Can I Use A Debit Card To Rent A Car?

I do not use credit cards. I do not travel very often, and when I do, I usually just drive my own car. But, what if I wanted to use a car rental service? Could I do so using a debit (check) card?

Here is a list of many major car rental agencies and their debit card policies. Please click on the link associated with each company to read more about their policy. This information is provided in summary form and you should conduct your own research before using any of the companies listed.  Information subject to change.

Hertz: The Hertz FAQs state:

Q: Can I use my Debit Card or Bank Card to reserve a Hertz car?
A: At most Hertz locations, debit cards (sometimes called check cards) issued under a VISA or Mastercard logo which draw funds directly from the cardholder’s account may be used to qualify for rental. However, prepaid or stored value cards which have a VISA or Mastercard logo are not accepted to qualify for rental. Debit cards must have available funds for the estimated amount of the rental charges plus a reasonable amount to cover any incidental charges in order to secure the rental. Both debit cards and prepaid or stored value cards issued under a VISA or Mastercard logo may be used as a form of payment when you return the vehicle. Please contact your local Hertz Reservations Office if you have a question about whether Hertz will accept a certain card.

Enterprise: The Enterprise website states:

Question
Can I use my debit card to rent the car?
Answer
Some of our Enterprise locations will accept a debit card for the rental deposits and payments. Please contact the office you plan to rent from to determine their policies on renting with a debit card.

Question
What forms of payment does Enterprise accept?
Answer
A major credit card in the renter’s name is required for a deposit on all rentals. When the rental is returned, traveler’s checks, debit card, or a major credit card can be accepted to pay for the rental.

Avis: The Avis Website states:

Debit Card Policies

Avis reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to seek a Debit Card authorization hold in excess of the estimated rental charges. When using a debit card at Avis there may be a minimum hold of $500 and a maximum hold of the estimated rental charges will be placed on your account.
Upon returning the vehicle, Avis will process a release of the unused portion of the hold subject to your Bank’s procedures. The hold may take up to 2 weeks to be released by your bank.

Budget: The Budget website states:

If you’re using a debit card at a location that accepts them, we’ll require a hold of total estimated charges plus 25% or $300, whichever is greater. However, for insurance/service replacement rentals and tour rentals, the minimum debit card authorization hold is $100. At select locations in the Northeast and North Central regions, the minimum authorization hold is $500. Renters under 25 years of age may not use a debit card.

At some locations, debit and pre-paid charge cards are not accepted at time of rental but are accepted for payment at time of car return.

National: The National website states:

Debit Cards

When renting in the U.S., debit and check cards may only be used in conjunction with proof of a round trip travel ticket (airline, cruise ship or train) at time of rental.

Summary:
Almost every major rental car agency WILL allow you to reserve a car using a debit card. Most, however, will place a “hold” on your debit card in the amount of the full rental price plus, in some cases, a pretty healthy deposit percentage. Some rental agencies do not accept debit cards for reservation or have very strict policies. As for PAYMENT, however, almost ALL of the companies WILL accept a debit card as a method of payment when you RETURN the automobile. So, for now, perhaps the best way to rent a car is to either:
A) Reserve the car with a company that allows you to use a debit card. If yo do this, be sure that you have sufficient money in the bank to cover the entire rental fee and a rental ‘hold’ that the rental agency will no doubt place on your card.
B) RESERVE the car using your credit card and PAY for the car rental using cash or your debit card. (As I’ve stated before, I did not cut up my credit cards, and I carry one with me wherever I go. If pressed, for the safety and security of my family, I would use a credit card to reserve a rental car and pay cash whenever I returned the car.)

Again, before you use one of the above mentioned rental agencies, please research their current policies. Also, while I was compiling this information, I did not take into account ANY insurance-related policies. Please do your own research before you rent a car. An informed consumer is a powerful consumer!


For updated information on this subject, please read – Can I Rent A Car Without A Credit Card?

For more information about how I live without using credit cards click here.

