A rental car is an excellent way to explore the area while traveling. The catch: many car rental companies require a credit card in order to rent a vehicle. We show you how to get a rental car even without a credit card.
you want to see more than just the hotel pool on your vacation? Then a rental car definitely makes sense. Of course you can discover the country and its people on foot, but a car has many advantages.
So a rental car allows you to get from A to B faster and just stop where you like. Instead of squeezing onto a stretch of beach with hundreds of tourists, secluded coves and unspoiled nature await you! But usually only if you are also a proud owner of a credit card – or maybe not?
Renting a car without a credit card – what’s the problem??
Many car rental companies only accept credit cards as a form of payment
The question of whether it is possible to rent a car without a credit card comes up again and again. the reason for this is that most car rental companies only accept one payment method, namely the credit card. Why is this so? Credit cards have a credit line as the only means of payment, which serves as security for the rental car company.
Before the start of the rental, the main driver must pay a deposit for the car. He does this with a credit card issued in his name. The deposit is blocked or pre-authorized on the credit card during the rental period. If the rental vehicle is returned undamaged, the rental car company releases the amount blocked on the credit card.
Since other payment methods do not offer this security, it is difficult to get a rental car without a credit card. Note: the credit card’s credit limit must be at least equal to the amount of the rental deposit.
alternatives to booking with credit card
not every rental car booking requires a credit card
Not everyone has a credit card or wants to use their credit card to book a rental car. Some car rental companies offer alternative payment options to settle the rental costs as well as the deposit:
- Payment by debit card – more and more car rental companies accept debit cards. A debit card is a card that is directly linked to a checking account. In the German language, it is known primarily as an EC card or girocard. If a rental car company allows you to book and pay by debit card, the rental price will be debited from your account before the rental period begins. The rental car company also reserves the right to deduct the deposit amount from the account and credit it back at the end of the rental period.
- Prepaid credit card – prepaid credit cards work on a credit basis – there is no credit limit. This is why car rental companies lack the option to block the deposit on the card when using prepaid cards. Some providers accept the card anyway, as a recent test on the subject of prepaid credit cards and car rental shows. However, it is a condition that the credit on the card is sufficient to cover the rent and the deposit.
- Payment by direct debit – another way to book a car without a credit card is to pay by direct debit or SEPA direct debit. If you book the car rental online, you will have to fill in a direct debit mandate in the order process. All you have to do is enter your IBAN and BIC and confirm your payment with a mouse click. The amount is usually debited from your account two to three weeks before the start of the rental period. Most of the time, these are so-called without-deposit packages (no-deposit), which allow you to rent a car without a credit card and a deposit.
- Paypal – many customers wish to be able to rent and pay for a car with paypal. There are even already a few car rental companies with the payment method paypal. The payment of the rental car via paypal is very easy: just select the payment method paypal and confirm the transaction. The booking is already complete – and without a credit card at all.
- cash payment& cash deposit – some car rental companies allow you to pay for a rental car in cash and make a cash deposit. However, this usually only works if you rent a car directly on the spot. Especially local companies on mallorca and in similarly touristic regions do not like to miss the money of the tourists. In this case, it is important to ask the car rental station in advance which payment methods are accepted.
Caution: there are often restrictions in the vehicle categories when it comes to renting a car without a credit card.
With the following providers you can also pay without a credit card
experience more of the country with a rental car
Finding a rental car company where you can rent a car without a credit card requires a lot of time and research work. Because we know you can spend your time on far more enjoyable activities, we’ve done the work for you and checked with all the major car rental companies (sixt, europcar, AVIS, hertz and sunny cars u.A.) in demand.
instead of booking your car with a credit card, you can rent your car from sixt without a credit card. Sixt offers the possibility to pay the cost of the rental car by credit card. The big advantage is that you can also pay the rental deposit with your own EC-card at sixt. The following must be considered if you want to pay at sixt without credit card:
- The full rental price is due at the beginning of the rental period
- The rental costs are debited directly from the current account
- The deposit is also debited and returned after the return of the car
- the girocard logo must be present on the EC card
In addition, there are restrictions on the types of vehicles that can be rented: if you pay without a credit card at sixt, you can rent a car without a deposit, you can only rent a car from the FDMR car group. These include: BMW 3-series, mercedes C-class and audi A4. Unfortunately, you cannot rent other vehicles from sixt without a credit card.
