Can You Get a Car Rental With No Deposit Required? Answered

Although your security deposit is refunded to you after your return a rental car, it can still be inconvenient to have to pay a security deposit upfront before you can rent a car. Unfortunately, most of the major rental car companies in the U.S. require renters to provide a deposit — this minimizes the risk of allowing customers to drive off in a vehicle that could end up lost, damaged, or stolen.

The places where you are most likely to find a company willing to rent a vehicle with no security deposit are in international vacation destinations. For example, a company called Sunny Cars allows people to drive off in a vehicle with no deposit at all — credit, debit, or cash. But, this no-deposit option is only available in destinations like Ibiza, Majorca, The Canary Islands, Greece, and Portugal. This may be a good option for people vacationing abroad, though it is likely that these rental vehicles will be well-used. In the U.S, you should expect to pay a security deposit almost any time you rent a car, though there may be some flexibility in how you make the security deposit.

Options for Making a Security Deposit

Credit cards remain the most common way to place a security deposit for a rental vehicle, though some companies now allow people to use a select number of debit cards and even cash when making a deposit. Keep in mind, though, that using an alternative form of payment other than a credit card often comes with a number of time-consuming and potentially expensive conditions. It may be more convenient and cost-effective to simply use a credit card to make the deposit.

The typical security deposit that is charged by the leading car rental companies is $200, and it is refunded after you return the car, undamaged and at the appropriate time. Below, we explain the security deposit requirements at most of the major rental car companies in the U.S., starting with the best overall options.

What We Recommend

Currently, Avis is the only rental car company that does not require a security deposit or account hold for rental reservations, as long as you present an acceptable credit card. If you need to pay with a debit card or cash, consider renting with Hertz or National. These companies only require a $200 deposit for reservations made with a credit or debit card, though you may be required to provide proof of your identity (occasionally multiple forms) if you choose debit. You should also be able to make a deposit in cash with these companies if you have proper authorization.

Security Deposit Requirements for U.S. Rental Car Companies

1. Avis

  • Deposit amount: None if you present an acceptable credit card at the time of reservation.[1]
  • Payment method(s): Most major credit cards, as well as Mastercard and Visa debit cards[1]
  • Details: If you pay with a debit card, a hold will be placed on the card for at least the estimated cost of the rental.[1]
  • Get rates or book online

2. Hertz

  • Deposit amount: $200 at the time of reservation[2]
  • Payment method(s): Most major credit cards, as well as Visa and Mastercard debit cards at a rental office and with proper identity verification[2]
  • Details: When making the security deposit using a debit card, you must also provide proof of a return airline flight to coincide with the rental and present two valid forms of government-issued identification. You may be able to pay in cash with a Cash Deposit ID Card.[2]
  • Get rates or book online

3. National

  • Deposit amount: $200 at the time a reservation is made[3]
  • Payment method(s): Most major credit cards, as well as Discover, Mastercard, and Visa debit cards[4]
  • Details: Credit cards are preferred for security deposits, including the Network and JCB cards. Cash security deposits and rentals are permitted at select locations, and under specific conditions, including proof of employment and an additional charge of $500.[4]
  • Get rates or book online

4. Sixt Rent a Car

  • Deposit amount: $200 at the time of reservation[5]
  • Payment method(s): Most major credit cards, as well as debit cards at some locations[5]
  • Details: People wishing to rent a car without a credit card must provide a return airline ticket upon pick-up at an airport rental location. Customers without a credit card may also be required to present two recent utility bills that match the name and address on the driver’s license. Rentals without a credit card or security deposit are limited to economy class vehicles.[5]
  • Get rates or book online

5. Alamo

  • Deposit amount: $200 at the time of reservation[6]
  • Payment method(s): Most major credit cards and Discover, Mastercard, and Visa debit cards (Note that some locations accept cash payments for rentals, but cash is never accepted for deposits)[7]
  • Details: Security deposit and payment must be made by a valid credit card (unless at a location where debit is accepted), and the name on the card must match the name of the person renting a vehicle.[7]
  • Get rates or book online

6. Thrifty

  • Deposit Amount: $200 at the time of reservation[8]
  • Payment Method(s): Most major credit cards, as well as Discover, Mastercard, and Visa debit cards.[8]
  • Details: Thrifty also accepts cash if you have a Cash Deposit ID Card. The company will still perform a credit check, even if you are not paying with a credit card.[8]
  • Get rates or book online

7. Dollar Rent-A-Car

  • Deposit amount: $200 at the time of reservation[9]
  • Payment method(s): Most major credit cards and debit cards; you can make a deposit in cash if you have a Cash Deposit ID Card[10]
  • Details: At airport locations, people using a debit card to make a security deposit will be required to provide proof of a return airline flight and two pieces of government-issued ID.[11]
  • Get rates or book online

8. Enterprise

  • Deposit amount: $200 if paying with a credit card, and as high as $300 if paying with an approved debit card. Exact amounts can vary by location.[12]
  • Payment method(s): Most major credit cards and Discover, Mastercard, and Visa debit cards[13]
  • Details: You cannot make a security deposit in cash. The preferred method of paying a security deposit is a valid credit card.[13]
  • Get rates or book online

Our article has more information about getting a student discount at Enterprise.

