Can You Rent a Car with a Prepaid Debit Card?

In the United States and Canada, debit cards or checks can be used to pay rent charges at the end of the rental period. Yes, you can usually use a debit card, a prepaid card, or even cash to rent a car. However, each car rental company has its own rules on acceptable payment options, which often vary by location, and not paying with a credit card usually has certain consequences. Hertz only accepts prepaid cards for final payments, while some Enterprise locations allow you to guarantee the reservation of a rental car in this way.

Avis accepts debit cards without extensive paperwork, like other rental companies. Avis will even accept prepaid gift or debit cards as forms of payment in some places when you return the vehicle. In some places, debit cards or prepaid credit cards are not accepted when you pick up the rental car, but they are accepted as payment when you return the vehicle. See the required credentials for information on the pick-up holds required for the rental.

If you don't meet these criteria, you can pay your rent with a debit card if you present a credit card at check-in. Some Enterprise locations only accept cash payments and money orders, while others allow you to secure your rent this way. If your license is not from an adjacent state, you must provide proof of your return trip, such as a plane or train ticket, in addition to two forms that verify your address, such as a bank or mortgage statement, a home or car insurance bill, a mobile phone or utility bill, an issued identification by the government or a work identity card. To begin with, many of them require you to be at least 25 years old and will perform a credit check before allowing you to rent a car.

It's possible to rent a car without a credit card, although you'll give up important protections and face some problems. You'll also have to pay the full cost of the rental, along with a deposit that can take up to 20 days to be refunded. Payment options for this rental service include the Hertz Charge Card, American Express, Visa, Mastercard or the Diners Club card to make your deposit. Most companies hold your card to cover the estimated costs of your rental and will release these funds when you return the vehicle.

So, even if you have enough credit available to cover the cost of rent and unforeseen expenses, renting a car with a credit card could make other purchases difficult to complete until the rental company releases the hold on your account. They recently changed their policy so that customers only need their debit card and driver's license to pay after booking with them 24 hours in advance. However, only a few locations will allow you to pay with a debit card when you pick up a vehicle. Some car rental companies allow you to pay in cash, but you'll need a debit or credit card to make the reservation.