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To think that we should be able to hire a holiday car without taking out a credit card?!

(27 Posts)
MarmaladeTwatkins Tue 05-Mar-13 10:18:43

We need to hire a car for our holiday in Italy in May. We have been scouring the websites and all of them say they need to hold back £1000 from a credit card (not a debit card!) in case of damages etc.

We don't have a credit card and we really don't want to open one. But we don't happen to have a spare £1000 lying about in our bank accounts either. I have never known this before and wehave hired cars abroad a fair few times.

AIBU to think that this is a ridiculous set-up? Not everyone has credit cards!

MTSgroupie Tue 05-Mar-13 10:24:39

My experience is the other way round in that I've always had to produce a CC. But then I've only hired cars in the UK and North America so I've no idea what the 'norm' is elsewhere.

ISeeSmallPeople Tue 05-Mar-13 10:27:02

Have the cars you've hired before been through proper car hire companies, or borrowed off a mate?

It is normal.

They want some way to be able to claim money off you if you fail to return it, crash it etc.

I suppose you could offer to have a guarantee drawn up offering the the deeds to your house or your firstborn incase of damaging the car, but a credit card seems easier.

You don't have to use it. But using & paying off a credit card regularly in full costs nothing & improves your credit rating.

DowntonTrout Tue 05-Mar-13 10:27:45

They have clamped down on this in recent years and there's no way of hiring a car abroad without a credit card. Many companies charge less than £1000 though, depending on the car.

It is just a charge on a credit card though, they don't actually take the money, however it makes me very nervous that they can do this. My FIL was stung for €950 after a scrape on his bumper. There is an insurance you can take out to cover the excess in the event of an accident but it is cheaper to take out a policy before you go than with the car hire company. You still have to have the charge made against your card and you then have to claim the amount back should anything happen.

We have a credit card that is just for car hire abroad.

DowntonTrout Tue 05-Mar-13 10:29:38

When I say abroad, my experience is in Europe so not sure about elsewhere.

MarmaladeTwatkins Tue 05-Mar-13 10:30:05

No,we have hired through holidayautos.com and Avis! sad

dipitydoyou Tue 05-Mar-13 10:34:26

I must say we've always had to do this too we always rent a car when we go to Spain and used various firms, they like to hold' a certain amount of your credit card unless you take out their additional over priced car insurance but we've never found it to be more than £400. So £1000 seems a lot.

It's not very fair I agree.

MidniteScribbler Tue 05-Mar-13 10:34:44

Do you have Visa Debit over there? (Not sure if it's just an Australian thing). It's a Visa card, but it uses funds in your account, not as a credit card. I've hired a car in the UK with one a few years ago (as well as using it for hotel rooms).

NotAQueef Tue 05-Mar-13 10:37:54

have you had a look here?

MarmaladeTwatkins Tue 05-Mar-13 10:55:57

DH and I have both got a Visa Debit, yes.

NotAQueef, thanks for the link! Havejust rung Indigo and the lady there is ringing their agent in Italy. She said that most car hire agents in Italy require a CC whereas Greece and Spain (where we have hired before) only some agents require a CC.

DowntonTrout Tue 05-Mar-13 10:58:47

They will not accept a visa debit, or any debit card. It has to be a credit card that they put a charge on. If it was debit you could have the money one day and not the next. The credit card doesn't work like that and when they put the charge on it, it guarantees them the money- even if you then go right up to the limit on your c/c.

MrsKeithRichards Tue 05-Mar-13 12:09:06

I was just going to say we've hired in Greece and Spain and whilst they've required a card there was nothing like £1000 on it for them to hold!

TheChaoGoesMu Tue 05-Mar-13 12:15:52

I don't think its ridiculous. We hire out a couple of vans and always have a cc on file. A large percentage of people have caused some degree of damage on them and the majority try to cover it up with shoddy running repairs. If there was no cc on file it would be a complete pain to try to get the money back through other means. Some people take out an insurance policy against damage for the first £1000 excess, that way a credit card isn't needed. Dont know if thats an option for you.

