Can you rent a car with no deposit or credit card? You are certainly one of the many people who ask that question. Car rental deposits and credit card requirements are a thorn in the side of lots of renters. Even if you only wanted a weekly car rental, nearly all vehicle charter companies will require you to make a security deposit to pay for car damages that the insurance won’t cover.
And if you have come on this page, probably you are already aware that the majority of car rental agencies require a credit card before you get to pick up a motor vehicle. You may have learned that it’s not possible after asking, “where can I rent a car without a credit card?” And it dawned on you that a car rental without credit card isn’t so easy to find. Although it’s easier to secure a cheap car lease with no money down or credit than it is to rent a car with no deposit or credit card, the latter isn’t an impossible feat. Keep reading to know why.
Explaining How To Rent A Car With No Deposit Or Credit Card
Many travelers are left wondering what the challenge is with finding where to rent a car for a month or any period for that matter, without a credit card. The truth is that this difficulty isn’t just with hiring but leasing as well. You may already know that most vehicle leases, including a luxury car lease, require a down payment and credit check to qualify. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t rent a car with no deposit or credit card.
In this post, we’ll tell you everything to know about car rental no deposit required offers, and how to hire a vehicle with no credit card. To make it easy for you to follow, we’ll split how to rent a car with no deposit or credit card into two sections. First, we’ll explain about the security deposit and car rental terms under it. After that, we shall discuss chartering a motor vehicle without using a credit card. Finally, we will take you through some quick tips on the whole car rental process.
What Is a Car Rental Deposit?
A car charter security deposit is the money your rental agency holds on your credit card when you go to pick the vehicle. Typically, the deposit comprises the following:
- Insurance Excess: This is the amount withheld in your credit card to compensate for unforeseen damages or a stolen vehicle. Note that the exact figure can vary significantly depending on the type of car and your location.
- Fuel Deposit: Many of the car rental operators we compare have a reasonable full to the full gas policy. It implies that you must leave a credit card deposit for a full tank of gas. But you’ll be refunded if you drop off the automobile with a full tank.
Say you are hiring a car for the weekend and you get charged a $400 deposit. To make that deposit, the operator will put a hold on your credit card for that amount. It means you cannot spend the $400 withheld until you honor your auto rental terms.
Such authorizations are reasonable from a business perspective. The provider needs some guarantee that they won’t lose money should damage the car or fail to pay any outstanding fees. So, when you pay using a credit card, the issuer makes sure you will make the payment, and you’ll be liable for reimbursing the credit card company.
However, some agencies are flexible to let you rent a car with cash only. In this way, the deposit won’t be attached to your credit card, but you’ll still pay it in hard currency. If you join one of the car rentals’ premium cover options, the deposit can reduce dramatically to the cost of a tank of gas, which will still be refunded if you return the vehicle with a full fuel tank.
Defining Rental Car Terms
You’ve already learned that your personal auto or homeowner’s insurance may not cover all damage or theft-related costs of car rental. Additionally, there are other non-insurance related fees that you should understand beforehand. So let’s look at some of the rental car coverage terms and what they mean.
- CDW/Collision Damage Waiver: It protects the vehicle for damage just like your regular insurance plan does. Collision damage waiver often includes an excess that you can pay for separately. This coverage is available with most car rental companies with some offering a CDW with no excess.
- Additional Driver Fees: When you rent a vehicle, the agreement is normally between and the provider, and you will be named the sole driver if you are signing the contract. Although you can add more drivers, this comes at additional costs, based on the rental company and the profile of the driver. However, the best auto rental operators in the industry provide a waiver for the extra driver’s charges.
- Essential Cover: When you go with excess coverage, you will be compensated for the extra you have to pay for the car rental service when returning the vehicle. However, the essential cover may include other possible charges like towing, miss-fueling, cleaning, and admin costs.
- Full-to-Full Fuel Policy: When picking up your rental, you will be required to put down some amount via credit card. Fill up the tank and take it back full and you will be refunded the deposit.
