Rental car companies require you to deposit some amount every time you hire their services. This deposit varies from company to company.
In this article, we will explore what rental car deposit is about, and how much 8 popular rental car companies charge for deposits. We will also discuss their charges based on factors and conditions peculiar to each company.
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Hertz, a subsidiary of Hertz Global Holdings, is one of the biggest rental companies in the world. The company mandates the payment of rental deposits from their customers.
Hertz calculates all rental charges and rental deposits together and puts a hold on them until the end of the transaction. They accept deposit payments using credit cards and debit cards. Cash payment is, however, dependent on some factors.
Hertz demands a rental deposit of up to $200 for a credit card and $500 for a debit card. The price applies to all cars. It doesn’t matter how expensive they are or their model. This is because the company employs other means to make their customers responsible for high-end cars.
If there were no extra charges incurred by you, Hertz will return your rental deposit within 24 hours of a successful transaction.
However, damages to the car, failure to return the car on time, inappropriate amount of fuel, and fines will require extra charges that are deducted from your rental deposit. If there is a deposit balance at the end of the transaction, Hertz will as well send it to you within 24 hours of returning the rental car.
Thrifty rental deposit may vary depending on some factors, like the type of car, your means of payment, and the location.
Like Hertz, Thrifty charges a rental deposit of $200 on a credit card and $500 on a debit card. They keep a hold on your rental charges and deposit till you return the car.
However, Thrifty will return your full rental deposit after you have returned the car on the scheduled day. If there are extra charges, your rental deposit will account for it and Thrifty will send the balance to your account just the same.
Note that getting the deposit on time after Thrifty has paid depends on your bank.
Enterprise rental company is one of the leading car rental agencies in America. A rental transaction can only take place with Enterprise after you have successfully paid the rental deposit, which is charged separately from the rental expenses. They use your rental deposit only when the payment is important.
Often, the rental deposit serves as a security payment to cover any expenses you generated out of agreement during your rental period. These expenses include fuel replacement, late return of the car, cleaning, damages to the car, monthly/yearly fines, and tickets.
Also, Enterprise may charge your rental deposit in some situations where your registered account is closed for payment and they can’t transact with it, or where you have an outstanding payment that is due.
Note that the amount Enterprise collects for rental deposits depends on some factors. These factors include the cost of the rental car you are renting and your location.
An expensive car will require a higher rental deposit compared to an average car. They have to make sure your deposit covers possible extra fees in every transaction. And that it is the same company in a different location, does not mean the rental deposit is constant.
The location may influence how much Enterprise charges you. Some locations demand more than others and vice versa.
Enterprise demands a rental/security deposit between $100-$500 from customers from the onset of the transaction. However, your conduct during your rental period determines how the company uses the rental deposit.
Finally, if there are no extra charges from your end, Enterprise will return your full deposit payment. And if there are deductions and there is a balance, they will return it by your means of payment between 5-10 business days after you have returned the car.
Alamo is the third-largest car rental company in America and is popular for its cheap rental offers in the country and around the world. Their rental deposit policy may vary from location to location and their charges may not be constant.
However, Alamo’s rental deposit ranges from $200-$400 depending on your rental location. They charge the rental deposit with your rental fees during the transaction. Unlike most rental companies, Alamo doesn’t always place a hold on your account balance, but the amount that covers your expenses.
You can pay for your services with Alamo using your debit or credit card. They also accept some other means of payment, like cash, based on some criteria and factors.
Also, Alamo will account for and deduct all extra charges from your rental deposit after you returned the vehicle.
Extra charges may occur based on the location of pickup, late return, additional fuel charges, vehicle type and model, and others. Alamo refunds your rental deposit after you have returned the car with no delay.
If there are extra charges, Alamo will send the balance to you through your means of payment. It may take the period 5-10 working days to see it, depending on your bank.
For Alamo locations that allow cash payment, they may return your cash on your trip to return the car or mail it to you.
National, like most rental companies, require you to pay for your rental deposit before a successful transaction can take place. They keep a hold on the rental cost and your rental deposit through your account.
National rental deposit depends mainly on the location you are renting from. However, the rental deposit ranges from $200-$400. The company will hold your rental charges and the deposit till the end of the transaction.
If there are extra charges or damages, your deposit takes care of it. In cases of none, National will return your full deposit after you have returned their car. However, your bank determines when it will be delivered to you.
Lyft makes car rental easy, cheap, and smooth for their customers through their app-based services. Lyft offers its customers some perks that make them the go-to rental service among others. For example, their $20 ride credit offer for customers on the way to pick up and return the car.
However, like other rental companies, Lyft requires a rental deposit after you have scheduled a rental service with them. Through their app, they notify you of your deposit rate, which varies according to location.
Lyft rental deposit is a maximum of $250. They will charge it from your account after your rental schedule. So far, the only medium of payment Lyft accepts for rental deposits is credit and debit cards.
Note that Lyft will return your rental deposit in cases of a failed transaction and after a successful one.
Failed transactions involve cases such as not passing the background check or canceling your appointment before car pick up.
For a successful transaction, Lyft will return your deposit if you returned the car in the same condition you rented it.
If there are extra charges or damages, Lyft will deduct the cost of the expenses from your rental deposit and return the balance to you. However, refund processing may take up to 2 weeks after you have returned the car.
Budget, like all rental companies, requires a rental deposit during your transaction with them. Budget requirement for rental deposit wasn’t quite specific. However, your deposit type, amount, and means of payment depend on your location.
To get the accurate rental deposit for your location, you can input your location on their website through the label: Additional fees and Credit Holds.
You can also make inquiries through the contact details provided on the site.
However, despite the inconsistency, Budget requires a hold of either the estimated rental charges plus 25% or $200 on your account. They go for whichever one is more and enough to cater to your total estimated expenses.
Budget will lift the hold on your account after you have returned the car and after they have accounted for all charges. However, note that like every other rental company, Budget will also account for and deduct all extra charges from your deposit before lifting the hold.
Also, Budget allows you to demand an extension on the scheduled return day of the car. The company requires you to contact one of their reservation agencies to make some further arrangements. An extension, however, may entail placing up to three additional holds on your account.
Avis requires a rental deposit when you pick up any of their vehicles for rent. The deposit depends on some factors, like your payment method and location.
Also, Avis allows its customers to pay for rental deposits using only credit and debit cards.
However, with Avis, the rental deposit charge for a credit card is $200 and $100 for a debit card. Avis keeps a hold on your total estimated charges or the rental deposit, depending on which will be enough to cater to your expenses.
If there are no extra charges like fuel replacement and others, Avis will return your full deposit money through your means of payment. And if there is any, they will refund the balance to you.
Avis will lift the hold on your account after you have returned their car. However, it may take 5-10 working days before you can get it depending on your bank.
Note that all rental car companies take rental deposits before loaning you their cars. This is because rental car companies use rental deposits to take care of charges that may surface outside the rental bills your rental payment covers.
However, if there are no extra charges, all rental companies will refund your full rental deposit through the means of payment you used. They do this after you have returned the rental vehicle and met all the terms and conditions.
Rental deposit rates depend on some factors which differ for individual companies. However, these factors are common to most renal companies:
- When you are returning the vehicle
- Your age
- The type/model of car
- The location and
- Your location