As in most other countries, you need a credit card with the main driver's name to rent a car in Portugal. Depending on the rental company you book with, the rental price can also be paid by other means of payment. When picking up the rental car, you will always need to present a credit card with the main driver's name.
It is possible to rent a car in Portugal without a deposit or with a small deposit. We will explain how this works later in this article. But, first, we would like to explain more about the payment methods you can use to rent a car.
Planning to rent a car in Portugal?
Use the Road Trip Car online platform to find car rental companies best suited for your trip.start search
With which payment methods can you rent a car in Portugal?
When you book your rental car online, you don't always have to pay by credit card. Some rental companies offer you the possibility to pay with PayPal, Ideal, bank transfer, or a prepaid credit card ( for US citizens, a debit card).
In our online tool, you can compare the payment options of different rental companies.
If you rent a car when you are in Portugal at the rental location itself, you can only do so with a credit card. However, some local car rental companies do offer the option to rent without a credit card. Want to take advantage of that? Then first ask to see the car you will be given. Also, read the terms and conditions carefully before signing an agreement.
Renting a car with a prepaid credit card
Not a US resident? Then you can use a prepaid credit card to rent a car in Portugal if you don't want to or can't buy a credit card. If you rent a car with a prepaid credit card, there are several advantages for you over a regular credit card:
- You do not need a fixed income;
- You deposit an amount onto the card yourself and cannot spend more than that amount. Therefore, you do not build up debt;
- A prepaid credit card is not considered a loan.
For a rental company, there are some disadvantages to the prepaid card:
- They do not know how much money is on it, so it is uncertain whether the rental charges will be paid;
- In the case of damage, they also have no assurance that they will be paid for the costs incurred.
Therefore, rental companies do not always accept the prepaid credit card. If you find a rental company that accepts the prepaid credit card both for the payment and the deposit, be sure to review the terms and conditions before signing.
Renting a car with a credit card in someone else's name
If you cannot provide a credit card in your name when picking up the car as the main driver, the vehicle will not be given to you. Is there a second driver, and does he or she have a credit card? Then you have two options:
- Cancel the booking on the spot and make a new booking with the other driver as the main driver;
- The credit card owner becomes the main driver, and you become the co-driver.
Both options may incur additional charges.
Renting a car with a credit card
You can rent from any rental company in Portugal if you have a credit card.
If you are going to rent with a credit card, pay attention to this:
- The deposit (deductible) will be deducted from the spending limit on your credit card;
- Some credit cards include insurance with car rentals. Check with your credit card company to see if this is the case with you and what benefit this will give you.
Renting a car without a deposit
In general, rental companies require a credit card on which an amount can be blocked as a deposit. This is because, with a credit card, they have security in case of any damage to the rental car and know for sure that the rental amount will be paid. In addition, the companies hope that renters will be more careful with a rental car if they risk losing their deposit. As for cash deposits, a few local rental companies will accept them, provided they are not excessive amounts.
Our research revealed one rental company that offers the option of renting a car "without a deposit" in Portugal: Sunny Cars. They offer this service outside the high season and then take over the guarantee for the rental company. When picking up the rental car, you will still need to be able to present a credit card in the name of the main driver.
Which rental companies can I go to?
You now know about renting a car in Portugal with and without a credit card. Meanwhile, you're probably eager to get on the Portuguese roads as soon as possible with the perfect rental car! At Road Trip Car, we've made this a lot easier for you.
With our online tool, you can compile a list of rental companies where you can rent a car that fits your needs and desires. Within a few minutes, you will have found your perfect rental car.