Also europcar offers you the possibility, renting a car without a credit card. Europcar accepts all major debit cards for renting a car. Similar to sixt, the deposit amount and the rental price are debited directly from the current account. Interesting facts about renting a car without a credit card at europcar:
- The rental costs are debited directly from the account
- The deposit will also be collected and returned after the return of the car
- Only vehicles up to upper middle class
- Renting without credit card abroad is not possible
Sunny cars is the absolute pioneer in car rental without credit card. For this, the car rental company offers a wide variety of payment options:
- Payment by direct debit
- Paypal express
Sunny cars makes in contrast to other offerers no cutbacks, which concerns the vehicle category: all vehicle categories can be booked without credit card.
also top: with sunny cars you can book a rental car without credit card even abroad! But be careful: a credit card is not required for booking, but a credit card is required when you pick up the car. Therefore we recommend, to switch to the sunny cars no-deposit package. This package allows you to book a rental car without a deposit and therefore without a credit card.
AVIS, budget, hertz& thrifty
The major car rental companies AVIS, budget, hertz, and thrifty offer currently not the option to pay for a rental car without a credit card.
Extra tip: inquire! If you urgently need a rental car of one of the mentioned providers, we advise you to just ring the rental station personally. Even if you need a car spontaneously on the spot, it is worth asking in person. The rental companies are always trying to find a common solution. Often also via cash payment or cash deposit.
Car rental without credit card abroad
Booking a rental car without a credit card is a bit difficult, especially when traveling to the USA
Travel abroad a lot? Especially for stays abroad a rental car is worthwhile. But only a few providers offer the option to rent a car abroad without a credit card. payment methods like direct debit or EC-card are not accepted due to liability reasons.
Especially in the USA it is almost impossible to get a rental car without a generally accepted credit card. Only if you have a visa or mastercard you will be able to rent a car in the USA.
But there is also good news: for our very popular destinations mallorca, menorca, ibiza, gran canaria and tenerife we have a very interesting offer. Sunny cars makes it possible to rent a car without a deposit with its no-deposit package. Payment is made via direct debit or paypal. as there is no deposit, a credit card is not necessary. For example, it is possible to explore mallorca, ibiza or gran canaria with a rental car without a credit card.
Good to know: common stumbling blocks when renting a car
Also note the fuel policy when booking a rental car
Now that you know how to book a rental car without a credit card, don’t let it fail elsewhere. Therefore, in conclusion, a list of all common stumbling blocks and ways to avoid them:
- Age restriction – to rent a car you must be at least 18 years old. For most providers the age limit is 21 years. For certain vehicle classes, a minimum age of 25 is even required.
- Driving license – it is clear that a driver’s license is mandatory to rent a car. But it is important that the driver has his license for at least one year. Outside the EU an international driver’s license is required.
- Official identification document – in addition to the driver’s license, you must carry an identity card or passport.
- Additional drivers – if an additional driver is booked in addition to the main driver, this driver must also show all the necessary documents. The additional driver does not have to be specified when booking online. It is enough to fill it in at the pickup on the spot.
- Credit card must be issued to primary driver – the credit card for the deposit must be in the name of the main driver. The driver picks up the car and pays the deposit with his credit card.
- Driver other than credit card holder – it is not possible that the main driver is different from the credit card holder. If the main driver cannot show a credit card issued in his name when handing over the car, the rental car will not be handed over.
Conclusion: booking a rental car without a credit card
Booking a rental car without a credit card works
It is possible to rent a car without a credit card. But you have to expect some restrictions. So you can only book certain categories of vehicles without a credit card and you have to fill out some more paperwork. As a general rule, it is better to ask once more than once too little! Contact your preferred car rental company, ask for alternative payment methods and get the rental terms in writing. Here’s how to get the best deal the next time you want to rent a car without a credit card!