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The car rental industry is a high-risk one, which explains why most rental companies require credit cards before lending out their assets, whether cheap or high-end. There are some car rental companies that do not require a credit card to rent a car.
However, some companies allow clients to rent a car rental with a debit card, cash, and prepaid cards, making all the difference if you don’t have your credit card with you or don’t own one.
Nine of the most trusted car rental companies that don’t require a credit card include Alamo, Budget, Avis, Dollar, Enterprise, Thrifty, Sixt, Hertz, and National. While these agencies accept debit card payments, you’ll need to comply with more regulations than you would when using a credit card.
This article will examine some of the most well-known car rental companies that don’t require a credit card to rent a car. Additionally, we’ll also tackle everything you need to know about renting a car using your debit card.
Alamo is among the most affordable car rental companies and has been operational for several decades. While the rental company accepts debit card payments, it does attach some strict policies to users that rent a car without a credit card.
First, all debit cards must have the VISA, Mastercard, or Discover logo. Your rental application won’t be successful if you’re using unrecognized cards. It’s also important to note that all charges will be placed on your debit card, which will reduce the available funds in your account. Moreover, Alamo states that as the renter, you’ll be responsible for any fees (overdraft) incurred.
Some other key factors include:
- If you’re looking to rent at the airport rental location, you’ll need to provide proof of a return ticket.
- The name and address shown on your driver’s license should match your current home address.
- When renting using a debit card, the deposit required will vary between $200-$400 depending on location, so ensure you have sufficient funds in your account.
Budget allows you to rent with a debit card. However, debit card clients must be at least 25 years old and ready to have a ‘hold’ (authorization) placed on their accounts for the entire reservation period.
Unfortunately, Budget states that some of its locations don’t accept debit cards during reservation but will accept when users make payments. If you are unsure, try calling the local office to check.
Clients considering renting a car from an airport location are required to provide proof of return flight. And since not all Budget locations accept debit card payments, the rental agency advises clients to check the debit card policies at the preferred pickup location well in advance to avoid delays on the day.
Lastly, keep in mind the following:
- Budget’s minimum hold amount is $100, which usually applies to prepaid rentals or insurance replacement rentals.
- Additionally, the debit card provided must have sufficient funds to cover the security deposit and the rental.
Avis doesn’t require a credit card payment if a user above 25 years presents a debit card with a MasterCard or Visa logo at the time of rental. However, not all locations accept debit card rentals, so Avis advises its users to inquire before the preferred renting date.
Depending on rental location, most US locations accepting debit cards will perform a credit check to determine the user’s creditworthiness. There are ways how to improve your credit score that help when credit checks are performed. But if the location doesn’t perform credit checks, clients will be required to present additional identification details.
Additional identification details that you might be required to secure a rental include, bank statement, utility bill, military identification, passport, or vehicle insurance card that match the address provided in the driver’s license.
Some other things to keep mindful of include:
- Users must provide their round trip tickets, e-ticket, or itineraries with return dates for airport locations.
- The debit card hold amount is usually $200-$350 plus the estimated rental charges.
- The reversal of the funds usually takes two weeks to give Avis enough time to make deductions or additional rental charges.
Dollar is among the few car rental companies that allow debit card users below 25 to rent. However, the company must perform credit checks to determine the potential client’s creditworthiness. In addition to the credit checks, clients will also need to provide proof of return travel that must coincide with rental dates.
Dollar only accepts debit cards with MasterCard, VISA, or Discover logs and doesn’t allow debit card clients to rent luxury vehicles. Moreover, clients are also advised to make reservations 24 hours before car pick-up to know the debit terms of their preferred pick-up locations.
Before booking with Dollar, ensure you can provide the following:
- Clients paying via debit card must provide two forms of government-issued ID.
- In terms of hold, clients must permit Dollar to access a $500 incidental hold.
- In addition to the $500 incidental hold, the cost of the rental will also be secured on the debit card upon the commencement of the travel.
Thrifty is among the few rental companies that don’t need a credit card. You can easily secure your preferred ride with a debit card, provided it bears the MasterCard, Visa, or Discover logo. However, while Thrifty allows for debit card payment, clients are usually required to reserve at least 24 hours before the pickup date.
- All Thrifty debit card clients are required to provide proof of travel plans and two forms of ID.
- A mandatory deposit worth $500 must be placed in addition to necessary car rental services.
- Clients can also pay via cash.
Cash deposits are only valid for clients who’ve applied for a cash deposit identification card, a process that can take 30 days and set you back a $15 non-refundable fee for a credit check.
Disclaimer: the cash payment option can be tasking, especially since you might be required to provide sensitive information like previous employers, annual income, and account information.
