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FAQ Section > Car Hire Frequently Asked Questions > Car Hire Credit Card Requirements

Do I have to use a credit card to hire a car?

Is it possible to rent a car without a credit card? We explain both the reasons credit cards are preferred and the alternatives.

Almost all car hire companies insist on a credit card - where they don't they are likely to ask for a large deposit which may be debited from your account if you don't have a credit card.. However, using our sister site Clarify Car Hire you can filter accordingly, and choose to have the debit card payment option available for you.

The debit card option often costs just a bit more but can remove the need to debit a large amount from your account to cover the excess or security deposit. It may also include additional insurance through the car hire company giving you wider cover.

Some companies will offer more than one option to debit card holders. When you are deciding which option is right for you, do bear in mind that any money which is taken from your debit card will take longer to be processed and refunded to your card than a pre-authorisation on a credit card. Whilst it normally takes about a week to go back on your account, some hire companies state it could take up to 30 days.

If you do have a credit card but it does not have sufficient flexibility in its limit to support a large pre-authorisation this can sometimes be reduced by taking the car hire company's own excess insurance. Alternatively ask your credit card company for a temporary increase in your limit.

Compare car hire insurance prices with MoneyMaxim

This content was last reviewed on 15/08/2023

Image courtesy of: Lotus Head

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