Overview: How to Rent A Car Without A Credit Card | All You Need to Know
Occasionally, the need to rent a car arises for a myriad of reasons. Maybe you’re heading out of town, or maybe your own car finally broke down.
Is it possible to rent a car without a credit card? Do you need a credit card to rent a car? With most companies hoping to see a credit card come through their system, it’s time to learn how to rent a car without a credit card.
Learn to answer questions like:
- How do I know where to go to rent car without credit card?
- What additional information do I need for a car rental without credit card?
- Will I pay extra to rent a car without a credit card?
- Can you rent a car with a prepaid credit card?
It is more than possible to get a car rental with no credit card. In fact, you can rent a car without a credit card, but there may be a few more hurdles you’ll need to jump over. Join us as we walk through what it takes to rent a car without credit card and provide you with options lining your wallet, so you can be prepared when the company asks.
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How to Rent Car without a Credit Card
If you know that you need a car rental, no credit card in hand, then you need to be prepared to find the right place to take your business. Before you can really learn the details of how to rent a car without a credit card, you need to make sure you’re doing your homework thoroughly. Take a look at a few of these tips from NerdWallet to help you rent a car with no credit card:
- Find the right place. First and foremost, if you plan to rent a car without a credit card, you’re going to need to do your homework. Each company has its own set of rules pertaining to who they can loan vehicles out to. If the first place you try doesn’t have an option for car rental without a credit card, that doesn’t mean that the next place won’t. Make sure to do thorough research on the car rental facilities in the area to see how many options you really have to rent a car without a credit card.
- Discuss card options available. Can you rent a car without a credit card? Absolutely, but you may need a debit card. While you’re researching car rental companies, ask if they accept your particular debit card and the requirements involved. It is possible to obtain a car rental without credit card, but you may need to add a few additional steps like finding out if your debit card is accepted and verifying that it is linked to your bank account.
- Ask about insurance. Your regular car insurance policy may cover a rental vehicle, but if you opt to rent a car without a credit card, you may need to purchase additional insurance straight from the rental company. Be sure to inquire about this step up front—rental insurance could be as much as $20 per day, which adds up quickly if you plan on using the rental for a while.
- Choices will be limited. If you want a car rental with no credit card, you’ll have to reconsider asking for that luxury vehicle with the fancy upgrades. Most rental companies will be hesitant or dead set against a luxury car rental with no credit card. Debit card users should expect to be given basic, cheaper vehicles to help the company protect its interests in the car.
- Expect to wait. If you want to rent a car with no credit card, you have to consider the fact that the process will take a little longer. Paying with a debit card requires the company to take additional steps (checking your credit, verifying your ID, checking your insurance, or calling your bank—these could all make the list). Keep in mind that a car rental without credit card could delay your plans if you don’t give them enough advance notice to process all of your information in time.
What Cost Should You Expect?
If you opt to rent a car without a credit card, what fees should you expect? Paying with a debit card not only requires extra research and planning time on your part, but it could also mean forking over a little more cash for your loaner vehicle. Do you need a credit card to rent a car? The answer is no, but it might cost you.
First, you should be prepared to hand over a deposit before a rental company will let you sign on the dotted line when you rent a car without a credit card. While they may not always require the money upfront, some locations will place a hold on your account until you return the vehicle. How much could a deposit like that cost? It varies depending on the company, but if you need to pay a deposit for a car rental without credit card, you might be looking at $200 or more.
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Second, make sure your expectations for purchasing additional insurance are clear when you rent a car without a credit card. As mentioned previously, some companies will require extra coverage on their rentals, so make sure you aren’t going to receive a hefty surprise bill after the fact for your no credit card car rental.
Last, but not least, there’s the hidden cost of credit inquiries associated with a car rental without credit card. The credit checks themselves may not cost a dime, but you could find your credit score lowered.
In order to make sure that you do have funds to pay for the expense of the rental, a company will usually perform a credit check. If you have stellar credit, one check here and there may not be a problem. However, if you plan to frequently rent a car without a credit card, those inquiries will show up on your credit report. Over time, this can reduce your credit score.
