I have a credit card in my name, but no driving licence. My wife has a driving licence but no credit card. How do I get a rental car in Iceland? Is it possible to rent one?

For example, in this link, it is said:

Can someone else pay for my rental?

No – Payment must be made via a credit card in the lead driver’s name.

  • 1
    Sure, why not? Your wife is the driver, you pay for it. Presumably you are travelling together. Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 22:22
  • 6
    @icelander Why are you quoting the FAQs for Sixt UK when you are looking for a rental car on Iceland? Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 22:44
  • 2
    @Tor-EinarJarnbjo - Sixt UK isn't the only car rental company to require the CC be in the driver's name. It is a fairly common rule with major car rental companies.
    – user13044
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 0:23
  • 1
    Why not buy a prepaid master card? Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 1:51
  • 12
    @CountIblis: Car rental companies often insist on a "real" credit card, one with a substantial credit limit, so that they can charge damages to it if necessary. If they do let you use a prepaid card, they'll probably want to block out a deposit amount of several hundred euro, so you'll have to put a large amount of money on the prepaid card. And then when you get done, you have the inconvenience of having several hundred euros of your money stuck on a prepaid card. Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 2:38

3 Answers 3


Contact your credit card issuer, and ask for a second card on your account with your wife's name printed on it. Most credit card companies will happily do this.

  • 12
    And possibly charge a yearly fee for it.
    – user4188
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 0:33
  • 19
    @chx: Possibly, but in my experience, usually not. The expense to the card issuer is negligible; if having an extra card leads you to make any significant amount of extra purchases, they'll come out well ahead in merchant fees and/or interest. So they really want to encourage you to get an extra card, and fees would tend to discourage you. Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 2:40
  • Usually the first supplementary card is free for the first year. Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 11:32
  • 1
    @chx To add to what Nate said, I've never heard of this. I've churned through a plethora of cards and have never experienced an account that charged for extra cards. In fact a couple of them gave me more points for having a card issued to a second person. Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 16:26
  • cibc.com/ca/visa/aerogold-visa-infinite-card.html Each Additional Card: $50.
    – user4188
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 17:13

Contact a local car rental company instead of international companies. Talk to them and ask how they can handle such a case. I am pretty sure local companies in Iceland are more able and willing to handling such a case.

With the big car rental companies, local agents often have restricted responsibilities and possibilities for handling more complex cases. I made my experiences...

Or book your car via a travel agency, then you may not need a credit card at all.


Here are a few alternative options to the other answers:

  1. Buy a pre-paid credit card as per Count Iblis's comment, but ensure that there are sufficient funds for them to pre-authorise the deposit. Call the car rental company in advance to check that (a) they will accept pre-paid cards, and (b) to find out how much they will attempt to pre-authorise so that you can ensure you have sufficient funds on there. Be aware that if you use this option, you will need to find a subsequent use for the excess funds that you had to leave on it to cover the pre-authorisation. Most cards will let you withdraw funds from a pre-paid card, although many charge a fee for this.

  2. Pay using your credit card, and use cash or your wife's debit card to make the deposit when you arrive. Call the car rental company in advance to make sure they will accept this. I have personally done this in the UK. I paid using a friend's credit card, then presented my own debit card upon arrival. They charged me £500 which they returned when I dropped the car off (because pre-authorisations do not work with debit cards). This works because paying for the car is a separate transaction to presenting your credit card upon arrival. Or at least it is if you use Expedia (and presumably, other similar sites):

The driver must present a valid driver's license and credit card in their name upon pick-up. The credit card is required as a deposit when renting any vehicle. The deposit amount is held by the car hire company. Please ensure sufficient funds are available on the card.

  1. Have your wife apply for a credit card. Unless she has a bad credit rating, this shouldn't be too difficult. If she has a bad credit rating, then select a company that specialises in that. They usually have very high interest rates, but that isn't a problem as long as you only use it for its intended purpose i.e. book the car, and repay the balance immediately. If you need to make the car rental booking in a hurry, then pay with your card as per option 2, then apply for your wife's card and bring that with you for the deposit.
  • It's not so much about presenting the card, but really what it says in your quote. They will authorize a deposit sum on the credit card and release the authorization once you give the car back. At no point have they taken the money. Only if you break the car, they capture the authorized amount and your card gets charged, which leads to your CC company paying them the deposit.
    – simbabque
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 10:48
  • @simbabque Yes, I'm aware of that, and that is part of my answer (see point 1 about pre-authorisations). In point 2 I was talking about doing it with a debit card. With debit cards the system you describe is not possible (at least in the UK), which is why they do indeed have to take the money and refund it later, if you use a debit card (and assuming they accept debit cards, which is why I advised asking them advance). I will bold that part to make it clearer that I'm talking about debit cards.
    – JBentley
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 11:10
  • @simbabque The reason I made the distinction around the word present is to highlight that the card you use when you show up does not have to be the same card you used to pay for the car.
    – JBentley
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 11:12
  • Ah. Well, I just thought I'd add a bit more technical detail about how that whole CC stuff works. The bold debit card makes sense. And maybe also add that with the prepaid card, you should make sure that it has a way to transfer the money back, or you will need to actually spend it using that card later.
    – simbabque
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 11:13
  • Credit cards for people with no or bad credit history not only have high interest, but also low limits. As a new UK resident, I have such a credit card. It has 60% APR and a credit limit of £250. That doesn't do for a longish car rental in Iceland or elsewhere.
    – gerrit
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 11:40

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