How to Rent a Car If You Don’t Have a Credit Card

Car rental companies tend to be wary of lending assets worth tens of thousands of dollars each, which is why they traditionally require a credit card to rent a car. But now it has become easier to rent a car with a debit card, albeit with a lot of restrictions. Here’s a look at your options.

Debit card requirements

Typically, both credit card and debit payments require a deposit or “hold” to cover the amount in excess of the rental price, usually between $ 200 and $ 300. This allows the car rental companies to cover additional costs, such as traffic violations or gas usage, that may arise after you throw your car away .

Car rental companies prefer to be paid by credit card as it reassures them that you are a real person with a high enough credit rating to be trusted with an unsecured loan. Since it is easier to qualify for account verification since they do not require any information about your credit history, car rental companies may have the following requirements or restrictions:

  • You need to make a reservation at least 24 hours in advance.
  • You will need to provide additional proof of identity to prove your identity and address, such as a passport, military ID, bank statement, payment receipt, or utility bill.
  • Only the most reliable debit cards issued by the bank can be used (usually any card with the MasterCard or Visa logo).
  • You must be 25 years old or older and the locations where debit card rentals are allowed vary.
  • Your choice of vehicles will be limited – don’t expect to rent a luxury car without a credit card.
  • You will need to purchase rental insurance or prove you already have your own (unlike debit cards, credit cards usually include car insurance).
  • If you are traveling in another state, you may also need to attach proof of return ticket.
  • A credit check may be required to determine your creditworthiness.

The last point, a credit check, will be the so-called hard request for your credit history. Experian says a complex request lowers your credit score by five points and stays on your credit reports for about 24 months. If you plan to apply for loans or credit cards during this time, you can use a credit card, if you have one, to ensure that you are eligible for the best possible interest rates (which are based on your credit score). Not all companies require a credit check, but it is possible.

Also, when using a debit card, the amount of the deposit in the authorization will come directly from your bank account, so be aware that this may block the money you may need for a few days.

Which car rental companies do not require a credit card?

While it is generally more convenient to rent a car with a credit card, debit cards are increasingly being used. The following companies will allow you to rent a car with a debit card: Alamo , Avis , Budget , Dollar , Enterprise , Hertz , National , Sixt and Thrifty . Please note that although these companies do allow debit card payments, this is not uniform across all car rental locations, so be sure to check with your local office before renting.


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