Avis stakes a claim to be among the best car rental sites (opens in new tab) 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
With over 1,900 locations in the US, including airport and neighborhood locations, Avis is definitely up there among the car rental big hitters. For those who travel even farther afield, its status is only cemented by the 5,500 plus locations that Avis has across 165 countries worldwide - if you land in one of the major airports, an Avis desk is almost certain to be one of the first things that you see in the terminal.
In terms of vehicle selection, renters are spoiled for choice here too. Almost anything you can think of is likely to be available, including economy, compact, premium and luxury cars right through to different grades of SUV and van. Sportier models are also an option if you want to make a real impression, or there's hybrids if the environment is more your priority.
Avis review: Pricing
In our evaluation, Avis came out around average price-wise for one-day rentals, and slightly better than the norm for weekly rates. For example, a one-day economy rental cost around $95 and a seven-day rental was around $245.
To keep the cost down, it's advisable to 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. And 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: 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 high compared to most other car rental services. However, you do get 100 points for joining and can also earn bonus points for renting accessories, and there's no blackout dates either.
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 if you're simply looking to hire in the US too. Prices are around what you might expect from your average car rental service, so there's better but also worse elsewhere, while the rewards program is maybe not as rewarding as some others out there.