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Article overview

Why do you pay a deposit?

A car is often worth a lot of money. As such, it's no surprise that rental companies require a measure of certainty from you before giving you the keys to their hire car. The deposit amount serves as a guarantee for the company that rents the car to you. It gives certainty that the costs of theft or damage etc., as well as traffic fines, will be paid.

Why do you pay a deposit?

The deposit amount

The amount you pay depends on various factors. These include the type of car you rent – after all, a Fiat Panda is worth less than an Audi A6. In addition, the deposit amount depends on:

- The rental company from whom you hire the car
- The country or countries in which you will drive
- The fuel policy
- The excess
- Any extras, such as GPS or child seats

You can see the exact deposit amount in the terms and conditions for your booking. This prevents unpleasant surprises later.

Paying the deposit at the rental location

When you collect the hire car, you also pay the deposit. This means the amount will be reserved on your credit card. In addition, you can only pay the deposit with a credit card in your own name. Please note: nowadays, almost all credit cards have a PIN number. You will often need this to pay the deposit, so make sure you have it with you, or that you remember it, of course.

Reimbursement of the deposit

Once you return the hire car, it will be checked for any damage or other defects. Is everything in order? Then the amount reserved on your credit card will be released. It may take up to 20 working days before you see this on your credit card statement. This depends on your credit card provider.

Credit card

Please note: rental companies don't accept all credit cards. Visa and Mastercard, the most common credit cards, are generally accepted, but cards such as Amex and Diners are not always accepted. Prepaid and debit cards are also often not accepted. You can read which credit cards your rental company accepts in the general terms and conditions of your booking.
Please note: credit cards have a limit. It may be that the required deposit amount is higher than your credit card limit. If this is the case, contact your credit card provider in advance to increase the limit. With most credit cards, it's also possible to transfer money to the account. This increases the amount you can spend without increasing the limit.

What if there is damage?

Of course, it may be that you have to return the car with some damage. This may be a small scratch, a flat tyre, or the car may even have been stolen. What will happen with the deposit in such cases depends on the insurance policies you have taken out, and how the excess is arranged. You can read more about insurance and excess on this page. All about insurance & deductibles

Rental terms and conditions: the holy grail

Does the deposit sound complicated? It's actually quite simple. Everything you need to know is always stated in the rental terms and conditions that you receive by e-mail when you make a booking. This states the exact deposit amount, and what the excess is. As such, always take a copy of the rental terms and conditions with you when you collect the car. This prevents confusion and unnecessary discussion with the rental company.