Every rental car company wants to have some form of secured funds to be able to charge should you breach your rental contract or damage their investments. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to use a credit card. Debit cards are just as functional to rent a car as other forms of plastic; this is in large part because they are connected with the major credit card companies. This in conjunction with the connection to your bank account means that they will be able to pursue payment of any losses that you may have caused.
Just because they can, doesn’t mean they like to. In many cases rental car companies will pressure you to use a credit card and even lie to you, saying that they can only accept a credit card. This is because debit cards are a little bit trickier to charge in the event of something going wrong. However, with persistence you can get the company to cave and they will accept the debit card but will often times make you jump through additional hoops.
Instead of just securing a deposit via the card, which they do with both credit and debit cards, they often times require you to also have a cash deposit that you leave with them. In many cases the two deposits will total between $1000 and $1500 making it extremely important that you are sure you have the funds in your bank account to allow them to hold this money and also to survive for up to two weeks. Once you’ve returned your rental car safely, you will be refunded your cash deposit on the spot and the process of transferring the card deposit will begin.