When we talk about car rental, most people think about renting a car on holiday, or getting around on business trips. However, at Avis, we also provide a car hire service to many companies, regardless of size, both in the UK and worldwide.
Avis Business Solutions caters predominantly for the small and medium sized company. Whether you are a sole trader or a medium sized company, and need a vehicle for business use, Avis Business Solutions can help provide the flexibility you need.
Some of the benefits of short-term rentals (we define this as 28 days or below) are that we offer a guaranteed low corporate rate, or the best Avis published rate in the UK, whichever is lower. Plus all our frequent business users have a 75% discount on our standard one-way fee, for those times when you only need to rent for a one-way trip. We also have a reward scheme and each and every company is given a dedicated account manager.
If you need a car for longer (for months, or even over a year), our long-term options can offer you the flexibility to rent the car as long as you like, low prices, delivery and collection service and 2,500 free miles on your car, every month you rent with us.
Full details of Avis Business Solutions can be found by clicking here, along with further information to help you make your decision. Alternatively, give one of the team a call on 08445 810 010.
I spent Tuesday and Wednesday in Berlin, so I was going to tell you a bit about this city. Unfortunately, my experience of Berlin was restricted to Tegel airport, taxis rides and the inside of hotels so there is not much for me to tell! However, I did rent a car from Avis at Stansted Airport after my flight back to the UK so I thought it might be worth telling you a bit about the airport instead.
Stansted Airport is located about 30 miles North-East of London in the county of Essex and is easily accessible from the M11, just a short trip north of Junction 27 of the M25. It is fairly small in comparison to Heathrow but it is BAA’s third largest UK airport and is popular amongst the low-cost carriers.
As is with most of the BAA airports, much of Stansted’s estate is dedicated to retail shopping outlets including some of the usual suspects such as HMV, Dixons, Sunglass Hut and French Connection. If you are flying out of Stansted, there are still heightened security checks in place so I would advise allowing a little bit of extra time. It took me about 30 minutes to get through on Monday night. More information is available on the BAA Stansted airport website.
As I alluded earlier, Avis have a desk at Stansted Airport. However, if you are a member of Avis Preferred you can bypass this desk and head straight to the Avis cabin in the Car Hire Pick-up car park. Our Select Series cars are also available to book here.
That aside, the thing that impressed me most about our Stansted location is the staff (which to be honest is what has always impressed me when renting from our locations). You just get the sense that they really care, even stress about making things right for their customers. So why we try to avoid self-congratulation on the blog I do think it is worthwhile giving a mention to the front-line staff who make it all happen.
By coincidence, I bumped into Donald Hayes, the Avis station manager at Stansted, who tells me that he reads this blog. So you have any feedback then this is the place to post it! :o)
Argos have already started to air their TV ads for Christmas and while it may seem a little early, a quick look at my calendar says that Christmas is closer than you think! (although for me the run-in to Christmas does not really start until the Coca Cola ads are on!).
Christmas is one of the busiest periods of the year for many travel providers and we are no exception. With a busy period like this the demand for hire cars can easily outstrip supply. So the best advice I can give if you are planning to rent a car is to book as early as possible. Firstly, this will help you guarantee getting a car (because if the past few years are to go by we will sell out). Secondly, the earlier in advance you book the better the price you are likely to get. As Xavier described in his blog post “Tips for getting the best price“, our pricing works similar to airlines with prices getting more expensive as the plane fills up (except of course we fill up cars not planes!).
My second tip is that if you need rent one way then look out for some bargains. To help us get our cars into the right locations we are currently putting in place some good prices on one way rentals into Heathrow and Gatwick airports and into our busiest locations in Central London. These prices will be available on cars that are picked up between the 14th and the 23rd of December from many of our locations in and around the Midlands, South and South East regions.
I had a great and exciting day yesterday. Not that the rest of my week is particularly difficult! Yesterday, we presented our latest innovations and leading edge services, as well as those of our partners The AA and Ai Claims Solutions, to our corporate customers.
It’s fair to say that there was a lot of enthusiasm from everyone about the level of effort put by Avis and its partners in bringing better services and products to the corporate market. Amongst other things, there was a great presentation on our environmental policies and green credentials from our newly appointed CSR manager, our staff demonstrated our Rapid Return services during a tour of the station, and Avis Prestige brought some nice cars (the new Audi A5 was there) to explain their services.
I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to present this Blog to everyone, and explain how it is used by you, our readers, and how we manage your comments and feedback. The feedback was really positive and I hope it demonstrated our commitment to listening to our customers.
Yesterday was a very good day, and I’d like to thank our customers for their positive comments.
I risk the wrath of my French boss for saying this (although he does claim he is “French-British”) but I just wanted to say good luck England for the Rugby World Cup final in Paris tomorrow. It’s been a fantastic achievement to get as far they have and hopefully they can lift some of the gloom after our depressing performance in the football in Russia by capping an amazing win against South Africa. This may sound cheesy but this team really is the perfect example of “We Try Harder”! Come on England!!!
We’ve had a few comments on the blog about what our policy is for dropping off a car “out of hours”. As customers look increasingly more for convenience, this is the sort of question we are seeing more and more.
Some of our busiest airport locations are open 24 hours a day where there is complete flexibility about when you pick up and return a car. These locations include London Heathrow, London Gatwick South Terminal, London Stansted, Birmingham Airport, Manchester Airport and Glasgow Airport.
