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No Credit Check Car Rentals
Is it possible to rent a car without a credit check?
If you rent a car with a credit card, no credit check is run. This is because the rental agency assumes you’ve passed the credit standards of the card company.
However, if you do not want to use a credit card, your options for payment are a debit card or cash. While car rental agencies will accept either form of payment, there are several things that you should know. One of them is that a rental car agency could run a credit check on you before allowing you access to one of their vehicles.
Knowing what is often required for a cash or debit card rental will enable you to avoid a credit check.
If you intend to pay cash for the rental, you will still need either a credit or debit card to be able to pick up the car. Cash is generally accepted at the time the car is returned. One option here is to rent the car with a credit card, then pay cash when you are through using the vehicle. This transaction will avoid the rental agency running a credit check.
What About Debit Cards?
Use of debit cards is increasing. In 2008, there were more debit card transactions that there were credit card transactions. Recent increases in credit card interest rates and increases in card cancellations have resulted in more consumers turning to debit cards. Using a debit card for car rental is possible. However, it will quite often take longer and it is possible that the rental agency will do an instant credit check.
Individuals with poor to bad credit scores may be reluctant to have a credit check run on them. Others may wish to avoid the check because it is reflected negatively on their credit report as a credit inquiry. In order to use a debit card effectively and without a credit check, there are some things you must know.
Know The Limitations of your Debit Card
Are you restricted in the dollar amount of transactions in one day? If you use a debit card to rent a car, pay for dinner and a hotel room, you can easily exceed the amount you can charge to your debit card. Check with your card issuer so you don’t end up having a vital transaction denied.
Do you have enough money in the account that your debit card is attached to cover the “hold” that will most likely be put on your account? When you rent a car with a debit card, it is often standard procedure to put the estimated rental charge AND a deposit on your card. While the deposit is refunded when the car is returned, it can take several days, leaving you without adequate cash reserves for several days or weeks.
Does your debit card have either a Master Card or Visa logo on it? Many rental agencies will only accept cards marked with these logos and clearly associated with a bank or other financial institution.
Be Ready – Just in Case
Have your debit card in hand when you go to the rental counter. Some rental agencies will simply accept a debit card when it is presented.
Have your “just in case” paperwork available. This could include a copy of your personal car insurance card, a ticket for your return air or train reservation, possibly a copy of a utility bill with an address matching that on your driver’s license.
Make sure you have adequate time to spend at the counter. Debit card transactions can take longer than expected, so factor that in as you make your plans.
Know The Car Rental Agency
Do your research before you rent. Some car agency locations will automatically run a credit check at time of rental. Specifically ask them if they do this. If you want to avoid a check of your credit, you have some options.
You can use a credit card to rent the car, then pay with a debit card or cash at time of return.
You can shop around until you find an agency that won’t run the check. Rent-A-Wreck, for example, is know for a more relaxed point of view on debit cards.
You can have someone else rent the car for you, naming you as a driver.
You can rework your travel plans to avoid renting a car, using public transportation instead.
Know what the agency’s rental policy on vehicles is. You may find while they will accept a debit card, they will not rent you an expensive luxury vehicle, a sports car or a large SUV.
Policies on age can vary from agency to agency. Some agencies will simply not rent to someone under 25 who is using a debit card. Other agencies will, but have a daily surcharge.
Don’t Make These Mistakes
Don’t use someone else’s credit card or identification papers unless they are there with you. Unless the names and addresses on everything are consistent, you’re probably not going to get a vehicle.
Don’t assume that policies regarding credit checks are the same from one agency location to another. What’s true at a California agency may not be true at one in Nevada. It may be a good idea to make two separate calls to the agency location you want to use to make sure you’re getting consistent answers.
Can You Rent A Car Without A Credit Check
You can. It’s a bit more challenging, though. Your primary choices are:
Rent with a credit card, pay with a debit card or cash.
If you don’t have a credit card, other forms of payment are possible, but you must do your homework to find out what’s required to avoid a credit check.
Keep in mind that credit check policies vary from agency to agency. Hertz and Thrifty automatically run a credit check if no credit card is used. Enterprise’s policy varies from location to location.
If driving an older car is an acceptable solution, check with Rent-A-Wreck. A large portion of this company’s business has been based on accepting debit cards. It is worth a phone call to determine the rental location’s policy on credit checks..
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