Avis stakes a claim to be among the best car rental sites off the back of a history dating as far back as 1946. The first company to rent cars from airport locations, Avis has a truly global operation with approximately 5,500 locations in more than 165 countries.
Avis review: Rental options
Avis has over 1,900 locations in the U.S. and many others worldwide. This includes airport and neighborhood locations. If you can, try to find a non-airport Avis location, which can save you money since airport locations include additional fees on top of the taxes applied by many cities and states. If you book in advance, Avis will also pick you up from your home or hotel and take you to the office to complete the paperwork.
Avis review: Pricing
In our evaluation, Avis was about average price-wise for one-day rentals, but did tend to have better weekly rates. Unfortunately, it takes longer with the rewards program to earn free rentals than it does with all the other rental companies we reviewed.
To test Avis’s pricing, we requested a one-day rental and a week-long rental in New York City, Los Angeles and Houston for three different types of cars. We averaged the prices together and compared them with the other rental companies. Avis’s prices trended toward the middle, with higher daily rates but lower weekly rates than Enterprise.
We made reservations a few weeks in advance. Generally, we found that the closer to the date you make the reservation, the more you pay. Our prices also only account for one driver. If you’re planning on an adding an additional driver to your rental, Avis charges a $13 daily fee. This is one of the more expensive additional driver fees.
Avis review: Rewards program
Avis Preferred is its rewards program and is free to join. For each dollar you spend, you earn one point. One drawback of Avis Preferred is that it takes 700 points to earn a free rental, which is very high. You do get 100 points for joining and can also earn bonus points for renting accessories.
There’s an additional tier to Avis’s rewards program, Avis Preferred Plus, which you advance to after 12 rentals or spending $5,000. At this level you earn 1.25 points per dollar. If you make 25 rentals or spend $7,000 you earn 1.5 points per dollar. If you qualify for Preferred Plus you’ll also be eligible for complimentary upgrades. This rewards program also includes many of the standard benefits, such as expedited checkout that lets you go straight to your car and complete the rental from there.
Should you use Avis car rental?
With thousands of locations around the world, Avis will suit the international traveler down to the ground and has plenty to offer more local car hires constrained to the US too. The pricing is middle of the road, so there's better and worse elsewhere, but the rewards program could perhaps be improved.