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QHow to Rent a Car Without a Credit Card

ATo rent a car without a credit card, you should choose a company that allows you to rent a car with a debit card, have a valid driver's license, be prepared for credit checks and prepare for holds or deposits.

When it comes to renting a car, having a credit card makes life a lot easier, but not having one doesn’t rule you out of the car rental game. Some companies do accept debit cards, so it’s not always absolutely necessary to have a credit card in order to get your hands on a rental car.

There are a few things to remember when picking up a car rental without a credit card. There are also a few things you should remember when picking up a car rental with a credit card. Whether you’re planning on using a credit card or a debit card for your car rental, it can be helpful to know what payment options you’ll need in order to get on the road. We’re taking you through all the helpful details below:

Can You Rent a Car With a Debit Card?

You can rent a car with a debit card as your main method of payment with many rental car companies, including the big-name agencies. Just remember that it might take a little longer, since they might want to run a credit check, you might need to bring additional proof of identification, and some car classes might be unavailable to you if you’re renting with a debit card.

Car Rentals That Accept Debit Cards

The following is a list of just some of the car rental suppliers that accept debit cards (correct as of September 2018):

rent a car without a credit card

Alamo

Alamo will accept a debit card payment if your card bears the VISA, Mastercard, or Discover Card logo. You will also be asked to show your proof of departure from the location in which you are renting, such as a plane, train, or cruise ship ticket.

Sixt

Sixt will accept a debit card at their discretion if the renter can provide two forms of official documentation, have available funds, and show an airline ticket (for out-of-state renters) or two recent utility bills (for in-state renters). Restrictions also apply to vehicle categories for those using a debit card, and rental periods may not exceed 28 days.

Avis

At some locations, Avis will accept bank debit cards with the Visa or MasterCard logo if you are at least 25 years of age. In most cases, they will perform a credit check for debit card renters to determine creditworthiness at the time of rental.

sixt alamo avis logo

Tips for Renting a Car With a Debit Card

  • Only certain debit cards will be accepted by rental companies, so check  which ones you can use with the agency
  • If you’re using a debit card, bring extra identification, as you might be asked to provide more than one way of proving your identity by the agency. This could be proof of insurance, a plane ticket, or a recent utility bill. Any extra ID you bring should match the name on your driver’s license
  • The rental car company may also check your credit score if you’re paying with a debit card and, if you have a poor rating, you might not be able to take the car. This might make the rental process a little longer
  • Sometimes, using a debit card means that you are restricted to renting lower car classes, so if you’re hoping to rent a premium car or a luxury SUV, you might need a credit card
  • If the rental company does accept debit cards, you should still check if you need a credit card for the deposit. If they accept a debit card for the deposit, make sure you have the funds in your account to cover the amount

Tips for Renting a Car With a Credit Cards

  • It is always easier to rent a car with a credit card, mainly because you will have more choice of rental car companies, many of which will not accept payments with debit cards.
  • Another advantage of using a credit card is that your deposit is only blocked, rather than taken off you.
  • The credit card must be in the name of the primary driver of the rental car
  • You could still be asked to provide additional proof of identity, but the process is likely to be quicker than if you attempt to use a debit card

Although most car rental agencies prefer you to rent their vehicles using a credit card, and some will accept debit cards, most car rental companies do not accept prepaid cards, Visa Electron cards, Maestro cards, cash, or checks.

Finally, before you start shopping around for your rental, it’s a good idea to know which type of card you have, so that you’re aware of which companies will accept your method of payment.

Debit Card vs. Credit Card: Which One do I Have?

Use the below table of reference to identify the type of card that you own.

credit vs debit table

Credit cardDebit card

Accrues interest charges

No interest charges

You will receive a monthly bill to repay funds used

Spending is limited to the amount of funds available in your account

Builds your credit rating

Does not affect your credit score

Essentially a loan

No repayment required

The information provided in this guide was accurate at the time of publication but is subject to change at any time. Please check your car rental company’s terms for the latest information.

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