After planning an extensive trip, you’re ready to investigate car rentals and get something booked and reserved. Browsing around, you may notice that most companies have a very specific set of terms for car rentals with debit card. How can you gather as much information as possible on the differences between our debit card car rentals terms and the ones applied to credit card purchases and reservations?
The fine print might seem daunting, but there are six (6) key requirements you should keep an eye open for when scrolling through and learning.
Knowing what to look for reduces the stress of reading through the fine print and gives you full clarity on whether a rental company suits your needs. Although you should still read the Terms of Agreement in its entirety, here are the most valuable things you should know to realize how Yaran Cash Auto Rental can help you, and you don’t have to waste time getting rejected:
1. Age Restrictions
These days, being an “adult” doesn’t always guarantee you access to everything. Rising car insurance over the years for young teens and adults created significant hurdles for anyone under the age of 25 to score a car rental. At our agency you need to be 21 years old+ and have a valid Drivers License.
Most car renters use statistics like the one from AAA and the CDC to leverage over rules and regulations for customers. In recent years, a study performed by the AAA Foundation for Safety Traffic showed that drivers are most likely to be involved in accidents until they begin to enter their mid-20s.
Decades-long history of poor driving with teenagers and young adults keeps car renters’ standards strict. Most require that you have a cosigner if you’re under 25 years of age. However, some companies have lightened their policy but may require you to pay with a credit card if you’re under 25 (shows a sense of responsibility to maintain your own credit card account).
Know the policies placed by the renter before heading to their location if you’re under 25 to avoid being rejected for lack of a cosigner or credit card. You can also Contact Us to avoid this hassle if you are over 21 with a valid Drivers License.
2. Initial Deposit
Commonly, most car rental companies prefer customers to place a credit card on file. This allows the location to place a pre-authorization that reserves the car and officiates a form of payment for any fees incurred. Even if you have a credit card near its limit, they can still charge the card if needed, even if it exceeds your allotted credit limit.
Unfortunately, debit card car rentals don’t have the same guarantees in place. Since the card is only placed “on file” throughout the duration of your rental, actual charges aren’t applied until you’ve turned the vehicle back to a valid drop-off location. This can lead to declined cards causing the rental companies a significant loss in profits since the product was already used.
To combat this, most rental companies require debit card purchasers to place a pre-authorized deposit down. Typically, you’ll see charges between $200-$500, though it can be higher or lower depending on the method used to calculate the down deposit. This can cause a huge disruption in your travel plans if this cost isn’t calculated in ahead of time.
Even worse, most renters won’t return the deposit for up to 14-days after you return the car. This gives them time to inspect the vehicle and charge any damage fees. Also, it covers any losses in the event your debit card declines upon returning the car. Always check your finalized bill for any potential errors that caused the renter to overcharge you.
For locals we have a Cash Deposit for our rentals of 150$ minimum, and for out of town or out of state friends we charge 350$. These are outlined in our policies at this link.
3. Credit Check for Debit Card Car Rentals
It’s not uncommon for certain debit card car renters (not us at Yaran) to check your credit report through Equifax before approving your application. It’s important to know whether a renter plans to pursue this route if you’re using a debit card, since you may not have good credit. Most companies use this as an alternative to credit cards to see if you, the borrower, has a good financial history to ensure payment.
You can check your credit score for free at Credit Karma. I personally use Credit Karma for peace of mind that I am handling my business and fixing my credit. If you suffer from bad credit or no credit, it’s better to find a car rental with no credit card and no credit check as you will deal with hoops to jump through as laid out in this article and this article.
4. Additional Forms of Identification
When you opt from using a credit card for your rental, most companies ask that you bring multiple forms of ID. Besides your state-issued license and debit card, you may need to bring one or more of the following:
• Military ID;
• Utility bill from the past 60 days; or
• Current vehicle insurance/registration.
Going through the claims department with a credit card for a fraudulent charge works more favorably for both you and the company than with a debit card. To combat this type of fraud, most renters ask for additional forms of identification as valid proof. In most instances, one alternative form of ID works well. However, it’s important to contact each company beforehand to get the specifics first so you’re well prepared.
5. Vehicle and Location Restrictions
Typically, most rental companies have only one known location restriction — the airport. Renters discourage you from parking your car in the airport parking lot and jet-setting across the world. It not only leaves a vehicle unavailable for rent (by someone who can actively use it), but it also leaves it vulnerable to break-ins and vandalism. It’s encouraged to take the rental back before boarding an airplane.
However, debit card car rentals may be subjected to more vehicular restrictions than location. Each company works different and enforce different rules. Most only limit the luxury and premium vehicles for in-state debit card customers, while out-of-state customers receive a much more extensive list of unrentable cars. Ask your renter what restrictions apply to your specific case over the phone.
6. Cleanliness and Gas Restoration
To avoid incurring excessive fees, ask your renter how much gas needs to be in the car when returning it and the vehicle inspection list. Most rental companies expect you to return the car back in like-new condition and with gas in the car for the next renter. The video below gives you a step-by-step tutorial on how to detail-clean a car, which helps you avoid any unnecessary fees.
Always Read the Fine Print When Doing a Debit Card Car Rental
While it may not be the easiest process to use a debit card, it’s more than do-able when you’re lacking options. Contact Us at 619-340-0999 about how we make these terms easy to avoid any wasted time. Be thorough and ensure we can give you direct answers. Doing recon on each company beforehand guarantees you an ideal travel plan you were expecting and Yaran Cash Auto Rental is confident we make the process the simplest.