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    Can I book a car hire without a credit card?

    The secure Auto Europe booking system allows for you to pay for your car hire and any additional insurance options with a national or international credit card. Generally, credit cards of any country origin is accepted, as long as, it is one of the main credit card providers – for example: Visa, Mastercard or American Express. If you do not have a credit card, there are other alternatives, but this is dependent upon individual suppliers and may incur extra fees. Alternatively, you could also a friend’s credit card, however, for deposit purposes the credit card accepted must be in the main driver’s name. It is important to realise that paying for your booking and leaving a deposit during pick-up are two totally different things.

    Once at the rental car office, the main driver as noted on the booking form is responsible for leaving a deposit. In most cases, only credit cards are accepted. Although debit cards can sometimes be accepted but with conditions and extra fees. The credit card used for the deposit must be under the main driver’s name. One or more credit cards may be required for deposit purposes – that of which will be noted on your car hire voucher’s terms and conditions. The main driver is also responsible for paying for any extras that were requested. Such as, additional drivers, additional equipment, one-way fees and more.

    Frequently Asked Questions about Car Hire without a Credit Card

    What is a Deposit?

    Because the car that you will be hiring has a value much greater than the actual rental rate, it is common practice for car hire suppliers to charge a security deposit to cover them for any unexpected damage to the vehicle during your care. Also known as a security deposit, this can also be used to cover expenses incurred by fines, tolls or an empty fuel tank – which could be unpaid after you have returned the car. The security deposit amount is determined by the car category and individual supplier. To view the exact amount, you can click on the info icon or read your voucher’s terms and conditions. Make sure you familiarise yourself with all your obligations before placing a booking.

    All above rates are for illustrative purposes only.
    All above rates are for illustrative purposes only.

    It is important that your credit card contains enough funds for a security deposit to be held on it during your pick-up. The amount will be released back onto the same credit card upon returning the car in the same condition as when it left. Make sure a member of staff inspects the vehicle on its return and signs the paperwork as it being okay. Please be aware that any additional insurances, coverages, equipment, one-way requests, etc, will also be charged directly to your credit card – so its important to make sure you have sufficient funds. Many payment terminals require a PIN to process the payment via credit card. It is therefore important that your PIN is active and in most cases your credit card signed on the back.


    Why do car rental suppliers prefer to use a credit card for a security deposit?

    Car hire suppliers prefer to use credit cards to minimise their financial risk. Sometimes damage can exceed the deposit paid, even when taken deductibles into consideration. Other concerns include the refuelling of a vehicle that was returned empty, or the payment of any fines that were received by the rental company, once the car has been returned. For this purpose, rental suppliers prefer a credit card to be used instead of any other forms of payment.


    Is it possible to leave a deposit for your car hire without using a credit card?

    Some car hire suppliers do offer the ability to settle the security deposit without the need to use a credit card. However, this may depend on the supplier, their locations and on the car category. In addition, those who do not use a credit card for deposit purposes and opt for another form of payment may find the availability of certain cars restricted or unavailable. You may need to meet certain requirements if opting to car hire without a credit card – such as the mandatory purchase of extra insurance. You can view all the conditions and options for leaving a deposit during the booking process by clicking on the info icon or contained within the booking’s car rental voucher’s terms and conditions. Pay particular attention as to whether debit cards are accepted as an alternative to credit cards for deposit purposes.

    If using a debit card, it must also be in the name of the main driver. The amount specified will be debited from the relevant account and returned onto it once the car is returned and confirmed to be in the same position as when it left. Another great benefit to using our secure online booking engine is the ability to filter your results to find those suppliers that do not require a security deposit. Simply click on the filter option “deposit” and select “no deposit” from the dropdown. Please note, that finding a supplier that doesn’t request a deposit is extremely difficult and is dependent on location and car category.


    What is the difference between a credit card and a debit card?

    A debit card is directly linked to your bank account, and you must therefore have the funds present in your account. The deposit will be taken directly from your bank account and returned to the same bank account afterwards. Generally, the service is supplied by Visa and Mastercard – although your bank card will have the word debit on it. The funds are taken immediately during the transaction. Debit cards can be used abroad as they are linked to an international financial service provider.

    A credit card is a payment card that provides you a pre-determined credit amount. It is a line of credit that serves as a security for the supplier. This means that the amount is only blocked on the card and not taken like with a debit card. The amount is then released once the vehicle is returned and deemed to be in the same condition as when it left. All suppliers accept credit cards for deposit purposes and for the payment of extra services. To view the types of cards accepted, please click the info icon or consult your car hire voucher’s terms and conditions.


    What are the requirements in order to rent a car with a debit card?

    If opting to use a debit card for deposit purposes, it is important to familiarise yourself of the extra requirements often imposed by the car hire supplier for this privilege. If the supplier allows the car hire with a debit card, then they may limit available vehicles or request you purchase extra insurance. Extra insurance is costly, but it can often reduce the amount of deposit needed or eliminate it altogether. Other requirements can include the request of additional documents, proof of regular income and more. Requirements vary substantially between suppliers, locations and vehicle types – it is therefore important to fully understand your obligations by either clicking on the info icon during the booking or reading your car hire voucher’s terms and conditions.


    What are the advantages of using a credit card for the security deposit?

    There are many benefits to using a credit card for deposit purposes. For one, those using a credit card will be granted full access to the whole rental car fleet and the full range of rental offers. Using a credit card is both beneficial to you and the supplier because it is the global industry standard utilised for deposits. Care should be taken though as some credit card types may be restricted or not accepted. American Express and Diners for example may not be accepted in some countries due to lack of political or financial ties. To be sure, click on the info icon or check your car hire voucher’s terms and conditions for which credit cards are accepted. An additional benefit whilst using a credit card is the extra protection credit card companies often afford their clients. For example, some credit card companies may include travel insurance. Consult with your credit card company to find out all the benefits and the terms.

    Lastly, one of the best benefits to using a credit card as opposed to a debit card, is that with a credit card the deposit amount is blocked on the card and released once the car is returned. As this is done administratively, it is often much quicker and safer to block and release the funds. A debit card will take longer to process the refund back into your bank account. By using a credit card over a debit card, you will also save on potential transaction fees and exchange rate fluctuations.

    Because we’d like your car hire to go as smoothly as possible, we recommend you make yourself fully informed of the payment policies adopted locally by your chosen supplier. Familiarise yourself with the payment procedure, payment types and any special conditions adopted by the supplier. This can be viewed during the booking and on the car hire voucher’s terms and conditions. All the important information can be viewed by clicking the info button during the booking.

    If you have any questions of concerns regarding car hire without a credit card, contact our trained reservation agents on +44 123 3225 114 to discuss and find out more.