1. Why do rental car companies ask for a credit card?

    A. Rental companies need to know that their renters are credit-worthy, to minimise vehicle damage and losses. Credit cards and valid drivers' licences usually provide the only information we have about our renters.

  2. Can I use a credit card up front and then pay for the rental with cash when I return the car?

    Although you present a major credit card at the time of rental, when you return the vehicle, you will be asked if you'd like to keep the rental charges on that credit card or pay cash. Since car rental companies ask for credit approval on the estimated car rental charges when you pick up the car, that amount will be held against your credit balance on that card for up to 14 days, regardless of how you pay upon return.
  3. What credit card can I use?

    A. Budget accepts the following credit/charge cards for the payment of a vehicle rental:
    - Budget
    - American Express
    - Diners Club
    - Mastercard, and
    - Visa.
    Budget accepts any debit card for the payment of a vehicle rental which:
    - is issued by a bank or other financial institution; and
    - displays the MasterCard or Visa logo; and
    - has the customer's name and card number on the card.
    At commencement of rental, Budget does not accept a prepaid or reloadable 'stored value' card, a travel money card or an EFTPOS card. A credit or debit card as outlined above must be presented at commencement of rental. Upon completion of rental, some Budget locations will accept a prepaid or reloadable ‘stored value’ card as a form of payment.
  4. Are there any other payment alternatives?

    A. Your travel agent can sell you a prepaid voucher that you can use to pay for rentals at various locations within and outside the Australia. In some cases vouchers do not cover taxes, surcharges, additional coverage, extra days, upgrades, etc. Therefore, you should carefully read the voucher information to understand exactly what is included. You may also be asked to show a credit card as well as a valid driver's licence, even though you have a voucher.
  5. Can I pay for a rental by debit card, cash, cheque or money order?

    A. Most rental locations in Australia will accept cash, a traveller's cheque, or a debit card as payment for a rental. A personal cheque or money order is not accepted.

    When paying by Visa or Mastercard debit card:
    At the start of your rental a hold will be put on your card to cover the value of the rental plus an additional bond of $400 (ie. if your rental charges total $90, a hold of $490 will be placed on your card)
    If the vehicle is returned to Budget at the end of the rental in a satisfactory condition in Budget' determination, and subject to your petrol usage, the amount in excess of the actual rental charges will be released to you.
    Budget will send an electronic message to your bank on the day you return your vehicle requesting the release of any holding amounts. Depending on your bank, this may take up to 10 working days to release.

    When paying by cash:
    For details on 'cash qualification', the required pre-payments, refunds and the time required to process qualification applications, please call Budget Reservations in Australia on 1300 362 848.
    Note: if you have paid a cash deposit any refund will be issued via cheque, this can take up to 14 working days.
  6. Why do rates differ?

    A. Costs of vehicles, real estate prices, labour costs and special taxes vary from one area to another. Rental rates vary between competitors and may also vary depending on when and where you rent. The company's rates may be higher at an airport location and lower at a downtown or suburban location.
  7. How can I get the best deal?

    A. Car rental pricing is like airline pricing -- if you travel at off-peak times or make a reservation seven or more days in advance, you often get a better deal. Also, watch the Hot Deals section on the Budget web site.