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Credit Card Policies for Car Hire

Most car hire companies now require you to provide credit card details before departing with you rental vehicle.  It is possible you won’t be able to hire the car if you do not provide a credit card in the name of the main driver on pick-up.

The reason is that car hire companies secure a deposit on your credit card for the rental.  This covers the excess amount.  You will have to do this even if you have excess insurance because the excess insurance is between you and the insurance company not the insurance company and the car rental company.

Acceptable credit cards are usually Visa and MasterCard, with American Express less regularly.

You also need to ensure that there is a sufficient credit limit on your credit card account for the excess amount, otherwise your credit card will not be accepted.  No money is withdrawn from your credit card, but a credit hold is allocated by your credit card company which will reduce your credit limit.

You are always best to check the hiring and booking terms before you book if this is a concern.  However most car hire companies now require a credit card so you won’t have many options otherwise.  There are sometimes smaller independent car hire companies found in the industrial areas around the airport, or within cities that do provide a cash-only service if you wish to seek them out, but often prices are higher and cars are usually not up to the expected standard.

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