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Discount Rental Car Insurance

What is a refundable deposit/bond? When does it get refunded?

A refundable deposit (also called a refundable "bond") is an amount that will be either deducted or "held" against your credit card as a deposit for the duration of your rental. It is charged if you refuse to purchase the rental company's excess waiver (we always advise you to refuse it and buy a policy, instead). Those waivers are usually called "Super CDW (Super Collision Damage Waiver)" in Europe or "Excess Reduction" in Australia/NZ. In the US there is no Super CDW or equivalent because their rentals have zero deductible excess

For cars the refundable deposit/bond/hold is usually less than $500, but for large motorhomes the bond may exceed $5000. Typically this amount is "frozen" (also called "imprinted" or "held") on your credit card (a small number of rental companies actually deduct the bond from your card and they may apply card fees on top). If the car is returned without damage the deposit is refunded in full. If there is damage then the bond will be deducted from your card and once the repair costs are assessed (allow 1-2 weeks) or - if it's a small amount of damage - the repairs are undertaken, the rental company will refund the difference between the bond and the repair costs. If the repair costs are equal to or greater than your bond, there is no refund due.

This is an important consideration for two reasons:

Note: Enter your rental company at the top of the page to compare their prices & policies with



A customer Jimmy Page has booked a car for a trip around Milan where he wants to buy some leather jackets, the likes of which pleased his fans back in the late '60s. When he arrives at the rental desk, Jimmy is told that the rental company will deduct a bond prior to departure. He knows that last time his bond was several hundred thousand liras but that was for a rented 1975 Lamborghini. This time the bond was only 200 euros. 

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Please check if these questions are relevant or scroll down to contact us:

About Our Price Guarantees

How are coverage days calculated?
I found a better price on a policy, will you match it?


What are the benefits?
Who is & Who provides the coverage?
What is the Rating of Our Underwriters?

Alternatives to

How to make an informed choice when you get to the rental desk - your insurance options explained.
Can I rely on Travel Insurance?
Should I just risk it and not get insurance?

Annual Plans

How Do I "Log" Rentals For My Annual Plan?


How do claims work for "Extra Cover" (for USA & Canada)?
How do claims work for "Zero Excess Rental Cover", "No Excess Rental Cover" & "Rental Vehicle Cover"?
When can I expect claims to be settled?
How do I make a claim?
Am I insured if I have more than one accident?
How do I report a claim for "Collision Damage Coverage" (for US Residents)?

Country: Asian Countries

What should I do at the rental desk in Asian Countries

Country: Australia/NZ

How does Excess Reduction & Third Party Insurance work in Australia and New Zealand
What should I do at the rental desk in Australia/NZ?

Country: Canada

How does rental excess & CDW work in Canada? What are my options?
What should I do at the rental desk in Canada?

Country: EU/UK

How does rental excess/CDW work in Europe? What are my waiver options?
What should I do at the rental desk in EU/UK?

Country: Latin American Countries

What should I do at the rental desk in Latin American Countries

Country: Namibia/Africa

How does rental excess & CDW work in Africa? What are my options?

Country: United States

What are the insurance options in the USA? How does the US differ from most other countries?
How Does The Free Roadside Assistance Work for USA Policies?
What is Extra Cover for the USA? What do I say at the rental desk?
What should I do at the rental desk in the US?
What should I do at the rental desk if I am traveling abroad with Collision Damage Coverage (for US Residents)?

Country: Worldwide

What should I do at the rental desk: Introduction

Damage Waivers (CDW, LDW, Super CDW, Super LDW)

What is "excess", "CDW", "LDW", "excess reduction", etc? And what is
How much do I pay if there's an accident?
How do "LDW" and "Super CDW" and "Super LDW" differ from simple "CDW"?

Managing/Cancelling/Modifying Policies

How do I cancel a policy, change dates or add coverage? What if I changed my rental vehicle?
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When are the policies issued?
How do I submit my airline rewards program number?
How much coverage do I need?
Are there age or residency restrictions?
Are additional drivers insured?
How do I change the name of the policy holder?
Who is insured? What is insured?
I bought a policy but changed my car. Do I need a new policy?
How do cancellations and refunds work?
What is a refundable deposit/bond? When does it get refunded?
How do I add coverage to my policy?
I have several rentals over a period of time. Do I need a policy for each rental? What if I have several countries to visit?
What are my policy's inclusions?

Personal Accident Insurance

What is PAI (Personal Accident Insurance)?

Supplemental Liability Insurance

What is SLI (Supplementary Liability Insurance)?

Theft Protection

What is Theft Protection?

Third Party Cover

Is "Third Party" included?
Why do rental companies charge a large excess when the repair cost is small? What happens if I'm "not at fault"? Will I get my money back? When?

Types of Vehicles & Types of Rental (Peer To Peer etc)

Are 4x4s Insured? What about unsealed roads?
What types of "rentals" are insured? Car shares? Loan cars from mechanics?

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