded after your rental by your insurance in accordance with their terms and conditions. 

Attention: In case of gross negligence you might have to pay for the damage yourself even if you have booked a fully comprehensive insurance with a refundable deductible.

Possible Problems with Securing the Requested Deposit

In general and due to the fact that the credit card requirements are already outlined in the offer before booking, only a few customers encounter issues with securing the deposit.

But why? Below you can find the main reasons why customers face issues:

  • Debit card with a credit card function that is not accepted for the deposit (Debit credit cards generally state “Debit” on the card itself)

  • Not embossed digits

  • Lack of PIN

  • Insufficient credit card limit to secure the deposit

  • Credit card is not issued in the name of the main driver

Please ensure that you follow the credit card requirements outlined in the terms and conditions of your respective offer.

Return of the Deposit

When the deposit is returned varies depending on the car rental company and bank. If you return the rental car in a proper, clean and undamaged condition, the rental deposit should be released within approximately two weeks. However, in some cases it can also take a whole billing period, depending on your credit card provider.

It's important to note that the deposit amount can vary depending on the rental company, the type of vehicle, and the rental location. Some companies may place a hold on your credit card, while others may deduct the deposit. Be sure to inquire about the deposit policy when renting a car and understand how and when the deposit will be refunded to you after the rental period ends, assuming there are no issues.

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