Can You Rent A Car with A Debit Card? The Facts You Need to Understand

Can you rent a car with a debit card? All these times, people always think that you can only use the credit card to rent a vehicle. In reality, you can rent the car with a debit card. However, there are extra efforts to take. Be advised that most rental agencies will require you to go through the extra steps for safety reasons. You should also know that not all car rental companies would allow debit card usage. Some may be adamant on the credit card, while others may give you some slacks, but with extra efforts.

Things to Understand

There are some aspects to keep in mind in relation to the question can you rent a car with a debit card:

  • Some well-known rental companies may allow the usage of the debit card, such as Sixt, Hertz, Enterprise, Budget, Avis, and Alamo.
  • Remember that debit card usage is more difficult than the credit card. You will have to meet the extra requirements. There are additional steps to go through too. What are they? It depends on the company as each one has different policies and rules.
  • When you use a debit card, you may miss out some great offers, like traveling perks or consumer protections. You can’t get loyalty points when using a debit card.
  • Your deposit may be on hold, which means that you don’t really have access to the money.
  • In an overall sense, using the credit card is easier. Not only you can enjoy the added perks, but you can also get access to the vehicle right away. You may miss out your elite status, rewards, and also car coverage if you are using the debit card.

The Money on Hold

One of the biggest downsides when renting a car with the debit card is that you need to consider extra money. In most cases, car rental companies may put a hold on your debit card. It means that you won’t be able to access your bank account during your trip until you return the card.

Let’s say that you have $500 in your bank account, it’s likely that you won’t be able to access the money until your car rent expires. Even if the entire cost of the rental is ‘only’ $300, for instance, you won’t be able to access the remaining $200 because your bank account is basically being frozen.

So, can you rent a car with a debit card? The answer is yes. But with some discomfort on your side. One of them is the fact that you won’t have any remaining funds for the trip, unless you do have another saving to fund the trip. And you should know that you can’t blame the rental companies for this situation. It’s basically a banking regulation to hold the money if you are using the debit card.

Rental Companies and Debit Card Usage

Which of the major car rental companies would approve the usage of the debit card? Alamo, for instance, accepts debit card, but you need to provide return traveling itinerary when you manage the rent at airport locations. The same policy also applies to Hertz and Enterprise.

Avis also accepts debit cards, but not all locations can do this. If you are using Avis, you need to check which spots accept the debit cards. This condition also applies to Budget and Sixt.

It’s also possible that you have to provide extra documentation, like round trip booking proof along with the return travel itinerary. You may also be required to show vehicle insurance proof, utility bills (to verify your identity), and others.

Why Is It Harder?

If you have been wondering can you rent a car with a debit card, now you know the answer. But why the extra steps? Why is it harder for debit card users to rent a vehicle, when compared to the credit card?

First of all, the debit card is viewed riskier than the credit card. To get a credit card, you need to go through long steps for the application, verification, and approval. To get a debit card, you don’t have to go through those lengthy steps.

Second, the rental companies want to make sure that you do have enough money to pay for the rental cost. That’s why they put your money on hold. During the rental period, you won’t be able to use your money so you will be able to pay for the rental cost when it’s up. This is basically an understandable step taken by the bank and also the rental company.

What Are the Extra Efforts?

If you are still adamant about using the debit card, you should know some of these extra requirements and steps in relation to can you rent a car with a debit card

Rent A Car with A Debit Card

  • You need to check and verify with the rental company to use the debit card. As it was mentioned before, not all rental companies allow debit card usage. Even if they do, they may not apply it to all rental spots. You will have to check with them to find out whether they accept debit card or not. You also need to find out which locations, payment options, and debit card policy before making a reservation.
  • Your debit card should have a Discover, Mastercard, or Visa logo. Most rental companies want you to show the traditional (debit) card instead of the prepaid card.
  • Be ready for extra verification. In general, you only need to show them a driver license. But it’s possible that you need to prepare more documents having your name. As long as they are the government-issued type, they will do.
  • Insurance proof. You must show car insurance policy proof. It means that you do own the insurance.
  • Don’t be surprised if you experience credit check. If your credit history isn’t very good or the credit is poor, it’s possible that they may deny you service.

Final Word

As you can see, it is impossible to rent a car with no deposit or credit card because it would be too risky. If you own both debit and credit card, it would be easier if you just use the credit card. Still have questions about can you rent a car with a debit card? Hopefully, not anymore.