No Credit Check Car Rentals
No credit check car rentals are more common than you would imagine. While the biggest auto rental corporations won’t loan cars without a major credit card and a detailed credit check, other agencies do.
Midsize car-for-rent chains like EZ Rent a Car and Rent a Wreck offer alternatives to Hertz and Enterprise. Local mom-and-pop stores are found in all 50 states and their business model is much different. These businesses have much different renting policies than their competitors. With cash or debit and a willingness to put up a deposit, you can get the transportation you need without going through a credit check.
Can I Use Cash for Auto Rentals?
Using cash for auto rentals is a possibility, if you use the optional services I described above. Again, be prepared to leave a deposit of a couple of hundred dollars to secure your rental. This is standard, though you might find the odd franchise which requires a smaller deposit or no deposit at all. Call ahead to learn about policies.
When renting vehicles with cash and a deposit, remember to get a receipt and don’t lose this record of the transaction until you get your deposit back. The business renting you a sports car, truck, or motorcycle is putting trust in you without a background check or credit check. At the same time, you’re putting trust in these people to return your cash. You might have to do this to get the car rental you need, but it’s best to have proof if a dispute happens.
What About Debit Cards?
Debit cards are a possibility in more car rental offices than you might expect. This isn’t as widespread practice yet, but more car agencies offer debit card rentals each year. Bad economic times require all organizations to adapt and improvise and rentals businesses of all sorts have to be adaptive. When less people have credit cards, you have to open up your rental policies or lose part of your customer base.
Debit card car rentals allow you to rent autos with no credit check required. The credit check is replaced with other forms of assurance, usually the deposit. These work just like cash deposits, except you’ll be credited the amount of the deposit onto your debit card at some later date. Expect a delay of 5 to 10 days, maybe more, before this money reappears on your debit card balance.
One reason debit cards work so well is they represent money on the barrel. Debited money is direct from a bank account or other store of saved money, so it’s as good as cash. Because you have a record or money trail, it’s even better from the point of view of many retailers and customers.
Which Car Agencies Allow Cash and Debit Rentals?
But if cash and debit cards work so well, you might where can you get these amazing deals? When you see the big agencies don’t allow renting without a detailed credit check, you might wonder what’s up with these claims that straight up dollars, debit payments, and gift cards somehow work.
My answer is you can get different policies when you dip down into the alternative and independent car rental locations. America is a huge place with a lot of people spread across the land. Hertz and Enterprise aren’t your only options, so learn about the other alternatives out there. These vendors need your business and they will be happy to take your money.
Learn about Car Rental Agencies
Use the Internet to research car rental agencies in your area. Once you start searching at multiple search engines, you’ll find a much wider world of renting agencies than you ever thought possible.
You might go to Google and find big name companies like Alamo, Budget, Hertz, or Avis. You might go to Bing and learn about Advantage, Eurocar, Sixt, Payless, or Thrifty Car Rental. All of these are established agencies who have been thriving in the automobile rental industry for years now. But when you go to Yahoo, it’s possible you’ll read about an up-and-coming company that you’ve never heard about, such as EZ Rent a Car, which has low rates, laxer credit checks, and offices in more cities than you might expect.
EZ Auto Rental is an Orlando based agency and has locations in places like Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale, and other Florida cities. What you might not know is that EZ RentaCar has agencies at prominent airfields like Atlanta International Airport and Los Angeles LAX, but also in cities out west like Denver and Dallas.
Mom-and-Pop Car Rental Locations
It doesn’t stop at EZ Car Rentals. I recently read about a place near Atlanta, Georgia called “Cash Rentals” that offers debit and cash auto rentals. When I say near Atlanta, that’s what I mean. Cash Rentals has two locations in rural counties in the Greater Atlanta Municipal Area (Mableton in Cobb County and Decatur in Dekalb County, Georgia). They service Atlanta and its famous airport, but you won’t find them in an Atlanta phone book or directory. Those are the businesses you need to learn about when you want no credit check car rentals.
I’ve read advice that people should use Rent-a-Wreck if they don’t mind driving an older car. That’s a bit misleading, because RentaWreck automobiles tend to have between 40,000 and 70,000 miles on them–probably about the average for all the vehicles on the road. This mid-sized auto rental agency works closely with local car dealerships and auto repair shops, so you often get more personal attention than you would with big car agencies.
Most important, Rent a Wreck is less rigid about credit check policies. These are franchises, so the rules and policies change from one outlet to another. This also means you get no one-way rentals. Most of the time, this means you rent cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans without a credit check and only with cash or debit. Expect to pay a deposit of $100 to $200 to cover damages, since the owners won’t be able to charge your credit card. Otherwise, this is a good option in about half of the U.S. states (where Rentawreck has vehicle rental offices).
Once you stop renting at the large car rental companies like Enterprise, Avis, Hertz, and National, you should be able to start finding good deals with bad credit. Once you look underneath the brand names and famous ad campaigns, you’ll find smaller rental businesses all over America that offer good car rentals with no credit check.