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How to Rent a Car with a Debit Card

Can you rent a car with a debit card? There are a ton of people who use debit cards, yet rental agencies often place extra restrictions on people who use them. Often, rental car companies prefer the use of credit cards so that they can ensure that the customer will be able to pay for unexpected charges that may be incurred during the rental period. For many years, a credit card has been the preferred method of payment for all rental agencies. The good news is that some agencies are relaxing their rules and making it easier for people to rent using debit cards.

Why are rental companies adjusting their regulations to allow for people to pay for cars with debit cards? It comes down to accessibility. Approximately 25-30% of Americans do not have a credit card, and making it more expensive or difficult for them to rent cars may be unnecessary when they are able to cover the cost without going into debt. And most importantly, the rental agencies will earn more loyal customers by making these policy changes in favor of debit card customers.

Requirements for Renting a Car with a Debit Card

Many companies place stricter requirements upon customers who want to rent a car with a debit card. According to Kevin Channing of Bankrate, if you plan to rent using a debit card, you can expect to comply with one or more of these requirements:

  • Provide a bank-issued debit card with a Visa, Mastercard, or Discover logo.
  • Pay a deposit of approximately $200 in addition to the cost of the rental. This places a hold for the deposit amount on the account tied to your card.
  • Provide extra identification, such as a passport or utility bill.
  • Offer proof of insurance, or potentially purchase more from the rental company.
  • Undergo a credit check. (If your score is too low, a company may refuse to rent to you.)
  • Show a return ticket. Some rental companies at airport locations require proof of your return travel plans.
These policies vary from one company to another, as well as from one location to another.

Renting a Car With a Debit Card at the Airport

Rental agencies generally have fewer requirements for customers traveling with documentation. This is great news for customers who are renting at airport locations and have proof of a return flight.

You will find that some companies are friendlier than others when you are renting a car at an airport location. We have found that these companies have the friendliest policies for customers who have a return ticket:

You can read more about their policies below. If you have questions about the policy of a particular company, please contact us!

Where Can I Rent a Car with a Debit Card?

You are likely wondering how many companies have changed their policies. Which car rental companies allow you to use a debit card? Many rental agencies now have policies which allow customers to rent cars using debit cards. Policies differ from one agency to another. These car rental companies allow you to use debit cards as long as you comply with their individual regulations.

Advantage Rent A Car Debit Card Policy

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 but may be used at time of return.

Customers will need to present a current driver’s license and a valid credit or charge card in the renter’s name. Use of a debit card to rent a vehicle is subject to review of your credit history at the time of your rental. (Note: A confirmation of your reservation does not mean that your debit/check card is acceptable to Advantage).

Refunds of your deposit or any other funds owed to you are posted by Advantage upon close of your contract when you return the vehicle. However, depending on your financial institution, the transaction can take up to 21 days to process.

Alamo Car Rental Debit Card Policy

Debit and check cards are considered to be any non-credit card bearing the Visa, Mastercard or Discover logo.

When renting a car in the US, debit 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.

Avis Rent A Car Debit Card Policy

Can I rent a car from Avis with a debit card? You can, and here are the company’s policies:

You will not need a deposit to rent a car from Avis, but you will need to present an acceptable form of payment. Avis accepts debit cards with a Visa or MasterCard logo. In most cases, U.S. locations will accept debit cards to determine credit worthiness at the time of rental.

A hold will be placed on the funds in your account for the amount of the rental plus other possible expenses, not to exceed $500. When the car rental is over, the held funds will be reversed and released, but keep in mind that banks may take time to post them back to the account.

Debit cards are not acceptable to pick up premium car rentals.

Avis locations where you may experience difficulties renting a car with a debit card include: Metropolitan NY Tri-State area, Hartford, CT, Philadelphia area, Mississippi or Louisiana locations as well as other locations across the country. Canada locations do not accept bank debit cards as a form of credit identification. Debit cards are acceptable for payment at the completion of your rental.

Avis also offers a split billing payment option which provides billing flexibility. Customers may split their rental charges on two separate credit/debit cards. This can make renting a car with a debit card easier.

Budget Rent A Car Debit Card Policy

Does Budget accept debit cards? Yes! Budget accepts debit cards for reserving, picking up, and paying for a rental car. They accept Visa and MasterCard debit cards only.

