Car rental abroad - Monzo current account

Good afternoon,

I’m wondering whether I can use my Monzo current account to rent a car abroad, I can’t see any reason why not as they’re not pre-paid cards anymore, my name is printed on the card (raised) and it’s Mastercard obv.

But I wanted to check before going away. Does anyone know?

Thanks in advance,


a lot of car rentals require a credit card rather than a debit card , you should check the T and Cs - Avis I believe accept debit cards

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Further to what @iansilversides says, just keep in mind that car rentals often “place a hold” on a your card for the deposit. This will appear on your Monzo account as if the money had actually been taken from you, though it hasn’t. Lots of them then don’t release the hold quickly enough, but wait a week (or even a month), after you return the car. Thus, my advice:

  • Use a credit card, if you can.
  • If you can’t, make sure you have enough balance in your account to take you through your holiday, even after that deposit has been deducted.
  • You may be able to get Monzo to refund you the deposit quicker, if the car rental doesn’t release it back to you quickly enough, but they will want to see proof that you have returned the car without issues.

Same applies to hotels, by the way.


@jamesjaxx It really depends on where you’re travelling to. The rental experience in the Canary Islands for example is very different from somewhere like Florida.

In theory, If you take some sort of “All Inclusive” Insurance package with the car then there shouldn’t be a need for a hold to be put on the card because of waivers, etc

It didn’t work for me in Southern Italy I’m afraid. They needed a credit card, basically so they were able to pre-authorise the rental car’s security deposit. With a credit card, they’re confident that if they want to take money from the card, they will be able to (even if there aren’t enough funds).

If there are any problems during a rental, such as damage to the car, or a traffic fine, the rental company will charge these costs to the main driver’s credit card.

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No problems for me in Zante, but I did take out the best insurance policy, with a “you can bring it back in a box” comment from the owner :wink: