Can I Rent A Car Without A Credit Card?

This information is provided in summary form and you should conduct your own research before using any of the companies listed.  Information is subject to change at anytime.  (Emphasis added)

From the Hertz FAQs site:

Debit Card Policy-

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.

Cash Policy-

Q: What can I do if I do not have a credit or debit card in my name?

A: Cash Rentals are accepted with a Cash Deposit ID Card. Applications for a Cash Deposit ID Card are available from your local Hertz Office. Applicant must be 18 years or older and the application process takes approximately 30 days. There is a $15USD nonrefundable processing fee. A Hertz Cash deposit ID Card may be used at a Hertz Location.

From the Enterprise Website-

Debit Card Policy-

Debit Card:

Some locations will accept a debit card for a rental deposit and/or payments. To be valid, a debit card must have a Visa or Mastercard logo.

Airport locations that are able to accept debit cards will require return trip itineraries.

Most local renters who would like to use a debit card for their deposit may need to complete a cash qualification process. The branch may ask for you to bring in two valid, current utility bills and your most recent paycheck stub.

It is common that a rental branch will require your drivers licence to be issued in the state you are renting.

We are happy to help you with policy information specific to the renting branch. Please contact us ahead of time to determine what is needed when renting with a debit card.

Cash Policy-

Cash:

For security reasons, our locations do not accept cash. We apologize for any inconvenience.

From the Avis FAQs-

Debit Card / Cash Policies-

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.

If you fail to return the vehicle as agreed, Avis will obtain additional authorizations from your account to cover the rental charges.

Avis is not responsible for any returned checks or over-drafts based on this policy.

This policy applies to both U.S. residents and foreign renters.

Positive identification in addition to your driver’s license may be required.

In the United States, debit, cash or check cards can be used at the end of the rental for payment of rental charges. For acceptable credit identification and payment methods in countries outside of the U.S., please search for the specific location.

From the Budget Website-

Debit Card Policy-

Credit and Debit Card Rules

Generally, at the time of a U.S. rental, we’ll require a credit card hold of total estimated charges plus 25% or $200, whichever is greater. 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. Look at the terms and conditions on your reservation confirmations for the deposit required at your specific rental location. Some select locations do not accept debit cards at time of rental to release the vehicle, but do accept debit cards for payment at time of car return.

Cash Policy-

Can I pay with cash?

Yes. Your deposit type, amount and method of payment will vary by Budget location.

From the National Website-

Debit Card Policy-

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.

A debit/check card is considered to be any non-credit card bearing the VISA, MasterCard or Discover Card logo.

Any other non-credit card without the VISA, MasterCard or Discover Card logo is not accepted.

For pick-ups in the United States, without proof of roundtrip ticket, debit or check cards are only accepted when returning the vehicle.

A credit card in the name of the renter must be presented at the time of pick-up.

Cash Policy-

Cash Rentals

Customers must meet National’s requirements for renting a vehicle without a credit card.

Only Economy through full-size vehicles can be rented with cash.

No Additional Drivers are allowed on Cash Rentals.

All cash rentals, including prepayments, vouchers, and the like will require a deposit of $300 per rental, in addition to the pre-calculated rental charges.

When the rental vehicle is returned in accordance with the rental terms and conditions, the cash deposit will be refunded upon return of the vehicle, and in some instances, the refund will be mailed to the customer following the return of the rental vehicle.

Summary:

Almost every major rental car agency WILL rent a car without a credit card.  Most, however, will place a “hold” on your debit card for the full rental price, plus, in most cases, an added deposit.

When it comes to payment, most will accept a debit card as payment when you return the automobile.  Available options appear to be:

A) Reserve the car with a company that allows you to use a debit card.  If you do this, be sure that you bank account has a sufficient amount to cover the deposit, the hold, and any other charges that you might incur.

B) RESERVE the car using your credit card and PAY for the car rental using cash or your debit card.

While I do not use a credit card to make purchases, I do carry one in my wallet.  If necessary, for the security of my family, I would use the credit card to reserve a car and then pay cash for the rental when I returned the car.

