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I was wondering how difficult it is to rent a car in United States (Las Vegas airport) without having a credit card or a debit card belonging to Visa or Mastercard circuits.

I googled for some information and checked the payment policies of the main car rental agencies and the information I obteined varies considerably.

In the car rental agencies web sites it is never stated that you can rent the car "for sure" if you pay cash. It's always stated that it "may be possible" to pay cash.

I would like to know if other travelers had experiences where they weren't allowed to pay cash for a car rental when renting the car in Las Vegas airport or in United States in general.

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Are you aware that if you rent a car without a credit/debit card, you'll need to leave a very hefty cash deposit, along with normally paying the rental fee up front? –  Gagravarr May 7 '13 at 9:53
    
Yes Gagravarr, probably your comment could be part of a response. I found out that some agencies require additional 30 $ per day as deposit if you want to pay cash, other people tell about 1000 $ deposit. What I'm looking for is real experiences in this field or, even better, somebody employed in this field willing to explain the policy without using "maybe", "it could be", "if you are lucky" and so on. –  shard May 7 '13 at 9:57
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I've never tried it, but I've been stuck in line behind people who have. It's never quick, it always seems to involve handing over a huge pile of cash (think $1000+ - normally more than the credit card hold would be), and I've seen people turned away because that rental company didn't offer it. I can't tell you which in Las Vegas will do it though –  Gagravarr May 7 '13 at 10:07
    
I am pretty sure you HAVE to pay by credit card so they can still charge you in case of any damage discovered after you brought the car back, or to pay for tickets the rental company receive for the time when you had the car. The credit card is the "insurance" that the company can still get money from you after you walked out of the door. –  iHaveacomputer May 7 '13 at 10:12

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Generally speaking (although there may well be exceptional circumstances) this is not done practice. Some car rental firms may allow you to partially pay in cash at the end of the rental period, if no damage has been done to the vehicle, but this is not the preferred method of payment. A credit/debit card is required, for the purposes of any damage incurred, but you will not be required to leave it behind with the rental company - the details will just be kept on file, in case any problems arise.

However the possibility does exist (usually by putting down a large cash deposit as outlined in @Gagravarr comments above) and if you really want to pursue this avenue I suggest reading the points outlined in How to Rent a Car With a Cash Deposit or How to Rent a Car With Cash

Update

A couple of days ago I contacted Alamo Rent-a-Car regarding this via

email: alamoukweb@rentpremier.com

There response was:

Dear Simon,

Thank you for your email.

The main driver (payee) has to pay with a credit card in their name.

Kind regards,

Obviously different companies will have different policies regarding this, however this seems to be the general consensus.

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I mark your answer as accepted and I improve it with what I was replied to by Alamo when I asked them the same question. "Cash payment will only be accepted upon return of the rental vehicle. In order for you to pick up you must provide the rental agent with a valid credit card or debit card in the renter's name.". So, it really seems to be hardly possible to rent a car without having a credit card –  shard May 9 '13 at 10:49
    
@shard I contacted Avis at the same time that I contacted Alamo, however have yet to receive a response from them. I am guessing that in exceptional circumstances, if you were to go in person to a rent-a-car company with a large amount of cash anything is possible, as money talks. –  Simon May 9 '13 at 11:15

As many pointed out the issue is what happens when you leave the parking lot with their car. The car as it stands is liable for all things that happen with its car such as Traffic camera fine, Uncollected tolls, Accidents unless it can reasonably prove who was driving. That's why most require a credit card, and an ID under the same name. Renting for cash will necessitate some other form of your identification, such as a Utility Bill, which is the case for Las Vegas Cash Car Rentals, and Apex Car Rentals

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