How can you rent a car without a credit card?
You can rent a car without a credit card by using a debit card, prepaid card, or cash at many rental companies. Additional identification, credit checks, or larger payment holds might be required. Membership in rental company rewards programs can also provide more flexibility for non-credit card payments.
Wondering how to rent a car without a credit card – or if it’s even possible? It definitely is. You just need to know which companies accept debit cards, prepaid cards, and cash instead of credit cards!
Keep reading to learn 7 ways you can rent a car without a credit card and a few tips to negotiate if your debit or prepaid card is being turned down.
How to Rent a Car Without a Credit Card
- Many car rental companies will rent cars without credit cards
- Use a debit card, cash, or prepaid card to pay
- Additional ID, credit checks, or payment holds may apply
Think you need a credit card or great credit score to rent a car? Think again.
More and more rental car companies are offering additional payment and qualification options for customers who may not be credit card users.
Some companies will allow you to use a debit card, prepaid card, or cash to either qualify for the rental service or pay at the end of your rental. No credit card required!
Keep in mind that not using a credit card means you may need to provide the company with another type of assurance, either through a credit check, a larger payment hold, proof of a paid return ticket (for airport locations), or additional forms of identification.
Navigating the world of car rental companies and their complicated policies to see which ones will rent you a car without a credit card can make your search difficult.
We’ve studied and analyzed the policies of the most popular car rental companies to lay it out clearly and simply.
You’ll be able learn how to rent a car without a credit card by using any of the other rental qualification or payment options below.
How to Rent a Car Without a Credit Card: 7 Options
If you want to learn how to rent a car without a credit card, you’ve got options – 7, to be exact. Plenty of rental car companies are willing to rent a car to you without a credit card.
Whip out your debit or prepaid gift card, offer cash, link your debit card to their rewards program, or try your hand at negotiating a non-credit card rental qualification.
Using a bank-issued debit card is always the next-best choice behind a credit card, but you might be able to get by with some of the other lesser-known methods!
Read through the following methods and see which option might work best for you.
1. Use a Bank-Issued Debit Card
The top answer to how to rent a car without a credit card is using a bank-issued debit card. Most rental car companies accept major debit cards including Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and (less often) American Express.
Offer your debit card to pay at one of the rental car companies that accept debit cards (listed below). If your location seems reluctant or doesn’t want to accept a debit card for payment, you can try negotiating a bit.
Let the customer service agent know you’re willing to provide additional forms of identification, accept a larger payment hold, or provide proof of your prepaid return ticket (if applicable).
2. Use a Major Prepaid Gift Card
Few rental car companies accept prepaid gift cards (like a Visa or Mastercard gift card) for rental qualification and deposits, but several will accept this form of payment at the car’s return for the final payment.
You can check the list below to see which popular rental car companies accept prepaid gift cards at some of their locations. But make sure to call or check with your location to get the specifics!
Like debit cards, prepaid gift cards don’t provide the rental company with as much assurance that you’ll pay the cost or cover any damages in full like a credit card.
You may be able to get approval for use by submitting to a credit check, offering additional forms of ID, or accepting a larger payment hold.
3. Use Cash
Cash isn’t often accepted for rental car qualification or deposits, but some companies (like U-Save) will accept it in the right circumstance.
If you manage to find a location that will accept a cash payment for a rental car deposit and pickup, you may be asked to make a larger deposit or provide additional forms of ID.
More rental car companies are open to accepting cash upon the car’s return to cover the final payment. Make sure to check with your location to confirm cash is acceptable.
4. Sign Up for Rewards
Another way to rent a car without a credit card is getting cozy with the company by signing up for their rewards program. Not every rental car company has one, but it’s worth asking about.
When you sign up for rewards or a loyalty program, you’ll generally earn points or credits toward free rentals.
In the signup process, you may be able to link a debit card to your account and bypass any limitations on qualifying for a rental car with a debit card.
Hertz Gold, for example, allows you rent a car with a debit card as long as you include it in your Hertz Gold Plus Rewards profile. This will enable you to rent any category of car, including cars from the Dream, Tesla, and Adrenaline collections.
“You can use a Debit Card if it is already included in your Hertz Gold Plus Rewards profile, regardless of vehicle type, or the rental is an Insurance Replacement rental.”
