Credit Cards and Car Hire Alicante Airport

You really, really should have a credit card when hiring a car at Alicante Airport.  If you don’t, then you will likely face some difficulties.  In theory, some car hire companies may be willing to take a debit card but this is a problematic route.

When Booking through us –

If you’re booking a car through our site, then you must present a credit card in the name of the driver at the car hire desk at Alicante airport.  This is required because car hire firms use the credit card to take a security deposit for the car hire.

Visa and Mastercard are pretty much universally accepted, while American Express may also work.

If you don’t bring a credit card in the name of the driver then you will be in a very difficult situation and how it works out depends entirely on the car hire company.  While it may be possible for them to allow you to hire the car using either a debit card or a credit card in someone else’s name they still are within their rights to refuse to rent you the vehicle and not refund you (this would be viewed as a “no show” by them).

This can also apply when you have a credit card but don’t have sufficient funds on it to cover the excess required for the car rental.

The terms for car hire though are clear:  The credit card must be in the name of the driver, no other payments terms will be accepted.

When booking directly with Car hire firms at Alicante Airport

Since we deal with the main car hire firms at Alicante airport, we know that the above guidelines also apply when booking directly with those firms.

However you book, it’s important to take into account the ‘hold’ that the car hire company will place on your credit card.  Your credit card’s ‘spending power’ while on holiday is represented by your credit limit.  Any transactions or ‘credit holds’ that are placed on your credit card will reduce the money available to spend on other expenses.  So even though the ‘credit hold’ will be released at the end of your car hire period, those funds will not be available to you during your holiday for other expenses.

What if I only have a debit card?

As mentioned already, it’s best to bring a credit card.  That being said, sometimes it may be possible to hire with just a debit card, but it’s a risk.  Some car hire firms might be willing to try to accommodate you but they will need to run additional checks – they will want to make sure there’s enough credit available on your debit card to make sure that you can cover the deposit.  And the deposit will likely be larger and would usually be deducted (not just ‘held’) at the beginning of your rental period.  At the end of the car hire period when you return the car, they would then refund the deposit back to your debit card (subject to there not being additional charges for accident damage/fuel charges etc).

Something to bear in mind is that you may be exposed to currency fluctuations if your card is not in Euros (for example in GBP or another currency).  If the Euro exchange rate with your currency goes down (or even up), then the amount that you get refunded may be higher or lower than the amount deducted.  This would not happen with a credit hold on a credit card.

If you don’t have a credit card, some car hire companies will strongly recommend that you buy their fully comprehensive insurance (even if you’ve already bought online insurance).  You will need to weigh up whether this is right for you (but bear in mind that if you refuse, the car hire company would be within their rights to refuse to rent you the car because you didn’t present a credit card).  And remember, your debit card should display either a Visa or Mastercard logo.

So in summary, while it may be possible to hire a car in some cases without a credit card, it is also a big risk and will leave you at the mercy of the car hire company.   We strongly recommend that whenever booking car hire (whether through us or otherwise), you use a credit card – this will guarantee peace of mind and help you avoid additional costs.

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Free information, tips and advice from experts on car rental, flights, transfers. offers travelers sound guidance and travel tips on every aspect of travel via Alicante ALC Airport. With a focus on helping you choose car rental, getting to and from the airport to your hotel accommodation, finding parking at or near the airport, restaurants and bars at the airport, prices and generally anything that might help your travel plans run smoothly!