Have you ever tried renting a car without having a major credit card to use to make the reservation? If so, then you know how difficult it can be to get through what should be a simple process. Car rental companies do not always permit reservations and payment for a rental with a debit card and those that do require a bit more effort on the renter’s part. For instance, you may need to provide a current utility bill, bank statement, or pay stub. Sometimes it may be all of the above that is required before you can rent the vehicle.
In order to rent a car with a debit card, there are a few things you can do to make the process easier on yourself.
1. Do Your Research – Do not just call the first company in the phone book and do everything they ask you to do. Instead, call around to different places and find out which company accepts debit cards with the least possible complications. Ask the company directly if they accept debit cards for a rental reservation, otherwise if you ask only if you can rent a car without a credit card, the answer will probably be no.
2. Prepare for the Holds – Debit cards often will place a hold on funds in anticipation of a transaction, such as renting a car. Some debit cards will require an amount over and above what is necessary and the hold will stay in place until the transaction is totally complete. If you have $500 in the bank in preparation for vacation, the rental company may calculate a deposit amount of $500, which means you will have no access to your money until the transaction is completed in full and the hold is released. Always anticipate a deposit being held out when renting a car.
3. You May Be Checked – It is not uncommon for a rental company to require a credit check before they will consider renting you a car with a debit card. Rental agencies want to make sure they can trust you with a $25,000 car so if your credit report is marred, it may be a signal to the rental agency that you are not the most responsible person and thus they may deny you.
4. Be Prepared for the Proof – It may seem easy to use a family members credit card to make your rental reservation online. However, once you show up to the counter to claim the car, you will need to provide proper identification, including drivers license, insurance information, and the credit card and all of the documents must use the same name.
5. You May Be Limited – Consumers wishing to use a debit card to rent a car may be limited on the choice of cars available to them. Many agencies will not allow consumers to rent sport utility vehicles or luxury class vehicles unless they pay with credit cards.