Enterprise Plus will also allow you to use a debit card to easily rent cars by tying your card directly to your rewards account. You’ll be charged to the card you supply information for within your account, so you can skip the credit check process altogether.
It’s worth asking if the rental car company you’re considering has a member rewards program. Ask if you can link your debit card for easy, automatic payments – you might be able to skip credit card requirements entirely!
5. Show Proof of Insurance
If you’re having trouble renting a car without a credit card, you may be able to negotiate and use a debit card, prepaid gift card, or cash instead by offering to show proof of insurance.
Your own auto insurance policy may cover your rental car, or you can purchase rental car insurance directly from the rental car company you’re using.
It won’t always work, but it may help the company mitigate their risk enough to allow you to qualify and pick up your rental car without the usual assurance of a credit card.
6. Offer a Larger Hold or Deposit
If you’re dealing with a hesitant rental car company that sometimes accepts debit or prepaid gift cards for rental car qualification, offering to accept a larger payment authorization hold or make a larger deposit can help.
Rental car companies are sometimes reluctant to accept payment methods other than credit cards because there’s less assurance that they’ll receive the final payment in full and have recourse in the event of car damages or accidents.
By offering to accept a bigger payment authorization hold (usually $150-$300) or make a larger deposit upfront, you may put their concerns at ease and be able to rent without a credit card.
7. Submit to a Credit Check
As a final resort, you can offer to submit to a credit check if you need to rent a car without a credit card but the company is resistant.
If you don’t have a credit card to use for your rental car deposit and qualification, there’s a chance you don’t have credit history at all or have a poor credit rating. If that’s the case, this method won’t help you.
But if you do have good or moderate credit history and just don’t like to use credit cards, this can be a great way to show a rental car company that you’re trustworthy and able to make the final payment in full.
Which Rental Car Companies Don’t Require a Credit Card?
If you’re wondering how to rent a car without a credit card, you need to start with the companies that don’t require one for a rental.
With several different rental car companies out there – and all with slightly different rental policies – it’s helpful to look at an up-to-date list of the ones that don’t require a credit card.
Here’s a look at the most popular rental car companies that accept payment and deposit methods beyond credit cards.
You’ll find that some of these companies are willing to accept debit cards, prepaid gift cards, and even cash for car rentals!
Rental Car Company Payment Options
|Debit (return only), credit, prepaid (return only)
|Debit, credit, cash (varies)
|Debit, credit, cash (return only)
|Debit, credit, cash, prepaid (return only)
|Debit, credit, prepaid (return only)
|Debit, credit, cash (return only), prepaid (return only)
|National Car Rental
|Debit (varies), credit, prepaid (varies), cash (varies)
|U-Save Car & Truck Rental
Advantage Rent-A-Car does require you to use a credit card to qualify to rent a car. You can use a debit card or cash (only at some locations) to make the final payment when you return the car.
Even when you use a credit card to rent a car here, you’ll be required to pay a deposit that includes the estimated rental charges plus 25% or $350, whichever is greater.
Note that Advantage Rent-A-Car does not accept American Express cards. Learn more about their payment methods and policies here.
Alamo doesn’t limit your qualification and payment options to credit cards. You have the option to use a debit card, or at some locations, cash.
You can use a debit card (but no American Express) to qualify and pay for your car rental at Alamo. You may be responsible for an additional hold when you use a debit card instead of a credit card.
Prepaid cards are not accepted according to policy, but some locations may accept cash as part of an additional cash qualification process.
Learn more about Alamo’s payment options and policies here.
Enterprise will accept payment and qualification forms other than credit cards, including debit cards and cash (for returns only).
You’ll need to make sure your location accepts debit cards with Enterprise – the ones that do typically take Visa or Mastercard only. You can’t qualify or pay for a rental with a prepaid card here.
Cash may be accepted for final payments on returns, but won’t be accepted for security reasons as your deposit or rental qualification method.
Learn more about Enterprise’s payment methods and policies here.
Hertz requires a major debit or credit card registered in your name for rental qualification. They’ll issue a hold on your debit card in the amount of $500 plus your estimated rental charges. They may run a credit check if you’re using a debit card.
Debit cards can’t be used to rent some cars from the Tesla, Dream, or Adrenaline collections or for cars outside of the compact through full size categories.
