A common question we get asked on this blog is about the use of debit cards when renting a car. We’ve had a lot of questions on our original blog post entitled ‘Information on accepted credit cards’ so we thought it would be useful to create a new, updated post.

We appreciate it’s a confusing topic so hopefully this up-to-date info will put your mind at ease when renting with Avis.

Payment in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA)

Most countries within Avis EMEA accept Visa debit and credit cards and MasterCard debit and credit cards. The countries that do not accept debit cards are Spain, Ireland, Belgium and Luxembourg. You must have a credit card to rent in these countries.

Many countries in EMEA also accept American Express, Discover and Diners cards – in the UK we will accept them for Avis rentals but we recommend contacting our reservations team on 08445 818181 if you wish to use these in any other country.

Please note that we do not accept Visa Electron, Maestro, Cirrus, Solo or any other type of payment card in Europe, Middle East or Africa.

 The name on the payment card must match the name on the driving licence of the main renter/driver. You are not able to pay on anyone else’s behalf.

Payment for higher value cars

If you are renting from our range of large premium or luxury cars you are required to present two payment cards at the time of pick up as an added security measure.  The cards must comply with the above terms and must each be from different providers. For example, you can use one Visa credit or debit plus an American Express.

Whilst members of Avis Preferred do not have to present a credit card every time you rent you do still need to present two cards when renting a large premium or luxury vehicle. This excludes those Avis Preferred renters with a corporate AWD who do not need to present a credit card. 

Payment outside Europe, Middle East and Africa 

If you’re renting with Avis in the USA you are able to use Visa debit and credit and MasterCard debit and credit cards, American Express, Diners, Discover and JCB cards.

Avis Canada do not accept debit cards – so you will need a credit card. 

Australia, New Zealand, Latin/South America and Mexico accept the same cards as the USA with the exception of JCB cards and the Discover card.

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65 Responses to “Avis Payment Methods – accepted debit and credit cards”

  1. Joanne Says:

    Can you use your visa debit card to rent a car in spain if you have paid for the car and fuel in advance?

  2. Mr g Le Boutillier Says:

    Logged a complaint 4weeks ago, sent 3 reminders. Still nothing.

    Does the AVIS ART team ever answer a logged complaint??????

    Yours hopeful

  3. Sabrina, Marketing Says:

    Hi Joanne-
    We’re afraid not. Spain are one of the countries that are only able to take credit card.

    Sorry that’s not ideal.
    Sabrina

  4. Sabrina, Marketing Says:

    Hi -
    Sorry you’ve been waiting on a response. Could you please send your reservation details to comments@avis.co.uk and we’ll find out the status of this complaint for you.

    Thanks
    Sabrina

  5. Eoin Says:

    I am flying in to Trieste on Sunday. I rang the Avis desk in Trieste airport this evening to check whether they would accept a Visa Debit Card to rent a car when I arrive and the lady who answered said “No!”. This would seem to conflict entirely with the opening statement on this blog.
    What I need to know is whether I can use a Visa Debit card, and a Visa Debit Card only,(with the raised letters and starting with 4) to pay for and collect a car at Trieste Airport?

  6. Tanchan Says:

    - As you say that we can use the VISA or Master debit card to rent and pay the deposit, but why in my confirmation email it is said that the debit cards are not accepted? (I will rent the car from Marseille Airport, France)
    - I booked the car using my name and email. The information in the reservation name is mine and I haven’t paid any rent nor deposit, but the driver will be my father. Is it possible if we all show up there at the pick up point and pay by his debit card?
    Thank you in advance.

  7. Shelley Says:

    Hi,

    If you use a debit card to hire a car how much will be blocked off your card until you return the car?

    Thanks
    Shelley

  8. Sabrina, Marketing Says:

    Hi Eoin-
    I’m really sorry for the delay. Appreciate you will have already gone on your holiday so I hope you had a great rental!

    You will probably know this now but, for the benefit of other customers, this is actually a translation issue…
    ‘Carte di debito’ translates in Italian as a ‘pre-paid card’ which Italy cannot accept for car rental payment.

    This may explain the confusion when you contacted the location directly but they will in fact accept debit cards as a method of payment.

    Hope that helps
    Sabrina

  9. Sabrina, Marketing Says:

    Hi Tanchan,
    Thanks for your comment.
    Apologies that the confirmation email says this. We are in the process of updating them but please be assured you can still use a debit card.

    We do, however, require the ‘main named renter’ to be the person who makes the reservation and pays for the rental at time of pick up. I would suggest you contact our reservations team on 08445 818181 and they will be able to amend the details. Reason being, the name of the main renter and the name on the payment card must match.

