The most-used company in this year’s survey, Avis operates in thousands of locations on six out of the seven continents.
Which? verdict: For a company trusted by so many, its customer service and value for money ratings are disappointing. However, it has introduced Covid-safe hygiene measures that impressed Which? members.
Car hire company: Avis (344)
Which? Recommended Provider
Average price per day
Clarity of final hire cost
Age, condition & mileage of car
Value for money
We sampled 2,282 people in January 2020 who had hired a car in the last 12 months. Sample size is in brackets. Customer score combines overall satisfaction and likelihood to recommend. A dash means not enough responses to calculate that category.
Avis’ customer score has not changed since last year. 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: ‘Always check the receipt carefully.’
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.
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.
We asked Avis customers who had rented a car in 2020, during the pandemic, how confident they felt that Avis had done everything it could to minimise the risk of Covid transmission. A whopping 94% said they were either very confident (55%) or fairly confident (39%).
Avis 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 if you plan on using this car hire company, watch out for those extra charges.