NCN

http://www.ncnblog.com

No Credit Needed is a personal finance blog about debt reduction, saving money, and simple living. Thank you for visiting the site and please consider subscribing to No Credit Needed by Email. Have a blessed day!

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57 thoughts on “Can I Use A Debit Card To Rent A Car?
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  4. jim

    I rented for years through Dollar with my debit but lately they seemed to have upped their credit requirement and now the debit gets rejected. The whole process is a big secret as you can’t confirm your card will work until you are standing at the counter. Legally, in NYS, you don’t even need a credit card to get a car rental but there are so many rules the long and short of it is that you do need a credit card to rent in the US

     
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  6. shawn

    I’ve been renting a few times a year from Avis over the last year+ with a DC with no problems. The hold they put on the debit card is very reasonable. I have also rented from Hertz without a problem.

     
  7. Emily

    I’ve tried this, but wasn’t allowed to rent without a credit card. It was embarrassing at the time…..

     
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  9. George

    I recentaly rented a car with a debit card.
    I told them I would pay in cash whe I returned,
    When I went to pay them they told me that they had already charged my account. In checking my account I found that they had charged me $43 extra which also resulted in a $27 overdraft charge which would not have
    happened if they charged me the correct price.
    Do I have any recourse.
    Thank You

     
  10. M and T Cooper

    Enterprise (a neighborhood location) was VERY REASONABLE. We used a debit card, they asked to see latest paycheck stub and 2 home utility bills and were VERY FRIENDLY on top of that. So here is a plug for a car rental agency that allows the use of a debit card with proof that the customer is a local resident with every intention of returning the vehicle on time. No credit check and no credit card required.

     
  11. Anthony

    I just used a debit card to rent a van from Enterprise without providing anything other than a driver’s license. The problem is that the $300 charge to my checking account will not be reversed for 3 – 5 days. When I asked Bank of the West (where I currently have my checking account)why reversal of the deposit would take 3-5 days, they stated that they needed to wait for a “return receipt” from Enterprise and that the credit process had to be run through the Federal Reserve. Enterprise knows nothing about a “return receipt.” Bottom line: If you use a debit card, then you will not have access to your money for a about a week after you return the vehicle.

     
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  13. Horace Walker

    Use Alamo! I always use my debit card with them. If you’re traveling they just want to see your round
    trip itenary (Tickets) but they do not do this
    nonsense of charging some outrageous amount to your debit card. They will always get mt business
    because they don’t make you feel like a loser
    because you choose not to have credit cards. ALAMO!

     
  14. Lauren

    Enterprise is great! I’m 22 and flying into Boston this weekend from Illinois. They said that I CAN use my debit card as long as I have:

    Out of state license (non-Mass)
    Return flight itinerary
    Up to a full size vehicle is OK
    I have the cost of the rental + $250 available (which will be released later)

    This relieved much stress, as I have tried to rent from Enterprise in Chicago before and they needed a paycheck stub, and 2 current (not past due) utility bills. Being a novice at the time, I was unaware of this whole debit card deal.

    However, the deal at Logan Airport Enterprise is great!!

     
  15. MJ Wright

    Try Payless Rental. They aren’t in every state, but you can get great discounts on rentals and they always accept debit cards with a $300 hold on the card. They also can give you daily specials for $10 to $30 off your rental. I got a great deal off a suzuki sx4 which was orig $39 a day for only $22 a day!!

     
  16. Steph

    HERTZ is a BAD company for debit cards. AFTER the reservation when you go to pick up the vehicle, they tell you that you must submit to a CREDIT CHECK. If you do not meet the credit check criteria (unclear as to what that is) then you are not rented the vehicle! This happened to me having made a reservation with Priceline (prepaid, having indicated that I would only be using a debit card). I was out the price of my reservation. NEVER USE HERTZ! This is also a ding on your credit report, that your rating has been checked. (too many checks hurts your score). Plus, it is very invasive.

     
  17. Paul

    I had a smooth experience using my debit card with ALAMO this past November at a northern CA airport (Sacramento).

