Deposit, hire purchase agreement
The sum which must first be paid in cash, to secure the purchase, aspart of a hire purchase agreement. The size of the defwsit depends the vendor and the current attitude of the government. The latter can exercise control over the level of consumer spending by altering hire purchase regulations; for instance, it can often dramatically reduce the level by insisting that the initial deposit be a high proportion of the total cost of the item.
Reference: The Penguin Business Dictionary, 3rd edt.