Understanding Car Rental Preauthorization: Explained and Released

Nova rent a car Croatia Car Rental Preauthorization Explained

When renting a car, you might encounter terms like “preauthorization” and “authorization hold.” These terms are crucial to comprehend, as they play a significant role in your car rental experience. In this guide, we’ll delve into the ins and outs of the car rental deposit and authorization hold process. By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of what these terms mean, how they affect your finances, and the timeline for releasing the hold. Let’s explore this essential aspect of renting a car.

1. Preauthorization: When you rent a car, the rental company places a temporary hold on your credit or debit card. This is known as a preauthorization. The purpose is to ensure that you have enough available funds to cover potential charges like the rental fee, additional services, or damages. The preauthorization amount is not an actual charge; it’s a hold on your funds.

2. During the Rental: During your rental, you might notice that the preauthorized amount is “reserved” on your card, reducing your available credit or cash. It’s important to keep in mind that this is not a charge, but rather a hold on your funds.

3. End of the Rental: When you return the car, the rental company will finalize the charges. If everything is in order, the actual charge will be processed. The final charge might be lower than the preauthorized amount, as it reflects the actual rental cost, services, and potential damages.

4. Release of Authorization Hold: After the final charge is processed, release of the preauthorization hold on your funds starts by default. This means the reserved amount will be made available to you again. However, this process is not instantaneous.

5. Timeline for Release: The timeline for the release of the authorization hold varies depending on your card issuer. Most card issuers take around 15 to 30 days or more to release the hold. This is not determined by the rental company; it’s a standard procedure of the banking system.

6. Your Bank’s Role: The rental company completes its part by processing the final charge and releasing the preauthorization. After this, it’s up to your bank to release the funds back into your account. The rental company cannot expedite this process.

7. Patience is Key: While the hold on your funds might feel inconvenient, it’s important to remain patient. Once the rental company has released the hold, it’s a matter of your bank’s processing time. If you have questions or concerns about the timeline, don’t hesitate to contact your bank.

Remember, preauthorization is a standard practice in hospitality and car rental industry to ensure a smooth rental experience.