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How Much is the Average Deposit to Rent a Car?

Unfortunately, rental deposits are unavoidable. Rental companies collect security deposits from renters on all types of car rentals. They use this money for various purposes, including cleaning any excess dirt and removing scratches or dents for which the renter is responsible. 

The rental company will unlock or refund the security deposit (in some cases, the remaining amount after deducting the cleaning or repair charges) immediately after completing the inspection of the returned car. 

If you are planning to rent a car and aren’t sure how much rental companies will collect as a security deposit, it’s time to learn the basics of car rental deposits.

This article provides all the basic information related to the security deposits to rent a car so you can come prepared with the right amount.  

How Much is the Security Deposit to Rent a Car?

Rental companies will put a hold on your bank account to cover the anticipated rental fees and the security deposit to reduce the risk of non-payment. When you return the car, the rental company will compute the precise rental fees for the entire rental period and deduct the appropriate amount from your bank account.

No two rental companies have the same security deposit policy. We have compiled a list of the average security deposit prices of major rental companies in the United States.

  • Enterprise: Enterprise typically places a hold on 120% of the estimated car rental cost on credit card rentals. For instance, if your estimated rental cost is $300, Enterprise will place a hold on $360, in which $60 is considered a security deposit. For debit card rentals, Enterprise collects between $200 and $400 as a security deposit, depending on the pick-up location, to cover additional charges.

  • SIXT: SIXT places a hold on the estimated cost of the rental and a security deposit of up to $200 across all payment methods for security purposes.

  • Hertz: Hertz places an authorization hold on estimated car rental charges and a security deposit of up to $200 for credit card rentals and $500 for debit card rentals to cover the additional charges.

  • Budget: Budget will place an authorization hold on estimated rental charges plus the security deposit of up to $300 for both credit card and debit card rentals. For the prepaid and tour rentals, Budget collects a security deposit of up to $100.

  • Alamo: Alamo keeps an authorization hold on the estimated total amount for the rental and a security deposit between $300 and $400 on debit card rental, depending on the rental location and the type of car rented.

How Are Deposits Calculated?

Rental companies consider a range of factors to calculate security deposits. Let’s take a look at the factors that could alter your security deposit amount.

  • Type of vehicle being rented: The security deposit amount may vary based on the type of vehicle class you rented. For instance, you may be asked to make a higher security deposit amount for higher-value vehicles such as luxury SUVs, convertibles, and passenger vans.

  • Rental locations: The pick-up and drop-off locations may also play a role in computing the security deposit. For instance, the security deposit amount may vary between the airport and non-airport locations.  

  • Type of rental agreement: The security deposit amount charged for one-way rentals may be different from round trips.

  • Age of renter/driver: Typically, rental companies charge young driver fees for renters aged below 25 years. Since rental companies consider young drivers risky, they may ask for an extra security deposit (higher than what they usually charge to experienced drivers) in addition to the young renter's fee to cover the anticipated damages.

  • Number of reservation days: Rental companies will also consider the rental period (number of reservation days) while computing the security deposit. If you are opting for a long-term car rental, you should prepare to pay a higher security deposit.

How To Pay Your Rental Car Deposit

Car rental companies allow you to pay the rental car deposit through various forms of payment, including credit cards, debit cards, and cash payments.

Credit Card

A credit card is the preferred payment option for many rental companies because it enables them to quickly check the available credit and easily place an authorization hold on the security deposit and the estimated rental charges. Credit card rentals also offer many advantages to travelers, including travel insurance and reward points.

  • Insurance: Many major credit cards, such as Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card, United Club Infinite Card, and Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, will provide travel insurance between $75,000 and $150,000 per rental.

  • Reward Points: Credit cards such as the U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, and The Platinum Card® from American Express offer reward points on each dollar you spend on car rentals.

Debit Card 

Many rental companies accept debit cards for security deposits and car rentals, but with some restrictions.

  • Type of Card: Many rental companies have restrictions on which type of debit card they accept. For instance, Enterprise accepts only debit cards bearing the VISA, Mastercard®, or Discover logo.

  • Type of Rental Vehicle: Some rental companies don’t allow you to rent luxury cars and passenger vans on debit cards. For instance, Avis does not offer its Premium Series vehicles on debit card rentals.

  • Other Restrictions: Some rental car companies conduct a credit check (hard credit inquiries) while renting a car on a debit card. They may also ask the renter to submit multiple identification proofs such as a passport and utility bill in addition to a valid driver’s license. 

Therefore, you may need to double-check with rental companies to confirm whether they accept debit cards or not.

A debit card may be the best option for those who don’t have credit cards. However, you must ensure to have a sufficient balance in the bank account to cover the security deposit and estimated rental charges. 

Cash

Many rental companies, including Avis, Budget, National, and Alamo, don’t accept cash for security deposits and car rentals at the beginning of the transaction or at the time of rental pick-up. Still, they will accept cash as a final payment at the time of rental return. Thus, you should call the rental company to understand its cash payment policies before visiting the rental location.

Easily Manage Your Rental Deposit with AVR

Security deposits for car rentals may start from as low as $50 and go up to a maximum of $500. No rental company will allow you to rent a car without the security deposit. You must submit your credit or debit card at the rental location enabling the rental company to place an authorization hold on the estimated rental charges and security deposit. The amount you pay toward the security deposit may vary based on various factors, including the vehicle type, pick-up location, pick-up time, rental contract type, age of driver, and duration of the rental period.

Airport Van Rental (AVR) offers van rentals for the lowest-ever security deposits in the industry. We are the preferred van rental company for road trips, family vacations, adventure trips, and long-term rentals. With a premium fleet of vehicles, over a dozen rental locations, and premier customer support, we provide a seamless rental experience for you.

Book a rental van with AVR at the best rental rate to enjoy a pleasant and memorable vacation journey!