If you are hiring a car with us for the first time, it is important to be aware of the need for a credit card when picking up your vehicle. It is common practice for a deposit to be held on your credit card and this is done during your pick-up. It is therefore important to make sure you have enough funds on your credit card in order to do so. Otherwise you might not be able to collect your car. This stage in the car rental phase can sometimes often be confusing but it need not be. Following are some of the most common questions we get about credit cards and the deposit.
1. Do I need a credit card to hire a car?
Yes. Even if you are able to pay with a different card on our booking engine, the main driver (the name on your car hire booking) must have a valid credit card in their own name, with a sufficient credit limit for the deposit. Cash deposits are also not accepted.
2. What is the deposit?
The local car rental company requires a deposit to be blocked on the main driver’s credit card when the car is picked up. This deposit is held by the car rental company against any damage done to the vehicle, or in case the vehicle is stolen.
3. Is a deposit required if I have booked Refundable Excess with Super Cover?
Yes. Refundable Excess and Refundable Excess with Super Cover are products offered by Auto Europe, not by the local car rental company. In case of damage, you will still be required to pay the excess to the car rental company, but can make a claim for refund from Auto Europe after the rental, in accordance with the Terms and Conditions.
4. How much is the deposit?
The deposit is generally made up of the sum of the insurance excess (also called deductible), the value of a full tank of fuel, and any optional charges you pay locally (extra insurance, equipment, one-way fees etc.). The deposit amount is displayed on the left-hand side during the booking process. In addition, you may also find the excess amount noted in the Terms and Conditions, which you must read and accept before you finalise and pay for the booking. Always read the Terms and Conditions fully before payment.
5. When will the blocked amount be released?
When the rental car is returned in the same condition as it was picked up in, the deposit will be released. How quickly this blocked amount will be at your disposal again depends on your credit card company, and can usually take up to two weeks, or longer in some cases.
6. How can I get more information?
Our FAQs and General Business Terms have useful information regarding credit cards, the deposit and excess protection. If you have a specific question about a current or future booking, please call us on 0800 358 1229.