The car rental company 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.
How much is a rental deposit?
The height of the deposit depends on the rental car, country, and the local supplier. Many car rental companies take deposits that are equal to deductible. We recommend that you check the rental conditions to verify the exact deposit amount.
How to pay the deposit?
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 cards are generally not accepted.
Example of the rental conditions regarding which payment methods are accepted:
The credit card 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
Attention: 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 1: Check terms and conditions to make sure whether AMEX is accepted by the car rental companies as a form of deposit payment.
Hint 2: Some car rental companies require two credit cards for luxurious rental cars. This information is included in terms and conditions.
Pay for the car rental booking and for the deposit with different credit cards. Is it possible?
Yes. Please keep in mind that the credit card for deposit needs to be issued to the main driver, and meet the requirements mentioned above.
Rental car with fully comprehensive insurance - Do I still have to pay a deposit?
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. This includes, for example, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
When will the deposit be returned?
This 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 two weeks. However, in some cases it can also take a whole billing period.
Is it possible to rent a car without a deposit?
Most car rental companies require a security deposit. In some cases, it is possible to book a rental car without a deposit. On the HAPPYCAR website, you can use the deposit filters to look for offers without deposit. You will find this filter on top of the page.
Attention: Deductible may apply even if you book an offer without deposit.