Hertz doesn’t accept American Express cards. If you’re using a debit card, you need to make your reservation a minimum of 24 hours in advance of pickup, be 25 or older, and have 2 forms of ID.
You can use debit, credit, or prepaid cards when you return the car for final payment. Learn more about Hertz payment options and policies here.
Avis Rent-A-Car is known for renting cars without requiring a credit card. They accept major debit cards (Visa or Mastercard) if you don’t have a credit card for rental qualification.
You could be subject to a credit check or asked to provide additional forms of ID if you opt to use a debit card at Avis. They may ask you to provide an alternate card if their requirements aren’t met.
One exception is that you can’t use a debit card to pickup a premium car (a credit card is required). You can use debit, prepaid, or gift cards to make your final payment at the car return.
Learn more about Avis Rent-A-Car’s payment methods and policies here.
National Car Rental
National Car Rental’s payment policy leans mostly toward credit cards, but they will accept debit cards in some cases. You can use a debit card to qualify and pay for car rentals at National’s airport locations.
Debit card deposits are accepted as long as you can provide proof of your return airline ticket with a matching name and address.
They will place a hold on your account for the estimated rental amount plus $300-$400, so watch out and ensure you’ve got enough cash in the account to cover it.
At pickup, you can make your final payment with a credit card, debit card, or prepaid gift card from Visa or Mastercard, or Amex. Learn more about National Car Rental’s payment options and policies here.
U-Save Car & Truck Rental
U-Save Car & Truck Rental offers a wide range of payment options depending on the location. We checked a location in Winchester, TN to find out what forms of payment are accepted.
Debit cards and cash (in addition to credit cards) may be used to qualify for a rental car and make a deposit. You may see a hold from $150 to $200 placed on your card at the time of the deposit.
Prepaid debit cards and gift cards cannot be used to qualify or pay for a rental car return. You’ll need to use a debit card, credit card, or cash for that.
Learn more about U-Save Car & Truck Rental’s payment options and policies here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still have some questions about how to rent a car without a credit card? It’s a really common topic that can be confusing, so take a look at the most frequently asked questions to clear things up!
What if I don't have a credit card, can I still rent a car?
Yes, you can rent a car without a credit card at rental places like Alamo, Enterprise, Avis, Hertz, and U-Save Car & Truck Rental.
Use a debit card, prepaid gift card, or cash (depending on the location and policy) if you don't have a credit card to rent a car. You'll still need to meet other rental requirements (age, authorization hold, etc.).
Can I use my debit card as a credit card to rent a car?
Some rental car companies will accept a debit card instead of a credit card for rental qualification and deposits. But not all will, so check with your location to be sure.
A bank-issued debit card with enough cash in the account to cover the full estimated rental costs plus an authorization payment hold are usually required.
Which rental car companies allow you to use a debit card?
Rental car companies that allow you to use a debit card include Alamo, Enterprise, Avis, Hertz, National Car Rental, and U-Save Car & Truck Rental.
An additional deposit amount, form of ID, or authorization hold may be required when using a debit card to rent a car.
Why can't I rent a car with a debit card?
Some companies won't allow you to rent a car with a debit card because these "check cards" offer less assurance and security.
While credit cards will bill you the full amount at a later date, debit cards rely on the amount of cash deposited into the account and need the user to enter a PIN number for authorization.
This makes payment less of a sure thing for rental car companies when a debit card is used. That's why they sometimes limit rental car qualification to credit cards only.
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So, Can You Rent a Car Without a Credit Card?
It’s definitely possible to rent a car without a credit card. You’ll need a bank-issued debit card, prepaid gift card from a major card provider (Visa, Mastercard, Amex, etc.), or cash to work around the usual credit card requirement.
Knowing each rental car company’s payment policy upfront is helpful. Review your potential location’s policy closely and call to get any additional questions answered ahead of time.
You’ll probably have great luck getting a rental car without a credit card, but it’s worth hammering out all the details and confirming that you can pay with your debit card, prepaid card, or cash before it gets too close to your trip date.
Remember to use tips in our guide to negotiate a yes if your agent seems reluctant to rent to you without a credit card!
Becoming a rewards member, offering to accept a larger hold or make a bigger deposit, showing proof of insurance, or submitting to a credit check may be able to turn the tides in your favor as a last resort.