Can Your Rent a Car Without a Credit Card? Be Prepared This Summer

You're ready to book a vacation and thinking about renting a car, but you don't have a credit card. So, can you rent a car without one? Read on to find out.


Mar. 15 2023, Published 9:55 a.m. ET

A woman renting a car
Source: Getty Images

Summer is right around the corner and with airfare prices expected to increase worldwide, many will take alternate modes of transportation to their vacation destination.

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Whether you travel by train, boat, bus or drive, you’ll still pay more than before, but with gas prices decreasing slightly, driving a car may be the most attractive option.

If you plan to rent a car, can you get a rental if you don't have a credit card? Keep reading to find out!

Can you rent a car without a credit card?

Yes, you can rent a car without a credit card, but that depends on the rental company and their policies. Some rental companies may require a credit card as a deposit, while others may accept a debit card or cash.

If you don’t have a credit card, contact the rental company to find out about their policies and see what types of alternate payment they accept. If they require a credit card, check out their competitors.

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Can I get a rental car with a debit card?

In most cases you can rent a car with a debit card at the top 10 rental companies, but policies and requirements might vary depending on the rental car company’s location.

If you are using a debit card, some rental companies may require a credit check, a larger security deposit, and proof of insurance. Other rental companies may only accept certain types of debit cards, such as Visa or Mastercard.

If you attempt to rent a car with cash, you’ll have to meet certain requirements, which will vary by rental company.

Some may request a valid driver’s license, a return travel ticket, multiple forms of identification (like a passport), proof of employment, utility bills, or a paycheck stub. The renter might be required to undergo a credit check and pay a security deposit.

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Can you rent a car using a prepaid card or check?

While some rental car companies may accept a prepaid card, it's usually only allowed on the return. Most companies don't accept personal checks as payment. However, you can check with the company to see if they'll accept cashier's checks, money orders, or traveler's checks.

What type of coverage do credit card companies provide?

Credit cards can provide various types of rental coverage, but it depends on the card issuer and card. The coverage may include:

  • Collision Damage Waiver of Loss Damage Waiver – protects you if the rental is damaged or stolen
  • Liability insurance – helps pay for damages or injuries that occurred while driving the rental
  • Roadside assistance services may include flat tires, jump starts and lockouts
  • Personal effects coverage – coverage may reimburse you for theft or damage of personal items stolen from the car

What major car rental companies' policies?

Hertz rental cars
Source: Getty Images

Policies vary depending on the location and type of rental, but there are a few similarities among most of the major car rental companies.

Renters must be at least 21, but some locations require a minimum age of 25. They also require a valid driver’s license, proof of insurance and a major credit card, although some will accept debit cards as payment following a credit check and larger deposit. Smoking isn't allowed in any of the cars.

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