Can You Rent A Car With A Debit Card?

We all know that the easiest medium to rent a car with is a credit card. What if I don’t own a credit card, can I rent a car with a debit card?

I would answer a yes and maybe. Don’t be confused just yet, read the article below to find out what happens when you rent a car with a debit card.

Why Rental Car Companies Avoid Debit Cards

Many rental car companies prefer not to let customers use debit cards to rent cars. This is because it increases the risk they take on when they rent cars to you.

A debit card unlike a credit card only has as much money on it as you put in your bank account. If you cause any damage to the car that is above the amount in your bank account, the debit card will be declined. And the rental car company will be on the hook for the difference.

In addition, some debit cards require you to enter your pin each time a charge is made, which can lead to problems if you are unavailable after returning the rented car. A credit card can be billed without the holder being present.

Again, a credit card shows the rental company that you have a safe risk for them to extend a line of credit to you.

Are There Restrictions When I Rent With a Debit Card?

The restrictions on renting a car with a debit card are dependent on the rental company. Be sure to check with the company if there are any restrictions.

Before heading to any location, check the website of the specific location you’re headed to, not just the national site, so there are no surprises.

You probably won’t be able to rent a luxury vehicle using a debit card, and it is unlikely that you will be allowed to drive the rental car out of state.

Again, the age restrictions maybe 25 years and above, though some companies allow those between ages 21 and 24 to rent a vehicle if they pay an additional young driver fee.

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This may not be an option for debit card users because of the additional risk

Because of the extra risk involved in allowing you to rent a car with a debit card, most car rental companies will add additional requirements or deposits if they allow you to do so.

See them outlined below.

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Debit Card Hold

If you use a debit card to rent a car, many rental car companies will put a hold or a block on your card of several hundred dollars. This protects them.

However, this means that you cannot spend that money out of your checking account until the hold is lifted.

Before you can rent a car with a debit card, be sure you have enough money in your checking account to cover the cost of your travel including any hold on your funds.

Credit Check

Car rental services thrive on the customers’ ability to repay bills in case of any damage. And this requires you to give a credit check before you can rent a car with a debit card.

If your credit score is too low, you might not be able to rent a car. Remember, credit checks can lower your credit score, so it pays to ask the rental company in advance whether or not they run credit checks for debit card transactions.

Confirm Your Travel Plans

This is for those renting a car with a debit card at a travel location.

If you are renting a car at an airport location, you might have to show the rental car company your return ticket.

This provides confirmation that you will return the car by a certain time.

Show Insurance

Rental companies will be at peace renting a car with a debit card if you can provide ample personal car insurance. Remember, while credit cards typically cover damage to rental vehicles, debit cards do not, so you might be required to purchase additional coverage. 

Bring Extra ID

You may need to show a passport or proof of residence such as a cellphone or internet bill before you’re allowed to rent.

You may also have to present multiple forms of I.D. in addition to your driver’s license such as a passport or a utility bill

Why renting a car with a credit card is better

Better rental car insurance

If there is no collision damage waiver provided by the rental car company, certain credit cards can provide more rental car insurance.

Additionally, credit cards can provide more covers like theft, damage, injury, and potential loss of life.

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Credit cards often feature higher coverage amounts than the rental company as well.

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Higher rental car rewards program status

With a credit card, you can qualify for certain car rental company reward programs.

This gives you more perks and discounts than other customers without having to spend the money or rent a number of times to earn them.

For example, according to Bankrate.com, The platinum card offers exclusive benefits like class upgrades to cardholders who rent from Avis and a four-hour grace period on rental returns with Hertz. It also gives you automatic Emerald Club Executive status at National.

More reward points or miles for travel purchases

Many credit card loyalty programs give their highest points or miles per dollar rate on travel purchases, which include car rental purchases.

For example, Chase Sapphire Reserve gives 3 points per dollar on travel purchases.

Where can I Rent a Car With a Debit Card?

Here are Some major rental car companies that will allow you to use a debit card to rent a car at select locations, including:

  • Alamo
  • Avis
  • Budget
  • Enterprise
  • Hertz
  • National
  • Thrifty Car Rental
  • Eurocar
  • Avis
  • Sixt rent a Car 6

These companies do not allow you to rent cars with a debit card to all locations.

To avoid surprises, call ahead to confirm the rules and procedures for renting a car with a debit card.

HOW TO RENT A CAR WITH A DEBIT CARD WITH AUTO EUROPE

The majority of rental car companies require a credit card to rent their vehicles, but it is possible to rent a car with a debit card using Auto Europe.

Auto Europe has unique partnerships with major car rental companies around the world and with them, you can identify local companies that will accept your debit card to rent a car.

It doesn’t take much extra time to rent a car with a debit card, and you can typically book over the phone with Auto Europe in as little as 5-15 minutes.

 The amount of money it takes to rent a car with a debit card will depend on the details of your rental agreement, but it is slightly costly than renting with a credit card.

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ITEMS YOU’LL NEED TO RENT A CAR WITH A DEBIT CARD

  • A debit card
  • A valid driver’s license
  • Enough money on your debit card to cover the cost of your car rental

STEPS TO RENT A CAR WITH A DEBIT CARD ON AUTO EUROPE

1. Preparing to Rent a Car With a Debit Card

  • Step 1 – Determine your rental car budget and the dates of your trip.
  • Step 2 – Visit AutoEurope.com on your computer or smartphone or call our reservation team toll-free, 24/7 at 1-888-223-5555.
  • Step3 – Let your reservation agent know that you can only pay for your rental with a debit card so they can quote you rates from local companies that accept debit cards.
  • Step 4 – Compare rates and inventory in your travel destination to find the best vehicle and price for you.
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2. Selecting Your Rental Car and Optional Insurance Coverage

  • Step 1 – Review the available vehicle choices with your reservation agent.
  • Step 2 – Select your vehicle, and then choose optional equipment (like a roof rack, child seat, special tires, etc.) and/or insurance coverage to reduce the deductible you would owe in the event of an accident or theft.

3. Finalizing the Transaction

  • Step 1 – Confirm your booking by pre-paying for your rental car with your debit card.
  • Step 2 – Receive your confirmation voucher from Auto Europe. This voucher will include details about your pick-up location, travel dates, and the hours of operation of the local car rental counter.

4. Picking Up Your Vehicle

  • Step 1 – Note the location of the local car rental office on your voucher and the office’s hours of operation. Make sure the office will be open and staffed when you arrive. If it isn’t, call us to explore your options for a smooth pick-up experience.
  • Step 2 – Have a copy of your Auto Europe booking voucher with you, along with your driver’s license and the debit card you used to complete the booking.
  • Step 3 – Go to the rental car pick-up counter to check-in and obtain your keys. It’s always a good idea to take a minute to document the condition of your vehicle prior to leaving the lot. Take photos of any existing damage you see. This prevents the local rental company from claiming that pre-existing damage was your fault when you return the car.

Conclusion

Using a credit card to rent a car will save you time, money, and hassle. But if you can’t get a credit card, you can still use a debit card to rent a car.

You will be obliged to take additional steps, review any restrictions, and check with the rental company before you will be able to rent a car with a debit card.

References

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