The most difficult thing in renting a car: dealing with the deposit and the franchise

Traveling by car is a great thrill. Do not deny yourself this pleasure! At first, we didn’t dare for a long time, but once we tried, now we constantly rent cars in Europe and around the world. We have made for you detailed and clear instructions for renting a car, but to a greater extent, we will talk about franchises and deposits. Let’s figure it out!

Deposit and franchise

No car rental can do without these two words, and it is with them that confusion and misunderstanding often arise. Of course, as soon as you arrive at the rental office or start your online booking, you can get a consultation from the rental specialist. However, let’s figure it out so as to be prepared. All these basic rules can be applied to any country, no matter whether you want to take an SUV rental Dubai or hire Lamborghini in NY.


It is the amount that you leave as a guarantee of the safety of the car. The distributor will freeze this money on your card. If you return the car without damage, with the same fuel level in the tank, and without delay, then the entire amount will be unlocked. If you return the car with damage or late, then the amount of damage will be deducted from you. It takes 5-30 days to unfreeze the deposit, the term depends on the bank: some will keep your money for the maximum allowable 30 days, and some remove the freeze in 5-7 days.


This is the amount of your responsibility for the car. Each car is insured, but there is a certain amount that the customer must pay in case of damage: it can be 200, 500, 800, 1500€, or another amount – it all depends on the car rental company, car class, country, and other things. The deposit is usually equal to the franchise or slightly more.

Let’s see how it works, with examples

Let’s say the amount of your franchise is 1000€ and in the form of a deposit you have frozen 1200€. Let’s say you or you scratched the car, and the rental company estimated the repair at 300€. This means that these 300€ will be deducted from your deposit, and the remaining 900€ will be unblocked.

How not to leave a deposit

Some are afraid to leave a deposit and want to avoid it. Then you will have to pay extra. To do this, you need to put apply filters when searching for a car and look at those options where there is no deposit or it is small. You can check the deposit amount by clicking on “Rental Conditions”.

Please note that zero deposit does not mean zero deductible at all! Moreover, it may even increase. There is no point in overpaying for a zero deposit, but having the same or a larger deductible at the same time. If you really want complete peace of mind and confidence that in case of any problems, you will not pay extra for anything, then choose options with a zero deductible. To do this, check the appropriate box. The cost of renting a car will increase, but you will be fully insured.

In general, the most obvious and profitable way to rent a car without a deposit is another one. Just get a credit card and use it to freeze the deposit. This will block not your personal money, but bank money.

Credit card for deposit

A cash deposit is readily taken by small local rental companies. All major international car rental companies will require you to provide a credit card for making a deposit when you receive a car. Cash is not accepted, and debit cards are not accepted either. In fact, almost any debit card will do, it just needs to be:

  • Visa or Mastercard.
  • Personal (your name on the map).
  • Embossed (with embossed, i.e. convex number, name, and expiration date).
  • Without the label debit.

If you have a credit card, then I advise you to freeze the deposit on it – this way the bank’s money will be blocked, not your personal ones. The main thing is that your credit limit is enough for a deposit. If there is not enough, then top up the card with the required amount.

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