Intro: How to Rent a Car with Cash Only


The world of car rentals. Although it may not be one of the most exciting ones around, there’s no denying what a popular and expansive market it is.

Travelers and vacationers all around the world utilize the car rental industry as a means of quick and convenient transportation when traveling abroad.

One of the biggest questions that comes up when discussing car rentals is that of “Can you pay cash for a car rental?” and “Are there any car rentals that accept cash deposits?” Car rentals are big purchases, and as a result, many people prefer to pay for these rentals by the means of a credit card.

However, we’ve recently noticed an uptick in people interested in how to rent cars with cash only.

Why this big push, though? Why would someone want to rent a car with cash instead of a credit card? When you rent a car with cash only, you’re paying for it with money that you actually have to your name. When you pay with a credit card, you’re paying for the convenience of getting the car right away, even if you don’t technically have the necessary funds at the time of the purchase.

If you’re paying with money that you don’t have when you rent a car with a credit card, why do so many people do it? The answer is convenience. If you decide to rent a car with cash, you need to be absolutely sure that you have the required funds to make it happen. It may be a bit of a pain upfront, but you’ll actually end up saving money in the long run.

We’ve recently noticed that a large number of people have been asking, “Can you rent a car with cash?” It’s a good question worth asking, and while it may seem simple on the surface, there are a great deal of things that we need to take into consideration.

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Why would you want to rent a car with cash only?

Can you rent a car with cash-min

Image source: Pixabay

Before we talk about how to rent a car with cash, we first need to ask the question of why you’d want to rent cars with cash only in the first place. The answer is rather simple, and is actually quite similar to any other type of big purchase you would make.

The car rental industry is pretty set on renting their vehicles with the use of a credit card: it is convenient and safe for them. So why should you make the decision to rent a car with cash?

One of the biggest reasons comes down to avoiding extra charges or paying interest on the other end when using a credit card. It’s easier to be sweet-talked into an upgrade at the counter when you’re swiping a card rather than forking over physical bills. This issue is not limited to car rentals, but it plays a big part in wanting to rent a car with cash only.

Another big reason has to do with not having a credit card, either due to a poor credit history, or due to a decision on your part not to have a credit card.

So, when you rent a car with cash, you can rest assured knowing that you’re only spending money that you know you absolutely have. It may not be quite as convenient as using a credit card, but from a financial standpoint, it’s taking the long view.



The initial planning process to rent cars for cash

Alright, so you’ve made the decision to rent a car with cash only. Awesome! What is the next step to make this happen? While you may be inclined to walk right into a car rental dealership and rent a car with cash, there is actually a bit of planning that you need to do before this can happen.

Why it that? As you already know, a large number of car rental dealerships don’t allow customers to rent cars with cash only.

So, to keep things easier for both parties, you’ll want to first contact various car rental stores in your area to see who will allow you to rent a car with cash and who won’t. All you have to do is call them and ask “Can you pay cash for a rental car?”. If the answer is no, you simply cross that company off your list, and move on to the next company.

According to USA Today, you’ll want to conduct this planning process about 4 to 6 weeks prior to the date you’ll need the rental. Although that may seem like a lot of time, it keeps things running smoother in the long run.

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Providing any necessary information in order to rent a car with cash

Just like with an apartment rental or house mortgage, car rentals generally require that you provide a healthy amount of background information before they hand over the keys to your rental vehicle. However, when you rent a car with cash only, this idea is reinforced even more. If/when you decide to rent a car with cash, expect to supply the following:

  • A legal driver’s license
  • Some form of utility or other bill that is representative of your current address
  • A verified phone number that is also in your own name
  • Must be of a certain age – frequently 25
  • Requirement to rent a car with cash deposit in combination with the current cost of the specific rental that you’re looking at
  • Depending on the car rental store that you’re dealing with, you may be asked to provide your credit history, even if you’re trying to rent a car with cash only

While that may seem like an unnecessary amount of information to hand over, it really isn’t anything out of the ordinary for most car rental companies. These folks need to make sure that they’re handing over their car to someone who is trustworthy and reliable, and when we’re dealing with something as expensive as a car, it only makes sense that they would want to get as much info on you as possible.

Related: How to Find Car Rentals that Accept Cash (Details on Car Rental Companies that Accept Cash)



Certain cash amounts are required to rent cars with cash only

Let’s review what we’ve learned so far.

