Car rental is a complex process for some people and may confuse in some circumstances. For example, you may think that you need a credit card to rent a car. This common misconception has led to serious car rental concerns because there’s no reason you absolutely need a credit card to rent a car. Here’s how to rent a car without a credit card, including how to get insurance without one!
Your Step-By-Step Credit-Card-Free Car Rental Guide
There are many reasons you may not want to rent a car with a credit card. First, and most obvious, you might not have a credit card. A growing number of millennial drivers skip credit cards because they don’t want to risk heavy debt. You may also have maxed out credit cards on which you can’t rent a car. Whatever the reason, you can follow these steps to rent a car without pulling out a credit card.
1. Find a Company That Rents With Debit Cards
The days of renting cars with cash aren’t necessarily long gone, but are very rare. However, many car companies will rent a car with you if you have a debit card. Some might even take a cash payment if you have a verified and approved debit card option. Take your time to find a company that lets you rent with a debit card to ensure that you don’t have to show your credit card at the rental office.
2. Limit Your Expectations
Here’s the thing: many car rental companies may rent to you without a credit card. Now, that’s a good thing. However, they may limit what cars you can rent. That’s a frustrating thing. But it’s not necessarily a bad thing. You will not get a lemon from a car rental company when renting with a debit card. Instead, just expect less luxury and more minivan and economy-sized cars.
3. Have a Great Driving Record
Car rental companies may be more likely to approve your application if you have a sterling driving record and a strong credit score. That’s because these show that you’re a trustworthy person to who they can feel comfortable renting a car without a credit card. Know that they may also restrict your travel based on your rental situation, such as asking you to show proof of your travel plans.
4. Prepare for Bank Holds
Bank holds protect car rental companies when people rent with debit cards by ensuring that you return the vehicle. The thing about holds is that you get them back right away when you return the car! Research what hold your prospective rental company puts on your account before renting from them. Make sure your bank has that money available to minimize any concerns.
5. Add Rental Insurance to Your Policy
Here’s a fact that not many people realize: you can add car rental insurance to your primary car policy and bypass buying a policy from your rental company! This option helps you avoid using a credit card to insure your vehicle. You can also find alternative rental insurance options, such as the U.S. Government Rental Car Program for federal employees, that may work for your needs.
So there you have it: a simple five-step method that should help you get a great rental car at a reasonable price without using a credit car. Make sure that you always do your research before attempting this approach and talk to your rental company to get the high-quality service you both want and deserve when renting a vehicle.