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How to Rent a Car Without a Credit Card

Aparna Iyer
People who desire to rent a car without a credit card have to ensure that they have a number of supporting documents that may help the rental car agency verify the authenticity and credit worthiness of the prospective customers.
Renting a car without a credit card can be a frustrating experience since most rental car companies expect their customers to have at least one.
These companies may be unwilling to allow people to use their debit card to pay for the transaction. The reason for their reluctance can be attributed to the fact that the ability of a debit card user to repay bills is contingent to the availability of funds in the user's checking or savings account.
Credit cards, on the other hand, allow the user to pay by borrowing money from the issuing company.
In addition to the aforementioned issue, the debit card company may also impose a limit on the number of debit card charges that are permitted on a daily basis.
Hence, a customer who uses a credit card inspires more confidence as compared to a debit counterpart since the rental car company is assured of receiving a payment.


Using a Debit Card

In addition to having a valid driver's license, rental car companies may expect the customer to fulfill a number of formalities before agreeing to charge the debit card in lieu of payment. They may run a credit check on the customer before accepting the card.
The company may pull up a credit report prepared by one of the three credit bureaus, namely Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. People with bad credit history or poor score may find it exceedingly difficult to convince the agency to accept their debit card.
One must remember that every credit inquiry shows up on the record and may have a negative impact on the score. Despite having cleared this check with flying colors, some companies may expect to be provided with a copy of the most recent utility bill as proof of address. Proof of income and employment may also be desirable.
Companies may also demand proof of auto insurance. Without insurance, one may not be allowed to rent a vehicle. Others may allow only out-of-town customers for the same, provided that they are able to furnish a round-trip airline ticket as proof of itinerary.
Customer may also be prohibited from driving the car across state. The best cars, luxury vehicles, and SUVs are not rented out to customers using their debit card.
In addition, age may also play a vital role in determining the success. Youngsters less than 25 years of age may have to pay a deposit or may be forced to drop the idea of renting.
A valid passport and the ability to make additional cash deposits may help strengthen their case. One can expect a hold/block on the debit card that is equal to the total estimated cost of the car rental. 
In other words, the amount that is equal to this estimated cost is no longer available to the debit card holder. Additional blocks are also likely in case of customers whose credit worthiness is doubtful.

By Paying Hard Cash

These companies may allow the customer to rent a car by paying cash up front. Cash rentals will require weekly or monthly deposit in addition to the calculated rental charges. These confine people to a limited set of car choices.
People who are at least 25 years of age, have a valid driver's license and passport, and the ability to make cash deposit, in addition to the cost of the rental, may be able to succeed by providing a phone bill or utility bill as proof of address and a return ticket for airline, cruise, or train travel.
On returning this vehicle in accordance with the agreement terms and conditions, the additional cash deposit will be refunded to the customer.
It's evident that renting a car using a debit card is not particularly easy. Cash rentals too, have their own limitations. It may be sensible to go with the flow and use a credit card for this purpose since one is spared the inconvenience of convincing the agency about one's credit worthiness.