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Car rental companies that take debit cards for payment

We know that travel is especially difficult right now. But alongside the latest COVID-19 travel advice and updates, we want to continue to inspire you with new travel content so that when the world opens its doors again, you'll be ready.

It’s possible to rent a car with debit card, but there is some fine print involved. The good news? Almost all car rental agencies accept debit cards for payment of charges upon return of the vehicle. The bad news? Not all of these companies accepts debit cards as a means of guaranteeing the rental. In other words, you may need a credit card in order to drive the car off the lot.

Over the next several paragraphs, we’ll be outlining the policies of major rental car companies in the United States. We’ll explain rules as they pertain to debit card car rentals, and also explain any additional details that will help you on your way.

Which car rental companies accept debit cards for payment?

  1. Dollar
  2. Enterprise
  3. Budget
  4. Hertz
  5. Avis
  6. Alamo
  7. National
A woman closing the trunk of a car

1. Dollar

You can use debit cards with a Visa, MasterCard or Discover logo in order to secure any rental you book more than 24 hours in advance. Debit cards may be used to secure the rental of luxury, premium or convertible cars less than 24 hours in advance, so long as both of the following documents are presented alongside the debit card:

  • Valid driver’s license plus one other form of identification
  • Proof of a round-trip airline or cruise travel ticket that matches the rental period and location

2. Enterprise

Many Enterprise locations in the US and Puerto Rico accept debit cards. In Canada, only non-airport locations accept debit cards. In all locations, conditions apply when using a debit card for car rentals.

Enterprise airport locations in the US only accept debit cards to secure rentals when you can present proof of both incoming and outgoing flights from the rental location airport.

Requirements for renting a car with a debit card at non-airport Enterprise locations in the US are more stringent, and include the following:

  • Two current utility bills (water bill, gas bill or internet/cable bill)
  • Recent paycheck stub
  • The entire cost of the rental at the time of pickup plus a minimum deposit
  • Proof of insurance (also available through Enterprise)
  • Personal references (the full name and phone number of two people for verification of your identity)
  • If you’re due a refund after the rental is complete you should have receipt of it within 15 business days

3. Budget

While you can always pay for Budget car rentals with a debit card, your ability to use a debit card to secure a rental varies by location. When using a debit card, some Budget locations may check your credit with a national credit verification bureau. Other locations may require you to present a third form of identification.

Upon paying your rental with a debit card at accepted locations, Budget generally requests an authorization hold against your account for the estimated charges of the rental plus any additional value they deem appropriate based on your perceived creditworthiness.

If you wish to rent a car using a debit card an airport location of Budget Rent-a-Car, you will need to present one of the following documents, in addition to your debit card and valid driver’s license:

  • Round-trip airline ticket to/from the airport of rental with name and return date listed
  • Valid U.S. passport or current U.S. military identification card
  • Current vehicle insurance card
  • Current copy of either a cell phone bill, home telephone bill, bank statement or utility bill

If you wish to rent from an off-airport Budget location, you must present at least one of the following documents:

  • Valid U.S. passport or current U.S. military identification card
  • Current vehicle insurance card
  • Current copy (within the last 60 days) of your cell phone bill, home telephone bill, bank statement or utility bill

4. Hertz

Hertz does not accept debit cards as a form of payment or guarantee when reserving a car or at the time of pickup. At the beginning of a rental, a valid credit card is required. You can use a debit card for payment after the rental is complete, upon return of the vehicle to the Hertz location.

5. Avis

Most U.S. Avis locations accept bank debit cards with the Visa or MasterCard logo at the time of rental. However, U.S. Avis locations will typically perform a credit check at the time of rental. This is in order to vet you, as a debit card renter, for creditworthiness. Additionally, Avis may place a hold on your card for the amount of the rental plus any additional amount they deem necessary.

You can always pay the balance of your Avis car rental using a debit card at the time of return.

6. Alamo

U.S. Alamo locations accept debit cards with the Visa, MasterCard or Discover logos (Discover is not accepted in Canada). In order to secure your rental using a debit card at an airport Alamo, you must provide proof of a return ticket. If you don’t have a ticketed return travel itinerary, you’ll be required to provide $200 in addition to a credit card with sufficient funds to cover the cost of the rental.

Alamo always accepts debit cards as a form of payment at the time of return.

7. National

National allows you to pay for rental cars with debit cards bearing the Visa, MasterCard or Discover logos. In the United States, you can also use a debit card to secure your car rental, but only if you can prove that you have deplaned or disembarked at the rental location.

a map with destinations marked for a road trip
You may be able to use a debit card to book the road trip of your dreams!

Conclusion

It’s usually possible to find car rentals that accept debit cards for payment when you return the car. However, you sometimes need to present a credit card at the time of rental in order to drive the car off the lot.

While Skyscanner aims to keep this page as up-to-date as possible, we encourage you to visit the website of your prospective car rental company to verify the current policy before proceeding.

Reading this during the coronavirus pandemic? Skyscanner suggests you verify travel restrictions with national state and local governments before booking your next car rental.

FAQ about car rentals that accept debit cards

Can I use my debit card to rent a car?

Depending on the car rental company you use, you may be able to rent a car with a debit card. In some cases, however, you are only able to use the debit card for payment—you need a credit card to secure the rental and drive the car off the lot.

Does Enterprise accept debit cards?

Enterprise accepts debit cards for payment at all locations, but only some locations accept debit cards to secure the rental. Please contact the location you wish to rent from directly to clarify their policy.

Does Hertz accept debit card?

Hertz accepts debit cards for payment. However, as of February 2021, you’ll need a credit card to guarantee a reservation and drive your car off the lot at all Hertz locations within the US.

Can I rent a car with a $300 credit limit?

You may be able to use a credit card with a $300 credit limit (or a Visa/Mastercard debit card with a $300 available balance) to rent a car. However, this isn’t always the case. Some car rental companies pre-authorize a deposit greater than $300 at a time of rental. Please verify this with your prospective car rental company before booking a vehicle to avoid going over your credit limit, or overdrawing your bank account.

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Want to read more?

Whether you’re looking for car rental companies that accept debit cards or plan to procure your vehicle using a credit card, Skyscanner is your source for information—and inspiration. Check out these articles to see why:

  • Coronavirus travel advice – We continually update this page with relevant state and U.S. government requirements and recommendations, plus the latest airline policy changes.
  • Renting a car under 25 – Find out all you need to know about renting a car if you’re under 25 years old.
  • How to rent a car – We detail eight important things you need to keep in mind before you reserve your next car rental.