Before renting an automobile, understand a company’s policies.  Do your own research and call ahead if you have questions.  While I was compiling this information, I did not take into account ANY insurance-related policies.

This entry was posted in Automobiles, Cash, Debit Cards, Money Management. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Can I Rent A Car Without A Credit Card?

  1. Debit card usually works if you have enough balance to cover your deposit.

  2. Smith says:

    There are agencies where you can make purchases without having a credit card and just by filling loan applications online.

  3. Rini says:

    This seems to be missing a key point. The above applies only if you are using your debit card /as a debit transaction/. Most debit cards (with a Visa or Mastercard logo, no less) can be used as a credit transaction. You do not enter a PIN, you do sign for your purchase, and as far as the merchant is concerned, you just used a credit card! As far as your personal finances go, the money is withdrawn from your account just as you would expect with a debit card.

    For most people, there is no reason to differentiate at all between “credit cards” and “debit cards”. As long as you can and do run your debit card as a credit transaction, the rental agency will not even be able to tell the difference.

  4. Jorie says:

    I was a local driver using a debit card. Most rental car agencies want a copy of the airline ticket if you’re going to use a debit card and I didn’t have one. I actually had to cancel my reservation with a different agency because they wouldn’t accept my card without a ticket. I did a search through Hotwire with my search selection being debit card and local driver. I made my reservation and panicked when I saw Hertz was the agency. I had heard nothing but negativity about using a debit card with them. i called their corporate office to confirm that I would indeed be able to rent through them with no airline ticket. They were very friendly and said it wouldn’t be a problem. I got to the pick-up location and was in and out withing 3 minutes. There were no hassles or problems. Hertz was very friendly, informed me of how much of a deposit would be held on my card until the return, handed me the paperwork and I was on my way. It was by far the best rental car experience I’ve ever had!

  5. A good tip to keep in mind is to try and book the rental car in advance of your arrival. You will usually save a lot of money this way over just walking up to the counter upon arrival to your destination. For example, if you are traveling to Mexico from the U.S. or Canada, book the car rental prior to your departure… or at worst go online and make the reservation via head office: the last thing you want to do is book at the counter – you will pay big time that way. Hope this helps :-)

  6. trish says:

    The companies that do not accept Visa/Mastercard debit card as security deposit like “National Car Rental” are very stupid. You can only do so if you’re out of town and have a round trip ticket…ARE YOU SERIOUS??? What’s the difference, so you can’t do it for your locals but you can do it for out of towners?? What a joke… No wonder the company is about to shut down, it’s bc your competitors are smart and know that not everyone choses to carry a credit card and most consumers have bank cards (that you can use as cc or debit) however you guys consider it as debits and will not use. Do yourself a favor and be smart; Change your company strategy and get with the program!’
    Irate consumer who will never go to National rental car

  7. marie says:

    My husband and myself went to rent a car at all the major places went to use our debit cards from our bank that had visa mastercard logos on them and we were told they dont take them . And we had a car on hold for us and they never told us this until we went to pick it up. Needless to say they tod us it had to be a major credit card so we were out of luck . The only place that would let us rent one would have cost us an arm and a leg needless to say we spent six hours in a waiting room to get my car in tip top shape and drive it to were we were going and it coast us less then it would if we rented that car

  8. Lynda says:

    I paid for car hire with Hertz 4 months before my trip with my visa debit card. The money was taken from my account immediately. When I went to collect the hire car I was told that I needed a valid credit card! As I do not possess a credit card I was not allowed to hire the car. Hertz cancelled the agreement and it .took a week before the money was refunded. They took £30 as a cancellation fee.

  9. gnd says:

    Keep in mind that some rental companies check your credit score if you pay with a debit card. I know Avis does and they may check it several times and each time you rent which can result in a ding in your credit from so many inquiries. I am not sure how they get your credit score without your ss# but they knew my credit score. I now rent with Enterprise as this is not their practice.

  10. Shan says:

    Thanks for providing all of the car rental debit card policies in on place. This was very useful and time saving.