- Third-Party Liability Coverage: It protects you should you cause an accident. This can lead to injuries or death of your passengers, pedestrians or passengers in other cars, or damages to property. The coverage pays for any claims related to the injuries, damages, or other losses.
Is There A No Deposit Car Rental?
The plain truth is that you are unlikely to find a vehicle rental without a deposit. While some providers claim they are willing to give no-deposit auto charters, the quality of the offer is often wanting. You’ll notice that most cars on offer are well-used and not in the best conditions. Therefore, you should consider that when making your ultimate choice.
Many factors can influence the deposit amount. First, the figure will vary based on the car you are hiring, with premium brands demanding the highest amounts. Also, how much you put down will vary with the country from which you are renting, due to tax and other region-specific factors. Finally, the company you are using will also determine how much you pay for a car hire deposit.
What You Need To Know About Hiring A Car With No Credit Card
Auto rental agencies need some form of assurance that their cars will stay in great shape and for that reason, a deposit is necessary before you drive off the lot. Since vehicles are expensive machines, the rental deposit can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to some thousands, based on the vehicle model. The amount you put down will cater for any damages that occur to the car under your care. But provided you take it back in the same condition you found it in, your deposit amount will be fully refunded.
It’s easy to detain the customer’s deposit using a credit card since the company can just block or hold on your account and release it upon returning the car. You can rent a vehicle without a credit card by submitting the entire value of the deposit in cash. But instead of dealing with cash, the majority of car rental firms only need a credit card when picking the rental. This makes the entire process easy to manage.
How To Rent A Vehicle Without A Credit Card
Each person has individual reasons for not owning a credit. It could be because of bankruptcy, lack of a credit score or they are probably not interested. Whatever their reason, hiring a vehicle without a credit card is possible these days, thanks to the numerous payment options that auto rental operators have availed to their customers.
Here are some tips to help you get a car rental without credit card.
1) Cash Vehicle Rental
Some car rental providers will let you rent a car with cash only. However, it’s vital to search for agencies that will allow for cash use from the beginning to the end. This is because some operators will only let you use cash when taking the car back.
You can check online for a complete list of car rentals that accept cash payments. We’ve also included a section answering the question, ‘where can I rent a car without a credit card,’ later in the post.
Also, keep in mind that when planning to engage a cash car rental company, you will have to meet some requirements. Most agencies require:
- Proof of a valid driver’s license
- Your proof of the address
- Proof of insurance
- Cash deposit
So long as you have all these documents in place, then you are well set to rent a vehicle with no credit card.
2) Vehicle Rental with Debit Card
Using a debit card is another option to qualify for car rental without credit card. While at that, it’s important to remember that debit cards are not the same as credit cards. Although it’s easy to confuse the two, debit cards are not commonly accepted when you pick up a rental vehicle.
However, some car rental services are starting to accept debit cards. In most cases, debit cards function similarly to credit cards. Where the two differ is that the cash in debit cards is debited directly from your bank account.
Even so, not all debit cards will be accepted at the pickup point. Many of those who accept debit cards have their particular preferences as well. If you are reserving the vehicle online, the website should specify the acceptable debit cards. And while you can pay for your rental vehicle using a debit card through some agencies, don’t forget to bring proper identification with you as you go to collect your rental car from the company.
Advantages of Renting A Vehicle Without A Credit Card
Many sources show that renting a car with a credit card is superior to any other method. Nonetheless, it doesn’t mean that renting your vehicle using a debit card is without benefits. Here are some reasons to rent your next car with a debit card.
- Peace of Mind: You will be using a debit card or your cash to make payments. This automatically removes the worries of outstanding bills on your credit card expenses and gives you peace of mind.
- You’ll Keep To Your Budget: A credit card can tempt you to rent a premium vehicle. However, you will be cautious to avoid expensive bookings when using a debit card since you will make the payment upfront.
