Summary: How to Rent a Car with a Debit Card


In the today’s world, many people, especially young people, are choosing not to own credit cards because of the bad financial habits and debt they can cause. However, if you want to rent a car with a debit card, you may come across some obstacles. Many people ask, “Can you rent a car with a debit card?” and the answer is, “Yes, you can.”

Car rental with a debit card is very possible, but you must be prepared to have some other information available for the car rental company. To rent a car with a debit card, you must convince the car company that you are trustworthy. In this article, we will discuss how to rent a car with a debit card, where to rent a car with a debit card, and what to expect when pursuing a car rental with a debit card.

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Image source: Pixabay

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Tips Before You Rent a Car with a Debit Card

Before going to just any car company and attempting to rent a car with a debit card, it is important to be prepared for what will be required. Can you rent a car with a debit card? Yes. At certain car companies, they do allow customers to rent a card with a debit card.

Account Holds

However, the first thing they will require is cash to be available in your account. The car rental company will more than likely calculate the entire price of the rental on the first day when addressing car rental with a debit card to make sure you have enough money for the entire rental.

In order to rent a car with a debit card, you will likely need to expect the car company to place a hold on your account, of up to $350, as well. Companies place holds on accounts when addressing car rental with a debit card because it is the only way to ensure that the person who is trying to rent a car with a debit card has enough money to pay for the rental.

Credit Checks

Another thing you may encounter when attempting to rent a car with a debit card is that the company will have to run a credit check on you. Since you are pursuing a car rental with a debit card and not a credit card, the company has no way of knowing what your credit is like. If you rent a car with a debit card, you must have relatively good credit so that the company knows you are reliable.

Additional Items to Prepare

Can you use a debit card to rent a car? Yes, but you should bring extra forms of identification when pursuing a car rental with a debit card. Acceptable forms of identification, in addition to your driver’s license, can include passports, birth certificates or even mail that has a matching name and address to your license. These extra forms of identification, again, allow you to rent a car with a debit card because the car company will be able to trust you a little more.

When trying to rent a car with a debit card, be prepared to provide proof of insurance to the car rental company. This will slow down the process of renting a car, because the car company will call your insurance to make sure you have enough coverage for the rental car. Car rental with a debit card is doable, but it is not nearly as easy as using a credit card.

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If you do not have enough coverage on your insurance when trying to rent a car with a debit card, the car company will probably make you purchase insurance through it for the time that you have the rental.

Proof of Return

Occasionally, when trying to rent a car with a debit card at the airport, the car rental company will ask you to provide proof of return travel. While this policy varies between company and airport location when addressing car rental with a debit card, it is something to be aware of. This is so the company can make sure you will actually return with the rental car.

Limited Car Selection

Sometimes, car rental with a debit card will make your selection of rental cars smaller. When trying to rent a car with a debit card, you may not be able to rent any luxury vehicles or large SUVs. Car rental companies value their nicer and bigger cars. They do not want to entrust someone with their most valuable cars when they are unsure if it will be returned or paid for.

Age Restrictions

While age restrictions apply at many car rental agencies, regardless of whether you try to rent a car with a debit card or a credit card, the age restrictions may be stricter when you use a debit card to rent a car. Typically, people under the age of 25 cannot rent a car with a debit card unless the insurance and account are under a parent’s name.

All of these expectations that come with trying to rent a car with a debit card will show you that, although car rental with a debit card is possible, it is not an easy option, and it will be much more time-consuming. Since credit card companies do a lot of the background work when a person applies for the credit card, this allows rental car companies to place a lot of trust on credit card holders. However, when trying to rent a car with a debit card, the car company must build that trust on their own with these many other checkpoints.

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Where Can I Rent a Car with a Debit Card?

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Image source: Pixabay

In this section, we will go through the major car rental companies around the United States and analyze their debit card policies in order to answer the question, “Where can I rent a car with a debit card?” as well as which company will be the easiest when it comes to car rental with a debit card.

Alamo

Alamo Car Rental does allow customers to rent a car with a debit card; however, it will place a minimum hold of $500 on your account. It also requires a proof of return travel ticket when the car is picked up. It does not allow underage car rental with a debit card or premium car rental with a debit card. Credit checks will vary at each Alamo location. Due to the hold on your account, Alamo will not charge the card until the vehicle is returned.

Avis

Avis Car Rental will allow a customer to rent a car with a debit card if he/she has a Visa or MasterCard. It will place a hold on your account for the amount of the rental and will also require a credit check for car rental with a debit card. It does not allow underage car rental with a debit card or premium car rental with a debit card.

Budget

Budget Car Rental will allow a customer to rent a car with a debit card if he/she has a Visa or MasterCard. Budget will place a hold on your account for the amount of the rental plus 25%, however, if you prepay for the rental online, it will only place a hold of $100. It does not allow underage car rental with a debit card or premium car rental with a debit card. Credit checks vary by location when trying to rent a car with a debit card at Budget.

Enterprise

Enterprise Car Rental has varying policies at each location for car rental with a debit card. In order to figure out the different requirements at Enterprise when trying to rent a car with a debit card from the company, it is important to call the specific location and ask. However, from personal experience, it was possible to rent a car with a debit card from Enterprise in Nashville, Tennessee with proof of insurance and identification at the age of 23.

Fox

Fox Car Rental allows customers to rent a car with a debit card with a hold on the account in the amount of the rental price plus $150.  If you have a return airline ticket when pursuing car rental with a debit card, Fox does not run a credit check. Also, it will rent a car with a debit card to underage customers with an added fee. It does not allow premium car rental with a debit card.

Hertz

Similar in policy to Fox, Hertz Car Rental allows customers to rent a car with a debit card with a hold on the account of the rental price plus up to $200. It will run a credit check on every customer trying to rent a car with a debit card. At varying locations, it will rent a car with a debit card to underage customers with an added fee. It does not allow premium car rental with a debit card.

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Rent-A-Wreck

Rent-A-Wreck Car Rental will rent a car with a debit card to any customer as long as it can place a hold on the account for the rental charges plus several hundred dollars more to ensure payment at drop off. It does not run credit checks for a car rental with a debit card. It will rent a car with a debit card to underage customers with an added fee. It does not allow premium car rental with a debit card.

Thrifty

Lastly, Thrifty Rental Car will rent a car with a debit card with a hold on the debit card account for the rental charges plus 15% and/or $350, depending on which is greater. For car rental with a debit card, it will run a credit check using Equifax. Unlike every other company, it does allow premium car rental with a debit card as well as underage car rental with a debit card (added fee).



The Lowdown

Keep in mind that while many companies allow car rental with a debit card, no car rental companies allow the use of prepaid debit cards. When asked, “Can I rent a car with a debit card?” the answer is definitely a “yes.” However, the obstacles are much greater.

If you choose to go through the hassle of trying to rent a car with a debit card, make sure that you are prepared for the many checkpoints a car rental company will take you through to ensure it can trust you as a customer. Keep a good credit history, extra money in your account, proof of identification, and insurance close by.

In order to ensure that you can rent a car with a debit card, it is wise to call the specific location in which you are planning to rent from. This way, you can go in knowing exactly what you need to do in order to rent a car with a debit card.

Rental car companies want your business and your money. They will work with you to be able to meet your needs and get you where you need to go. If you cooperate with them, they will more than likely cooperate with you. Can you rent a car with a debit card? Absolutely. It only takes preparation and patience to rent a card with a debit card and be on your way.

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