Budget Car Rental offers a couple of payment options for vehicle rentals, but cash is not one of them. When you return your rental car you can pay with either a credit or debit card, but when you initially pick it up, you will probably be required to provide a credit card and will be charged for a refundable security deposit. In some cases, you may be able to use a debit card for the security deposit hold.
Budget Car Rental offer places makes a fully refundable security deposit charge on a customer's credit card during the rental process. This credit card 'hold' will be removed as soon as you return the vehicle in keeping with the conditions of your rental agreement.
Vehicle Rental Deposit
When you pick up a vehicle at a Budget rental location, a hold will be put on your credit card equal to your estimated rental cost. An additional charge of $200 or 25 percent of your cost – whichever is greater – will also be charged to your credit card. If you keep the rental car for longer than you originally planned and you notify Budget, an additional hold will be placed on your card to cover your new estimated cost. You will also be charge a $10 service fee for extending your rental.
Credit Card or Debit Card?
Some Budget rental locations allow you to use a debit card for your entire transaction, including your deposit hold, but some special rules will be in effect. You must be at least 25 years old to use a debit card and you will be required to undergo a credit check to ensure your credit worthiness before you can drive your rental car off the lot. Budget will request an authorization hold against your checking account for the amount of your rental deposit and those funds will not be available to you during the period of your rental.
Return of Rental Deposit
According to Budget, all holds against your credit card or checking account will be released and you will be charged the actual fee for your rental when you return the vehicle. The company notes that some banks may take up to two weeks to restore the deposit amount to your credit card or checking account. The company states that it is not responsible for any bank charges for insufficient funds resulting from a checking account hold.
Check Car Rental Terms and Conditions
Different Budget locations have different rules for deposits and holds, including whether you can use a credit or debit card. Budget recommends that you visit their website and check the location-specific hold and payment policies for the Budget location you plan to visit. You'll want to make sure you understand rental terms and conditions before handing over your credit or debit card. One important factor to consider before using a debit card is any charges for vehicle damage or a late return will be taken directly from your checking account. Using a credit card gives you a better opportunity to dispute what you think are incorrect charges, and you may have your credit card company’s help.
Catie Watson spent three decades in the corporate world before becoming a freelance writer. She has an English degree from UC Berkeley and specializes in topics related to personal finance, careers and business.