Is it possible to use car rental services at airports in Italy without having a credit card?

When I read the terms of conditions (e.g. Hertz, Budget, etc.) they state debit or credit card might be used to book, but credit card is needed on rental.

But how about using embossed debit card (not a credit card). Is it possible?

  • Are you aware of quite how large a deposit you'd have to leave if a car rental place was to allow it?
    – Gagravarr
    Commented Jan 15, 2014 at 22:11
  • 2
    No, to be honest. I have successfully rented a car in several other places in Europe without being asked for credit card. Commented Jan 15, 2014 at 22:28
  • See this question and this one for more related discussions. Car hire places normally want some way to get the money from you if you damage the car, up to whatever the insurance covers. Normally that'll be a credit card, otherwise typically they want some kind of other deposit
    – Gagravarr
    Commented Jan 15, 2014 at 23:25
  • Thanks. I had seen these. I am not an expert in finance, neither I am in car-rental business. Imagining the car is stolen/crashed, how much can they charge the credit card's owner? And secondly, I thought this is what insurance is for. And even skipping insurance - even if 10% of their customers were bad guys or lousy drivers - they should be fine with requiring a deposit of like 1000 EUR (1/10 of car's value). Commented Jan 15, 2014 at 23:32
  • 2
    Why would a credit card make it easier to get money from me than a debit card? Any credit card I've ever had had a far smaller limit than my typical balance on my current account.
    – gerrit
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 17:16

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately, this is almost impossible. They normally accept it for the reservation, but you are required to provide a credit card in order to actually get the car.

But there's more. The credit card must belong to the same person that made the reservation.

I've checked the terms of the most common rental services such as Hertz.it, Maggiore and Avis, and they all clearly highlight the same requirement.

The only advices I can provide you are:

  • depending on where you land, try to see if there is a local car rental service. They normally have lower requirements
  • try to contact one of those services and explain them the issue. They may help you.
  • 1
    Agreed. Small rental companies might not even need the debit card. Though they would certainly want a cash deposit.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Jan 15, 2014 at 22:54
  • Thanks. I called two I could find contact for (Budget and Maggiore) and they explicitly said they need a credit card. One lady asked for "high numbers", which I believe she meant an embossed card. So maybe an embossed debit card would be enough for them. But I wouldn't risk landing there and being denied renting a car. Commented Jan 15, 2014 at 23:34
  • And local car rental service is most likely not an option this time for me. Although that might be a good hint for others. My plans included returning the car at another airport in Italy, so it's unlikely a little car-rental shop would have another office there. Commented Jan 15, 2014 at 23:36
  • +1 on finding a local rental car company, and avoid the chains. You might get a beater, but they'll be more flexible in accommodating your payment situation. Commented Feb 11, 2015 at 1:55

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