Renting a car from Enterprise requires leaving a deposit on your credit or debit card. This ensures the company is protected if the vehicle is damaged, stolen, or not returned on time.
The deposit amount will vary based on your rental location, vehicle type, and method of payment. Generally, Enterprise places a hold on your card for the total estimated rental charges plus an extra amount as a security deposit.
Understanding how much Enterprise holds on your credit card – and when you’ll get your deposit back – ensures a smooth rental experience.
How the Enterprise Deposit Process Works
Like all major car rental companies, Enterprise requires a deposit to cover potential incidental charges when customers pick up a vehicle. This deposit acts as a temporary hold on the available credit on your card.
The deposit amount is not a charge and will be released when you return the vehicle as promised. However, if there are extra charges for things like:
- Late return fees
- Traffic citations
- Damage repairs
Enterprise can withdraw money from the held deposit amount to pay those fees.
The hold remains in place throughout the rental period. Once the vehicle is returned undamaged and on time, Enterprise releases the full deposit hold.
Your credit card is then only charged the agreed-upon rental rate.
What Factors Determine the Deposit Amount?
Several key factors impact how much Enterprise places on hold when you rent a car:
Luxury, high-performance, and specialty vehicles require a larger deposit than economy vehicles. Renting an exotic or premium vehicle could mean a deposit hold 2x or 3x the standard rental rate.
Airport locations tend to require higher deposit amounts than neighborhood branches. Downtown city rentals may also have elevated holds.
Debit cards are treated like cash and require a larger deposit hold compared to credit cards. Cash rentals require the largest deposit amount.
Your past rental history with Enterprise can lower the deposit amount required if you have a solid track record of returns.
Adding extra products like GPS units, car seats, and supplemental liability insurance can increase the deposit hold amount.
Standard Deposit Amounts by Location
While every rental situation is unique, Enterprise does follow general guidelines when placing holds on customer cards:
For airport rentals, the standard hold is 120% of the estimated total rental cost. That breaks down to:
- 100% of the agreed rental rate
- 20% security deposit
So a $100 daily rental rate would have a $120 hold placed on your card when you pick up the car.
The extra 20% covers potential incidentals like:
- Fuel charges for failing to refill the tank
- Late return fees if you keep the vehicle past the agreed date
- Traffic tickets received during the rental
- Minor damage repairs
For non-airport rentals, the hold amount is usually just the estimated rental total. A $50 daily rate at a neighborhood location would see a $50 hold placed on your card.
Some downtown rentals may still require a slightly higher 120% hold, however.
Paying the full rental amount upfront in cash requires the largest security deposit, ranging from $200 to $500 depending on vehicle type and location.
When You Get Your Deposit Back
The speed at which your security deposit hold is released depends on how you paid for the rental:
For credit card rentals, the pending hold is released as soon as you return the vehicle and Enterprise processes the return. The company only charges your card the final rental amount.
So if you had a $300 rental rate plus a $60 deposit hold, the hold disappears and only the $300 is charged at the end of the rental.
Enterprise places a hold on your bank account when renting with a debit card. The pending hold remains for 1-10 days after the vehicle is returned before the funds are released back to your account.
For cash rentals, Enterprise issues a refund check by mail or at the branch within 10 business days after the rental concludes.
Tips to Minimize Your Deposit
While Enterprise sets standard hold amounts, renters can take steps to reduce the deposit required:
- Rent outside the airport – Airport locations require higher holds than neighborhood branches
- Join the Emerald Club – Members earn “wave waivers” to bypass the desk and deposit
- Use the same card – Your card on file needs a lower hold if you rent repeatedly
- Add a 2nd driver – Additional licensed drivers lower your hold amount
- Purchase insurance – Adding supplemental liability insurance can offset the deposit
- Use a credit card – Credit cards get lower holds than debit cards or cash
Common Enterprise Hold Questions
Understanding exactly how much Enterprise will hold on your card avoids payment surprises. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
Does Enterprise always hold more than the rental amount?
For airport rentals, yes – the standard hold is 120% of your estimated rental total. For non-airport rentals, the hold is typically just the rental amount.
How long does Enterprise hold the deposit?
The entire deposit amount is held during the full rental period and released upon the vehicle’s return. Credit cards see the hold disappear immediately while bank account holds can take 1-10 days to drop off.
Can I get the deposit waived?
Joining the Emerald Club and reaching a certain status level earns free “wave waivers” to bypass the rental counter and deposit hold. Renting outside the airport also typically waives the deposit requirement.
What if I want to extend my rental?
If you need to extend your rental, Enterprise will continue to hold the deposit amount on your card. You will also be charged any additional days at the agreed daily rate.
Will Enterprise hold more if I damage the car?
Yes, if any damage is present when you return the vehicle, Enterprise can withdraw money from the held deposit amount to cover repair costs before releasing the remaining funds.
The Deposit Hold is Temporary
While handing over your credit card for a large deposit hold can be unsettling, just remember that the funds are not being charged. The hold simply ensures that money is available in case incidental fees arise when you return the vehicle.
As long as you bring the rental car back on time and undamaged, the full deposit amount is released quickly. Understanding Enterprise’s deposit policy ahead of time ensures your rental goes smoothly no matter where you travel.