- You’ll be Satisfied: Imagine getting home knowing that all your car rentals bills are cleared. You will certainly feel relaxed and contented with this milestone.
Where Can I Rent A Car Without A Credit Card?
You already know that when looking to rent a car with no deposit or credit card, only the second option is possible. In that case, you are probably wondering, “where can I rent a car without a credit card?” Truth be told, hiring an automobile is a difficult process for the credit-challenged. It is a huge responsibility since some agencies simply don’t allow customers to hire without a credit card in their name.
Save for a few exceptions like Budget and Enterprise, virtually no one will let to you for check or cash any longer. On the other hand, many operators will allow you to rent a car using a debit card, though with some caveats. For example, most vehicle rental providers will run a credit check, besides asking for additional identification to rent with a debit card, compared to a credit card.
You may want to confirm with your service provider in advance so that you furnish them with all the required details at the counter. The majority of companies will require you to show up with your driver’s license along with a charge card for the rental car. However, other I.D. requirements may include:
- U.S. military I.D. or passport
- A copy of your bank statement or utility bill not older than sixty days
- A return itinerary or flight ticket
- A valid car insurance card
At the time of completing this post, these agencies let you rent a vehicle using a debit card or pay in cash:
Important Tips On The Auto-Rental Process: What To Know
Planning to rent a car for your vacation or business travels? Matching prices on the internet can save you a bundle. However, make sure you are comparing the total cost and instead of the advertised rates alone because additional charges and options can spike the base price significantly.
Also, keep in mind that car rental agencies have to put up with massive insurance liability issues, and therefore, they follow some stern and severe regulations when renting out their cars. But these guidelines often apply to all the major national car rental dealers, most of whom have a global presence as well. So, if you do not qualify to rent a car from one of these mainstream providers, smaller auto-rental companies usually operate under less uptight standards. Apart from typically renting out older model cars, nearly anyone from 21 years and above who satisfies the provider’s requirements can rent there.
There’s also the aspect of what you require to rent a car. When you charter a private jet or limousine, you enjoy a comfortable ride with someone else doing the driving. And when you hire a paddleboat or bicycle, you drive a utility tool that needs no license. In either case, all you require for renting is the means to pay the fee. On the other hand, hiring a motorized vehicle that you intend to drive will require specific credentials.
What You Should Know
As you start searching for the best car rental without credit card, keep the following in mind.
1) Size Makes a Difference
The size of the rental vehicle you are considering matters. It can influence the rates you’ll pay. Terms such as ‘compact’, ‘exotic’, ‘mid-size’, ‘full-size’, and ‘luxury’ can vary from one agency to the other. Car rental operators usually give vehicle models or suggest the maximum allowed seating capacity to illustrate vehicle sizes.
2) Shop and Compare
We can never emphasize enough the importance of price comparison. Search across multiple sites for the type of vehicle you want to rent. To get an estimate of the best affordable price you can achieve, look up rental rates at individual car charter company sites. Besides, you’ll want to do the same on price comparison websites as they often have decent company-backed deals and specials.
3) Money-Saving Specials and Deals
Consider renting a vehicle when price breaks are available, depending on the flexibility of your travel arrangements. While at that, be sure to look for specials designed to suit the duration you need the car. You are likely to secure better offers if you reserve ahead of time, or book together with a hotel or flight.
Don’t forget to check the fine print if there are any restrictions on deals and specials. You should especially watch out for blackout dates when the advertised rates may be unavailable. It’s also common for car rental agencies to give special rates for senior citizens or specific member organizations such as motor clubs.
4) Investigate The Fees
Making comparisons on advertised rates for rental cars may not provide you with an accurate impression of the amount you’ll pay. Try and compare ‘’apples to apples’’ instead, using vehicle rental prices comprising all mandatory surcharges and fees, plus the charges for other options. For example, if you’re planning to rent a luxury van for vacation and you find the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van rental rates are too expensive, consider some budget full-size van rentals instead.
