Owning a car in the US is not cheap. That’s why many frugal consumers decide to use public transportation to skip the monthly installment payments and maintenance costs associated with car ownership.
But some occasions require long-distance driving, multiple stops, or you live in a rural area with less car ridesharing. The special situations to rent a car include a family fun get-together, business meeting, vacation, or just going out with your family for a weekend away.
That’s where renting a car for a day or two can help.
Renting policies may vary among car rental companies, but generally, most companies will only require you to have a valid driver’s license and a credit card.
The problem is, nearly 30% of American adults don’t have a credit card, or for some reason, you may be unable to pay with a credit card. So although most companies will allow you to rent a car with a debit card, they’ll have to make a hard credit pull to establish your rental risk.
A hard pull check makes your credit score dip a little, and if your credit score is too low, you won’t be able to rent the car. Alternatively, you may be required to put down a large deposit and provide additional documents to verify your identity, such as utility bills like your AT&T Uverse, ADT security bill, or Comcast cable bill.
That’s why finding car companies that don’t do credit checks is a boon for the non-credit-card-holders or the unbanked population.
So, what car rental companies don’t run credit checks?
Short answer: Top car rental companies that don’t do a credit check when using a debit card to rent a car include Alamo, Enterprise, Dollar, GetAround, National, Sixt, Toro, and U-Haul.
That said, whether a car rental company performs a credit check or not before renting you a car comes down to the payment method used. Nearly all car rental companies don’t perform a credit check when you pay with a credit card.
But most car rental companies will run a credit check when paying with a debit card to evaluate your creditworthiness and determine your rental risk. While there isn’t a minimum credit standard across all traditional car rental companies, a low credit score can be a deal-breaker for many.
But some companies, like the ones mentioned above, won’t run a credit check even when you use a debit card. Thus, you can avoid a quick credit hit from too many inquiries.
Plus, you won’t have to worry about being unable to rent the car if you’ve got a poor credit history or face unfavorable requirements, like a large security deposit.
However, to compensate for the risk of not running a credit check, most companies have additional rental requirements, including:
- Some places require you to be 25+
- Pay a security deposit of at least $100
- Provide additional identification document to verify yourself
- Insurance proof
- Disclose travel plans
- Ticketed itinerary when vacationing or on a holiday
What Car Rental Companies Don’t Run Credit Checks?
To protect themselves from losses, almost 90% of car rental companies run credit checks to establish the rental risk of renters without a credit card. They want to be assured you can afford to pay for any damages or extra charges.
However, most car rental companies bend the rules and rent cars without running credit checks to win customer loyalty and drive more business their way. Though, additional restrictions may apply.
Here’s a list of top car rental companies that don’t do credit checks, accept a wide range of payment methods, and may allow younger renters.
1. Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Enterprise Rent-A-Car is one of the largest and most convenient car companies that don’t do credit checks when renting a car. They operate more than 9,000 home-city locations and around 420 airport locations across the country.
Enterprise is a good place to rent a vehicle for a special occasion, rent a replacement car after an accident, theft, or mechanical repair. If you don’t have a credit card, Enterprise Rent-A-Car will accept a debit card without running a credit check at most of its locations.
Requirements to Rent an Enterprise Car
- Two latest utility bills
- Pay the total rental cost when picking the vehicle and a minimum deposit
- Your referees
- Copy of your last pay stub
- Proof of insurance
At some locations, their debit card requirements aren’t so straightforward. Therefore, you should always contact them directly for exact requirements based on your location. Some branches even accept cash or filled-out money orders upon return as your final payment.
Find a nearby Enterprise Rent-A-Car location to rent a car without a credit check.
2. Advantage Car Rentals
Advantage Car & Truck Rentals operates about ten convenient airport locations in Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Las Vegas, Miami, Orlando, Nashville, and Tampa.
Besides its affordable daily rates, the company also accepts pre-and-post-rental payments with a debit card. Most importantly, Advantage is one of the car rental companies that does not run credit checks when renting a car with a debit card.
However, your debit card balance should be high enough to cover the rental charges along with a $350 security deposit.
Requirements to Rent from Advantage Car
- A valid driver’s license
- A valid charge card
- A copy of your latest utility bill
- Copy of your last paystub
- Proof of insurance
- Security deposit
3. Dollar Car Rental
Dollar Car Rental has over 840 locations in the United States and Canada that offer car, truck, and crossover rental services. It also provides child safety seats, ski racks, navigation, and operations support.
