Can I Rent A Car With Debit Card No Deposit?

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Until recently, the consensus among rental companies was that a credit card or deposits were compulsory to rent a vehicle.

That’s no longer the case, though. Almost all major rental companies in the United States now accept debit card payments. 

This piece explores alternative ways to credit card deposits, firms that offer them, their costs, and the security deposits required.

How To Rent Cars Without Credit Card or Deposit?

Most rental companies in the U.S. have policies requiring some form of upfront payments of deposits at the time of rental.

This is inescapable, and  a credit card is the recommended mode of payment for a car rental deposit. However, this does not preclude you from depositing or renting a car without them.

Most major rental businesses accept debit cards and cash as payment methods in lieu of credit cards, though some may reject them at specified locations or impose other constraints.

Although it is more expensive, one way to avoid deposits and credit cards is to pay more at the counter for additional insurance cover, even if you already have third-party insurance.

Having enough money in your account for possible withdrawal and meeting the minimum age requirements also guarantees the rental company during the car rental process.

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Who Can I Rent A Car From Without Credit Card?

Although you can reserve a rental car using a debit card at all American rental car businesses, the requirements vary greatly depending on which documentation you must supply in addition to your conventional driver’s license.

If you rent from an airport location, you will normally be required to give proof of your return flight/trip as well as additional types of identification.

The following are some rental companies that accept debit cards.

  • Alamo

When renting from Alamo’s fleet, you can pay using credit cards, debit cards, or even cash. However, prepaid cards are not accepted; only Visa, Discover, and Mastercard are accepted.

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  • Avis

Avis rentals also provide clients with various payment methods such as debit cards, which must either be Visa or Mastercard.

However, this option is only available in certain locations. Having said that, Avis locations in New York, Louisiana, Philadelphia, and Canada would not accept debit cards upon pick-up.

Furthermore, debit cards do not allow you to rent a luxury or premium vehicle, so your options are slightly limited than if you use a credit card.

  • Budget

The majority of Budget rental locations in the United States accept debit cards from clients who meet the age requirement (25 years).

Those that do not accept debit cards at pick-ups almost always accept them at drop-offs.

  • Dollar

Dollar makes renting a car easier than ever because they not only accept debit cards as payment, but they also do not require any paperwork if reservations are made at least 24 hours in advance.

If you can’t reserve the vehicle that long in advance, you can still hire a car with a debit card.

Two forms of identification, including your driver’s license and proof of a return trip, are all that is required. Dollar will take debit cards with the Visa, Mastercard, or Discover logo.

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  • Enterprise

Enterprise rentals accept debit cards at airport locations, provided they have Visa, Mastercard, or Discover logos.

Proof of return flight is also requested at airports. However, Discover credit cards do not suffice in Enterprise’s Canada outlets, and not all airport locations welcome debit card payments.

  • Hertz

Hertz, like Dollar, accepts Visa, Mastercard, or Discover debit cards as payment methods for car rentals. To rent a car at an airport, you must present two forms of identification as well as proof of a return ticket.

Non-airport sites require the renter to be at least 18 years old, and to make a reservation at least 24 hours in advance before using a debit card.

High-end vehicles are typically not available for rental, but are reserved for Hertz Gold Plus Rewards members who have linked their debit cards to their accounts.

  • National

Although National permits payments made with debit cards, it does not accept them at National rental counters outside of airports unless an identification and return ticket are provided.

The cards accepted are Discover, Visa, or Mastercard. It is worth noting that cash deposits are not accepted as payment to pick up a rental car and even when returning it (for some locations).

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Can I Rent A Car Without A Major Credit Card?

Very few companies would allow payments for rental cars without major credit cards. A credit card that offers car rental protection must be used when renting a car from a top rental company.

Car rental companies prefer American Express, Visa, Matercard, and Discover. Anything other than these will almost certainly result in difficulties when attempting to rent a car.

However, some companies may accept other types of credit cards. For instance, Sixt accepts JCB cards. 

Additionally, acceptance of these cards varies greatly across the country at locations such as airports, non-airports, and cities.

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Why Do Car Rental Need Credit Card?

Rental companies require a credit card to provide a warranty for any potential financial loss caused by your possession of their vehicle.

They can use a credit card to set aside a portion of the deposit as insurance. This amount is not deducted from your account but is held in reserve to be reclaimed later if necessary for damage repair bills and other expenses.

Debit cards, on the other hand, limit the company’s ability to reserve a specific amount for later withdrawal.

They would have to withdraw all their money to accomplish this, which is made more difficult when the card does not have enough funds.

The fact that these reserved funds can be reclaimed later if necessary is why rental businesses prefer credit cards. It shows them that you are not a financial risk.

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Which Are Cheapest Car Rental Without Credit Card?

Debit cards are an alternative to credit cards for rental deposits. Debit card fees vary depending on the card type, and most importantly, location.

Because rental companies charge the same fees for any type of card, the costs of renting a car without credit cards will always be the same.

Having said that, the table below depicts the credit and debit card deposits by the cheapest rental companies.

Company Credit Card charges ($) Debit card charges ($)
Alamo 200 500
Avis 200 500
Budget 200 500
Dollar 200 500
Enterprise 200 500
Hertz 200

500

FAQ About Rent A Car With No Deposit

Which states have local rentals with no deposit? 

New York, California, Washington, Texas, Florida, and most major states, have local renters with no deposits. Every state in the U.S. has some local rentals that provide rental services with no upfront payment.

How is low deposit car rental different?

Low deposit car rentals are different because they save you money but offer less protection because of the smaller deposit.

On the other hand, using them for future reservations is more convenient because minimum deposits can be made immediately.

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Which credit card to use for car rental?

American Express, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, JCB, and Capital One Venture X credit card are examples of credit cards with better and wider coverage for car rentals.

The Capital One Venture X, in particular, is one of the few cards that offers the elite Hertz Gold Plus Rewards President’s membership.

Can I rent a car from Hertz without a credit card?

Certainly. Debit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, or Discover are accepted as valid forms of payment for rentals, though this limits the types of vehicles you can rent.

Some locations, however, have different requirements. Airport locations require ID and proof of a return ticket, whereas non-airport locations require the client to reserve vehicles 24 hours in advance to be able to pay with debit cards.

Why do I need credit card to rent a car?

A credit card is required to rent a car so that some funds in your account can be reserved for possible withdrawal by the company. Rental companies require these funds as a guarantee against potential financial losses.

Conclusion

Although credit cards have traditionally been the preferred payment method for rental companies, debit cards are still accepted, albeit with minor restrictions.

This article has highlighted all you need to know about car rentals with debit or credit cards. Have fun renting.

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