Overview: Top Rental Car Companies That Accept Debit Cards | What You Need to Know
Renting a car can be beneficial in a variety of situations, but the need to provide a credit card when renting a vehicle may be a hassle for some.
There can be many reasons why you might prefer not to use a credit card and instead look for car rentals that accept debit cards. Perhaps you do not have a credit card or your credit card is near its limit.
Whatever the reason may be, it’s important to know that there are some car rentals that take debit cards. Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, it can be helpful to find car rental companies that accept debit cards.
Why Won’t Some Car Rental Companies Take Debit Cards?
One of the most common questions many people have when searching for car rentals that accept debit cards is why so many car rental companies require a credit card. Among the reasons of why it can be a challenge to find car rentals that accept debit cards is that most such companies prefer customers to pay using a credit card.
Renting a vehicle to a customer without a credit card is viewed as risky. This is because the car rental company may feel you are a credit risk if you do not have a credit card.
It can also be challenging for those car rentals that take debit cards. For instance, what if the customer returns the vehicle with an empty tank, but there are insufficient funds in the bank account to cover it?
Or, suppose the rental vehicle is returned damaged, and your personal vehicle insurance will not cover the damages. What if you also do not have enough funds in your bank account to pay for the damage? The car rental company could face a great loss.
Despite such risks, there are some rental car companies that accept debit cards in an effort to keep customers happy. If you are looking for rental cars that take debit cards, expect the process to take more time and potentially be a bit more of a hassle. Requirements vary from one rental car company to another, so be prepared to research the exact policies of rental car companies that accept debit cards.
What to Expect When Looking for Rental Cars That Accept Debit Cards
It is entirely possible to find rental cars that take debit cards, but you should be prepared to take some extra steps. Some of the steps you may need to follow when working with car rental companies that accept debit cards are included below:
- Available Cash
You will need to have sufficient funds in the bank for . The car rental company will usually place a hold for the entire rental amount in addition to an extra fee. This fee may vary from one car rental company to another.
Provided there are no issues, the additional fees should be released back to your account at the end of the rental period. You should expect to have to wait a while for the funds to actually appear in your account.
- Credit Check
It’s not uncommon for to run an automatic credit check if you request to use a debit card. If your credit score is too low, the car rental company may refuse to rent a vehicle to you.
- Additional Forms of ID
Car rental companies that accept debit cards may also require you to present additional forms of identification. While most rental car companies that accept debit cards will only require two forms of identification, some companies request three forms of ID. Acceptable forms of identification could include a utility bill or passport along with your driver license.
- Proof of Insurance
Most will ask you to provide proof of insurance. Providing evidence of insurance may not be enough. The company may also call the number listed on the policy to ensure you have a level of coverage sufficient enough to rent the vehicle. If you do not have sufficient coverage, you may be required to purchase additional coverage.
- Roundtrip Travel
An increasing number of are now requiring renters to provide evidence of return travel. This particular policy does vary among rental car companies that take debit cards, typically depending on the location.
If you are planning to rent a vehicle from a location at an airport, and you wish to use your debit card, you may be required to show evidence of a return travel ticket that has your name printed on it. Return tickets for cruises or trains may also suffice.
When looking for , be prepared for the fact that some exclusions may apply. This means there may be some classes of vehicles you cannot rent using a debit card. For example, at many locations , you cannot rent a luxury vehicle or convertible.
Image Source: Top Rental Car Companies That Accept Debit Cards
- Age Restrictions
Age restrictions may also apply at some . If you are under the age of 25, you may not be allowed to rent a vehicle using a debit card. This is not true for all , so you will need to ask to find out. Some companies will accept a debit card if you are under the age of 25, but you may need to provide additional proof of identification.
A List of Rental Car Companies That Take Debit Cards
Alamo is one car rental companies that accepts debit cards. In order for your debit card to be accepted at Alamo, it must have the MasterCard, VISA, or Discover Card logo. Alamo does require renters to show a return flight ticket in order to rent a car with a debit card.
Avis is also among the car rental companies that accept debit cards, although its website says it does not recommend a debit card as a form of prepayment. You should also be aware that not all Avis locations will accept debit cards. It’s a good idea to check in advance.
If the location you plan to use will accept debit cards, be aware that the hold fee is $100. Additionally, you should know that Avis will perform a credit check if you use a debit card. This is to ensure your creditworthiness prior to the vehicle being released to you. Furthermore, you will be required to present a second form of identification.
If you’re looking for car rental companies that accept debit cards, Budget could be a good choice. Many Budget locations will accept your debit card to hold your rental. When using your debit card to pay for your rental at Budget, you should expect an authorization hold to be placed on your bank account. This hold will be for the estimated rental charges.
When the rental period is over, a reversal will be processed, but it could take some time for your bank to post this amount back to your account. This could take up to two weeks. The exception to this is if you have already paid for your rental vehicle. According to Budget, when that is the case, the hold will only be $100.
When searching for car rentals that accept debit cards, you will find that Enterprise Rent-A-Car is among those companies. Be aware that Enterprise will charge a $100 hold. You will also be required to show either two different bills along with a pay stub or a roundtrip airfare ticket.
Hertz is yet another example among rental car companies that take debit cards. You may use either a MasterCard or Visa debit card. The hold fee is a bit higher with Hertz than with other car rentals that take debit cards. With Hertz, expect a hold fee of $200. Additionally, if you use a debit card to rent your car with Hertz, you will not be eligible for Hertz Plus Gold Rewards. You will be required to present two valid forms of identification.
National Car Rental
When looking for rental cars that accept debit cards, you’ll find that National will also take your debit card, but the process is a bit complicated. This is one of those car rentals that takes debit cards but only if you can provide roundtrip airline proof. Obviously, this could be a bit complicated if you are renting a vehicle locally, so it’s a good idea to check with the location you are planning to use in advance. National will accept debit cards with the MasterCard, VISA or Discover logo.
While searching for car rentals that accept debit cards, you will find Rent-A-Wreck among them. Rent-A-Wreck will allow you to rent a vehicle without a credit card. However, the process is a bit challenging. You will need to prove that your current insurance coverage will cover an accident in a rental.
Image Source: Rental Cars That Accept Debit Cards
If not, you will have to purchase a collision damage waiver. Rent-A-Wreck also requires a deposit of $150. In addition, you will be asked to present three forms of identification. If you have a driver license from another state, you will need to provide proof of travel.
Thrifty is among the rental car companies that accept debit cards with a MasterCard or VISA logo. Be prepared to submit to a credit check. The hold deposit for renting with a debit card at Thrifty is a minimum of $200. Restrictions also apply, which means you cannot rent an SUV or luxury vehicle at Thrifty with a debit card. Specific requirements may vary from one location to another, so it’s a good idea to call in advance.
E-Z is also among the car rental companies that accept debit cards. If you plan to use a debit card when renting a vehicle with E-Z, be prepared to pay a deposit of $200. This money will be refunded once you have returned the vehicle.
While you will find that Dollar Rent-A-Car is one of the rental cars that accepts debit cards, it’s a good idea to check with your location first. The hold amount is higher here than with many rental car companies that take debit cards. Expect to pay 15 percent of the rental cost or $350. You should also be prepared for a hard credit check.
The Bottom Line on Car Rentals That Accept Debit Cards
You do not need a credit card to rent a vehicle as there are many car rental companies that accept debit cards. Be prepared, however, as you may need to submit to additional requirements, pay more money, and experience some restrictions in terms of vehicle selection. If you are able to meet those requirements, then paying with a debit card may provide you with more flexibility when renting a car.
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