9. Budget

  • Deposit amount: 25% of the rental or $200, whichever is greater, when paying with a credit card; when paying with a debit card, the deposit can be as high as $500. The security deposit can be as high as $500 when paying with a debit card.[14]
  • Payment method(s): Most major credit cards, and debit cards at some locations[14]
  • Details: You cannot pay a security deposit with cash. Credit cards are the preferred method for making security deposits.[14]
  • Get rates or book online

10. Rent-A-Wreck

  • Deposit amount: $150 to $250, depending on the location[15]
  • Payment method(s): Most major credit cards, as well as debit cards with proper identity verification[15]
  • Details: Deposit amounts will increase for additional drivers. You cannot pay a security deposit in cash.[15]
  • Get rates or book online

11. U-Save

  • Deposit amount: Starting at $200; can be up to $1,500 for renters aged 21 to 25. Exact amounts will vary by location.[16]
  • Payment method(s): Most major credit cards; debit card acceptance varies by state and rental office.[16]
  • Details: At airport rental locations, proof of a return airline ticket must be shown at the time of vehicle pick-up.[16]
  • Get rates or book online

12. Fox Rent-A-Car

  • Deposit amount: $150 to $1,000, depending on the rental location[17]
  • Payment method(s): Most major credit cards[17]
  • Details: Cash and debit cards are not accepted forms of payment.[17]
  • Get rates or book online

To compare more features of these companies, including their price ranges, see our car rental selection tool. We also list the car rental companies that don’t require credit checks.

  1. https://www.avis.com/en/help/usa-faqs/debit-card-policy[][][]
  2. https://www.hertz.com/rentacar/reservation/reviewmodifycancel/templates/rentalTerms.jsp?KEYWORD=PAYMENT&EOAG=STTT11[][][]
  3. National customer service (844) 393-9989[]
  4. https://www.nationalcar.com/en/support/car-rental-faqs/rental-requirements.html[][]
  5. https://www.sixt.com/faqs/payment-deposit-approvals/#/[][][]
  6. Alamo customer service (888) 233-8749[]
  7. https://www.alamo.com/en_US/car-rental-faqs/credit-debit-payment-options.html[][]
  8. https://www.thrifty.com/AboutUs/content/GeneralPolicies.aspx[][][]
  9. https://www.dollar.com/AboutUs/GeneralPolicies.aspx#AcceptableChargeCards[]
  10. https://www.dollar.com/AboutUs/GeneralPolicies.aspx[]
  11. https://www.dollar.com/AboutUs/GeneralPolicies.aspx#UsingDebitCardsPay[]
  12. Enterprise customer service (855) 266-9565[]
  13. https://www.enterprise.com/en/help/faqs/forms-of-payment.html[][]
  14. https://www.budget.com/budgetWeb/html/en/customer/commonquestions/[][][]
  15. https://www.rentawreck.com/rental-requirements.htm[][][]
  16. U-Save customer service (800) 272-8728[][][]
  17. https://www.foxrentacar.com/en/faqs.html[][][]

11 comments

  • I have been renting cars for 30 years and have never had a deposit of any amount. Last time i rented was August 2017 and no deposit.

    • Kathleen Wilson says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Wiener,
      Thanks for sharing your experience. A lot of times, car rental agencies charge the security deposit in the form of a hold on your card — once you return the car, the hold is removed, without any money actually being deducted from your account.

      • Always Avis. Years ago Enterprise. Yes i do have excellent credit but no one has ever told me a deposit might be necessary. I only asked the question because my 28 year old son and his girlfriend rented a car and were charged a deposit.

    • Me either. I just rented through Alamo today and no deposit or hold on my card. They said the deposit depends on the location.

  • Use UHaul. They charge for mileage and it is not the cheapest way to go, but the pickup or van is ok to drive and there is no deposit.
    The customer service people are nicer too.

    • Kathleen Wilson says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Susan,
      Thank you for sharing your experience with our readers! While we don’t usually think of u-haul as a car rental company, this is excellent advice for people who are looking to rent a moving pickup, van, or trailer and with no deposit.

      • But it should appear somewhere on the receipt i would think. I always use credit card not debit card.

    • Laura Bachmann says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Joe,

      The company may choose not to hold the deposit for certain drivers or certain payment methods. Thrifty, for example, says “Often times, rental car companies place a hold on the account linked to your card. It’s basically a deposit that they’ll hold until you return the vehicle.” And for Alamo, the $200 deposit applies when you pay by credit card. You may have rented from these and fallen into an exception to the usual rule that they will hold a deposit. Thanks for your comment, we’ve updated the article to reflect that the deposits are not required all of the time from these two companies.

      • ThriftyDiva says:

        I just tried today and Alamo now charges a deposit. It’s 15% if using visa and $200 dollars for all other cards. Okay