    Hope that helps – have a great rental
    Sabrina

  10. Sabrina, Marketing Says:

    Hi Shelley-
    Thanks for your comment.

    This depends on the country of rental but in the UK, for example, for pre-paid rentals we hold the cost of a tank of fuel against your card. If you return the car full, this will not be taken from your account.

    It is very similar in most countries across Europe but some countries may hold a percentage of the total cost of rental as well as the cost of fuel.

    Let me know if there’s anything else we can help with! Enjoy your rental.
    Sabrina

  11. José Miguel Sánchez Says:

    Oh my God… THANK YOU. I’m from Spain and the information here is SO confusing… I rented a car in France for next weekend and, as I have a debit card (MasterCard, not Maestro), I called some weeks ago to Avis Spain and, after checking it, they told me a credit card is MANDATORY for rentals IN FRANCE. And today, after reading the general conditions (in french… and no, I DON’T speak french) I found out debit cards ARE accepted! And finally, after googling A LOT, I’ve got here.

    I think this sort of things should be clear enough for all of the Avis staff (in my case, Spain staff), as it’s harmful for both the company and the customer.

    Anyway, I’m glad to have found the correct answer to this huge and, apparently, common problem.

    Regards from Spain.

  12. Alison Carmichael Says:

    I am going to Orlando in October and would like to hire a car. I have a visa debit card. I phoned Avis at international airport and they said I would have to pass a credit check before I could hire a car with a debit card. Is this true for uk citizens?

  13. Claire Says:

    Hello Alison, we have spoken to the location directly and they have re confirmed on the phone they would actually do a credit check at time of pick up.

  14. Gary Says:

    I am visiting Germany and would like to hire a car from Frankfurt airport. I have a prepaid mastercard which I would like to use for payment. I also have a Visa Debit card, but don’t really want to use this unless I have to.

    Can I use my prepaid mastercard to make payment and is this also acceptable to present when picking up the car?

    or

    Can I pre-pay on your website using my prepaid mastercard and then present my Visa Debit card for security, but then pay at the end of the hire using my prepaid mastercard.

    or

    Is my only option to use my Visa debit card? and is this acceptable at Frankfurt?

    My prepaid card issuer say they are happy for the card to be used for car hire as long as there is sufficient credit to cover the amount to be reserved against the card at the time of hire.

  15. Claire Says:

    Hello Gary,
    When renting in Germany, pre paid credit cards or Visa debit cards are not accepted for security purposes. You can pre-pay online for the rental with a visa Debit but a credit card must be presented at time of pick up or alternatively a cash deposit which may vary according to the length of rental and car group selected.

  16. Nick Says:

    HI
    I know this seems to have been covered already but the last reply seems to contradict the thread :
    Could you please answer ,I have a car booked via British Airways already paid for to be picked up from Athens airport next month, Can I use a Visa Debit card for the deposit, and also if the deposit is just for a full tank of Petrol?
    Thanks
    Nick

  17. Claire Says:

    Hi Nick,
    I can confirm that we would accept Visa Debit for all purposes in Greece (this is the only debit card we would accept however and we do not accept Visa Electron). The normal deposit is just a fuel deposit which would be the cost equivalent of a tank of petrol for the car received on the day of rental (obviously this would vary depending on the cost of petrol at your rental location on your day of rental and the car you received on the day’s fuel tank capacity).

  18. Mark Lofty Says:

    I have prepaid for my car hire in cape town next month but need to know how much they hold against my credit card, so that i can budget my spending money correctly

  19. Jordan Says:

    Hello Mark, I’ve spoken with the office in Cape Town and the deposit is 1000ZAR, hope this helps.

  20. Paul Says:

    Hi I will shortly be travelling to USA and Australia and wish to pay with a visa DEBIT card which I believe is ok!? My question is will AVIS do a credit check on me? because I have never had a credit card or any form of credit my credit score is very low!?

    Please help! Many thanks

  21. Terry Says:

    Hello. My son will be traveling to UK from Australia and wishes to hire a car for the duration of the visit, will he be able to use his ING visa debit card to pay if we book on line in Australia?

  22. sarah french Says:

    hello i would like to hire a car from LAX international airport for 1 month but i would just like to confirm in writing that i dont need a credit card and that i can use my debit card for payment and to secure my booking? so i wont have any problems when picking up the car, and want to confirm that im 24years old and i will have to pay 25USD per day?

