Avis Car Rental Review Review
Rating 4.5/5

Avis Car Rental Options

Avis mainly rents out GM vehicles, with a few options available from foreign car brands such as Toyota and Nissan, as well as a small number of domestic options including Ford, Chevrolet and Chrysler. Since the majority of the fleet is GM, they don’t offer a large selection of hybrid vehicles. The options include:

  • small to full size vehicles (6 options), including the Toyota Prius (Hybrid).
  • SUVs and Jeep (6 options) including Chevrolet Tahoe, or Jeep Wrangler.
  • Avis Select Series (6 options) including Corvette Coupe, or Mercedes E350.
  • Luxury & Convertible (6 options) including Mustang Coupe or Convertible, or Dodge Charger, or Cadillac XTS FWD.
  • Trucks and Vans (5 options) including Ford Transit, Nissan Frontier, or Chrysler Pacifica.

You can book and pay online using your smartphone, and you can even use your phone to locate and unlock the car in the parking lot. You don’t even have to go to the counter or wait in a queue.

Additional options

When you rent a car from Avis, you can enjoy the following additional products:

Child safety seats:  Keep your little one safe by renting baby and child safety seats according to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard and LATCH compliant systems.

GPS navigation: Find your destination with use by including a GPS unit in your car rental agreement. These units can easily be paired with the bluetooth on your mobile device for hands-free calls.

SiriusXM: Most Avis vehicles are equipped with SiriusXM satellite radio so that you can enjoy commercial-free music, sports, news, entertainment, comedy and talk shows.

Travel Tab Adventurer: Enjoy unlimited navigation, unlimited WiFi, and international calling when you add this option to your car rental.

Avis App: The Avis App makes it easy for you to book and manage your car rental from your phone.

Avis e-Toll: Avis offers a range of special services to help manage your toll fees.

Airport Car Rentals

One-way car rentals to or from the nearest airport is a great way to rent a car for traveling to your next destination without having to return the car to the pick-up location. You will save time and money with one-way rentals.

When you book a one-way rental with Avis, you will pay as little as $9.99 for 12 hours. You will also get to keep it for 12 hours, and have a free tank of gas and 150 free miles. This option is available at selected locations, which means that you get to pick the car  up at the airport and drop it downtown between Thursday and Friday, or pick it up downtown and drop it at the airport location on Sunday or Monday.

One way rentals start at $9.99 for Economy, Compact, Intermediate, Standard and Full-size vehicles, and $14.99 for Premium cars and Intermediate SUVs.

Avis Car Rental Rates

Avis car rentals are available in daily and weekly options. Their rates fall about at mid-level compared to other vehicle rental companies, with lower weekly rental options and daily rates being slightly higher. When comparing the average cost of renting cars with Avis to that of some of the other companies we reviewed, we found that Avis’ rates fall in the middle, with higher daily rates and lower weekly rates than their competitors.

Adding an additional driver to your rental package will cost $13 more per day. That means that adding an additional driver is more expensive with Avis than with most other companies. Instead of adding everyone who will accompany you on your trip as an additional driver, stick with no more than one additional driver.

By booking a car well in advance, you can save a lot of money on your rental, and you will have a bigger selection of more economical options to choose from.

Based on our evaluation and their track record in the industry, Avis car rental seems to be one of the solid companies. Their pricing is decent, and they have many locations.

Fuel Plans for Your Car Rental

Avis offers three flexible ways to suit your preferences. Whether you want to pay upfront, or to avoid using the pump when you return your car. Choose from the following options, based on your budget and schedule:

  • Fuel Service Option – With this option, you will pay in advance for a full tank of fuel, and return it empty. Avis will refill the tank at comparable rates to that of the local retail pumps. It’s a good idea to bring the car back with a tank as empty as possible as you will not be credited for unused fuel.
  • Self-Service* – If you’re unsure as to how far you will be driving, you may want to opt for the self serving option. All you have to do is stop at the gas station right before you drop the car, and fill the tank immediately before returning it to Avis.
  • EZFuel® and Fuel Service Charge* – If you’re not driving far, this is the right option for you. If you are driving less than 75 miles, you will pay a low flat fee of $15.99 (or $16.99 in California) and can return the car without stopping at the pump. If you do fill up the car and present your receipt, the charge will be removed when you return the car. This option is only available in select locations.

* Not available on avis.com, but can be requested at the rental counter.

Avis Car Rental Discounts & Rewards

Avis Car Rental offers a rewards program, which is free to join. For every $1 you spend, you earn 1 point, and once you have accumulated 700 points, you qualify for a free rental. You do receive 100 points for joining the Avis Preferred rewards program, and you earn points when you rent accessories.

The higher tier of the rewards program, Avis Preferred Plus, is reached once you have completed 12 rentals, or spent in excess of $5,000. When you reach this level, you will earn 1.25 per dollar; after 25 rentals (or $7,000) you will earn 1.5 points for every dollar you spend, and on this level, you also become eligible for free upgrades.

Other benefits of the rewards program include expedited checkout, which means no more queueing.

You may qualify for the following discounts, even if you don’t belong to the rewards program:

  • 30% off if you prepay for your rental.
  • 30% off rental costs for AARP members.

It does take a bit longer to earn free rentals with Avis’ reward program than with that of other companies, as you have to obtain 700 points to be eligible for a free rental, but that should not be the number one deciding factor.

Cover & Protection

We don’t plan on emergencies, but they happen when we least expect them to. That’s why Avis offers insurance cover  and a range of other protections which you can add to your rental contract, including:

Extended Roadside Assistance – You can add this coverage to your Avis car rental reservation, and benefit from fast and reliable service when you need assistance on the road.

Emergency Sickness Plan (ESP) – This option is available to people from outside of the U.S. who rents a car from Avis USA. It provides coverage for certain medical expenses that result from sickness.

Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) – This option provides medical coverage and insurance for you and your passengers in the event of an accident or death.

Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) – With this option, the company waives your financial responsibility in the event that your rental car is stolen or damaged.

Additional Liability Insurance (ALI) – This excess insurance protects the renter and all authorized drivers on the car rental contract against claims for third party property damage and bodily injury.

Avis Car Rental Locations

Avis Car Rental has over 1,900 locations around the world, including in Africa, Asia Pacific, Canada and USA, Caribbean, Europe, Japan, Kosovo, Latin America, Middle East and the Russian Federation. Many branches are located at airports for the convenience of individual and business travelers. You can save more money by finding a non-airport location, as those often involve additional fees.

The Verdict

Is Avis Car Rental for you, or not? Well, it really depends on your needs and budget. With generous discounts for booking upfront and an intuitive mobile app to save on complicated booking procedures, that is a big drawing card for many. Some customers say that Avis Rent a Car is better suited to business people, thanks to the locations of many of the branches (at hotels and airports) and the rewards program that encourages high volume rentals. Most people agree that the cars are in good condition and safe, and their rates are not too high or too low.

When looking at online reviews, it seems that some renters have been overcharged and had a hard time securing a refund. Also, people have reserved cars to find that they are no longer available for pickup at the agreed upon location. Of course, that is unacceptable when you need a car in a hurry.

Advance booking is key, especially over the holidays. Also, read the contract carefully and place a copy of the signed contract in a safe place.

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