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Hire Car with Debit Card

Hire Car with Debit Card

Old Dec 8th 2010, 8:04 pm
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Default Hire Car with Debit Card

I know you can do it in the UK but can you hire a car in BC with a UK debit card ?

I've binned all my UK credit cards and just use cash / debit (I still have a good credit rating)

Thanks
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Old Dec 8th 2010, 8:53 pm
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Default Re: Hire Car with Debit Card

Originally Posted by Animal View Post
I know you can do it in the UK but can you hire a car in BC with a UK debit card ?

I've binned all my UK credit cards and just use cash / debit (I still have a good credit rating)

Thanks
It's highly unlikely you will be allowed to do this with a Canadian car rental company.
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Old Dec 8th 2010, 11:14 pm
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Default Re: Hire Car with Debit Card

Originally Posted by Auld Yin View Post
It's highly unlikely you will be allowed to do this with a Canadian car rental company.
Not necessarily. Is it a Visa Delta debit card? When I use mine here they count it as a credit card. Never tried to hire a car with it though.
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Old Dec 8th 2010, 11:17 pm
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Default Re: Hire Car with Debit Card

I believe it can be done with a large enough deposit but I don't think every car rental place will consider it. The only reason I'm saying this is that I was listening to a guy argue with someone behind the counter at Budget in SFO airport and they were saying they could do it with a large deposit.

I'd make some phone calls!
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Old Dec 9th 2010, 1:02 am
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Default Re: Hire Car with Debit Card

We hired a car for a week with Budget in Vancouver and it was a credit card or no car.

However as another poster has said in certain places your Visa debit card is treated as a credit card, and this has happened to me, however I would make a call to check before you arrive to be safe.
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Old Dec 9th 2010, 1:20 am
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Default Re: Hire Car with Debit Card

Hi,

we rented at Edmonchuck airport with a Uk HSBC Visa Debit with Hertz
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Old Dec 9th 2010, 4:25 pm
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Default Re: Hire Car with Debit Card

I have used a UK "VISA" debit card to rent a car before.

If online, just label as "VISA", if he asked how you want to pay, just say "VISA".

Car rental companies are by design international, so they have no restriction on where your card is from.
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Old Dec 9th 2010, 5:24 pm
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Default Re: Hire Car with Debit Card

We had problems with this trying to rent a car in the UK through CAA in Canada. We didn't have a credit card at all and the UK Visa debit was not accepted. What we did was to get a preloaded credit card and use that to hire the car.

however.. when we got to Gatwick I had forgotten the preloaded card so we had to give a huge cash deposit. hey ho.
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Old Dec 9th 2010, 9:11 pm
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Default Re: Hire Car with Debit Card

I am in the same boat I to do not have a UK credit card just a visa debit card.

Do they not have any restrictions with a pre-loaded credit card with regards to car hire, does it make a difference? This would be handy as was wondering if they acepted pre-paid as I too was thinking about getting one to hire a car with as will be going on a reccie trip next year.
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Old Dec 9th 2010, 9:20 pm
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Default Re: Hire Car with Debit Card

We hired a car in May and then again in October through Car3000 in the UK. We still had to give a cc to the agents at the airport but the bulk was paid up front at least. We did have a cc however and gave them that but don't know what would have happened if we hadn't had it. Might be worth trying them?
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Old Dec 13th 2010, 4:18 am
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Default Re: Hire Car with Debit Card

Originally Posted by Animal View Post
I've binned all my UK credit cards and just use cash / debit (I still have a good credit rating)
The car rental is just the beginning of your problems.

My advice to everyone is to get a credit card BEFORE you leave the UK, with at least £1000 credit limit on it.

The purpose is NOT to spend money in Canada which has to be paid back in the UK. Instead it is to grease the wheels of travel in Canada. It is simple to hire a car in Canada with a credit card, and then pay the bill in cash. In other words, you never actually run up a bill that has to be paid in the UK, just use it to secure the rental. Tell them at the counter that you intend to pay cash when you return the car, and want to note the exact amount that it will be.

The same thing works with hotel rooms. And there may be other areas of life where having a credit card makes it easier to do business, even if you ultimately settle up with cash.

I have personal experience of this when I emigrated to the UK 11 years ago, and within a week of arriving, I had to travel to Frankfurt and Hamburg on a business trip. The company had no problem giving me £1500 in cash, but I needed to use my Canadian credit card to rent the hotel rooms, including an overnight in Paris when I had to reroute my Frankfurt trip due to delays on the Gatwick Express. And a few days ago when I was hiring a car in North Vancouver, I noticed a statement saying that bills could be settled in cash but a credit card was required to rent the car.

Ideally, you would have some money left behind in England so that you can settle up the credit card bill and use it as a convenience for the occasional petrol purchase or restaurant meal.

Whilst on the subject of financial planning, you should consider opening a foreign exchange trading account with xe.com BEFORE you leave Britain and then use that to move money to Canada at a better rate. I opened an account once I was in Canada and I had to make three tries at it before I had the right kind of ID because I was rather in limbo between addresses. In the end I had to go in person to their offices in North Vancouver to meet the requirements of Canada's money laundering laws. If you are still in the UK at your address with utility bills and bank statements, you can open an account online with digital copies (i.e. photos) of the documents.
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Old Dec 13th 2010, 7:45 am
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Default Re: Hire Car with Debit Card

Thanks for the advice - but has anyone had experience with a pre-paid credit card for car hire?

I hear that when you reach Canada for the first time they disregard your credit history so if you get a Canadian credit card then it will be a pre-paid secured card anyway.
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Old Dec 13th 2010, 8:59 am
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Default Re: Hire Car with Debit Card

Originally Posted by jobop View Post
Thanks for the advice - but has anyone had experience with a pre-paid credit card for car hire?

I hear that when you reach Canada for the first time they disregard your credit history so if you get a Canadian credit card then it will be a pre-paid secured card anyway.
This is true about getting your first Canadian credit card. However, you can still use your UK credit card as long as you like, but if you actually spend money rather than just securing a hire car or hotel room, then you have to pay the debt in the UK. Not terribly hard with online banking but you get the awful exchange rate for tourists. So even if you put down $1000 to get a secured Canadian credit card, keep the UK one going.

Also, the Canadian credit card is not for buying things and not for getting credit. It is first and foremost, a tool for building a credit history. That means that you MUST buy something on it every month, and pay the bills as soon as they are due. And you must never ever use more than 50% of your card's credit limit. Instead, use your UK card if you must. It costs a little more but it does not risk damaging your fragile new credit history. After a year or so you should be able to get a normal credit card, and if your salary justifies it, increase the limits a reasonable amount.

I would use the UK credit card to hire the car, but then use the Canadian credit card to actually pay the car hire bill at the end of the week.

And the "disregarding your credit limit" applies also to Canadians returning to Canada unless they maintained some credit during their absence, and paid regularly. After 11 years I went to the same bank and opened a new account. They found me in the computer along with the card that I cancelled 11 years ago with a $13,500 credit limit. But that meant nothing, I am only able to get a secured Visa card for the 1st year. I'm also planning to get an HBC store card to use at the Bay and Zellers, because it seems to provide a bit wider spread in terms of merchandise, Bay being expensive big brands, and Zellers being low priced common brands. I'll likely have to get the Visa card first and use that to justify the store card.

And that will be that for the first year. 1 credit card, 1 department store card, and possibly a car loan. Too many cards is bad for your credit history.
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