    It was painless. They just wanted to see my valid driver’s licence and return round trip ticket. I don’t think there was a credit check involved. I am sure they secured a deposit (hold) from my checking account but it wasn’t anything unexpected.

    I will rent from Alamo again in a few weeks (again on a trip to Northern CA). Hope it’s goes as well as my last experience with them.

    Go Alamo!

     
  18. Chris M.

    How do you know the positive comments on here are not employees of rental car agencies? I’ve heard of many instances where most of the positive comments on a given blog/forum were by people pretending to be “regular people”. You never really know who it is behind any positive comment about a company…

     
  19. cecily cook

    I HAVE NOT FOUND ONE RENTAL AGENCY IN THE PHILADELPHIA AREA THAT WILL ACCEPT A DEBIT CARD. SO FRUSTATING.

     
  20. cecily cook

    I HAVE NOT FOUND ONE RENTAL AGENCY IN THE PHILADELPHIA AREA THAT WILL ACCEPT A DEBIT CARD. SO FRUSTATING.

     
  21. Tammy

    I reserved from Hertz as well with debit card, I then called to make sure I could use the depit card. They stated yess……..But same thing got to counter gave them my card they ran credit check and not sure why but they would not let me use the debit card and I had way enuff to cover funds and lots more. Talk about feeling like a loser. NEVER AGAIN WITH HERTZ……………

     
  22. Glenn Becker

    I just spoke to an Enterprise rep and although she was very friendly, she told me I needed to have full coverage auto insurance to rent a car with a debit card.

    The problem is, I don’t own a car. So I don’t _have_ auto insurance. So for me, renting a car with a debit card is not possible. At least not with Enterprise.

     
  23. Scott

    I tried using a debit card at hertz, they did a credit check, was denied. Account has thousands of dollars in it. For the hell of it, I gave them my paypal debit card. Using this card, I DID pass their credit check but did not have the funds available. This makes absolutely no sense to me. Why would they get two different credit reports from two different cards? Nissan (my car was being repaired and thats why i needed the rental) even offered to send them a purchase order for the rental, and pay for it because of problems I had already had at Nissan that they were very kind to fix. Hertz said “we don’t do things like that anymore.” I asked if I could use the one card for the credit check and then hold the funds for the rental on my other card… couldn’t do that either. All in all they have very stingy, questionable policies and I have no way of finding out why one was denied and the other wasn’t.

     
  24. I hate Enterprise

    sitting on a bus, late for my grandfather’s funeral because Enterprise on Fulton street in manhattan would not rent me a car with a debit card. I had pay stubs and utility bills, but have a PA license, so they refused. I have more than enough money in my account to cover the rental cost. The heartless man behind the counter did not blink as I teared up and told him I had this funeral to go to. I recently got out of a huge amount of CC debt and am proud that I no longer live on credit. Disgusted with Enterprise and their policies that they don’t mention until you’re standing at the counter.

     
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  28. LB

    These comments are very helpful. As a college student, I had my fair share of credit cards, and the debt that came with them. Now older, I refuse to get another one. Although I have enjoyed my freedom from high interest rates and temptations, it seems businesses really frown on this, regardless of what you have in the bank.

     
  29. Edward

    I recently rented from Alamo at Orlando International Airport.I reserved my car on the site got to counter there were no issues,as long as u have a round trip ticket.There were no credit checks,no holds or crazy restrictions.If your going to use a debit card ALAMO is the spot!

     
  30. Lisa

    to the person that prepaid through priceline, if u call and let them know what happened they will refund u the money..i just had the same thing happen twice in the past 24 hrs…so aggravating!

     
  31. Kevin

    I recently returned from Las Vegas and rented a car through Alamo. As commented on this blog, renting in Vegas at Alamo with a debit card is no problem. I called ahead and they had everything ready. You MUST have a return trip/itinerary to do this. On the return of the car, they quickly looked it over and that was it. No problems what so ever. The process was quick too. Once I got the documents, went up stairs, followed the arrows, the agent told me to go to a certain row and choose. All the available cars had keys in the door, chose the car I liked and drove to gate and off we went. The return was just as easy. Just remember if going to Las Vegas, McCarrans Rental Center is what you need. They have shuttles that will take you there and if you’re doing like I did, we returned the car and jumped on the shuttle to the airport and caught our flight…no problems. Oh the vehicle, Chrysler Sebring, 2010, 8000 miles on it. Nice car!

