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Why you need a credit card to hire a car

Having a credit card forms an essential part of the car hire process, as you’ll require one in order to rent a vehicle.

Regardless of whether you’ve already used one to pay for the hire, have already purchased car insurance, or don’t require any extras, it will still be needed.  Failure to present a card as the main driver could see you left with no vehicle to drive away in either – so it’s certainly worth knowing why you need one.

Upon collection of your vehicle, the hire firm will want to take a returnable deposit – which could amount to a few hundred pounds.

This is ‘held’, ‘blocked’ or ‘pre-authorised’ on the card that is provided and is returned at the end of the rental provided that the car has not been damaged.

If it is damaged, some of the deposit is used to cover the costs of repairs. This does, of course, mean that you can’t use the funds on the card while you are renting the vehicle.

Can any credit card be used?

Car hire firms will request that the deposit is placed onto the card belonging to the main driver, as they are the person responsible for the car.

This means a rental firm can access funds on the card in the event of an accident, or, that they can cover costs associated with road fines, tolls or parking tickets, for example.

You may also want to consider taking out car excess insurance to protect the excess you would be liable for on the rental agreement.  In the event your hire car is stolen or damaged, you would have to pay the excess initially, but you could then submit a claim for the reimbursement of this excess. Some rental companies can charge extortionate prices for their excess protection, so it is always worth shopping around. To obtain a quote for a Questor Insurance vehicle hire excess policy – just click here

Date Created: 01 April 2019