Renting a Car in Ireland without a credit card

I need to rent a car in Ireland. I have two Mastercard credit/debit cards with a POSlimit of 5000.00 USD each. Can anyone help me find an agency in Ireland that will rent a car without a credit card?

Posted by Liz
Columbus, Indiana, USA
4 posts

My cards are credit/debit cards not true credit cards although I can use them either way. The rental companies if have talked to so far say No DEBIT CARDS.

Am I safe to assume my cards will work?

Posted by Michael Schneider
New Paltz, NY
7732 posts

It sounds like you're saying that you have a debit card with the MasterCard logo on it. If that's the case it's not a credit card, it's a debit card that uses MasterCard's network, and can be used at any merchant that accepts MasterCard credit cards. Any purchase you make with this card will immediately be deducted from you checking account.
Rental Car companies discourage people from using debit cards. When you rent a car with a debit card a hold of a few hundred dollars is placed on the funds in you checking account, until you return the car. Some people don't realize this run into some cash flow problems because they don't have a lot of money in their account. Customers get angry and complain that the ATM machines says they have insufficient funds etc etc etc.
Thus, it's best to use a regular credit card as the hold is only placed on your credit limit.

Same deal for hotels and debit cards BTW.

Posted by Liz
Columbus, Indiana, USA
4 posts

I understand, that is why I would use just one account for the car, leaving the other one available for use during our trip. Oh my, sounds like I might not be able to do this.

Posted by Pat
wichita, kansas
484 posts

If you have the time before you leave why not just apply for a credit card?

Posted by Liz
Columbus, Indiana, USA
4 posts

We are leaving next Thursday and I have already tried. I have been rebuilding my credit for years, with no success apparently. Can't get one that doesn't have lots of fees and a 250.00 limit. I've tried.

Posted by Tyler
San Francisco, California, USA
446 posts

I agree with Kim. Don't count on your debit card being accepted by any car rental company. The general practice of the car rental industry is that they don't take debit cards, and the fact that you are a tourist from a foreign country makes it even more dubious they would take your debit card, because as a non-resident of Ireland, it would be difficult for them to sue you for damages should you have an accident that totals the car.

In your circumstances, probably the only way you would be able to rent a car is to give them a big cash deposit in Euros, which isn't very practical.

I would go to Plan B -- use public transportation. With the price of gas in Europe, it would be a lot cheaper, too.

Posted by Charles
Tumwater, WA, United States
118 posts

We have sometimes prepaid when reserving rental cars on line before leaving the U.S. It can even save you money. Have a good trip.

Posted by JER
Seattle, USA
983 posts

This may not be in time to help you for this trip, but perhaps you could get a co-signor on your card? We did this for our daughter, with strict instructions that the credit card is for emergencies and credit-card-only expenses like car rentals.

Posted by Kay
22 posts

There use to be a travelers Money Card (American Express I think?) that was a pre-loaded credit card. You can buy pre-loaded Visa cards through most banks. Then use this to rent the car. If you find out how much the rental would be just load the card with that amount, then you don't need to try to get a refund if you don't use all the money. Good Luck =)

Posted by Pat
wichita, kansas
484 posts

Liz, Since I see you have already left for Ireland please let us know how you fared. Thanks.

Posted by Judy
Adelaide, SA, Australia
909 posts

I am bit baffled by this post. We used our Visa debit card to rent a car in Ireland last year. To all intents and purposes it looks just like a regular Visa credit card. Perhaps things have changed in the past 18th months???!!!
We just spent two weeks in the Whitsundays in Far North Queensland. Rented a car. My husband used his Visa debit card - no probs.