     
  32. LaurenS

    Budget in Cleveland, OH will not do it. Enterprise was the only company we have been able to use a debit card with. Call ahead as each office has their own rules. For instance, I am renting in New Mexico and Enterprise is requiring two local utility bills and 2 pay stubs. No one lets you rent easily with a debit card which doesn’t make sense as the last time I had a credit card, my limit was $500.

     
  33. MAD about our society

    I find it outrageous that we are all hijacked by big corporations by having to have a credit card, paying their high fees and monthly payments. They all work together in order to force us to get into debt. Unlike the very same corporations i.e. banks, we do not get bailed out with the nice American people’s money, when we get into debt, from having to use a credit card! I cut up my cards and refuse to get another one. They don’t care about us…PERIOD!!!!! I did however, got a secured credit card from my bank with a down deposit, so I could use it for rental cars. It sucks, I know…I rather hid my money in my mattress and say pthhtpph to them all!

     
  34. robert

    I gave up my credit cards. Let the pain begin.
    I attempted to use my debit card at enterprise. I was denied a car due to the credit check. They wanted a 500 dollar deposite, cash or debit. Granted I was renting a suv, which is the highest deposite. I am told all of this information for the first time at the counter, when I need the car the most. Of course, they never tell you this before you get to the desk, the reason being that your either dealing with an inexperienced sales rep- the turn over at enterprise is the highest of any rental car company in the nation- or they simply want to get you in the door to somehow make it work- ie – commission. If you have rented at a specific location for any amount of time you know this is true. -anyways- I was denied. I walked in to the enterprise branch three days later with my full credit report – fico score of 680. Not the best but good enough for a car or home loan. Naturally the branch manager, had no idea why some people are accepted and others are not. The bottom line is: Be prepared to do a credit check, be prepared to pay upfornt an outrageously high fee for “incendentals.” Be prepared to not get this money back into your account for a good week. Rental car sales agents generally are the sleazy, underachievers, living mediocre lives. There only hope of vindication is to push heaps of un-needed amounts of insurance on you. However, they don’t make the corporate policys, they are merely minions of a higher power. My advice: To everyone who is reading these comments. Please write a letter to the car company that has done you injustice, and let them know how you feel. Enough letters and even def ears will be prone to listen.

     
  35. Demetria Dixon

    As I live with someone I do not have utilities in my name. I am also a full time student and I am unemployed. Enterprise would not allow me to use the debit card because I did not have a check stub or utility bill in my name. Please check to see if the companies have additional guidelines for use of your debit card. Many times you don’t find out until you are at the rental agency.

     
  36. karl Wilder

    …and my experience was different. I would say Alamo on Sutter in San Francisco is ABSOLUTELY the worst.

    The manager approached me not asking what could be done to work out he problem or even what the problem was he stated. “I am not going to rent you a car today, would you like to step outside?”

    According to the online person the confirmation e mail etc I met all the criteria for using a debit card yet they insisted it HAD to be credit.

    Those who say they give no problem with debit had a different experience or work for Alamao, or just got a decent manager and not an asshole.

