Renting a Car Without a Credit Card
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Hold the Plastic: Rent a Car without a Credit Card

Renting a car without a credit card used to be nearly impossible. But now – as long as you have a debit card (and good credit) – renting a car is almost as easy as 1-2-3.

Sure, credit card plastic is still the preferred method for reserving a car, but a lot of people either 1) don’t want credit cards, 2) have only store credit cards (which won’t do you any good if you’re trying to rent a car), or 3) have chopped them up in the spirit of self-sufficiency.

That said, most people with checking accounts do have at least one piece of plastic in their wallets – debit cards. And those work just fine when you’re trying to rent a car. Of course, reserving a rental car with a debit card – rather than a credit card – does come with a couple of caveats, including:

  • When you reserve your car using a debit card, the car rental company (Dollar, in this case) will perform a debit card check and credit inquiry screening through Equifax (one of the companies that issue credit reports and the all-important credit score).

  • If your credit score/report doesn’t meet certain criteria, you won’t be allowed to rent a car unless you have a credit card in your name that you can use to reserve your car. At the end of the rental agreement you may, however, use your debit card to pay for your rental without being subject to a credit check.

Note: If you’re reserving a car with a debit card, keep in mind that when the company performs a credit check, it WILL show up on your credit report and may have an effect on your credit evaluation.


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