Car Rental - Credit Card Hold?

Jun 2nd, 2008, 01:39 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 6
Car Rental - Credit Card Hold?

I know the car rental insurance topic has been discussed extensively on here, but I couldn't find a reference to my particular question. I am planning on renting in Brive and waiving the CDW in favor of my $0 deductible coverage on my Visa platinum. However, I read in a travel book that if you do this, be aware that sometimes the companies will use a security deposit in the amount of the value of the vehicle. Has anyone actually encountered this? My credit limit on this card is below $20k, so it would never work.
nightjar is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2008, 04:37 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Ihave never heard of that. Frequently in the US if you refuse insurance they put a hol on the usual policy deductibel - $500 or $1000. But never the whole value of the car - as long as you're in a country in which your card does provide coverage.

One way around this would be to use an AMEX card - with no limit- so the issue wouldn;t be aproblem.
nytraveler is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2008, 06:54 PM
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Funny you ask this nightjar, as I just ran into this exact situation last week on Chios, Greece and never had it happen before.

I rented a car thru AutoEurope, as I have in the past, and they set me up with National Car Rental on Chios. I chose the basic option and paid with a credit card that covers me when I waive CDW.

When we arrived the local National agency INSISTED that we either take the CDW for 15 euro per day (and with an amazing 800 euro deductible) or that they pre-authorize the entire value of the car, $9,000 euro, which would have been what - $15,000 US or so. I have a much higher limit than that on my card but there was no way I would agree to that kind of pre auth.

I refused both options and called AE's toll free number from Greece. It took about 1.5 hours, but AE called National and National called the local agency. There was quite a bit of unpleasantness as the owner of the franchise was yelling and screaming into the phone at both AE and National Corporate. He was really wild and it was amazing to me he would act that way in front of us. I did keep my cool though, and a smile on my face, and in the end we agreed to a pre-auth of 305 euro and got our rental car.

I was very glad to have had AE to act on my behalf as I never would have been able to resolve it on my own. The agency refused to back down until National Corporate intervened. It was probably the single most unpleasant experience I have ever had while traveling.

HappyCheesehead is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2008, 06:59 PM
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Last year we rented a car in France, and I think the hold amt was a few thousand? But of course it never went thru as we returned the car in good shape. I don't think you need to worry if your limit is $20k, plus, if the charge is just a "hold" but never really goes thru, will that even matter?
yk is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 07:13 PM
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Thanks for the replies. It sounds like it is uncommon. What an awful experience HappyCheesehead had though!!
nightjar is offline  
Jun 4th, 2008, 01:32 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 215
WOW, I have not had an expierence like this.

Happy Cheesehead, I am glad it all worked out in the end for your but to even have to go thru that especially while on vacation had to be just awful.

yk,,,if the charge is just a hold and never goes thru, does it matter? Heck yes it matters. If they put a hold on your available funds for that card it may wipe out the use of that card while on vacation. Even tho in the end they don't charge anything but while the hold is on the card becomes unusable, at least for the anmount of the hold. Hopefully your credit limit is higher so you have some left over to actually use.
Areala is offline  
Jun 4th, 2008, 01:59 AM
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It is not uncommon to have an amount blocked on a credit card, I have amounts pre-authorized on credit cards several times for car rental and hotels. As for the HappyCheesehead experience, it was naive to expect a car rental company to release a car without any amount pre-authorized on the credit card. The CDW has been declined.
Odin is offline  
Jun 4th, 2008, 03:43 AM
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Why is it naive? We rented from AE in France, declined the CDW because of our cc, and asked specifically about any hold on our card. He assured me there was none.
Gretchen is offline  
Jun 4th, 2008, 03:54 AM
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I always keep the basic AutoEurope insurance and therefore have the deductible blocked on my credit card for each rental. Since I always rent sub-compacts, that runs from about 600€ for a Smart to about 1000€ for some other models.

Actually, I am keeping my fingers crossed at the moment because I returned a Toyota Aygo the day before yesterday to Europcar without mentioning that somebody had done something unpleasant to the rear left bumper during the night. I discovered the scraped and twisted plastic to my horror the next morning. I shoved the bumper back into place and wiped down the scrape so it wouldn't look brand new. There wasn't much to see when I took the car back, so I do not think I will be charged -- if so, it won't be for the full deductible anyway. I'm just glad it was plastic and not metal!
kerouac is online now  
Jun 4th, 2008, 06:15 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,288
I do not think it unreasonable to have a certain amount pre-authorized on the card, which is why I agreed to the 305 euro. However, I also think it was unreasonable to pre-authorize the ENTIRE value of the auto. Auto Europe stated they never heard of such a policy with Greek car rentals. National Car Corporate clearly agreed it was unreasonable too as they were the ones that forced the local agency to back down.

HappyCheesehead is offline  
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