For first-time renters, the entire car rental process can feel confusing. If you’re under the age of 25, most corporate car rental companies will refuse your business outright. The same goes for cash and debit card car rentals. The big chains turn away legitimate customers every day because they have low, or no, credit. Being refused service for your age or credit history is a frustrating experience. Don’t give up hope, though. There’s still a way to get an affordable rental car, regardless of your age or credit status. Here’s the rundown on debit card car rental for beginners.
Is Debit Card Car Rental Possible?
Despite what corporate rental agencies will lead you to believe, renting a car with a debit card is fairly straightforward. An independent rental agency doesn’t have to abide by the same policies as the big chains. A locally owned establishment will be far more likely to accommodate your needs instead of simply refusing to serve you. The first step in your rental car journey, should be contacting an independent rental agency. They can give you a rundown of their policies over the phone, and they may even specialize in no credit car rentals or rentals for drivers under the age of 25.
Extra Requirements For Renting
Although an independent rental agency will be willing to work with you regardless of your credit, you’re going to have to provide more information than a credit card customer. On top of bringing state-issued identification, you may be asked to bring a few other forms of id to corroborate that you are who you say you are, and that you live where you claim to. They may ask you to bring your most recent utility bills, proof of insurance, and another form of identification like a passport, military or student ID. Along with that, they may ask you for a few personal references. Don’t worry, they’re not going to ask if you were a straight-A student. The references are just to confirm your personal information.
Why Are There Extra Requirements?
I’m just trying to rent a car, why does it feel like I’m applying for security clearance at the Pentagon? Okay, hyperbole aside, why do they need so much personal information? The answer is simple: they’re trying to confirm you are who you say you are, that you can be trusted with their vehicle, and that you can afford the rental. The car rental company assumes a lot more risk when offering cash and debit card car rentals compared to standard credit card rentals. Also, not having a credit card on file makes it much harder to charge for incidental expenses after the vehicle is returned. This includes parking tickets, automated speeding fines, and vehicle damage.
Since the rental agency is assuming more risk by taking on cash and debit card car rentals, there will be some limitations. Since you can’t have a hold put on your credit card, you’ll have to supply a deposit. This deposit may be held for a longer period than a credit hold, so make sure you have enough funds available for the duration of your trip. Paying with a debit card will also limit your vehicle options. Don’t expect to be able to get a sports car, luxury SUV, or newer model.
Should I Rent With A Debit Card?
While you can rent with a debit card, it’s always better to use a credit card. Not only does it make the process less of a hassle, you get a lot more benefits. Some credit cards come with extended rental car insurance coverage, and free roadside assistance. Some credit cards offer extra cashback on travel expenses. The next best thing is a premium debit card. This operates like a debit card, but provides some of the rewards of a credit card such as cashback and overdraft.
Looking For a LA Debit Card Car Rental?
Value Rental Car wants to help you get a rental car and get to your destination quickly and safely. We offer clean and affordable rental cars for local driving in Los Angeles and Pasadena, with complimentary pickup and drop off service within seven miles of our two locations. If you’re a college student, we want to help you get on the road. We rent to drivers under the age of 21, and we offer cash and debit card car rentals. Check out some of our other articles to learn more about how car rental works!