Dollar is a top car rental company that does not run a credit check to renters booking with a debit card.
Debit card renters must reserve at least 24 hours ahead of time. But when renting a premium, convertible, or luxury car, you can book a vehicle with a debit card in less than 24 hours from your trip.
Requirements to Rent from Dollar Car
- Valid driver’s license
- A second form of identification
- Proof of a return plane ticket corresponding to your rental time and location
Find a nearby Dollar car rental that gives AAA and military discounts.
4. Alamo Rent-A-Car
Alamo is a reputable car rental company with over 248 locations in the US and about 1,100 locations worldwide. Some of its benefits include accepting cash upon return, renting car seats, late return hours, newer cars with USB ports to charge your phone for free, offering senior discounts, and a loyalty program.
Alamo is part of the list of rental companies that accept debit cards without credit checks.
Requirements to Rent from Alamo Car
- Valid driver’s license
- Proof of a ticketed return
- Copy of your recent pay stub
5. National Car Rental
There are about 320 National Car Rental locations in the United States. It has perks like skip the counter, choose your vehicle, earn rewards for free rental days, flexible one-way rentals, and airport locations that remain open for up to two hours past the posted closing time for delayed customers.
National Car Rental allows customers to rent cars with debit cards without running a credit check. However, it will only accept debit cards bearing a Discover Card, Visa, or MasterCard logo and not a Reliacard with money on it.
Requirements to Rent from National
- Proof of deplaning at their rental location
- Valid driver’s license
- A copy of your latest utility bill
- Proof of a return ticket
- Latest paystubs
6. Sixt Rent a Car
Sixt Rent a Car has been in the industry for over 100 years. It has over 2,000 locations worldwide, of which about 200 are in the US. It’s a reputable company with benefits like adding up to nine additional drivers per booking, unlimited mileage for one-way rentals, rents to under 25, and no cancellation fee with pay later reservation.
Most Sixt Rent A Car locations accept debit cards without running credit checks, but with some restrictions.
Requirements to Rent from Sixt
- A valid driver’s license
- Proof of itinerary plane tickets to coincide with your car rental schedule for out-of-state hiring
- Two official forms of ID
- Two latest utility bills for in-state customers
Find a nearby Sixt location for a car rental subscription for a monthly rate, no down payment, swap vehicles, no record on your credit, and cancel at any time. A car subscription will save you from regular car maintenance like flywheel resurfacing and $40 wheel alignments.
U-Haul has been renting vehicles since 1945 and is a top choice for do-it-yourself movers. The company has over 21,000 locations in all 50 states and 10 Canadian provinces. During the vehicle shortage, people use U-Haul as car rental alternatives near me, preferably smaller pickup trucks for short drives or even moving old refrigerators to the nearby scrapyard.
Keep in mind; it’s primarily a truck rental business that sells cardboard boxes, rents dollies, buys unused boxes, and installs hitches. It’s ideal for short drives because U-Haul charges per mile and does have unlimited mileage vehicles.
Requirements to Rent from U-Haul
- You must be 18 years old.
- A valid driver’s license.
- Two forms of assurance that the vehicle will be returned in good condition.
A peer-to-peer carsharing company, Turo allows private car owners to rent out their vehicles. The company operates in 56+ countries and has over 14 million members and more than 450 vehicles listed.
It’s easy to rent a car from Turo online or via their mobile app without a credit check. The benefits to using Turo include low price points for compact cars, insurance savings, and even get stick shift cars.
Rent a car on Turo.com for ages 25 and under.
What Car Rental Companies Do Credit Checks When Paying With Debit Cards?
About six car rental companies run credit checks to establish renters’ creditworthiness and rental risk before allowing customers to book with a debit card.
Avis Rent a Car
Avis car rental has about 1,500 locations in the US. It’s owned by Avis Budget Group and is known as one of the world’s top brands for customer loyalty.
Avis car rental policy does a credit check when using a debit card with a pin. In addition, drivers must be at least 25, need two forms of identification, and likely be charged a holding fee when booking it.
Things to know about Avis:
- Avis Does Rent to Under 25 – There’s a surcharge for younger drivers.
- Charges Per Mile – A few high-end car luxury groups and a few rental locations charge per mile, but most have unlimited miles.
- Pick You Up – Some neighborhood locations provide free local pickup and dropoff within 5 miles of the rental store.
- Offers AAA Discounts – AAA members can save up to 30% off base rental rates at Avis.
