All cards are created equal, but some cards are more equal than others. When making a payment on our website, you will notice that it is possible to use some specific debit cards to pay for a reservation. It is also possible to use a credit card in the name of someone other than the person named on the voucher. This can sometimes lead to misunderstandings regarding the use of credit cards locally.
So here is the gist of it.
Regardless of how you paid for the reservation online – credit card, debit card, your prize cow, EVE online ISK [Disclaimer: we don’t actually accept livestock or virtual currency of the non-real world variety…] – you NEED a credit card to pick up the vehicle. Not only that, you need that credit card to be in the name of the main driver as indicated on the voucher. This doesn’t need to be the same card you used to make you booking, but once again it needs to:
a) be a Credit Card;
and b) be in the name of the Main Driver.
The reason why you need a credit card is that when you pick up the car, the local supplier blocks a set amount on the card, which acts as a security deposit. This deposit is not actually charged to the card, simply blocked, and the amount is released after the car is returned, provided the car is returned in the same condition.
In order for the deposit to be blocked on the card, you need to have enough credit on the card to accommodate that amount. This amount usually takes the form of the Excess + Fuel + VAT, but can sometimes be lower or higher than this. If the exact amount of the deposit is not indicated on your voucher and you want to know what to expect, give us a call and one of our agents (nice guys and gals, awesome American accent ;)) will check it out for you.
Exceptions: sometimes, for some car categories, you need two credit cards. This usually applies to luxury or sports cars. Rule of thumb: the Terms, Conditions and Local Fees section on our booking mask includes credit card requirements for a specific vehicle.
What happens if I don’t have a credit card with me when I pick up the car?
A paradox will be created, unravelling the very fabric of the space-time continuum and destroying the entire universe. [Disclaimer: there will probably be no paradox, the space-time continuum will go on as before, and the universe is quite safe].
The most likely scenario is that the supplier will request (politely but quite firmly) that you take on additional insurance to reduce the excess amount, thus foregoing the need for a deposit. Normally the insurance offered locally is OPTIONAL, but in this case you would be required to accept it.
There is also the possibility that the supplier would simply refuse the car without a credit card in which to block the deposit. This is never pleasant and it’s a hassle both for us and our clients, but Auto Europe does not control the specific policies of individual suppliers, so the only thing we can do is try our best to keep our clients well-informed about local requirements.
If you don’t have a credit card and would like to hire a car regardless, give us a call. Our lovely phone agents (did I mention the accent?…) can best advise you on how to go about hiring a car with a supplier that will make allowances for your specific situation and what the requirements are in such a case.