Note that when reserving a vehicle online, the company may quote other fees that you may not know about until you visit the rental storefront to pick up your car. Since you may not be aware of all the charges if it’s your first time chartering with an agency, we recommend that you take the time to read your contract. You should especially search for surcharges caused by specific events, such as accidents.
5) Your Driving Record Matters
Many car rental dealers have a history of checking driving records when you arrive at the counter. And they often reject those whose driving credentials don’t match their standards. Even with a confirmed booking, you can be disqualified from hiring the vehicle for fresh violations on your records, including:
- Violating the seat belt law
- Leaving an accident scene
- Driving with a revoked, invalid, or suspended license
- Reckless driving
- Accidents, despite who is at fault
- Convictions for DUI or driving under the influence and DWI or driving while intoxicated
Find out from your service provider if they check renters’ driving records.
6) Know Your Coverage Options
Many of the vehicle rental operators provide motorists with extra coverage options at a price. They claim this can reduce your liability while driving their chartered car. Nevertheless, you might be covered already under your own homeowners’ or auto policies. Check your insurance policies carefully for specifics. And if you are uncertain about the coverage, we recommend that you call your insurers for clarification.
You may also be covered through your workplace’s insurance if you are traveling for business. Be sure to ask your employer about it, beforehand. Furthermore, some motor clubs and credit card issuers give members free rental protection if you pay for rental fees using their cards.
Salespersons may also try to coerce you into buying a CDW also called a collision damage waiver or a loss damage waiver, LDW. In both cases, the waiver guarantees that the car rental agency will meet all damage costs extended to your rental vehicle. Since this is technically not collision insurance, don’t expect the rental company to pay for your injuries or your personal property. Instead, consider using your medical insurance plan coverage, which protects in ways that CDW coverage does not.
If you elect not to get CDW coverage and are not covered under your personal car insurance plan, you automatically accept responsibility for any vehicle damages. You may be liable for the total value of the automobile. Some providers will only hold you accountable for a portion of that amount.
Keep in mind that your coverage might still be revoked even if you buy CDW, should you damage the rental car while:
- Driving while intoxicated
- Driving on unpaved roads
- The driving inattentively
- Driving outside your state
- An unauthorized motorist operates the vehicle
Vehicle rental operators may provide you with other coverage options at an extra cost. Coverage policies and rates vary among companies. Ask for details if you are paying for additional protection.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Which rental car company does not require a credit card?
Although most rental car companies require a credit card when hiring, you can still charter a vehicle with no credit card from agencies like Alamo, Budget, Hertz, Thrifty, and others.
What rental car company has the lowest deposit?
Auto rental deposits can vary significantly from one provider to the next, depending on your location, type of vehicle, and other factors. You might want to go for a lower-tier model if getting the lowest deposit is a priority.
Does Dollar rental car require a deposit?
Yes. Although Dollar requires a deposit, it charges a standard fee of $200 towards incidental hold, no matter your mode of payment.
Do you need a credit or debit card to rent a car?
Yes. Generally, credit card is the standard mode of payment when renting a car. While you can pay with a debit card, keep in mind that not all companies sanction it and not all debit cards are accepted. Therefore, it’s best to check your provider’s requirements in advance to avoid nasty surprises.
Can I rent a car with a $300 credit limit?
Yes. You may be able to rent a vehicle if have a $300 credit limit if the estimated cost of the rental is about $100. Note that your vehicle rental company may block your card for the whole amount. This will prevent you from using that card until you clear up with the agency.
Many customers want to know whether it’s possible to rent a car with no deposit or credit card requirements. But you’ve seen that it’s practically not possible to rent a vehicle without some form of deposit. Not unless you are getting a raw deal. Either way, lacking a credit card should not stop you from renting the vehicle you want. You can still hire a car with no credit card through cash or debit card payments. Besides, you can enjoy several benefits such as sticking to your budget and less stress when you rent without a credit card.