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Your national payment card could make car rental more expensive

- - 30. June 2016

It may be an advantage to bring an international credit card such as MasterCard, Eurocard or Diners when you rent a car. Some European car rental firms require extra insurance coverage from Danish consumers who have brought a national payment card only, such as the Visa/Dankort.

Many Danes choose to order and pay for car rental from home so that they can simply pick up the car at the destination, e.g. when they arrive at the airport. In many ways this is a good idea as it allows them to sit at home and find the most attractive prices and terms & conditions in their own good time.

For most consumers, the car rental process runs smoothly, but some experience that the car rental firm at the destination demands that the consumer take out extra insurance coverage before receiving the keys to the car because the consumer has brought a national payment card such as the Visa/Dankort only. In a few cases, the rental firm has refused to hand over the car.

The explanation from the car rental firms is that the Visa/Dankort is seen as a debit card, which means that they cannot reserve a deposit. This is a situation that the consumer is not prepared for.

Bring an international credit card

According to FinanceDenmark, the Visa/Dankort is a valid credit card abroad. However, the consumer still has a problem if the car rental firm does not acknowledge this.

In that situation, the consumer may feel compelled to pay for extra insurance coverage as the money already paid for renting the car will otherwise be lost. At the same time, the consumer often needs the car; after all, that was why it was booked.

So consumers are advised to bring an international credit card when renting a car in the EU if they want to be on the safe side. International credit cards are e.g. MasterCard, Diners and Eurocard.

If you have problems with a car rental firm in another EU member state, Iceland or Norway and you cannot find a solution, you can get help from European Consumer Centre Denmark if you want to complain.

Nethandel EU