What is the Insurance Excess in a rental car?
The Excess in a rental car is the maximum amount you will have to pay in case the car suffers an accident, theft or great damage. The total amount of the Excess in a rental car ranges from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars, depending on the car rental company and the category of the rental car.
When you return the car, the company checks that there is no damage and the vehicle is in the same condition in which it was delivered to you. If everything is correct, they will not charge you anything. Otherwise, the company will charge you the corresponding part of the amount of the excess, but never more. The franchise is the maximum amount you will have to pay in case of damage to the vehicle and depends on the insurance (coverage) you have hired.
The insurance of rental cars reduces the amount that must be paid in case of problems, but they have certain limitations: there are events that are not covered. In these cases, as the excess has no validity, the customer will have to pay the full amount of the repair. Some of these limitations are common to all car rental companies, but others are specific to each company.
As a general rule, no insurance covers repairs in the event that the accident or damage was caused by the driver’s negligence, for example, alcohol, driving in the opposite direction, misuse of the gearbox in manual vehicles… and therefore the excess has no validity, and the client will have to assume all the expenses.
What is the Deposit? What if I do not want to be withheld from the deposit or the insurance excess on my card?
The card hold or deposit is a hold applied by companies to cover their backs in case they have to charge you for fines or penalties. And each company decides whether to retain it or not.
The deposit is an amount of money, which varies depending on the type of insurance and the category of the car. It is left as a guarantee and is returned once you deliver the vehicle in the same conditions in which you picked it up.
The deposit money, or block, is usually withheld on your credit card. While it is blocked, the rental company will not move it from your account, but you will not be able to use it either.
Companies can apply two different types of withholdings that look the same but are not:
On the one hand, there is the insurance excess, and on the other, the deposit also called credit card hold. A few years ago most of the car rental companies retained the total amount of the excess as a hold, but it is a practice that is not done.
In addition, you will also find very few companies that do not withhold anything when picking up the rental car, although it is very likely that by hiring the premium insurance or without a franchise the amount retained will be reduced, or with a little luck, do not retain anything.