Some rental car companies require that you use a credit card, but others allow you to use a debit card, cash or a third-party booking company. Below you’ll find alternatives to renting a ca with a credit card.
Do you need a credit card to rent a car?
It depends. If you don’t have a credit card, there are still ways to rent a car. Major car rental companies offer customers a few options when it comes to booking and paying for rental cars. Options vary by location. Most rental car companies ask for a deposit to protect their assets. This can include a hold on a debit or credit card or a cash deposit.
Most rental car companies prefer a credit card because it allows them to block the full amount of the rental insurance deductible, which can be $500 – $4,000.
Why do car rental companies require a credit card?
Rental car companies require a credit card to prove you’re not a financial risk. It is a way for them to ensure that they can recoup their costs if the vehicle is damaged or you don’t return it on time.
In addition, rental car companies typically can’t pull funds from a debit card if the account has insufficient funds. This creates additional liability for rental car companies. To get around this, some rental car companies will take an additional payment from a debit card or place a hold that is released after the car is returned in good condition.
How to rent a car without a credit card
If you want to rent a car without a credit card, the main options to consider are below.
1. Check with different car rental companies on their policies regarding debit cards
Car rental policies vary by location. Different rental car companies have different policies for different locations. Most U.S.-based rental car companies don’t allow you to use a debit card at airports. Many will allow you to rent a car with a debit card at other locations. You may need to provide additional documentation if you want to rent a car with a debit card.
2. Consider renting from smaller, local car rental companies instead of larger chains
Many smaller rental car companies may be willing to accept more flexible payments. Some will accept debit cards, cash, or a check. You will often still need to make a deposit that’s refunded when you return the car in good condition. Be sure to check with the companies ahead of time for policies at each location.
3. Look for car rental companies that offer prepaid rental options or cash deposits
Some rental car companies accept a prepaid rental option or a cash deposit. In this case, the rental car company will retain cash, a hold, or a transfer from your bank account that will be automatically returned when the vehicle is returned according to the contract you signed. Deposits or holds vary by company and rental duration but range from an average of $200 to $800.
4. Find a friend or family member who is willing to use their credit card for the rental and reimburse them
If a friend or family member is willing to let you use their credit card to rent a vehicle, you can reimburse them via cash, check, or bank transfer. Keep in mind that sometimes the rental car company will ask to see the card at the rental counter, so be sure to ask what your options are if you are using someone else’s card.
5. Use a third-party booking website that allows alternative forms of payment, such as PayPal or Apple Pay
Some third-party booking sites let you pay with Paypal, Apple Pay or Google Pay. All of these systems allow you to link your bank account directly. Rental companies may treat these as a viable alternative to credit cards and treat them as though you’d paid by credit card.
What to know about car rental with a debit card
There’s good news for people who want to rent cars without a credit card: Most well-known car rental companies let you book and pay for a rental car using a debit card.
But car rental companies run the risk of losing money if you don’t have adequate funds available in your bank account. For this reason, they often require you to meet certain requirements to rent a car with a debit card.
Here are some requirements car rental companies might impose if you pay with a debit card:
Car rental companies can require additional identification and proof of travel plans when you book with a debit card. Exact policies can depend on your car rental company, so make sure you research their exact policies.
When you use a debit card to book a rental, the car rental company may place an additional hold on your funds. Dollar places an additional $500 hold when you secure a reservation with a debit card. The hold on your funds keeps you from spending your money on something else.
While most car rental companies let you rent a car using your debit card, the type of car you can book might be limited. In some cases, you can’t book a premium vehicle or convertible. Each rental car company will have unique policies about selection. Make sure to thoroughly research or get in touch with your car rental company about their specific terms.
Some car rental companies will check your credit if you want to book a rental using a debit card.This isn’t always the case, but you’ll want to be in the know when it comes to your car rental company’s policies to avoid any unforessen hiccups.
Car rental with a prepaid card
When booking a car rental without a credit card, most companies accept prepaid cards as payment at the end of the rental. But they won’t accept prepaid cards to book a car rental.
Which rental car company does not require a credit card?
Customers may be able to car rentals that don’t require a credit card at the following major car rental companies:
- Alamo Rent A Car
- Avis Car Rental
- Budget Rent a Car
- Dollar Rent A Car
- Enterprise Rent-a-Car
- Hertz Corp.
- National Car Rental
- Payless Car Rental
- Sixt SE
- Thrifty Car Rental
Can I use cash for a rental car?
Most car rental companies let you pay cash for the initial rental and for any additional fees when you return the car, but you will still need to use a credit or debit card to secure the rental. Not every rental car location accepts cash. It’s a good idea to call the location to confirm it will accept cash before booking the rental.
What to know about renting a car without a credit card
You can get a car rental without a credit card, but you may encounter a few hurdles along the way.
You’ll need a balance on your debit card
Many car rental companies require a high security deposit to secure your reservation with a debit card. They often need to verify that you have enough money in your account for a security deposit.
When you pick up your car, the rental company might place an additional hold for the amount you owe at the end. These funds won’t be available until the company releases the hold. If you are tight on cash, the hold on funds may keep you from meeting other financial obligations.
You’ll need to bring all the required documents
Most car rental companies will ask for even more documentation when you book a rental with your debit card. If you cannot provide these documents, you may not be able to rent a car without a credit card.
Most airline locations require two valid forms of identification and proof of your return travel ticket that coincides with the rental vehicle return time. Most companies require the name and address on your driver’s license to match your current home address. Car rental without a credit card can be difficult if it doesn’t.
You’ll need to meet age requirements
Age requirements vary based on the car rental company but often require renters to be at least 21 years old or pay for premium insurance. For example, you must be at least 21to rent a car using a debit card at Avis
But you can rent a car through Dollar if you are 20 (or 18 in New York or Michigan), have a valid debit card, and a driver’s license that’s been in good standing for at least one year. Some Enterprise locations allow renters between the ages of 21 and 24 to rent a car with a valid debit card as well as a valid driver’s license.
You may undergo a credit check
Some rental car companies may require a credit check to secure a reservation with a debit card. If your credit score does not meet the requirements of the car rental company, you may be unable to rent a car with them. You can know for sure by contacting and inquiring into their car rental company about their unique policies.
Double-check whether the car is manual or automatic
Most car rental companies in the U.S. only offer vehicle rentals for cars with automatic transmissions. Europe and other international locations often charge a premium for automatic cars. If you’re renting internationally, it’s a good idea to ensure your car isn’t manual unless you prefer manual transmissions.
Find a car rental that does not require a credit card
Renting a car without a credit card is possible with a little research and planning ahead of time. That and third-party booking sites offer more options than ever to secure a car rental without a credit card.
What types of car loans are available for people with no credit?
To get a car loan with no credit, you can apply for car loans with a co-signer. You can also use no-credit car loans or build your credit history to secure more favorable loan terms.
Are there any tips for getting approved for a car loan with no credit?
To get approved for a car loan with no credit, consider getting a co-signer to help you secure the loan or make a large down payment. You can also look for no-credit car loans or dealership financing that looks at your complete financial picture.
What is the process for getting approved for a car loan with no credit?
This depends on the lender, typically to get approved for a car loan with no credit, you’ll need to prove your income and ability to pay the loan in full each month. You may also need a co-signer or to make a large down payment.