I don't currently have a credit card and would prefer not to get one. Can I use a regular debit card instead to leave a deposit?

This question is focused on Europe and major car rental agencies, but can be answered from the global perspective if there's a universal answer.

  • I can add one data point and that is: no. They want a real credit card and alternatively you can leave them with a huge deposit. – mts Jul 14 '16 at 17:00
  • @mts I wonder what's the reasoning behind this. It's not like you can charge unlimited amounts of money on a credit card, they usually have a fixed limit. – JonathanReez Jul 14 '16 at 17:02
  • They can lock in a certain amount (and do so AFAIK) but not sure what happens when said amount exceeds your limit. – mts Jul 14 '16 at 17:07
  • Your question has inspired me to ask that one: money.stackexchange.com/questions/67368/… – GeoLog81 Jul 14 '16 at 18:39
  • Where is your debit card issued? Related Q for Italy and older Q for Poland – mts Jul 14 '16 at 21:45

Speaking for France, The majority of payment cards that are issued are debit cards.

Car rental agencies would be quickly out of business if they refused them.


Probably a question of insurances. Major credit cards (visa, MC, AMEX) are internationally recognized compared to your local bank debit card.

(after a quick google regarding US rental with a debit card) When renting with a debit card, most agencies will do a credit check and that might not be possible when renting in Europe (even from a international company like Avis or Hertz)

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