What You Need to Know about Car Rentals that accept Debit Cards


Car rental companies offer their clients flexible payment options. The most common means of payment is through a credit card. Some also accept cash, and others will also accept debit cards. There are a few things you need to know about car rentals that accept debit cards. Car rental companies consider debit card payment risky because, at the time of billing, the customer must be present to input the pin, unlike a credit card that they can bill online. But with proper procedures, and if you understand how the debit card payment for car rentals work, you will successfully pay for your car rental with a debit card.

What you should know about car rentals that accept debit cards

Though the terms and conditions of car rental companies are different depending on the location, there are similar policies that most car rentals adhere to when they allow you to pay with a debit card. For your debit card to be acceptable at a car rental, it must bear a MasterCard, Discover, or Visa logo. Those are the accepted payment processors in the car rental industry. Other rules that may apply are as follows;

  1. Credit score check

Unlike credit cardholders that car rentals perceive to have a high credit card score, debit cardholders are subject to credit score checks. That way, they may fail to rent a car to you if the credit score is too low because of the high risk of failing to pay for the service. Alternatively, they may also charge a higher deposit.

  1. Additional identification details requirement

Rental car companies may require additional identification documents such as a valid passport or utility bill to ensure the address on your driving license matches that of the utility bill or the passport.

  1. Insurance coverage proof

There are two options here if you do not have auto insurance. Some car rental companies may purchase an insurance cover for you. Alternatively, you may use your existing car insurance cover. The process of proving insurance coverage may delay your car rental process. In some cases, your insurance coverage company may have to prove your insurance claims, and that may take some time to verify.

  1. Age and car type restrictions

Debit cardholders under the age of 24 may not apply for car rentals from most car rental companies. Because car rental companies perceive debit cardholders as high-risk with low credit scores, they may not qualify to rent luxury cars. But they may rent compact, mid, and full-size cars as well as SUVs. If you need to rent a more expensive vehicle, you may use a credit card or pay a higher deposit.

  1. Upfront car rental fees and additional deposit

Car rentals will put a hold on rental fees and car deposits before they release them to you. It can be a setback, especially if you are traveling because; you will not have access to the funds on hold till you return the car. Any car damage expenses or other expenses relating to car usage during the rental period will be subject to deductions from the hold amount. The rental companies also take time to return the money. It can be a challenge if you have low funds. People paying with a credit card may also be subject to a deposit, but they have higher limits.

  1. Return ticket proof

Most car rentals located at the airport led cars to foreigners who have traveled for leisure or business. They may require you to show a return ticket to verify how long you are in the country. It also speeds up the process of car rental.

Reputable car rental companies such as Thrifty, Avis, budget, and Hertz accept debit cards. Most have changed the car rental policies for clients paying with a debit card. Most of them no longer do credit checks on debit cardholders paying to rent a car. They may also accept the driving license as the only form of identification. Most of them have also reduced the incidental deposit amount.

Steps to follow when renting a car with a debit card

  • Prepare the car rental process by identifying the service provider, drawing a budget, and scheduling travel dates.
  • Select the car and insurance coverage option.
  • Finalize the transaction by paying upfront and getting the receipt. Remember to verify the details on the receipt after payment regarding the pick-up, travel dates, type of car, and rental duration.

Following the above tips will prevent inconveniences when renting a car with a debit card.