- Accepts Temporary Licenses – You can rent a car with a temporary license if it doesn’t have restrictions and is valid for the entire rental period.
- Charge for Additional Drivers – It charges in select states, ages, and specific conditions.
- Rental Car Discounts – AARP senior discounts, military, AAA, National Guard, corporate, and more.
- 24/7 Roadside Assistance – Lost your key, and you don’t have a duplicate key, free air for a flat tire, or need a couple of gallons of gas from a nearby gas station.
- Disability Services – Transfer board, panoramic mirror, spin knob, hand controls, and swivel seat with advanced reservation and availability.
Avis Rental Requirements: Valid US-issued driver’s licenses for US residents with credit cards or debit cards at participating locations. International travelers must present a passport or Canadian enhanced license with a credit card.
Age Requirement: 21 years old minimum age, except DC and select Kentucky locations. Renters between 21-24 are required to have a credit card and be assessed a $25 per day surcharge in the US. New York State does have a minimum car rental age of 18 with a $44 surcharge per day.
Credit Check with Debit Cards: Most Avis locations accept bank Mastercard and Visa debit cards. Most US Avis car rental locations will run a credit check for debit card renters. If they cannot determine the creditworthiness of the renter, then be prepared to show additional identification.
An airport location will accept a round trip literary, ticket, or e-ticket with a return date to and from the airport; they don’t want to see one-way rentals. Alternatively, you can show a secondary form of identification, including a military ID, utility bill, bank statement, US passport, or vehicle insurance card.
Book a nearby Avis car rental location that does a soft credit check with a debit card.
Budget Car Rental
Budget Car Rental has over 1,400 locations across the US. It started in 1958 for the “budget-minded” renter.
Budget runs a credit check for drivers 25 and older who use a debit card to reserve a vehicle.
Things to know about Budget Car Rental:
- Fastbreak is Free – Budget’s Fastbreak doesn’t cost money lets you skip the long lines at pick up and drop the car off in the designated area and go.
- Pay Cash – Upon returning, you can pay for your Budget rental car with cash, credit card, or debit card.
- Rents Cargo Vans – You can rent cargo trucks and vans up to 26-feet, one-way, and moving accessories like car dollies and car carriers.
- Allows Spouse to Drive for Free – Budget allows spouses to drive the car for free along with partners. Your employer or employee can also drive for free if it’s with a company account.
- Pets are Allowed – Housebroken pets can travel in a rental car for no additional fee. But, pet owners will be charged extra for any damage caused by animals, accidents, or cleaning required due to shedding hair. I’d recommend finding a local gas station with free vacuums or borrowing an auto detailing carpet extractor to remove the pet hair, so you don’t get charged.
- Unlimited Mileage – Most cars have unlimited mileage, except for some luxury vehicles and locations that charge per mile.
Budget Rental Requirements: Valid US-issued driver’s license for US residents with a credit card or debit card at participating locations. International travelers must present a passport or Canadian enhanced license with a credit card. Also, you must have a clean driving record, and it may check your driving record to confirm you meet the requirements.
Age Requirement: The Budget minimum age to rent a car is 21 in most states, except it’s 18 in Michigan and New York. Drivers will be assessed a surcharge under 25 years old. There are no maximum age limits in the US, but some counties do.
Credit Check with Debit Cards: Most Budget locations accept bank Mastercard and Visa debit cards. Budget car rental locations will run a credit check for debit card renters to determine their creditworthiness. They will not drive under 25 using a debit card to prepay and only accept major credit cards. Finally, most locations will accept debit cards upon returning the car as your final payment.
Hertz is one of the largest car rental companies with over 1,300 airport locations in the US. Join Hertz Gold Plus Rewards with over 11 million members worldwide that receive complimentary upgrades and free rental car days.
You must be at least 25 years old to rent a car at Hertz with a debit card. Hertz may run a credit check when renting a car with a debit card. Airport locations will require two forms of a valid ID and proof of return travel with an itinerary.
If you don’t have two forms of valid ID, you can still pay for a car rental with a debit card but will need a credit card to make the reservation.
A deposit can range from $900-$2,000 when using a debit card which is a burden on your checking account; it’s better to hold a reservation with a credit card.
In the end, you can pay for your Hertz car rental with a credit card, Mastercard or Visa debit card, or cash.
Age Requirement: The minimum age to rent a car from Hertz is at least 20 years old in most states and Canada. But the minimum age to rent is 18 in New York and Michigan, and a minimum of 19 in Alabama and Nebraska.
