How To Rent A Passenger Van Or SUV With A Debit Card Or Cash

If you are looking to rent a passenger van, minivan, or SUV and do not have a major credit card, you may be finding it difficult to rent.  The most important thing to do is research your options.  Then, if the website you’ve visited appears to accept debit cards or cash, call them.  Find out if they will accept cash or a debit card for security, not just payment.  Make sure if they do accept debit cards that they don’t require a host of other documents as well.  Be prepared.  Be well informed.  At Phoenix Car Rental, we will accept cash or debit cards as security for the rental of a vehicle.  While all renters must qualify at the rental counter, we do everything we can to help.  We are available to answer your questions at 602-904-3490.  Call and let us help.

Why Is It So Difficult To Rent Without A Credit Card?

Unlike a credit card, instead of drawing from a line of credit, a debit card withdraws funds from the bank account to which it is linked.  The money that can be withdrawn from a debit card is only equal to the amount of money that is in the bank account.  For this reason, many rental car companies do not rent to people without a credit card, which gives the rental agency the ability to authorize additional funds, should anything happen, such as an extension of the rental period, damage to the vehicle, or an unanticipated accumulation of extra charges.

Debit cards are also very easy to get, and usually do not require a credit check, which is another reason rental car companies are hesitant to honor them: A debit card does not vouch for the person’s credit worthiness, as a credit card does.

What’s The Difference?

Even though many banks issue cards that look just like a credit card, even including a Visa or Mastercard logo, they are not the same.  If your card links to your bank account and does not have a line of credit attached, it is a debit card.

When other rental companies do actually accept a debit card, they almost always want a host of additional materials a renter doesn’t have readily available such as bank statements, rent receipts, or utility bills.

If researching your options, read carefully or call the company.  Many rental companies will say they accept cash and debit cards, but what you will find is they will accept them as payment, but for security purposes, the renter must still present a credit card.  

Risk Management

It basically comes down to managing their risk of not getting paid if unforeseen things happen while the car is in your possession.

According to Thrifty’s website “Renting a car to someone with no credit card is risky for rental car companies. Not having a credit card is a red flag that you may be a credit risk.” Other companies may not be so blunt in telling you this, but you can bet their mindset is the same as Thrifty’s.

Another reason that a car rental without a credit card is so difficult, I suspect, is because they want the assurance they will be able to charge you for extra costs after you turn in your vehicle – i.e. gas charges, smoking fees, vehicle damage, and so forth.

If you paid with a debit card those charges (if applicable) might bounce if there isn’t enough money in your checking account. On the other hand, with a credit card, they’re far more likely to go through unless of course the credit limit has been maxed out.

Prepaid Debit Cards

Prepaid debit cards can sometimes be better than ones tied to a traditional checking account in these situations, since any funds loaded on the card are less likely to disappear compared to funds in a checking account. So, if you have a sufficient amount loaded on a prepaid debit card, such as $1,500 or more, you’re probably fine in terms of being able to rent a car, assuming the rental company in question doesn’t have a policy against debit cards.

Credit cards offer a credit line that can be temporarily “blocked out” by the car rental company until the charges are finally settled – this protects them (and other types of merchants that don’t know your final bill at the time they take your card information (like hotels and pay at the pump gas stations).

What WE Do

At Phoenix Car Rental we are here to help.  We accept debit cards, and cash, as well as credit cards. We appreciate that whatever your credit history, you work hard for your money and have the sufficient funds in the bank to rent a vehicle. 

Over 45 years ago we recognized that there are many people who, while they may not have a credit card, do have the means with which to rent. And we are here to make that possible.  We will use funds available on a debit card or cash as security for the rental, without needing a credit card as well. Give us a call at 602-904-3490