     
  37. Carol Frend

    We are in the Fairmont Hotel Newport Beach we went to the Hertz desk to rent a car our DEBIT card would not work and we don’t carry credit cards as we had $10,000 taken from it once so I emailed each car hire company and got a really nice chap who said if it went through at our hotel which it did it should work at U-Save Car Hire ….LUCKY it was at the Radisson Hotel directly opposite the Fairmont …….So we set off and low and behold it worked!!….. He also is giving us the car today and only charging for Fri Sat Sun……. PLUS another little treat he said we can park it in the Radisson car park rather than the Fairmont Car Park…..if we park it at the Fairmont we have to pay $28.00 per day parking charges!!! So what a star he is the company is U-Save car hire will always use them when needed
    As Aside
    On the way back to our hotel we had a walk around and there is a Liquor STORE a Sports barwhich is fantastic called Classic Q’s!! Where we to several drink’s they were sooo reasonable (cheap) we also met a great Dentist had such a laugh …….We also found a laundry! -We are picking the car up at 3pm today yea!!!
    Good Luck Everyone
    Carol

     
  38. Adrian

    I have used Enterprise regularly for 15 years with my debit card. Enterprise Waltham refused us at a time of a personal emergency yesterday and my wife and I will hate them forever.

    We will never use them and will never recommend them.

     
  39. CECE

    DTW, in detroit MI (Hertz) is great yes, they randonly check your credit score but it is told up front before you even try to rent their vehicles. They are good people nice because at a lot of the detroit airport car rentals places there are Some real assholes, such as ALamo car rental never rent from them they charge $495 dollar plus cost of your rental even if you use debit or credit card. I found this out the hard way I brought one of their vehicle back after having it for a month, made another reservation online, not having a clue about this new policies on line my final cost was 244. Get to the counter it was told to me of the new change, what a kick in the ass. I was without a vehicle I had to walk over to Hertz car rental in order to get home or I would had to call or get a taxi home, that was F___k up. I ended up with the last laugh because I got a droptop from Hertz and it was sweet plus, save a lot of money I went from a Kia-soul to a sweet eclipse droptop. Alamo can go to hell they will never see another dime from me I had rented every other week from those jack asses, now my money going to Hertz and budget. (laugh)

     
  40. confused

    My question to all af you debit card users is: Let’s say you take a $30000 dollars rental car, get drunk and crash it!, your insurance refuses to pay for the rental car because you were drunk, or worse: You don’t have full coverage insurance and your lousy debit card has a balance of $50 bucks. Most major credit cards cover collission and if you care for your credit you may still have at least one, so chances are someone will pay for the car. so quit crying and realize that no credit card means: NO CREDIT WORTHINESS!!!!!! Which again means youre a loser and you pretend to rent a car for $30 bucks without any garantee you will even bring it back.
    Thanks.

     
  41. Nik

    I recently traveled to Florida. I rented through Budget with a debit card. I couldn’t have been happier. I had to prepay online, which was fine because prepaying comes at a discounted rate!! The part that really shocked me was that they only wanted a $100. hold on my card. No check stubs, utilities or tickets, although I did rent from the airport location. I ended up with a free upgrade because they didn’t have the compact I rented, so they put me in a 2011 Taurus for ten days ($216.00)!! And my deposit was released in 4 days!! I will use them from now on!!

     
  42. Just Me

    Just to clear things up…The Bible does not say that “money is the root of all kinds of evil” it says, “the LOVE of money is the root of all kinds of evil”

     
  43. ben

    it is illegal to refuse a rental of a car to someone willing to pay the full amount on their liquid debit card.

    Its naturally prejudice and forces people into debt when they have the funds to pay free and clear.

    Ask yourself who benefits from this situation.

     
  44. TT

    I ALWAYS rent from Alamo because they accept the debit card with the return flight information. I’ve been on various trips in various states and Alamo has never given me a hassle. I won’t use anyone else because the rates seem to be the lowest and they make the debit card process so easy! My husband is SO against credit cards so I’m very happy Alamo has this process. I’ve heard National is the same, although I’ve never used them.

     
  45. Aggervated

    I was visiting my son in NH. I drove up with friends from Florida and was driving back with them. I wanted to rent a car while I was there. I called everyone, they wanted me to get a airplain ticket just to rent a car because I only have a Visa Debit Card. One company wanted to check my credit. That hurts my credit which I am trying to get up. Trust me…buy a car and drive it where you go. I will never try renting a car again and will advise the same to anyone that asks me.