Credit Check with Debit Cards: Most Hertz locations accept bank Mastercard and Visa debit cards. Most Hertz car rental locations will run a credit check for debit card renters to determine their creditworthiness.
The debit card, store value cards, or prepaid cards must have available funds to cover $500 plus the estimated rental charges.
Sign up for Hertz Gold Plus Rewards to get a 10% car rental discount.
Things to know about Hertz:
- Hertz Electric Car Rental – Rent a Tesla 3 from Hertz starting in November 2021. The fuel costs can be 70% lower than getting diesel or gasoline from a station. Plus, they emit no Nitrogen, CO2, and other air pollution.
- Pick You Up For Free – A Hertz neighborhood location can pick you up and drive you back and forth for free. The pick-up and drop-off services are available within a 15-minute drive.
- Charge a Deposit – It charges a holding fee up to $200 plus the estimated rental charge.
- Charge for Mileage – Most Hertz vehicles include free unlimited mileage, but some charge for mileage or have a cap plus a fee if you exceed the cap.
- Allow Towing – It’s allowed if the vehicle has a towbar, you have their approval, and the dimensions and weight doesn’t exceed the specified capacity.
- Charges for Tolls – The Toll Day Pass system charges a flat daily fee which allows for unlimited toll usage during the rental period. The Toll Day Pass cost is calculated based on your rental location and state.
- Free Cancellations – There are no cancellation fees for Pay Later bookings if you never show up.
- Price Match – Hertz will price match if you find a better price online and beat it by 10% off the base rate.
- Rents Car Seats – The company rents car seats for babies and children, including booster seats and ones for heavier weights.
- Accepts Cash – You can give a cash deposit to rent a car in certain circumstances, such as insurance bookings.
Book a nearby Hertz that checks credit when renting a cart with a debit card.
Thrifty Car Rental
Thrifty car rental has over 470 locations open late in the US and Canada, plus around 600 more worldwide. Hertz and Thrifty have a price match guarantee with each other since the same parent company owns them.
In most cases, Thrifty does a credit check for debit card customers. However, the company won’t approve your rental if they cannot determine your creditworthiness when you’re not reserving the car with a credit card.
Things to know about Thrifty:
- Car Seats – Avoid airline baggage charges by renting a car seat such as a booster or one for an infant or child.
- Offers Military and AARP Discounts – Offers government and military car rental discounts and perks, plus AAA and AARP discounts.
- Allow Spouse to Drive – Spouses can drive for free if the renter is a member of Thrifty’s Blue Chip programs. Otherwise, the spouse must meet the minimum age requirements, pay an additional fee, and have a valid driver’s license. The driver may also be required to have a driver’s record check.
- Doesn’t Include Insurance – Purchasing additional insurance is not required but can potentially cover personal accident insurance, personal effects coverage, and liability insurance supplement.
- 24/7 Roadside Assistance – Helps get keys made or into your car when locked out.
Thrifty Rental Requirements: Valid US-issued driver’s license for US residents with a credit card or debit card at participating locations, provide a physical street residential address, and meet qualification based on location.
Age Requirement: The Thrifty minimum age to rent a car is 20 years and older, except it’s 18 in Michigan and New York. Thrifty drivers under 25 will be assessed an additional Young Renter Fee.
Credit Check with Debit Cards: Most Thrifty car rental locations run a credit check to establish creditworthiness when you pay with a debit card. You’ll be declined if you cannot get credit approval or proper identification is not supplied.
Payless Car Rental
Payless Car Rental has about 120 locations open on Sunday on four continents. Join the Payless Perks Club for more savings, special promotions, and a faster booking process at airports and popular destinations.
It offers discounts for Southwest Airlines, AARP, Hyatt, Entertainment, Spirit Airlines, Hilton members, and more.
Payless Car Rental will do a credit check using a debit card at select locations to confirm creditworthiness assessment.
Things to know about Payless:
- Prepay and Save – Save up to 20% with Payless Pay Now prepay rates off the counter rate. You must book more than one day in advance, bring the same credit card you used to book, but there is a cancellation fee.
- AARP Discount – AARP Members save 5% on rentals with the promo code: A057400
- Unlimited Mileage – You can drive as far and anywhere you’d like without incurring additional mileage surcharges.
- Accepts Prepaid Cards – You can pay for your rental upon return only.
Payless Rental Requirements: Valid US-issued driver’s license for US residents with a credit card or debit card at participating locations.