Sixt allows clients to rent cars without credit cards. The car rental agency allows both out-of-state and in-state renters to use debit cards as payment at specific locations. Sixt requires that all clients provide two forms of identification (government-issued) and available account funds. Please note that debit cards aren’t allowed for long-term car rentals (28 days and more).
Local renters can make use of their debit cards to rent a Sixt vehicle. This would include non-airport locations. However, locals need to present an original (current) utility bull that matches the address and name of the user’s driver’s license. Sixt won’t consider any utility bills older than three months.
Non-local renters need to be aware of the following:
- Non-local renters can use their debit cards but won’t be allowed to rent any luxury, extraordinary or premium vehicles except for pickup trucks and vans.
- The non-local renter will be required to provide the roundtrip flight itinerary or a return airline ticket when picking up the car.
National doesn’t require a credit card to rent out its cars, and clients can hire National cars provided the non-credit card bears a Mastercard, VISA, or Discover logo. If you’re looking to hire at the airport, you’ll need to give a return travel itinerary (ticketed), and the address and name indicated on your driver’s license must match your current home address. Policies may vary in Puerto Rico.
Some key points to consider include:
- No additional drivers will be allowed other than you and your spouse or domestic partner.
- Expect your available funds to reduce in the bank account you provide.
- You’ll also be liable for any overdraft charges incurred at the time of renting at National.
Although a credit card is a preferable form of payment to cover the cost, it is not a requirement when looking to rent an Enterprise car. However, the debit card you provide must bear the Mastercard, VISA, or Discover logo as Enterprise doesn’t accept debit cards that aren’t globally recognized. Debit cards are accepted only under global identity for renting a car.
Clients renting from airport locations will need to make debit card deposits at the time of rental pick-up. Airport clients will also need to accompany their rental applications with a return travel ticket. To enhance the authenticity of applications, Enterprise maintains that the address and name shown on the valid driver’s license must be similar to the client’s current home address.
Be aware of the following before booking a rental car with Enterprise:
- A $200 deposit is usually required when using a debit card.
- In addition to the holding cost, your debit card must be able to cover the entire cost of renting at Enterprise.
- Please note that not all Enterprise locations accept debit cards, and those that do usually have strict regulations.
- You might need to provide a recent pay stub, utility bill copies, proof of insurance, and even references.
Hertz allows its clients to use debit cards for payments, provided they come with the VISA, Discover, and MasterCard logo, and the card must draw funds directly from the client’s account. American Express is not accepted as a form of payment since it is not a debit card.
However, to reserve a rental with Hertz, cardholders must book at least 24 hours before the preferred pick-up time.
Clients should also be aware:
- Clients renting from airport locations must present and provide proof of return flight whose name and address details coincide with at least two forms of identification.
- You must also be above 25 years to reserve a rental via debit card at Hertz.
- While Hertz accepts debit cards and store value or prepaid cards as payment methods at the end of a rental, clients will most likely have to undergo a credit check to determine creditworthiness.
- Your card must have enough funds to cover a $500 holding fee for debit cards and the entire estimated charges.
Hertz also allows for cash payments for clients with a Cash Deposit Identification Card. To get the cash deposit ID, however, you’ll need to register on the site. The application process can take up to 30 days, and clients will need to pay a $15 non-refundable fee.
What Are Some of the Requirements When Using Debit Cards?
While some car rental companies allow clients to rent using debit cards, some conditions must be met for the reservation or rental to be successful. Below are some of the regulations you might need to meet when using a debit card on car rental companies.
Be Prepared To Provide Extra Identification
On most occasions, car rental companies will need you to provide additional identification details when using a debit card for renting a car. The need for extra identification is usually due to the high risks associated with renting cars using debit cards.
Some of the extra identification documents you might need to provide are:
- A passport
- Bank statement
- Utility bill
These documents will help prove your legitimacy as a trusted customer. Failure to provide additional identification when using a debit card means your reservation won’t be successful.
Only Bank-Issued Debit Cards Are Considered
Almost all car rental companies are strict when it comes to the type of debit cards used. As a rule of thumb, all debit cards must be globally accepted and bear the MasterCard, Discover, and VISA logo. Your reservation and rental with a debit card won’t be successful when using non-recognized debit cards. Global recognition is one of the advantages & disadvantages of online banking for many reasons.
Age Cap and Advance Reservation
Most car rental companies are rigid when it comes to the minimum age when using debit cards, with 25 years being the minimum age required by almost all the car rental companies discussed in this article.
Additionally, when using a debit card and other alternative modes of payment, you will be required to book at least 24 hours in advance. Booking in advance might save you from massive disappointment during a pick-up, mainly since not all locations accept debit cards. You can book online via buy now pay later no credit check instant approval sites.