  23. Sal Says:

    Hi we’re going to menorca in August and wanting to hire a car. We don’t have a credit card only a visa debit. Can a car hire be booked

  24. Jordan Says:

    Hi Sal,
    I’m afraid debit cards aren’t accepted in Spain- only credit cards.

  25. Jordan Says:

    Hello Sarah,
    Debit/check cards issued outside the US and Canada are accepted as credit identification and payment at locations in the US. The usual authorization hold will apply. Debit cards issued in the US are also acceptable at most locations. An under 25 fee of USD 27.00 per day is applicable for renters 21-24.

  26. Jordan Says:

    Hi Terry,
    The minimum requirements to hire a car with Avis in the UK are: Minimum 3 years Full Driving Licence, at least 1 year Full Clean Licence and a Credit or Debit Card at the Driver’s name (no Electron, Maestro or Switch cards).

  27. Jordan Says:

    Hello Paul,
    Debit cards issued outside the US and Canada are accepted as credit identification and payment in the US. The usual credit card authorization hold will apply. Debit cards issued within the US are accepted at most locations.
    Hope this helps,
    Jordan

  28. Dean Hester Says:

    The Switzerland Avis site states “You can pay for your rental car using an Avis method of payment or any recognised international credit card. Debit and prepaid cards are not accepted.” Is Switzerland one of the countries that do not allow the use of a Visa debit card to pay for a car rental?

  29. Rob Says:

    Hi

    We are going to Spain in August and have booked and pre paid through British Airways for a vehicle to be collected on arrival at Alicante airport.
    I do not have a credit card and do not want one.
    Would a pre paid credit card be accepatable to use as security.
    Also can you please advise me on how much money will be secured against which ever card I do use.

    Thanks

  30. Andrew M Says:

    I’m more and more frustrated trying to hire a car with a debit card, On this blog it seems ok to hire a car in France, yet when queried, Avis.ie has stated “Avis France only accept a credit card in the main drivers own name.”
    Who’s right?
    Anyone know a taxi no. in Paris?

  31. Roger Says:

    Hi.

    What about Iceland? You say most European countries, but there appear to be a lot of exceptions. Hopefully not Iceland?

    Thanks,
    Roger

  32. Jordan Says:

    Hello Dean,
    Avis Europe (Italy, France, UK, Germany, Netherlands etc and also including Greece) does accept Visa and Mastercard Debit cards in most European countries but not Solo, Switch, Maestro, Electron etc. The card must just have the word DEBIT written on it and the numbers will be embossed (raised).
    The Avis Europe countries that currently don’t accept Debit cards are Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Belgium and Luxembourg.
    I hope this helps and I hope you have a nice time in Switzerland!

  33. Jordan Says:

    Hello Rob,
    Avis Europe (Italy, France, UK, Germany, Netherlands etc and also including Greece) does accept Visa and Mastercard Debit cards in most European countries but not Solo, Switch, Maestro, Electron etc. The card must just have the word DEBIT written on it and the numbers will be embossed (raised).
    The Avis Europe countries that currently don’t accept Debit cards are Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Belgium and Luxembourg. In order to hire a car in Spain it’s mandatory the use of a Credit Card. The deposit made on the card will usually be a full fuel tank plus about 20% of the total rental cost.
    Hope this helps,
    Jordan

  34. Jordan Says:

    Hello Andrew,
    I understand your frustration and I’m sorry.
    Avis Europe (Italy, France, UK, Germany, Netherlands etc and also including Greece) does accept Visa and Mastercard Debit cards in most European countries but not Solo, Switch, Maestro, Electron etc. The card must just have the word DEBIT written on it and the numbers will be embossed (raised).
    The Avis Europe countries that currently don’t accept Debit cards are Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Belgium and Luxembourg.
    As stated in the France Terms and Conditions (excuse the caps):
    CARS MAY BE RENTED BY USING AN AVIS CHARGE CARD, FULL CREDIT OR FIXED VALUE VOUCHERS (SUPPORTED BY CREDIT OR CHARGE CARDS), CREDIT OR CHARGE CARDS APPROVED BY AVIS. SEE DETAILS BELOW.
    AVIS ISSUED CHARGE CARDS.
    FULL CREDIT (WITH OR WITHOUT AWD NUMBER) AND FIXED VALUE
    VOUCHERS (SUPPORTED BY CREDIT OR CHARGE CARDS).
    ACTO.
    CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED: AMEX, DINERS, VISA, VISA DEBIT, EUROCARD, MASTERCARD
    CREDIT CARDS NOT ACCEPTED: VISA ELECTRON, VISA+, INDIGO, KYRIEL, MASTERCARD MAESTRO, CIRRUS

    I hope this makes it slightly more clear.
    Jordan

  35. Jordan Says:

    Hello Roger,
    I’m afraid Avis Iceland do not accept debit card as a payment method.

