Cash Car Rentals? A Short Intro…
Many people wonder whether renting a car using cash is possible. This is because most people only know about car rentals with debit card and credit card.
What most people do not know is that it is easy to rent cars with cash just like it is easy to rent cars with debit card and credit card.
Renting a car with cash can be done in two ways. You can do it after renting a car or before renting a car.
How Cash Car Rentals Works After Renting Works
The first way involves reserving a rental car using a debit card or credit card and then paying the final charges using cash when returning the vehicle.
Several well-known car rental agencies allow cash car rentals transaction. You’ll, however, have to inform the pick up location beforehand of your plans.
Alamo, Budget, National, Fox, and Avis are great examples of companies that allow for this payment method. These companies, however, do not accept any cash payments as deposit.
They require the client’s credit card to be attached to their booking in case they later on need to be charged for certain incidentals sustained during their rental period.
This is why it is important to thoroughly examine a vehicle during pick up to avoid being charged for damages you are not responsible for.
These rental companies, nonetheless, do accept payment with cash after a rented car has been returned and found to be okay after all inspections. Credit card deposits are usually returned immediately or within a few business days.
Pay with cash before renting a car
The second way involves paying a cash deposit when reserving your car.
Cash might seem like a reliable payment method but most car rental companies require proof that you are not a credit risk. Unfortunately, this can only be proved by credit cards.
Thankfully, some vehicle rental agencies will allow cash rental cars transactions using a cash deposit, though this form of payment is accompanied by very strict conditions.
First off, forget about renting any luxury vehicles as the choices available will be limited to mainly economy cars.
Most agencies also require detailed paperwork and you should expect to make the complete payment of the rental upfront, which will be accompanied by a huge deposit.
Examples of rental agencies that accept cash deposits for car rentals include:
Some Enterprise locations accept cash car rentals or even cash deposits but only after the customer provides several documents including a driver’s license, two recent utility bills, insurance proof, most recent payment stump, and personal references.
The client must also pay the complete rental cost when picking up the car, together with a deposit of at least 300 dollars, depending on their location.
If you opt for the cash payment method, your security deposit refund will be issued by check, which you either pick up from the rental location or receive via mail.
National Car Rental
The documentation required by National Car Rental are similar to those of Enterprise if you are renting one of their cars using cash.
Their deposit is, however, much higher; you might pay a deposit of up to 500 dollars. They also limit your car choices between economy to full-sized cars.
When renting your ride from an airport, you’ll be required to produce a proof of your return ticket. Your deposit will be refunded via mail or check after about two weeks from the time you return the car.
Hertz, Dollar, and Thrifty
Hertz allows you to book one of their cars using cash deposit only after you apply and get approved for a Cash Deposit Identification Card.
This application can be found online and is available at a non-refundable processing charge of 15 dollars. It includes a credit check and could take up to one month to process.
Any applicants from New York and Michigan should be 18 years old and above to apply. For other states in the United States the applicant should be 21 years and above.
Once approved for the Cash Deposit Identification card, you will still have to produce a cash deposit upfront.
The good news is that, with the Cash Deposit ID card, you can rent a car from not just Hertz, but its other subsidiaries as well including Firefly, Thrifty, and Dollar using cash.
Other cash rental cars companies
Smaller independent car rental companies and agencies might also accept upfront cash deposit payments. Most of them, however, have age restrictions for cash car rentals service.
That said, contact the company beforehand to find out the necessary documentation required to get approved.
Also enquire about the insurance requirements as well as the amount of cash deposit needed. A few such rental car companies that permit upfront cash deposits include Rent-A-Wreck and Value Car Rent.
Other rental companies even conduct background checks. These checks take a couple of days to complete and even include application fees.
FAQs about Cash Rentals
1. What’s the fuss with debit cards?
Most rental car companies and agencies permit rentals using debit cards. Note that when you rent a car using a debit card, all the risks are assumed by the rental company.
Debit cards need the card holder to be physically present to key in their PIN number and make payment. A credit card, on the other hand, can be billed even without the presence of the card holder.
Upon return, a renter could bring back a car with tiny dings that won’t be covered by the insurance policy, or they might incur toll fees, parking fees or any other charges.
If the car rental agency doesn’t have any credit card to bill, it might have to incur shoulder those costs itself.
What’s more, not having a credit card raised a red flag to rental agencies; it signifies that you might be a potential credit risk.
Below are some requirements that you need to comply with when renting a vehicle using a debit card;
- You might be faced with a credit check
Most rental vehicle companies or agencies run automatic credit checks on those individuals looking to rent one of their cars using debit cards.
If the score turns out to be very low, then the company might not rent out their car to such individuals. Bear in mind that each time you face a credit check, your FICO score could drop with five points or more (it depends with the state where the check is done).