Limited Car Selection
Limited car selection is among the greatest challenges when using a debit card to reserve or rent a car. Without a credit card, renting luxury cars may not be an option. Renting luxury cars might keep a considerable amount of a client’s cash on hold in their account, which isn’t attractive for most debit cardholders. As a result, without a credit card, most car rental companies restrict access to luxury and high-end cars for clients using debit cards and other non-credit-card methods of payments.
Proof of Return Travel Ticket
On most occasions, debit card deposits at airport locations will be accepted only if accompanied by a return travel ticket. The address and name shown on the card holder’s driver’s license must be the same as the current home address.
There are usually restrictions on the number of drivers allowed, with most companies only permitting the renter’s spouse or domestic partner behind the wheel. If you fail to provide a return ticket itinerary, then chances are you won’t be able to use a debit card.
Depending on location, some car rental companies might need you to provide personal references when not using a credit card to reserve or make payments. Personal references usually include the contact details of one (or more) people who can verify your identity. You’ll therefore be needed to provide your contact person’s name and address as indicated on his or her driver’s license or any other government-issued form of identification.
A Credit Check Might Be Performed
Car rental companies accepting non-credit card payments or reservations tend to take as much precaution as possible to avoid getting into bad deals. As a result, clients using debit cards might have a credit check performed to determine creditworthiness. Check out the best ways how to repair your credit yourself before they run a credit check.
Some car rental companies use a card holder’s credit score to determine the type of cars he or she will have access to for use. The higher your credit score, the easier it will be to rent out luxury cars (depending on company policy).
Risks to Rent a Car Without a Credit Card?
It can be risky to rent a car without a credit card. Car rental companies that don’t accept non-credit cards will require the client to put down two or more forms of identification and conduct background checks on him or her (depending on company policy).
The steps taken by car rental companies are to protect themselves from fraud, which can be costly for them in the long run. There are ways to get a credit card without a bank account if you find yourself needing one for your rental.
Car Rental Company Alternatives
If your transportation needs are more than a few rentals a week, you may be better off buying a car. It’s actually a lot easier than you think to purchase one even with shaky credit. Check out what credit score is needed to buy a car at Carmax for details.
FAQs About Car Rental Companies That Don’t Require a Credit Card
Do Car Rental Companies Accept Cash?
While not all car rental companies will allow cash payments, some do permit them. However, clients will still need a debit or credit card when making reservations. Companies that accept cash payments usually have stringent measures to curb any form of fraud.
For instance, car rentals like Dollar will allow for cash payments; however, the clients must successfully apply for the Cash deposit ID card. This application usually takes 30 days and requires a non-refundable $15 processing fee. As a result, you’ll need to plan well in advance if you prefer to pay via cash.
Do Debit Card Terms Apply Across All Locations?
The car rental process can prove daunting, primarily due to the variation of policies from location to location. Although all car rental companies on the list don’t require a credit card, some have strict debit card policies in specific locations.
Due to this, most companies recommend checking in advance (at least 24 hours before the planned pick-up date) to determine if they are eligible to make non-credit card reservations or payments.
Is It Easy To Use a Debit Card To Make Reservations or Payments?
Although some car rental companies allow for the use of debit cards as alternatives to credit card options, reserving or paying via recognized debit cards is usually a longer, more complicated process.
For starters, debit card users typically have to pay higher security deposits that can take up to 21 days to be refunded by some companies. You may also need to undergo a credit check and provide at least two forms of government-issued IDs.
The easiest way to secure a car from a trusted car rental company is by using a credit card in the renter’s name, as they’re primarily hassle-free (think Visa provisioning service). However, if you chose to go the debit card or cash routes, be prepared for lengthier, more demanding verification processes.
As you can see, you don’t have to present a credit card to rent a car. There are multiple ways to rent a car without a credit card. Some trusted car rental companies that don’t require a credit card include Hertz, Enterprise, Sixt, National, Thrifty, Dollar, Avis, Budget, and Alamo. Please note that the terms of reserving and renting on these companies tend to vary depending on location, so it’s best to inquire well in advance to avoid any inconveniences.
While it’s easy to rent a car with a credit card, renting a car with a debit card is a great alternative. Debit cards are usually the safest and least demanding alternatives to credit cards. Additionally, debit cards are accepted by a lot of rental car companies for renting a car.
If you are wondering will canceling a credit card stop recurring payments from car rental companies it will not. So if you have a credit card but can’t afford to pay on it, it’s best to not use it. Using one of the other alternative will make more sense.
You can successfully rent a car without a credit card at any one of the following establishments mentioned above. However, be prepared to have your identity verified and a credit check conducted to determine your creditworthiness. You’ll also need to pay a higher holding deposit when using a debit card.