  36. Rosemary Says:

    We will be traveling from Australia in May 2014 and need to use our debit cards.My research seems to suggest that the cards should have embossed numbers is that correct? Some of the newly issued visa debit cards here are printed instead
    Do we need to book with Avis over here or online?

  37. Oscar Says:

    Hi,
    I was watching all this info about debit cards, and i was sure that I can use it to pay in france (mastercard debit with raised letters). But when I made my reservation, it says
    Policy of Debit Cards:
    Debit Cards are not accepted
    What can I do?
    PD:I’m from Spain

  38. The Avis Blog Team Says:

    Hello Oscar

    When hiring an Avis vehicle, the requirements for credit cards and / or debit cards will vary by country and pick-up location. Please refer to the specific location comments when booking online or please contact our call centre on 0844 581 0147.

    Regards,
    The Avis Blog Team

  39. The Avis Blog Team Says:

    Hi Rosemary

    If you are based in Australia then we recommend that you book with Avis Australia directly (www.avis.com.au). We look forward to seeing you in May!

    Regards,
    The Avis Blog Team

  40. Gavin Says:

    Hi there,
    I’ve booked a car from Belfast International Airport. Will they accept my visa debit as a deposit?
    Gavin

  41. Steve Says:

    Hi…..I am a Preferred customer with my Visa Debit card details registered….When renting a car in the UK, What is the amount charged/held on my card during the rental term.?

  42. Sam Says:

    Maybe you want to add Portugal to the top of the page. Infuriating to find out you wont accept debit card to pick up in Lisbon. No-where, in the T’s&C’s, did it say this whilst booking.

  43. The Avis Blog Team Says:

    Hi Steve

    Details of this can be found in the booking conditions on our website at http://www.avis.co.uk/AboutAvis/Booking-Conditions, sections 8.2 and 9.4 apply.

    8.2 At the point of collecting the rental vehicle, Avis will hold an amount on the driver’s credit / debit card to cover the vehicle excess. These funds will then be released following the end of the rental period. The card will not be charged unless damage or additional charges occur. The time taken for the amount to be accessible on your credit card will depend on the provider. As an average, it should take a minimum of 3 days, although certain providers may take up to 10 days.

    9.4 At the time of vehicle pick up, Avis will estimate the rental value and deduct any payments already made and will seek a pre-authorisation from the card issuer for that estimated value plus approximately 95 Euros (GBP £250 in UK only) to cover incidental charges incurred during the rental. At the end of the rental the final rental value will be charged.

    Regards,
    The Avis Blog Team

  44. The Avis Blog Team Says:

    Hi there Gavin,

    Avis at Belfast international Airport will accept a Visa debit card.

    Regards,
    The Avis Blog Team

  45. Sandra Says:

    I am travelling to Basel in Switzerland over the summer and have a Visa Debit card.
    I want to book the car for collection at Basel which is fine.

    I want to pay when i collect the car with a debit card but can the deposit go on the Visa debit card too and also will they do credit checks and do I need other id.

    Also how much will the deposit be; is their a way to calculate ie 20% of total cost etc

  46. kon Says:

    this blog confused me. to begin i do not have a credit card, i have a visa debit card. every avis web page refers that for renting a car you must have a credit card. now here is my question i would like to rent a car from bergamo airport italy, will they accept my visa depit card? a reply will be most welcome

  47. Daniel, Avis Social Says:

    Hi Kon,

    Depends on a few factors. Please send your full requirement to socialmedia@avis.co.uk
    Include car type / dates / location and I’ll check for you.
    Please note that Maestro and Electron are not accepted at any locations.

    Anything else, don’t hesitate to ask.

    Many Thanks,

    Dan
    Avis Social Media

  48. Daniel, Avis Social Says:

    Hi Sandra,

    Please provide full your requirement information e.g dates / times / car type to socialmedia@avis.co.uk.

    Will confirm deposit amount with the location for you.

    Many Thanks,

    Dan
    Avis Social Media

  49. Daniel, Avis Social Says:

    Hi Sam,

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention.
    Will check with the web team if this is correct and if so, to update the site.

    Anything else, don’t hesitate to contact me directly.