A hold for the estimated rental charges plus 25% is placed on the funds in your account, but only $100 is held if you prepay online (except in certain northeastern locations which require a $500 minimum hold).

Budget does not allow premium car rental with a debit card, and some locations will check your credit while others will only require a third form of ID. Visit here to find debit card terms for your preferred Budget rental location.

Dollar Rent A Car Debit Card Policy

Dollar accepts debit cards issued under a Visa, MasterCard or Discover logo. These may be used at the outset of a rental if the reservation for the rental was made 24 hours prior to vehicle pick-up. If the reservation was not made 24 hours prior to vehicle pick-up OR you are renting a luxury, premium or convertible car class, a debit card may still be used where the following two (2) requirements are met:
  • Show a valid driver’s license and one other form of identification.
  • Show proof of a return travel ticket to coincide with the rental (airline or cruise).
Dollar will not perform a credit check as long as the above requirements are met and the debit card has available funds to cover the estimated charges plus an authorization of USD 200.00.

To find out if your desired Dollar location will consider a debit card as acceptable ID to pick up a car, find the location and call them directly; this information is not available online or contact us.

Enterprise Rent A Car Debit Card Policy

Debit cards are accepted at airport and non-airport locations in the US and Puerto Rico. In Canada, debit cards are only accepted at non-airport locations. Special conditions apply when renting with a debit card.

At airport locations in the US, debit cards are accepted for customers with proof of incoming and outgoing flights at the rental location. For customers not deplaning or disembarking at the rental location, debit/check cards are only accepted as a form of payment at the time of return. A debit card must be presented at the time of rental. The associated checking account must have available funds for the anticipated rental cost and security deposit.

Contact the location directly to find out the cost of the security deposit. The signature on the back must match the name imprinted on the card and the signature on the rental agreement. At the end of your rental, if you are entitled to a refund, the location will release the funds immediately; bank processing times vary, but refunds are typically processed within 15 business days.

Enterprise policies at non-airport locations vary from one location to the next. To find out the policy of the location you wish to rent from, please contact the location directly.

EZ Rent A Car Debit Card Policy

When renting with EZ Rent a Car, debit cards are not accepted for renters without a return airline boarding pass or round trip airline itinerary.

Domestic renters can pay using a debit card bearing a Visa or Mastercard logo. Renters must provide a deposit (in the form of the credit card authorization) of $200 or 30% of the estimated rental cost, plus the estimated rental cost, at the time of pickup.

Renters may only rent from the following vehicle car classes: Economy, Compact, Midsize, Full-size and Minivan.

Fox Rent A Car Debit Card Policy

Fox allows the use of a debit card with a Visa, MasterCard, or Discover logo. Drivers may pick up a car with a debit card or pay using a debit card upon the return of a car. However, Fox does not allow drivers to prepay for a car using a debit card.

Additionally, debit cards are not accepted from local renters who have an address within 150 miles of the rental location. The debit card and driver’s license presented must be in the same name, and the photo on the ID must match the person renting the car. The renter will also be required to present one additional form of identification, such as an additional credit or debit card, passport, military identification card, etc. Renters between the ages of 20-25 can rent a car using a debit card for an additional underage driver fee.

At the time of pickup, the driver must present round-trip airline ticket, debit card, license, and additional ID. The deposit or hold amount from the driver’s bank account will be equal to the amount of the estimated rental charges plus $400. Rental is permitted for the following vehicle classes only: Economy Vehicle, Compact Vehicle and Compact SUV, Mid-Size Vehicle and Mid-Size SUV, Standard Vehicle and Standard SUV, Full-Size Vehicle, Minivan Vehicle. Upon return of the vehicle, unused funds will be returned to the bank account; processing can take up to 14 days. For specific information on the policy of your preferred location, search here.

Hertz Rent A Car Debit Card Policy

Hertz will not always accept debit cards or prepaid cash cards as a form of payment or guarantee at the time of reservation. You must present a valid and accepted charge card at the beginning of the rental. Debit cards may be used for payment upon return. Visa and MasterCard are accepted.

Renters can expect to undergo a credit check and have the rental amount plus up to $200 held from their account and will also be subject to a credit check. Premium vehicles may not be rented using a debit card and underage drivers can rent using a debit card for an extra fee.

At Hertz Airport locations, you will be required to provide proof of a return airline flight to coincide with the rental and present 2 valid forms of ID. You must also make your reservation one day in advance and be at least 25 years old.

