Well I know this is a bicycle forum but I figured folks that only own a bike might have had a similar problem like I am right now. I am in need of a car rental but I only have a debit card and the rental places want a credit card unless I give a 400 buck deposit. If they hold 400 dollars for the car I wont be able to afford to buy gas for the trip. Does anyone know where or how I can rent a car using my debit card and not having to give such a large deposit?
Also how is the biking in philly?
Have you tried AVIS? Last time I rented from there, they put a hold on my debit card, but it was for a small amount ~$150 or so. I don’t remember the exact amount.
i second the notion of shopping around. i haven’t rented a car for like two years, but last time i rented (enterprise), it was like $200 or so.
Well I have been shopping around today and its not looking good for me. With out a major credit card the smallest deposit I can leave is 400 bucks. Thats the quote from 3 major car rental places. On top of the deposit they check your credit score and I know mine is rather low. I am going to keep trying but its looking like I might have to cancel my trip and save up a little more money.
Mulled that idea around but I am planning on going to visit family and friends in CT also. The problem would be getting around once I get there. Not much for public transit where I would be.
While it may not address your immediate need, zipcar is a great alternative to the other car rental companies even for trips outside the city. For a recent trip out to MI the zipcar cost for ~4 days was almost the same as the cheapest quote from the other companies, BUT with zipcar the gas was free (the daily allotment covered the mileage for the trip and beyond the daily allotment the cost was only around 50 cents per gallon).
And no lien against the card.
The additional cost is a yearly membership fee, and the application process takes a week or so.
Ty all for the help. as it stands now it seems hertz is the easiest company to rent from. They only want a 200 dollar deposit. Only problem is the credit check. If i cant pass that I might be shit out of luck as they say. Next move is to go to a local office and start the process. From what I read this can be done it just takes a lot longer and ties up more money.
Btw about a year and a half ago I rented a 16 ft box truck to move from CT to pittsburgh. If I remember it was from penske and it was rather easy. They didnt need a credit check or plane tickets to prove anything. I just figured it should be harder to rent a big truck then a friggin ford focus.
It’s harder to do jumps in a big truck than a Ford Focus. Maybe that’s it.
On a related but distinct topic, there is a Living Social special today for discounted Zipcar membership and driving credit. I’m not necessarily trying to promote the company or anything, but it does look like a good value. If you’ve been meaning to join, this could be a good opportunity.
I use http://www.creditkarma.com to track my credit score for free each month. It calculates an approximate score but it’s pretty close. They have a so-so credit card search engine with listings by credit score, but some of their figures are off. Once you know your approximate credit, use http://www.nerdwallet.com and http://www.scorematch.com to find a card to match your score. Even if you have low credit, you should be able to easily get a starter card that fits your score. Just don’t attempt to apply for a card above your score, or you’ll be denied and be hit with a hard inquiry which dings your score even more.
Amend: The scorematch link is http://www.financeglobe.com/ScoreMatch/
joe, those links are awesome, thank you! I always thought the Big Three were a racket in league with the Evil Empire, nice to know I can thwart them
REcently, I flubbed arrangements for a rental for a weekend trip to DC. I went witht eh zipc ar instead.
There are some really irritating thing (like, rent a car on the phone? They do’t tell you how much it will cost you without making a separate call to the company), but it was wasn’t as bad as I thought.
Rental car : $160 + gas
Zip car : $265 gas included.
I used about 20 gallons of gas, so the Zip car was pricier, but not excessively so.
In the past, I’ve found that using a zip car for a trip to the store and errands for a total of 4 hours costs roughly the same as a standard rental car for a day.
If you reserve through their webpage, you get an accurate billing summary before you commit. I don’t know with “on the phone”. I’ve reserved cars “on my phone” through the data side, and got a summary as well. Never called a human to reserve one.
Using a zipcar for about 6 hours is roughly the same as a zipcar rental for the day.
Maybe you know the specifics, but I’d imagine the insurance is much better with zipcar than your rental place? I think $500 deductible and everything else is covered for zipcar.
If you don’t live down the street from your neighborhood rental place, zipcar is possibly more convenient.
Ian–thanks. I have been on the verge of signing up for a couple of months now. I’m also about to buy another car in the next couple of months. Still going for the membership, though, for times when I need a truck or something.
@dwillen If you reserve through their webpage, you get an accurate billing summary before you commit. I don’t know with “on the phone”. I’ve reserved cars “on my phone” through the data side, and got a summary as well. Never called a human to reserve one.
When I complained about the lack of price estimate, the guy got all huffy about me not having access to a computer. (-2 for them).
The phone reservation is done with phone tree menues and no access to humans.
phone trees are the devil. I’m sure if they existed DA would have made them the backbone of the Vogon empire.
I will +1 zipcar on general principles… even if it won’t work in this case.
When I was car-less(’08 and ’09), it was a life saver and the annual membership was pretty reasonable. I’ve actually thought about re-upping for those few times a year I need access to a bigger car.
Also, with the exception of 1 instance the cars were clean and seemed well maintained. (The 1 incident was unpleasant…someone had gotten ill all over the driver’s side door. Got a discount on that rental.)
i think vogon poetry most likely sounds almost exactly like a phone tree.
be that as it may, i wish more phone trees started out with “oh freddled gruntbuggly”.
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