Age Requirement: The Payless minimum age to rent a car is 21 years old. Renters 21 to 24 can rent Compact, Economy, Intermediate, Standard, Mini Vans, and Full-sized cars for an extra $25 per day surcharge.
Credit Check with Debit Cards: Most Payless car rental locations run a credit check to establish creditworthiness when you pay with a debit card. Plus, the renter must provide a secondary form of current identification.
You’ll be declined if you cannot get credit approval or proper identification is not supplied. $300, and the estimated cost of the rental will be charged to your debit card. The funds will be released up to 14 days after the vehicle is returned.
Book a Payless Car Rental without a credit card using a debit card.
Silvercar has over 30 US locations that feature no paperwork, no lines, and a premium car rental. It’s a fleet of Audi A4 sedans and Q5 SUVs that feature free Wi-Fi in-car and free premium car seats. The Silvercar Google Play and the iOS app lets customers reserve, select, and unlock the cars without delay.
Silvercar says they generally collect background and credit check information when creating a new account with the Audi car rental program.
Things to know about Silvercar:
- Pick You Up – They will bring the vehicle to you with contactless car delivery starting at $50 at participating locations. You must book the car at least 48 hours ahead of time.
- Unlimited Miles – All Audi rentals include unlimited driving miles at no extra charge.
- Round Trip Rentals Only – Silvercar locations do not allow one-way rentals
- Personal Car Rental App – Bypass the counter and use the Silvercar app to unlock your rental car and start driving. You can get the Audi key in the center console once it’s unlocked.
- Apple CarPlay – Audi has Apple Carplay rental cars through a direct USB connection. It allows access to your Phone, Music, Contacts, Navigation, Siri, and more.
Silvercar Rental Requirements: Provide a valid US-issued driver’s license for your first rental. It’s a one-time requirement unless your driver’s license expires or has changed, such as a name change, issuing state, etc.
Age Requirement: The Silvercar minimum age to rent a car is 22 years old. The exception is New York, where the minimum age to drive is 18 years old but costs an extra $75 a day in surcharges.
Rent a Silvercar using a promo code to save 15% on pricing on your first app-based rental.
What are the Benefits of Renting a Car with a Credit Card vs. Debit Card?
There are trade-offs of renting a car with a debit card vs. a credit card, including:
- More Choices: All car rentals accept credit cards. Thus, you’ll have more companies to choose from when renting with a credit card vs. a debit card.
- Skip the Security Deposit: With a credit card, no money is taken from your account, but you’ll have to put down $100+ when renting with a debit card. It may take weeks before you get your deposit back and funds released back into your checking account.
- No Limitations on Vehicle Types: Some companies may limit you to specific vehicle categories when renting with a debit card vs. a credit card. For instance, you may not be able to rent a luxury SUV or a premium car.
- No Extra Proof Required: You’ll be required to present extra identification documents as proof of identity and financial health when renting with a debit card. A credit card only requires a driver’s license.
- No Credit Checks: Some companies run a credit check to manage car rental risk to accept a debit card. You’ll also need to provide at least two forms of ID. Most companies won’t run a credit check when booking with a credit card.
- Forgo Primary Rental Coverage: Most credit card companies offer primary car rental coverage as a benefit to cardholders. However, when you rent with a debit card, you’ll have to pay for insurance coverage out of pocket. Plus, you risk a higher premium if you submit an accident claim through your own insurance.
Thus, you should always try to use a credit card when renting a car. But if you run out of options, you can still get a car rental without a credit card.
See our guide on booking a hotel room without a credit card.
Credit Checks for Car Rentals Summary
Car rental companies prefer you to use a credit card so that they are covered for any eventualities or unexpected costs. Most of them will still accept a debit card, but they’ll have to run a credit check to determine your rental risk.
That may make your credit score go down with an inquiry. Also, if your score is too low, you may be turned away or hit with less favorable rental terms.
However, some car rental companies don’t do credit checks when booking with a debit card. Some may even allow you to rent a car with cash, which is a boon if you belong to the unbanked population.
But renting a car with a debit card or cash comes with some strings attached. Since the rental company will be taking more risk to win your business, you’ll be required to put down a security deposit and provide additional documents to verify your identity and satisfy your current financial situation.
Some places may even impose age limits and restrictions when accepting debit cards. So be sure to check with the company and understand all the requirements before booking.
See our guide on booking taxi rides with the Curb app.