- Your bank account needs to have some available cash
For you to rent a car using a debit, you’ll need to have some money available in the bank. The rental agency or company locks up the full rental charges beforehand, and even puts a hold on your bank account for amounts up to 350 dollars.
Without any issues or damages, the extra cash gets released back to your account after the rental period ends; a process that might take two to three weeks.
- You’ll need more forms of identification documents
Credit cards are often accepted as a form of identification. Otherwise, on top of your driver’s license, you might be asked to produce another extra form of identification.
Other companies such as Rent-A-Wreck even demand for three identification documents. Other acceptable identification documents include a passport or even a utility bill bearing a similar address to the one appearing on your driver’s license.
- You’ll need insurance proof
Most rental car agencies and companies request those using debit cards to produce proof of insurance.
This slows down the entire process since the rental car agency will have to contact your insurance company to ensure that your coverage level is that which is required by the rental company to rent their car.
If that’s not the case, the car agency might insist that you get enough coverage from the car rental company, or refuse to rent out the car to you.
- Age restrictions might apply
Avis and Budge do not permit anyone below the age of 25 to rent any of their cars using a debit card. In this case, age becomes a limiting factor.
Thrifty also has a similar policy that applied to off-airport locations. Other rental car companies might request for more identification proof for younger clients.
- Provide proof of return travel
This widely varies for different companies and locations. National, Enterprise, and Alamo (all of which are part of Enterprise Holdings) have quite flexible policies with regard to off-airport locations.
However, if you wish to rent a car using your debit card from an airport, you would have to produce your return travel ticket.
- Pay up upon return of vehicle
Most rental car agencies are generally pleased to receive your cash in whichever form you offer it.
Thrifty and Hertz allow cash payment for those who have their Cash Identification cards, which you need to apply for 30 days in advance at a fee of 15 dollars.
Note that debit card policies vary for different companies and locations. That said, you need to do your homework beforehand.
You could either check out the polices for different rental car policies online from the company’s official website, or just give the company a call to verify every detail.
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2. Who is the cheapest car rental company?
Are you in search of cash car rentals company that provides its clients with some of most affordable rates on the market today?
Well, price is dependent on numerous factors (mainly supply and demand).
Given that there are numerous regional and independent car rental companies out there, it might be challenging to pinpoint exactly which ones have the best prices.
Below are some of the companies that offer the cheapest rates based on the three categories of rental car chains (discount, value, and premium);
- Discount car rental companies
Discount car rental companies are those that offer the best deals on car rentals.
The very best ones in the United States and Europe include Payless, Budget, Avis, Alamo, Thrifty, Sixt, Expedia, and rentalcars.com.
So if you are looking for very cheap cars to rent, you now know which car rental locations to go to.
- Value car rental companies
Value car rental companies are those that have premium cars/ vehicles at very competitive rental prices.
Excellent examples of such car rentals include Budget, Hertz, Thrift, SIXT, Dollar, National, Enterprise, and Alamo. You cannot really go wrong with any of these car rentals if you are looking for quality and value at the same time.
- Premium car rental companies
Premium car rental companies such as National, Hertz, and Avis, mainly focus on business travelers.
Companies in this category often stock new vehicles, recruit more personnel, and even offer express car rental programs (pick your car and drive off without having to wait at the counter).
A lot of people often assume that these higher end brands are quite expensive, which is far from the truth.
The truth is that these brands tend to be more aggressive with discounts and coupons. Addition, the higher end brands are also more forgiving when compared to budget brands of situations that might incur additional charges.
3. Does Enterprise Rent A Car take cash?
According to the Enterprise website, most Enterprise locations do not allow cash rentals. This is because of security reasons.
However, several Enterprise locations across the world do allow cash rentals. Such locations usually have two payment options – cash and credit cards.
For you to be allowed to rent a vehicle using the cash option, you will be required to provide documentation such as utility bills, proof of insurance, and so on, in addition to your driver’s license.
Because many people do not like providing a lot of information about themselves, the credit card option is usually the most preferred payment option because it does not require providing a lot of personal information.
4. Which rental car company does not require a deposit?
As at the time of publishing this article, only Avis does not require a deposit. You can rent a car by debit card, credit card, or cash at Avis. Debit card car rental has special requirements.
Renting a car with a credit card also has special requirements. Cash car rentals also comes with special requirements. In all three scenarios, you will be required to present your driver’s license along with other documentation.
5. What is the difference between a credit card and a debit card?
Whether you use a credit card or a debit card, you will be asked to provide a valid driver’s license during pick up to be allowed to rent a car.
A credit card allows you to spend money you do not have, while a debit card allows you to only spend the money you actually have in your account.
Credit card companies allow people to borrow to a certain limit based on their credit history. Some credit card companies give people limits as high as $100,000.