It is common knowledge the most accepted means of payment for car rental is credit cards.
It’s what rental companies prefer, but unfortunately, many circumstances make it difficult for people to use credit cards, and that’s how the option of paying for car rental services with debit cards came into play.
So back to the main question, is it possible to rent a car with a debit card? YES, it is. There are now many companies that accept debit cards as payment for rental services.
The sweet news is that almost all car rental companies accept debit cards for payment, the only time debit cards may or may not be allowed is at the point of pick up or reservation.
Companies That Accept Debit Card Rentals
Dollar Rent a Car
According to Dollar’s current policy, to use a debit card for payment, you must book 24 hours ahead. Dollar does not accept debit cards as payment for premium cars and above, so what that means is that your vehicle options are limited.
Dollar also requires performing a credit check to confirm your creditworthiness before permitting you to use your debit card for payment.
The accepted debit card issuers by Dollar are Visa card, MasterCard, or Discover. Also, an authorized hold of $500 is put on your debit card which you will not be able to access until you return the vehicle. Dollar is available in different locations.
- Well renowned and trustable company.
- You can join their Dollar Express where you access membership benefits like cheaper rates and other rewards.
- Best rates.
- Low age limit of 20 years except when renting at an airport.
- You must have a valid driver’s license.
- You need an extra means of identification; that could include your government issued passport, recent utility bills, or a non-government ID such as your work ID.
- You would be required to present proof of your return ticket which must also be in line with your rental location and time.
Budget Car Rental
Budget accepts debit cards as well, however not in all locations. The locations of Budget that do not accept debit cards include the Metropolitan NY Tri-State area, Hartford, CT, Philadelphia area, or New Orleans area locations as well as other locations across the country.
Budget also has a restriction against drivers under 25 years of age making use of debit cards for car rentals. An authorized hold is placed on your account, equivalent to your estimated rental cost or a minimum charge of $100.
The permitted airport locations to use debit cards are New York, NY; Islip, NY; White Plains, NY; Newark, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; and Hartford.
They have the widest range of vehicle options and their rates are very affordable. They regularly give out promotions in different seasons so you can check their website whenever you want to rent to see the available ones.
- You can prepay or pay at pick up with a debit card.
- Debit cards are permitted at airport locations.
- Wide range of vehicle options.
- Valid Driver’s license.
- Proof of insurance.
- Verification documents.
- Passport and ticket.
- Bank statement.
This is one of the biggest names in the car rental industry, and the really great thing about them is that they allow payment with debit cards without conducting a credit check.
Not all of its locations accept debit cards, but most outlets in the U.S and Puerto Rico do. Debit cards are also accepted in Canada except in airport locations.
It gets dicey with Enterprise when it comes to their requirements because while they don’t take credit checks, their requirements are not so easy. Therefore, you should try to check their exact locations for the exact policies and requirements.
- No credit check.
- Accepted in airport locations.
- Two latest utility bills.
- The total rental cost when picking up plus a minimum deposit.
- Two referees.
- Copy of your latest pay-stub.
- Proof of insurance.
Sixt Rent a Car
This is another car rental company that has been in existence since 1912. They also accept debit cards without conducting credit checks, however, they decide who to permit to use this method of payment based on discretion.
This means that after you meet their requirements and submit all necessary items, it’s up to them to decide if they want to allow you to make use of your debit card or not. The age limit for this company is 21 years.
The accessible vehicles are limited for debit card payments and they have different requirements for different categories of renters; local, international, and non-local. Another thing about them is that they only permit rentals for short stays (not longer than 28 days).
- No credit checks.
- Wide range of accepted cards including Master Card, Prepaid Debit Card, Verve, Interswitch, and E-Tranzact.
- A valid driver’s license.
- Proof of itinerary tickets to coincide with your car rental schedule for out-of-state hiring.
- Two official forms of identification.
- Two latest utility bills for in-state customers.
Other car rental services that accept debit cards for payments include:
- National car rental
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General Requirements for Car Rental with Debit Cards
The policies around using debit cards vary by company but there are general things that would be required of you irrespective of the company or location you intend to rent a car from.
- You need to have a bank-issued debit card.
- You also need sufficient funds in your debit account to cover your authorized hold.
- Additional information is usually required for verification purposes.
- You need to show proof of insurance.
- Most companies will run a credit check on you.
- Present a return ticket, especially if you are using an airport location.
Here is a whole view of some of the companies stated above.
|Accepted Issuer||Authorized Hold|
|1.||Dollar||Yes||20||Visa card, MasterCard, or Discover||$500|
|2.||Enterprise||No||21||Visa card, MasterCard, or Discover||$100|
|3.||Budget||No||25||Visa card or MasterCard||$200|
|4.||Sixt Rent A Car||Yes||21||Master Card, Prepaid Debit Card, Verve, Interswitch, and E-Tranzact.||$200|
The Problem with Debit Cards
Car rental companies tend to raise their brows at people who want to rent without a credit card because it passes across the message that you don’t have a credit report, and in that case, it’s risky to trust that you will be able to pay up your car rental charges.
This risk is something that many companies are still not ready to take and that is why not all rental companies accept debit cards and those that do, make you pass through a lot before allowing.
Another reason why debit cards are not readily accepted is that they require authentication before any transaction can be made.
Unlike credit cards, your debit card requires a pin or card number before any transaction can take place.
So yes, while many companies will allow you to rent their car without a credit card, the issue is the process is not the same smooth, easy one as using your credit card.
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You can definitely get a car with your debit card, simply confirm the policies peculiar to your location and ensure to meet all the requirements.
If for any reason, you find out you cannot use your debit card anymore, you can check out companies that accept cash or other card types.
Ultimately, if your debit card is all you have, try to start your car rental process as early as you can, that way you can get all you need.
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