Orbit's Travel Blog - 22.12.2021.

Car Hire Deposit Explained

You might be wondering how much car rental deposits cost and why is it so high. Learn how car rental deposits work and how to save money when booking your next trip!

How does a car hire deposit work? 

A security deposit is taken by the car rental company as a warranty while you have the vehicle. A good way to think about the deposit is that the rental company is allowing you to use their vehicle which is worth thousands of pounds. And the deposit is used as financial protection and assurance that they won‘t be at a loss if something goes wrong. The deposit can be taken for any kind of fees the hiring company might expect to receive, such as refuelling fees, ticket fines, cleaning fines etc. Rental companies can also require a deposit of the total amount of the car rental excess as a warranty for any unexpected damages. The idea behind paying this deposit is also that it allows the company to hold on to an amount of money in case you don‘t return the car.

White Tesla parked and charging

How much is the deposit to rent a car?

The total amount of the security deposit is different between the location, supplier and vehicle you choose to hire. More expensive vehicles, like 4x4, premium/luxury and minivans will have a higher deposit amount than a mini car. The type of Collision Damage Waiver you have with your rental can also affect the deposit amount. In most cases, a car rental company will hold a security deposit that equals the insurance excess amount and petrol cost. So the deposit amount can vary anywhere between £200-3000. So we recommend that you have sufficient funds on your card before you arrive at the counter.

Can I reduce my deposit?

It will depend on the supplier you rent from. Some companies provide special no-deposit products, others can offer additional insurances where the amount is reduced. You can always look at the additional insurance packages that the car rental company has to offer before you arrive at the counter. Many companies offer additional insurance called Super Collision Damage Waiver, which can minimise the excess and therefore the deposit.

How do I pay a rental deposit?

Almost all companies will require a credit card to leave a deposit. Nowadays more companies have begun to allow debit cards for deposits and payments. Please note in case if you use a debit card to cover the deposit. The deposit amount is not blocked but charged from the account and the amount will be transferred back after the rental is completed. However, this will always depend on the supplier you select. 

Wallet with a debit card

When can I expect my deposit to be returned?

It usually takes about 10-20 working days for the deposit to be released back to your card. 

How can I protect my deposit?

First and foremost, you must have the correct coverage that suits your trip. Whether it is Premium Coverage provided by Orbit Car Hire, credit card insurance or insurance provided by the rental company. As we can never predict unexpected damages.

The second is to look carefully at your vehicle before leaving the office. We always recommend taking photos of all sides of the vehicle and a video. This is good just in case something might be missed on the damage report.

The third thing to keep in mind is to avoid all potential fees. Make sure to return the vehicle with the correct amount of fuel, and make sure to pay for all parking in the towns visited. Drive at legal speed to avoid speeding tickets and return the car without any stains or smells inside the vehicle.

Can I find a car hire with no deposit?

Sometimes you will come across the phrase ‚car hire with no deposit required when searching for car rental deals. But what does that mean? This means that there is no extra amount paid upfront to the car hire company, just your standard credit/debit card details are usually sufficient to cover any potential damage. 

How can I find a low-deposit car hire?

When you are looking at deals for a rental car, it can make a big difference to not only look at the cheapest offers. We recommend that you look at the deposit amount for the specific vehicles you are looking to rent. At Orbit Car Hire you can simply click „Rental Details“ on the car card; there you will find the deposit amount as well as what type of payment is accepted for each vehicle. Keep in mind that deposits tend to be lower for smaller vehicles. So when looking for a low-deposit car hire, make sure you are not looking for any expensive premium vehicles.

A man signing a rental contract

Do all car hire companies require a deposit?

Yes, all car hire companies will require that they take a hold of a certain amount from your card while you have their vehicle on rent. However, the deposit amount will vary between companies and locations they have offered. The deposit will reflect on the insurance excess.

Is a deposit required if I have booked Premium Coverage? 

Yes, Premium Coverage is a product offered by Orbit Car Hire not the local car rental company that provides the vehicle. In case of damage, you are required to pay for the damage at the counter. You can then claim a refund from Orbit Car Hire after the renal, following the Terms and Conditions. 

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