The most-used car hire company in our survey, Avis operates in thousands of locations on six out of the seven continents.
Which? verdict: For a company trusted by so many, its huge price rises, customer service and value for money ratings are disappointing.
|Car hire company: Avis (344)|
|Which? Recommended Provider||Customer score||Clarity of final hire cost||Customer service||Age, condition & mileage of car||Value for money|
|We sampled 2,282 Which? members in January 2020, a further 843 in January 2021, and a further 657 in 2022. Sample size is in brackets. Customer score combines overall satisfaction and likelihood to recommend. A dash means not enough responses to calculate that category.|
We asked Avis why it had the steepest price rise of the major brands in our 2022 survey. It told us: 'Like the rest of the industry, we are having to amend our rates to reflect the increasing costs of fleet procurement, minimum wages, fuel prices and energy costs. We continue to do everything in our power to maximise the availability of our fleet'.
It's one of the world's biggest car hire providers, so we'd have expected it to have been able to absorb more of the costs for consumers.
On top of the price rises, customers reported that the experience of hiring a car with Avis was a bit hit and miss.
At the booking stage, customers rated the clarity of the final hire cost a mediocre three stars. Some drivers told us they’d been hit with extra fees they hadn’t been expecting. One warned: ‘Avis made an additional charge to my credit card when returning the car. They did not tell me anything about it, and have subsequently failed to justify it in any way.’
Avis did manage to bag four-star ratings in some areas, including for age, condition and mileage of cars, how well the description matched the car provided and clarity of fuel policy.
However, it is less impressive in categories such as the ease of opting out of additional extras. Some customers worryingly commented that ‘they use pressure selling to sell things you don’t want’ and ‘I hate that every time you pick up a hire car they try to upsell. Some 15% of Avis customers said they bought additional insurance because they felt under pressure. Pressure selling is illegal. Find out which you should buy.
Customers who have joined the free Avis Preferred scheme gave more positive comments, particularly on queuing: ‘Generally the pick-up/drop-off is painless - our "preferred" card means we never queue, and all they need is a signature. It can be dropped off in less than one minute’. Avis Preferred customers also liked that they often received upgrades.
offers high-quality cars worldwide, and its free-to-join Avis Preferred loyalty scheme is well liked by members, but its customer service is mediocre. And watch out for those extra charges. We'd recommend booking with instead