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How to Rent a Car with a Debit Card

Prepaid bank cards can be used to perform many services such as booking hotel rooms, paying for expenses or renting a car. To carry out this type of service, the amount on your bank account must be sufficient to cover pre-authorization request. When you rent a car it is necessary to provide a deposit to the rental company as a security deposit for your rental in case of accidents.

Debit cards are used more often than credit cards but they may not have a wide area of use especially in car rental industry. Contrary to general belief, using debit cards are usually possible, but less widely accepted since the rental companies prefer their customers to provide a credit card instead of a debit card.

The company wants a guarantee that it can cover its costs if something happens to its vehicle. When using a prepaid card, the rental company requests a prior authorization of payment of 20% to 30% of the amount of the offer.

According to the rental companies, delivering a car to a customer who has no credit card is generally hazardous. It is usually accepted as the customer is on thin ice which means that the customer may have a credit risk. To ensure, it is expected to verify your credit rating. Many car rental companies accept debit cards, but only after doing a prior review of your credit applications through an accredited third party company. If you have a very low credit limit, you might not get a favorable opinion for the rental.

Some rental companies will allow you to use debit cards, but they may require the card to come from a popular brand. Visa and MasterCard are most often requested. Prepaid debit cards or those not connected to an actual bank account may be declined by the rental structure.

Without a credit card, it is very unlikely that you can have the best cars. Most rental companies will certainly not allow you to rent a luxury vehicle or 4x4 in these conditions.

Budget Car Rental Debit Card Policy

Does Budget accept debit cards? At some locations, debit and prepaid charge cards are not accepted at rental pick-up time, but are accepted for payment at time of car return.
Does Budget accept cash? Cash is not accepted.
Are there any age restrictions? Renters 21-24 must present a valid, acceptable credit card (debit cards are not permitted) in the renter's name.
Do terms vary by location? Yes

Budget’s corporate-operated locations accept American Express, Budget Charge Card, Budget International, Discover, JCB (Japan Card), Mastercard, Optima, PHH and Visa. At some locations debit and prepaid cards are not accepted but only accepted for payment at time of car return.

Avis Car Rental Debit Card Policy

Does Avis accept debit cards? Yes, conditionally.
Does Avis accept cash? Only accepted upon car return.
Are there any age restrictions? The customers under 25 are not permitted to use debit card.
Do terms vary by location? Credit and debit cards used to pay online may not be acceptable at certain locations. It is advised to check the terms and conditions on your reservation confirmation.

Debit cards are not accepted at some Avis locations and are not a recommended form of prepayment. Most U.S. locations also accept bank debit cards with the Visa or MasterCard logo as credit identification at the time of rental if you are at least 25 years of age. Canada locations do not accept bank debit cards as a form of credit identification. In most cases, U.S. locations will perform a credit check for debit card renters to determine credit worthiness at the time of rental. The renter must meet Avis' minimum criteria in order to rent.

Advantage Car Rental Debit Card Policy

Does Advantage accept debit cards? Yes, conditionally.
Does Advantage accept cash? Yes, conditionally.
Are there any age restrictions? Drivers between 21-24 should provide a insurance
Do terms vary by location? It is advised to check the terms and conditions on your reservation confirmation.

Debit/Check Cards must have the available funds of the estimated amount of the rental charges plus up to $350 in order to secure the rental. Eligible debit card must have Visa, MasterCard, or Discover logo. Store value/prepaid/gift cards are not acceptable to qualify for rental however these cards may be used for payment at return.

Hertz Car Rental Debit Card Policy

Does Hertz accept debit cards? Yes, conditionally.
Does Hertz accept cash? Cash rentals permitted with special ID card that requires a 30-day processing window and a $15 surcharge.
Are there any age restrictions? No, must be under 25 to rent at off-airport locations
Do terms vary by location? Yes.It is advised to check the terms and conditions on your reservation confirmation.

At many Hertz locations, debit cards under a VISA, MasterCard and Discover logo which draw funds directly from the cardholder's account may be used at the outset of a rental to qualify for the rental where the following requirements are met:

  • at Hertz Airport locations, you will be required to provide proof of a return airline flight to coincide with the rental and present two valid forms of identification;
  • at Hertz Off Airport locations, you will need to be at least 25 years old, present two valid forms of identification and one of the following: (a) provide a Corporate Discount Plan (CDP) number or (b) proof of a return trip travel ticket to coincide with the rental (airline or cruise). However, there are exceptions to this general policy; Debit cards are not accepted at the outset of a rental to qualify for rentals in the New York Metropolitan Tri-State Area (NY, NJ, CT), areas of Hartford, CT, areas of Philadelphia, PA, areas of Boston, MA, areas of Manchester, NH, areas of Detroit, MI, areas of Baltimore, MD and Atlanta, GA.

