Pros: Decent car selection; Good check in
Cons: Inconsistent customer service; Higher prices than others.
Car rental services are dominated by about ten companies, all of which have locations across the United States and around the globe. Anyone who travels has likely rented from the big guys, as their presence, advertisements, and car rental services are difficult to miss. One of several I have tried more than once is Avis Car Rental, one of the larger car rental operations.
Avis Facts and Figures:
Avis Car Rental is a large car rental company with approximately 5,000 locations. The company was founded in 1946 in Ypsilanti, Michigan by Warren Avis and it grew quickly to become one of the world’s largest car rental businesses. Avis has been owned by many other companies over the years- some of which are completely unrelated to vehicles and which apparently purchased Avis as a means of diversification. Today, Avis operates as an independent business and has joined forces with Budget Car Rental to form a single company.
Avis Car Rental employs more than 30,000 people worldwide and has expanded across the globe to Europe, South America, Africa, etc. The company is presently headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey and it trades on the NASDAQ, under the ticker symbol CAR.
Online and Rental Info:
Avis Car Rental can be found on the world wide web by visiting the web site avis.com. Reservations can be made directly through the web site, but can also be made via telephone or by searching for a car rental through one of the hundreds of travel related web sites. Go to most any travel service on the internet that rents cars, conduct a search, and you are almost certain to see Avis Car Rental show up in the search results.
Avis Car Rental is a large car rental operation that I have used multiple times over the years, both for vacation rental and for business car rentals. The company has a highly visible presence and its vehicles are rented in most every airport, large and small, across the United States and in dozens of foreign countries. Most anywhere you travel, you will see the familiar AVIS name, spelled out in red, inviting you to rent a car for your vacationing or business needs.
Avis Car Rental is so widely known that it is difficult to avoid using at least once. The first time I ever rented from AVIS was the result of finding what seemed like a good coupon in the Entertainment Book. It sounded like a good deal, so I called Avis Car Rental (there was no internet at the time) and booked my rental. The check in process was very smooth and I felt like I had a good experience at that point. When I checked the car back in after the trip, however, I noticed that some additional charges had been added to my bill for services that I was certain I had declined. I was able to get the charges dropped, so I can’t complain too much, but I was still annoyed that Avis Car Rental had made the mistake in the first place.
In other years, I returned to Avis Car Rental a few more times and each time, I found the check in and check out process both good and efficient. I was satisfied with the selection of vehicles, too, even though they are very stripped down and devoid of many options (common with most all car rentals) and I felt generally good about my purchase, at least to an extent. My issue each time, however, was with the inconsistency of customer service. I found that the customer service people were sometimes friendly and very focused on satisfaction, but sometimes very indifferent and almost annoyed that I was standing there at the counter, waiting for some help.
Another issue I have with Avis Car Rental is the pricing. Yes, it is common to find coupons for this rental service, but even with the coupons, the prices are still a little too much and can usually be bested by Enterprise, Budget, and others. I have also noticed that some of the coupons are very limited in use and require renting larger vehicles than you may need and renting for a long period of time, just to get a reduction of, say, $25 from your total bill. If I don’t need a larger vehicle but am forced to rent one to get the discount, then my total bill ends up being about what it would have been with a compact car rental and no discount. Avis Car Rental isn’t the only place that does this- other car rental operations do the same thing and it is quite annoying.
Overall, I find Avis Car Rental a very average car rental company and one that I may use again in the future, but am not anxious about in any way. It is a very middle of the road company in terms of pros and cons, with an almost equal number of reasons to like the company and not like the company. A little more consistency with customer service would change my opinion in the future, but for now, I will give Avis Car Rental a middle rating of three stars and a small recommendation.