If you ever wondered why car rental companies ask for a deposit from you when you hire a car, we have the answers for you in this article. Read on to find out the reasons behind a rental car deposit as well as anything else you need to know!
The Reason Behind a Rental Car Deposit
Car rental companies need you to pay a deposit when you hire their car because they want to ensure that they don’t lose any money, should any problems occur during your rental. For instance, if you return the car late, damaged, or dirty, they can deduct some money from the deposit, or even keep all of it if that is deemed necessary.
How much do I have to pay for a rental car deposit?
A car rental deposit amount often ranges anywhere between €250 and €3500. In some cases, it can be even more. Do bear in mind that the amount depends on the car rental company, the type of car, and the country in which you’re renting it. The deposit is usually around the same amount as the excess on your car’s Collision Damage Waiver and Theft Protection policies. The excess is the amount you have to pay for repairing or replacing the car if it gets damaged or stolen by any chance.
Is the deposit paid in cash?
Most car rental companies block the deposit on the main driver’s credit card. No one else’s credit card is permitted, as the main driver is the one being held liable for the vehicle. Blocking the deposit means that the money isn’t taken from the card, but you won’t be able to spend that amount unless it’s unblocked by the company. A few rental companies also accept a debit card that is in the main driver’s name. If you pay your deposit with a debit card, the money will actually come out of your account, so it’s visible on a bank statement. Not many car rental companies accept cash or cheques. The ones that do are usually local companies that have few cars.
When will my deposit be returned?
It generally takes up to 15 working days to get the deposit back after you have returned the rental car. Bigger companies that have better systems that can return it within five working days, especially if you rent during less busy times. It can take longer during the peak seasons like summer holidays, Christmas, and Easter time.
Is there any way for me to reduce the deposit amount?
If you’re keen on a particular car but you think the deposit is too high, you could look for a car from a different rental company. It often happens that two different companies charge two different prices for the same car. Companies usually offer to reduce the deposit and even the excess if you buy extra cover or insurance from them at the counter. But it is advisable that you read the paperwork carefully and check the price before you commit to buying the extra coverage.
How can I avoid paying a deposit?
Though it is not usually possible, some rental companies actually reduce the deposit and excess to zero if you buy extra cover or insurance from them at the counter. That being said, even if you buy insurance or cover for a zero excess, you might still have to leave a deposit with the company to cover fuel charges and any other features you may have opted for.
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