RandallPinkFloyd Tue 05-Mar-13 12:18:53

Was just going to say exactly what Downton said.

You're just going to have to suck this one up I'm afraid. Soz. wink

Well jel of your holiday though, I've always wanted to go to Italy. Whereabouts are you going?

SlowLooseChippings Tue 05-Mar-13 12:22:53

The only way you can get away without it is to pay extra for the full insurance rather than the basic. This you can pay on the debit card.

The 1200 or whatever is an excess before the basic insurance kicks in. So they pre-authorise that on your credit card in case any thing happens. If you pay for the extra cover there is no excess so they won't need to hold that amount on your card.

I travelled a lot before DS was born 5 months ago, and when I forgot to pay off my credit card one time so I couldn't cover the amount, this is what I had to do.

41notTrendy Tue 05-Mar-13 12:30:48

Always been the case when we've hired a car in Europe. And I always find the whole process quite stressful in case we get ripped off for something we haven't done.
We're attempting a holiday without one. shock

Jenny70 Tue 05-Mar-13 12:45:22

Unfortunately with a debit card, unless they actually take the money you could hire the car, close the account and tootle off with their car and no recourse for getting paid back.

A credit card secures their payment, without actually taking the money...

But definitely look into separate insurance for hire cars, we do a 12 month policy and it's cheaper than the hire company's for a short hire.

sleepyhead Tue 05-Mar-13 13:07:21

You can reduce the amount they hold on the card by paying the Super Waiver wotsit insurance (which is a rip off, but if you don't have a grand's worth of credit lying around can be the only way to hire the car.)

Beksybob Tue 05-Mar-13 15:34:09

What if you had a credit card, but the credit limit was less than £1K?

sleepyhead Tue 05-Mar-13 20:33:46

They won't accept the card Beksybob I don't think. I'm not sure if you can spread it over more than one card.

That was basically our problem when we rented a car a couple of summers ago. We didn't have £800 of credit left on our card (which is what the excess was) and couldn't afford to pay off enough at the time to get down to £800.

Instead we paid for the excess insurance waiver. I think it came to about £50 for the time we were renting. That way there was no excess to reserve on the credit card when collecting the car.

BabyRoger Tue 05-Mar-13 20:37:43

I hire a car most years abroad. Last year I forgot to take my credit card (idiot). I thought I was done for but I just had to pay 50EURO for insurance and then they didn't need a card. So, more expensive but saves you getting a credit card.

This was in Portugal. I assume other places do this.

80sMum Tue 05-Mar-13 20:46:32

I suppose you could always offer to pay a large deposit in cash, say £5,000, that would be refundable when you return the car? Probably easier to get a credit card though!

nosuchthingasagruffelo Tue 05-Mar-13 20:53:57

We have used Avis in malta numerous times over the years and always paid cash in resort for our car never needing a cc they usually take an imprint of our visa debit tho incase and we always pay the extra insurance!

TraceyTrickster Wed 06-Mar-13 10:18:09

I worked for a big car hire company about 20 years ago, and they always demanded a credit card...even in the olden days.

If someone damaged the car/left it empty/had speeding tickets, these could be directly charged to the CC.
I think the alternative (not popular) was to leave £500 cash deposit.

So needing a credit card is not a new thing.

MarmaladeTwatkins Wed 06-Mar-13 10:45:16

"Some people take out an insurance policy against damage for the first £1000 excess, that way a credit card isn't needed. Dont know if thats an option for you"

Yes, I can do this! How do I do it please?!

Randall, we are going to Puglia smile

Honestly, I am not making it up that we have never needed a cc before when hiring. We have hired in Menorca and various Greek islands and DH or I have never had a cc! It's never been a problem.

TheChaoGoesMu Wed 06-Mar-13 10:49:42

You'd have the ask the hire company if they offer one. If they dont then look for one that does.

MarmaladeTwatkins Wed 06-Mar-13 10:51:10

Thanks, I think I know what I am looking for now!

I am just really reluctant to open a cc just to hire a car. It seems really unreasonable that you would have to risk your credit rating just to hire a friffing car!

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