    Many Thanks,

    Dan
    Avis Social Media

  50. carmel pickering Says:

    we want to hire a car for a week in switzerland we only use a visa debit card do they accept this method for the deposit and how much would be charged thanks

  51. Daniel, Avis Social Says:

    Hi Carmel,

    They do accept UK issued Visa debit cards at that location.
    Electron and Maestro are not accepted.

    Deposit would depend on vehicle type.
    Please advise of full requirement details.

    Anything else, don’t hesitate to contact me.

    Many Thanks,

    Dan
    Avis Social Media

  52. Vincent Says:

    hello, are these rules applicable for 2014? i have done my car booking online and i will be picking it up at LAX international airport. i would just like to confirm in writing that i dont need a credit card and that i can use my debit card for payment and to secure my booking when i am there? so i wont have any problems when picking up the car.

  53. chris Says:

    I have booked and paid for 10 days car rental through BA for Spain in July. I am also a member of Avis preferred. I have no credit card but do have Visa debit. I intend to pre purchase an excess insurance policy before travel. Will I still need to pay anything further when I collect the car. Many Thanks . Chris

  54. Daniel, Avis Social Says:

    Hi Vincent,

    You can use a UK Issued Visa Debit card. Electron and Maestro are not accepted.

    Anything else, don’t hesitate to ask.

    Many Thanks,

    Dan
    Avis Social Media

  55. Daniel, Avis Social Says:

    Hi Chris,

    In the following countries Visa Debit cards are not permitted to hire a vehicle with us:
    • Spain
    • Luxembourg
    • Belgium
    • Portugal

    Anything else, don’t hesitate to ask.

    Many Thanks,

    Dan
    Avis Social Media

  56. Jean-Paul Mallard Says:

    Dear Avis,
    Having found this Avis blog, please could you clarify/confirm whether it is possible to use a UK Bank debit card to pre-pay and rent a car in Metz, France? I have recently asked Avis customer service by email and received the response it was not possible to do so in Metz. If not, would it be possible to do so in any location in this area in France?
    Thanks and regards

  57. Dave Says:

    Hi, I’d like to hire a car from Nice later this month and pay by Visa debit card. Will that be possible? Thanks

  58. Samantha Chapman Says:

    Hi,

    I am looking to rent a car in june for a road trip to london from Manchester. I have looked through this thread and seems I can use my visa debit card with embossed letters and by leaving a deposit all which is fine. Can I ask if a credit check is performed? Have seen on other websites it can be a really lengthy process. Also when booking online in the payment info it asks for credit card number? can you confirm that I only need my visa debiy card with available funds?

    Many thanks
    Samantha

  59. Daniel, Avis Social Says:

    Hi Jean-Paul,

    You can use a UK issued Visa Debit card in France (Maestro and Electron are not accepted)

    Please provide full your full requirement and we’ll produce a quote for your consideration.

    Anything else, don’t hesitate to ask.

    Many Thanks,

    Dan
    Avis Social Media

  60. Daniel, Avis Social Says:

    Hi Dave,

    You can use a UK issued Visa Debit card at this location. Maestro and Electron are not permitted.

    Please provide your full requirement and we’ll produce a quote for your consideration.

    Many Thanks,

    Dan
    Avis Social Media

  61. Daniel, Avis Social Says:

    Hi Samantha,

    A credit check is performed with Visa Debit cards.

    Pay on arrival and free to cancel booking can be created.

    The amount required on your Visa Debit card depends on type of vehicle hired, location and dates of rental. Please provide these details for a concise breakdown of approximated cost with quote.

    Anything else, don’t hesitate ask.

    Many Thanks,

    Dan
    Avis Social Media

  62. Adrien Says:

    Hello,

    I am going to Limoges airport. Can you please confirm if I can use my UK Visa Debit card to rent a car from the Avis desk there?

    Thanks,
    Adrien

  63. robin Says:

    i would just like to confirm that I can book and pay and pick up a car at Rodez airport , france with my Barclays visa debit card for a compact car for a 5 day hire…I think it is possible but I would just like clarification

    cheers robin

  64. Daniel, Avis Social Says:

    Hi Adrien,

    You are permitted to use an embossed UK issued Visa Debit card in France.
    Electron and Maestro are not permitted.

    Anything else, don’t hesitate to ask.

    Many Thanks,

    Dan
    Avis Social Media

  65. Daniel, Avis Social Says:

    Hi Robin,

    France is one of the countries that permit a UK Visa Debit card.
    Please ensure the card is embossed and it is not Electron or Maestro.

    Many Thanks,

    Dan
    Avis Social Media

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