However, there are exceptions to this general policy:

  • You can use a Debit Card if it is already included in your Hertz Gold Plus Rewards profile or the rental is an Insurance Replacement rental.
  • Debit cards are not accepted to qualify at time of rental for Dream Cars and Hertz Shelby GT-H.

Debit cards are accepted for payment at the end of your rental. When a debit card is accepted as form of payment, at the start of the rental, two forms of identification must be presented:

  1. A valid United States or Foreign Country issued Driver’s License
  2. One (1) of the following forms:
    • An additional credit card or debit card embossed with the same name as the driver’s license. The card is for identification purposes only;
    • A Government issued ID, in the same name as the driver’s license and debit card: Passport – United States or Foreign Country Issued United States Military Identification Card

Enterprise Car Rental Debit Card Policy

Does Enterprise accept debit cards? Yes, conditionally.
Does Enterprise accept cash? Only with the “Cash Qualification” process, which requires a deposit, most recent pay stub, two current utility bills, proof of insurance, and two personal references.
Are there any age restrictions? Not specified.
Do terms vary by location? Yes, especially at non-airport locations

Debit cards are accepted at airport and non-airport locations in the US and Puerto Rico. In Canada, debit cards are accepted only at non-airport locations. Please be advised when using a debit card, special conditions may apply, so please read all conditions below. For security reasons, many Enterprise branches do not accept cash payments. However some branches may accept cash or a money order using the "cash qualification" process for customers who do not have a credit card.

Alamo Car Rental Debit Card Policy

Does Alamo accept debit cards? Yes, conditionally.
Does Alamo accept cash? Yes, at some locations.
Are there any age restrictions? Not specified.
Do terms vary by location? Yes

When renting in the US, Debit/Check cards are accepted for customers with proof they have deplaned or disembarked at the rental location. Customers must have proof of a ticketed return or outbound trip from the location where the vehicle will be returned on an airline, cruise ship or train. For customers not deplaning or disembarking at the rental location and/or do not have evidence of a return or outbound trip, Debit/Check cards are only accepted as a form of payment at the time of return. This applies to all airport, sea port, train and bus station locations in the US and Canada.

Thrifty Car Rental Debit Card Policy

Does Thrifty accept debit cards? Yes, conditionally.
Does Thrifty accept cash? Cash rentals permitted with special ID card that requires a 30-day processing window and a $15 surcharge.
Are there any age restrictions? No, must be under 25 to rent off-airport locations
Do terms vary by location? Yes

At many Thrifty locations, debit cards issued under a VISA or MasterCard logo which draw funds directly from a cardholder’s linked bank account may be used at the outset of a rental to qualify for the rental where the following requirements are met; at Thrifty Airport locations, you will be required to provide proof of a return airline flight to coincide with the rental and present two valid forms of identification; and in Thrifty Off Airport locations, you will need to make your reservation at least one day in advance of your rental pick up date, be at least 25 years old, have a Corporate Discount Plan (CDP) number listed in the reservation and present two valid forms of identification. Debit cards are accepted for payment at the end of your rental. When a debit card is accepted as form of payment, at the start of the rental, two (2) forms of identification must be presented:

  • A valid United States or Foreign Country issued Driver’s License
  • Other form of identification in the renter’s name

National Car Rental Debit Card Policy

Does National accept debit cards? Yes, conditionally but there are restrictions. Check with local rental office. In Newark, for example, no luxury cars or large SUVs for debit card renters
Does National accept cash? Yes, at some off-airport locations
Are there any age restrictions? Not Specified
Do terms vary by location? Yes, especially at non-airport locations

Debit/check cards are considered to be any non-credit card bearing the VISA, MasterCard or Discover Card logo. Any other non-credit card without the VISA, MasterCard or Discover Card logo is not accepted.

When renting in the US, Debit/Check cards are accepted for customers with proof they have deplaned or disembarked at the rental location. Customers must have proof of a ticketed return or outbound trip from the location where the vehicle will be returned on an airline, cruise ship or train.

For customers not deplaning or disembarking at the rental location and/or do not have evidence of a return or outbound trip, debit cards are only accepted as a form of payment at the time of return.

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