The conventional way many people in the US rent cars is through credit cards. Even though you can use other payment methods to rent the car, most companies prefer or only accept a credit card. Most people have at least one credit card making the process straightforward. But even so, renting a car without a credit card is possible using other payment options like debit cards, cash or even a banker’s check. However, the trick here is to look for car rental with no deposit required. All the same such independent car rental services still have their requirements.
But first, you should understand why car hire companies often require a credit card. Security is usually the most important reason such companies ask for credit cards. With a credit card, the company can block or freeze a certain amount in your account without withdrawing it as a deposit. In case of an accident, damage or any driving fines, while you have the car, they can easily withdraw the amount directly from your account, which you cannot do with a debit card. With a credit card, even if you have insufficient funds in your account, they can still withdraw this amount. On your side, using a credit card allows you to gain benefits such as travel points and cash-back. Plus, in general, it is easier.
Requirements For Renting A Car Without A Credit Card
Realistically, you may not be able to use your credit card to rent a car all the time. You may have lost it, want to tighten up your finances, or you have an emergency and need a car as quickly as possible. Luckily, renting a car without a credit card is easy, even though it does have additional requirements.
ID and additional information: Since a credit card’s added security is not present with a cash or debit transaction, the company will require more information about you. The first requirement would be your ID details which provide them with all your personal information.
Credit check: In most cases, the company will screen your credit history. The main aim is to ensure you are a responsible citizen who pays bills and understands how to maintain your finances.
Driving license: even though your ID details may be enough, some car rental companies may also require your driving license. From this, they can see if you have been a responsible driver in the past, giving them more confidence in giving you their rental car.
Refundable amount: As we have mentioned, an amount will be frozen or blocked in your account as a security deposit when you use a credit card. Since you are not using a credit card, you will be required to pay an upfront fee, refundable when you return the vehicle without damage or parking fines.
Do not let anyone else drive: Even though this is not a requirement for all companies, some require you, as the person who hired the car, to be the sole driver of the vehicle. The belief is that the person who hires the vehicle will be more careful, reducing the probability of accidents and neglected parking fees. Furthermore, some insurance covers will not pay out in case of an accident if the person who hired the car was not the one driving.
Show evidence of a return flight: Some car rental companies located at the airport will only allow you to hire a car without a credit card if you present them with evidence of your return flight. The assumption is that you will have to return to the airport to catch your flight and inevitably return the car, adding a level of security.
You should be at least 25 years: the perception is the older you get, the better a driver you are and the more responsible you get. Therefore, many car hire companies will only rent a car to someone older than 25.
Steps To Follow To Rent A Car Without A Credit Card
One of the first things you should do to rent a car without a credit card is to start the process early. As you have seen above, the requirements are many, and the earlier you start the process, the faster you can rent a car.
- Step 1: Do your research and find a company that does not require a credit card. And preferably an independent company that does not require a deposit either.
- Step 2: Check the available cars and see if they meet your needs. It is important to remember that without a credit card, it is very unlikely that you can hire a high-end vehicle like an SUV. Be prepared to settle for an economy or cheaper car.
- Step 3: Contact the company and consent to the process, including a credit check and submitting your ID and driving license details.
- Step 4: Pick the car and use it responsibly.
- Step 5: return the car and make the final payment as you are reimbursed your deposit fee.
As you can see, it is possible to rent a car without a credit card, even though it may be slightly more difficult. However, many people prefer to use this method as they try to keep their expenses low by reducing credit card usage. For whatever reason you need to rent a car, finding a company that does not need a credit card is a great option.