Debit cards are not accepted at the outset of a rental to qualify for rentals in NY, NJ, CT, or areas of the following cities: Hartford, CT; Philadelphia, PA; Boston, MA; Manchester, NH; Detroit, MI; Baltimore, MD; Atlanta, GA.

National Car Rental Debit Card Policy

National accepts debit cards bearing the Visa, MasterCard, or Discover logo. Customers must prove that they have deplaned or disembarked at the rental location; they must also provide proof of a ticketed return. For customers who cannot provide this proof, debit cards are only accepted as a form of payment at the time of the return.

Payless Rent A Car Debit Card Policy

At most Payless airport locations, proof of a return flight that coincides with the rental must be shown.

Debit cards are accepted when renting an Economy, Compact, Intermediate, Standard, Full-size, Premium car, SUVs and Minivans only. The estimated amount of the rental plus an additional amount of $200.00 will be assessed against your debit card at the time of rental. Payless will release the hold on funds when the vehicle is returned. However, these funds may no longer be available for your immediate use and may take up to 14 days to become available, depending on your bank.

Use of a debit card to rent a vehicle may be subject to a review of your credit history. The inquiry will be posted on your credit report and may have an effect on your credit score. If the debit card fails to meet the company’s debit card criteria, you may either be unable to rent a vehicle or required to present a major credit card.

Sixt Rent A Car Debit Card Policy

Most SIXT car rental locations allow you to rent a car with a debit car. Your debit card must be valid at the time of pick-up and issued in the name of the main drive. It is also only available if you have selected the “Pay Later” option. You will need to have two forms of government-issued identification, available funds, and meet one of the following criteria:
  • Non-local renters may use a debit card, but may not rent any premium, luxury, or extraordinary vehicles, except for vans and pick up trucks. The renter must present the return airline ticket/round trip flight itinerary upon pick-up.
  • Local renters must present an original and current utility bill that matches the name and address on the driver’s license used. Photo copies, printouts, and digital images are not permitted, and these bills must be no more than three months old. Additionally, in-state renters may only rent vans, up to standard sedans, up to intermediate SUVs and pickup trucks with a debit card at non-airport locations.
  • International customers, whose debit card is issued in their country of origin, may rent any category vehicle except for Specialty cars. The renter must present the return airline ticket/round trip flight itinerary upon pick-up.

Thrifty Rent A Car Debit Card Policy

At many locations, debit cards issued under a Visa, MasterCard and Discover logo may be used at the outset of a rental to qualify for a 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 (2) valid forms of identification
  • at Thrifty 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 Corporate Discount Plan (CDP) number or proof of a return trip travel ticket to coincide with the rental (airline or cruise). 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, Baltimore, MD and areas of Atlanta, GA.
At the time of rental, an authorized hold will be secured on your debit card provided to cover the estimated rental charges and any additional charges that may be incurred. Thrifty may require an additional authorization for incremental charges that may be incurred.

If authorization for the estimated amount cannot be obtained, the rental will be denied. Thrifty may place an authorization amount of USD 200.00 plus the estimated charges on a customer’s card, given certain conditions that will be outlined at the time of rental.

Two forms of identification must be presented: a valid US driver’s license and one of the following: an alternative valid credit or debit card embossed with the same name as the driver’s license, a government issued ID such as a passport or military ID card, or a non-government form of ID. Please check with your preferred location for the details of their policy.

Renting a Car with a Credit Card is Preferable

You may be wondering why rental companies prefer credit cards. Here are a few reasons why renting a car with a credit card is preferable to renting with a debit card:
  • Many credit cards provide additional insurance.
  • Funds are held or taken from your bank account when you use a debit card and often not returned until up to 2-3 weeks after your rental car is returned.
  • Data shows that it is riskier to allow people to rent using a debit card.
When you rent a car using a credit card, the rental company has the reassurance that you have been vetted by the credit card company, that you are who you say you are, and that you will be able to cover any additional costs or potential damage to the car.

Contact Us

Many customers wonder, “Where can I rent a car with a debit card?” If you have any questions at all about renting a car with a debit card, please contact us via our feedback form or contact us page.

Car rental companies can be very particular when it comes to customers renting with debit cards, but we are here to help make your car rental experience run as smoothly as possible.


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