     
  46. JoeL

    I tried to rent a car from Hertz with a Visa Debit Card and was denied because of the credit check. I have good credit and plenty of money on the Debit Card. They don’t get the information as to why it was rejected. So my friend tried to rent a car with his Debit Card and was also rejected for unknown reasons. Hertz said the other major rental places use the same credit check company so the results would be the same there. I guess I won’t be renting a car.

     
  47. Tracy lish

    Most banks put a transaction limit on debit cards, my debit card is declined on anything over $500 per transaction, so. When making a large purchase, I call my bank( a local famly owned one) and tell them to open it to full bank balance, its done im about 10 minutes, they will keep it open for about an hour. Thats probally your problem, not a credit check, I’ve never had a problem with mine at all.

     
  48. Renee

    I am five hours away from home, working in another state. My company pays for a rental car, but I’m not allowed to drive it home. So I booked a rental online through Thrifty and went to pick it up from the airport. I get to the counter, the lady takes my license and debit card. I picked the “wild card” option online- where they “suprise” you with what is available- anything from mid to full size. It costs the same as a Midsize rental, but she tells me I’m getting a Chevy Aveo and has the nerve to tell me that it is a Midsize vehicle!! Check any website, and an Aveo is an Economy!! Then she asks for my roundtrip flight itenerary- I dont have one, because I’m just trying to rent for the weekend. So she promptly gives me back my cards and tells me to “Try them over there (Hertz)” “Even though I have cash,” I say. “Yep” she says as she gets back to more interesting things on her iPhone.
    Hertz wanted a $200 deposit without a credit card or flight itenerary, and a credit check. When I refused to buy the optional insurance that she was pushing on me even though she gushed about everything from my nail polish, wedding ring, and coat, she told me to have a nice day.
    I dont ever recall having to go through all of this when I rented cars in the past. What is the deal??

     
  49. Mark Watson

    So you have the Picture…
    Avis = Avis+Budget
    Hertz = Hertz+Dollar+Thrifty+Advantage
    Enterprise = Enterprise+National+Alamo+WeCar
    (these are the three big ones – their policies are consistent now through their other car companies)
    Independants:
    Ace, EZ Rental, Sixt, Fox, Quest, Payless

    Avis & Hertz have electronic systems that require your name to be on the credit card or it won’t even allow them to rent you a car (ie. if you lose your VISA/Debit card and your bank issues you a temp. card – won’t work. I know – I was stranded in Phoenix for 3 days until they fed-x’d me a new card).

    Mark

     
  50. HOA

    Today, Enterprise refused to accept my debit card to pick up a reserved auto.
    It was a wasted trip, there, for me.
    Their policy is: No debit cards if A, B, C, D… many excuses not to accept a debit card.

     
  51. Randal

    That’s weird, I rent from Enterprise ALL the time using my debit card with no problems. It all depends on the office location you use. Also I would like to note that Mark Watson commented by lumping in Alamo under Enterprise, but this is deceptive. Alamo DOES NOT ALLOW the use of Debit Cards for renting cars. Period. Alamo allows you to reserve a car online with a debit card, but at time of rental, YOU MUST HAVE A CREDIT CARD. They will not use a debit card for the a tual rental.

     
  52. Kim

    Just tried to rent with Enterprise using a Debit card….Here was our stipulations:

    1 – Can rent a car (not a SUV) with a debit card ONLY if you supply two utility statements (electric bill, etc)

    They said they tried to call the night before (we checked both phones, no missed calls) and let us know what to bring. We didn’t receive the call, therefore, we were unprepared to have our bills available.

    We said, No Thansk, not worth the trouble!

     
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  54. mmcoc

    I am a current Avis and Budget employee( sister companies). Debit cards here in Northern California are : must be over 25, must pass credit check (nothing to do with your money,just you credit rating and we don’t know what score the company looks for. IF you pass the credit check then we put a deposit of your total amount for the car plus an additional 200$ which is released once you return the car. Your bank will take 4-5 days to release it completely. No exception to that rule, not even for employees.