If you have the capability of obtaining a credit card, and you plan to get rentals frequently, you might want to consider doing so to avoid harming your credit. Do you need a credit card to rent a car? No, but you might want to consider using a credit card if you plan to utilize rental services frequently.
Limitations to Rent Cars without Credit Cards
You know that you can rent a car without a credit card, but does it put you at a disadvantage? There are certainly a few limitations placed upon individuals who wish to rent a car without credit card. Here are a handful of things you might run into by paying for your next car rental without credit card:
- Age: Do you need a credit card to rent a car if you’re under the age of 25? Most likely, you won’t be able to rent a car without a credit card if you haven’t hit that age threshold. While some companies may have more lenient policies than others, obtaining a car rental without credit card will be significantly more challenging for those in the younger age group. If you want to inquire with companies about how to rent a car without a credit card and you fall into this age group, you might need to show additional proof of income or identification.
- Identification: Speaking of identification, if you plan for a car rental, no credit card available, you will likely have to show extra forms of identification, no matter what your age is. Beyond your driver’s license, you may need to show a second or third form of ID to rent a car without a credit card. A passport or utility bill may be enough to suffice for the additional identification.
- Return travel: Like many other situations, the policies on showing proof of your return travel will vary from company to company. Proof of return travel may be required when you rent a car without a credit card. Picking up a rental car at an airport, bus station, or train station may force you to show your return ticket. Opting for a company outside of these locations may mean a different policy and greater leniency on showing proof of your travel plans. However, this policy can be different among companies and among their various locations. This may only be necessary for individuals hoping to rent a car without credit card.
- Prepaid credit cards: Can you rent a car with a prepaid credit card? While you do not need a credit card to rent a car, a prepaid credit card probably won’t cut it. If you’re wondering how to rent a car without a credit card, you will probably need a debit card that is at least linked to your bank account. The company can place the deposit or hold on funds in this account, but you may be able to request the final charges to be applied to your prepaid credit card. You can rent a car with a prepaid credit card, but you will want to be sure to ask up front if this final method of payment will be acceptable.
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Car Rental Companies to Rent a Car without Credit Card
Now that you know how to rent a car without a credit card, you have to figure out where to go to get a car rental without credit card. Many of the major car rental companies are now open to the idea of allowing their customers to rent a car without a credit card. Which ones should you try first? You might want to consider these companies next time you need a car rental with no credit card:
- Hertz—Hertz does run a credit check prior to allowing you rent a car without a credit card, but it does allow you to rent a car without a credit card.
- Budget—Budget does not require a credit check, but it does require an additional cash deposit. That deposit is refundable when the vehicle is returned undamaged.
- Alamo—Alamo does not run credit (except for at certain locations), and it does allow you to use a debit card along with round-trip travel proof.
- Enterprise—Enterprise does accept debit cards if you plan to rent a car without credit card, but it requires a deposit of $200, or sometimes more depending on the location.
Of course, there are plenty of other companies that are willing to perform a car rental, no credit card required. For more detailed information on companies and their specific policies, CardHub has compiled a reference sheet detailing what each company should accept. Do you need a credit card to rent a car? The short answer is no, but you should certainly check directly with each company to see what their specific policies and procedures are for how to rent a car without a credit card.
Do you need a credit card to rent a car? As long as you do your research and have a debit card linked to your bank account, you should be able to find a company that will allow you a car rental, no credit card necessary. If you want to rent a car without a credit card, there may be a few additional hoops you have to jump through, including providing extra documentation, greater financial cost, and limitations on the size and type of vehicle you can rent without a credit card. You may even find out you can rent a car with a prepaid credit card.
With each company’s policy being different, it’s hard to say which company is the best for a car rental without credit card. However, at the end of the day, you can rent a car without a credit card. You just have to find the right location and company to meet all of your needs for a car rental without a credit card.
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