Prior to anything else in this process, you’ll want to contact various car rental stores in your area to see if they’ll allow you to rent a car with cash only. This process is all about planning, and while it may take up a bit of time initially, it actually proves to be quite a time-saver in the long run – for both you and the dealerships you’re going to be dealing with.

Secondly, once you find a car rental dealership that will allow you to rent a car with cash, you’ll need to get ready to hand over any personal and financial information that will let the car rental store know you’re a reliable person to rent out their vehicle to. Some people tend to be a bit uncomfortable with how much information is required to rent a car, but it only makes good sense form a business standpoint – especially when you’re going to rent a car with cash only.

For the third step in the process to rent a car with cash, you’ll more than likely be required to make a physical trip to the car rental store prior to the actual rental day.

Why? While it may sound like a bit on an inconvenience, it comes with very good reason. As you’ll find with most car rental dealerships that allow you to rent a car with cash, you’ll need to also rent a car with cash deposit.

For example, the car rental agency Alamo requires that any future customers looking to rent a car with cash only must make a cash deposit of $300. It’s important to keep in mind here that this deposit is in addition to the rental price that you’re already paying for the car in question.

While that may seem like a bummer, that $300 deposit is exactly what the name suggests – a deposit. If you decide to rent a car with a cash deposit, you’ll pay that money and get your car, just like any other renter. However, once your rental period is up and you return the rental car in acceptable condition, the car rental store will give that money back to you.

This is a common practice with any dealership when you rent a car with cash, but the way that that deposit is paid back can vary depending on which specific car rental store you’re dealing with. Many dealerships will hand you back your deposit on the same day that you return the car you rented; others will return your money by sending you a refund check through the mail. This is a very common matter if you want to rent a car with cash only.

 You get your money back either way, but if the method that the rental store uses is a big concern of yours, this will be something that you’ll want to clear up and ask about before actually renting the car. It shouldn’t make a big difference for most people, but we understand that it can be a bigger issue depending on your financial situation. This is one of the small caveats you’ll encounter when you rent a car with cash.



Picking up your car that you’ve rented with cash!

rent a car with cash-minImage source: Andes Car Rental

After all of this preliminary planning to rent a car with cash only, the day you get to pick up your car rental will finally come! The actual amount of time you’ll have to wait to pick up your car after all of these initial steps will vary and depend on your situation, but the way to handle this day is the same.

For starters, whether you rent a car with cash or with a credit card, you’ll want to make sure that you show up early to the dealership to pick up your car. How early should you show up, though? This pretty much depends on how busy your local car rental store is on a daily basis.

If it’s quite popular and deals with a large number of customers, you’ll want to make sure you show up as early as possible. You’ll more than likely end up waiting in line for some period of time no matter what, so you might as well play it on the safe side and arrive as early as you can. No matter if you rent a car with cash deposit or rent a car with cash, this rule will apply to everyone.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to come with your driver’s license so they can verify one last time who they’re handing over their car to. This may seem like an unnecessary process, but as we’ve said before, all of these practices make good and solid sense from a business point of view. And, as with above, this is done whether or not you decide to rent a car with cash only.

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Summary

In today’s article, we asked the question, “Can you pay cash for a rental car?” As we’ve learned throughout all the information that we’ve supplied, you absolutely can! The process to rent a car with cash varies a bit compared to renting one with a credit card, but it is a process that can be completely pain- and stress-free if you follow the steps that you went over today:

  1. Do your research! Before you even think about making the final decision about which car rental agency go with, call them and see if they’ll even allow you to rent a car with cash only. There are a fair number of businesses who won’t allow you to do this, so it’s best to save headaches for everyone if you call around and ask in the first place.
  2. Be prepared to hand over any sort of personal identification that the car dealership you’ve chosen asks of you. It may seem like an absurd amount at first, but they need to make sure the person they’re renting their car out to is reliable and will return their car in good condition.
  3. When you rent a car with cash, you’ll more than likely have to put down some form of security deposit before you get your hands on the car.
  4. On the day that you get your rental, arrive to the rental store with plenty of time to spare to ensure that the whole process goes as smoothly as possible.

Simply keep these tips in mind, and when you’re ready to rent a car with cash, you can rest easy knowing that it’ll be an extremely easy process!

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