Most of our other locations are open from 8am to 6pm although you can check opening times when you book. Unfortunately, we are not able to offer a service that allows you to pick up a car out of hours. Our website will advise you if you try to make a booking where this is the case.
However, for many of our locations we do allow our customers to return the car when the rental office is closed. Some of our locations have a secure Avis key drop-off box on site. Again you can check for this by clicking to view a rental station’s details on our website. If this facility is available it will be listed as “Out of hours return” under the “Services” list. I would also advise letting a member of our staff know in advance that you plan to leave the car out of hours so they know to look for it in the morning.
One thing that is important to make you aware of is that, if you bring the car back outside of opening hours, you will remain responsible for the condition of the vehicle until a member of staff inspects it. This means that the cost of any damage caused to the vehicle while it remains unattended is the responsibility of the customer and the customer will be liable up to the applicable excess.
This is my first ever blog post and I have to say that I’m excited by the prospect of being able to communicate with our customers in this way! As Head of Fleet Optimisation, the Holy Grail for my team and me is accurately “guessing” your requirements: when and where you want to rent, how many of you will rent and what type of car you’ll want.
In terms of what car you can choose at Avis, I recognise that a great product will play a large part in your decision to come back to Avis. In an effort to ensure our fleet is fresh and up to date, we have recently launched the new Fiat Bravo. I know Paul has mentioned it before, but this car is important to Fiat as they say it showcases their huge push on quality (first impressions and feedback are very good). What he didn’t tell you is that it comes with an amazing new 1.4 litre engine which produces 150 Bhp! I am also pleased to announce that we have just introduced some of the new Ford Mondeos on to our fleet. I know from reading the comments on this blog that this should excite some of our customers (although I should point out that we only have a limited quantity at the moment).
“Coming Soon” (November) is the new Mercedes C Class. We currently have a demonstrator from Mercedes and it seems hard to find a car that is more comfortable to drive. Later in November Renault will launch the new Laguna (Renault have chosen Avis as its launch partner). The new Laguna is a huge leap forward in terms of quality (and quality feel), which I experienced at their launch event in Austria (tough job but someone has to do it).
Hopefully I’ll be invited to write again soon where I can tell you more about our cars, some of the challenges we face and how we try to get the best product for our customers. In the meantime, please let me know your feedback on our fleet and our ability to provide the car you want when you want it.
Many thanks for your time!
Being a member of Avis Preferred has always been the quickest way to pick up a car with Avis. Last year our colleagues in France wanted to show just how quick this can be. They decided to put a little bit of pressure on themselves and launch a “3 minute promise” for Avis Preferred members. It is essentially a “speed of service” guarantee.
This is how it works…
1. The Avis Preferred member picks up a “time ticket” from the dedicated 3 minute promise kiosk before joining the line at the Avis Preferred desk to collect the keys for their rental car.
2. The ticket will show the time it was printed as well as a special barcode. The rental agent will scan this barcode along with their printed rental agreement before handing the customer their keys.
3. Having scanned the ticket, the time it took from originally printing the ticket to handing over the keys will be displayed on an LCD screen on the rental desk. This time should be less than 3 minutes!
4. If we have not fulfilled our 3 minute promise then we will provide the customer with a money-off voucher for use at high street stores.
So what do you think? Should we be doing the same in the UK? If you are a Preferred member, have you rented in France recently and seen the 3 minute promise in action? Does it work? Is it great? Do you even care?! As always I’d love to hear your thoughts!
A glance out of my window and it’s looking pretty gloomy outside. My walk from the car park into work was greeted with rain. I would say this is a sign that winter is coming but then when did we ever have a summer?
Grievances with the British weather aside, I thought it would be worthwhile reminding ourselves about how we need to adjust our approach to driving in winter conditions. We’ve previously written about driving in the snow and in floods so I thought, appropriately given today’s weather, that I write about driving in the rain.
The Think! Road Safety Website has some great advice for driving in the rain. I have summarized their top tips below…
- Hail and rain can reduce visibility and it can therefore be difficult to see and be seen. Use dipped headlights and reduce your speed.
- In wet weather the stopping distance will be at least double compared to stopping on dry roads. Make sure you keep extra distance between yourself and the car in front.
- If steering becomes unresponsive, it probably means the water is preventing the tyres from gripping the road. Ease off the accelerator and slow down gradually. On this point I’d say be very extra careful driving on motorways. I know from my experience of driving on the M4 that the water can often settle around the central reservation and it can be easy to lose control as your right side gets caught in large puddles at high speeds.
- I would also advise being careful when overtaking in wet conditions, especially overtaking lorries on the motorway as the spray they kick back can particularly impair visibility.
The Think! Road Safety Website also advises on driving in other hazardous conditions as well as how to prepare your car for winter conditions. Your safety is paramount so please drive carefully!
While it has been on the radar for many years now, the Stern Review that was published last year, escalated the issue of climate change high up the political agenda. There will always be sceptics out there but reducing or mitigating the effect our operations have on the environment has always been a priority for Avis ever since we started working with The CarbonNeutral Company 7 years ago.
For many customers, reducing the size of their own ‘carbon footprint’ is important to them too as momentum starts to pick up towards creating a more sustainable future. In the automobile industry the foundations for achieving this vision are in motion. However, while some new alternative fuels are showing plenty of promise (see Rob’s post ‘Running on thin air’), a sustainable automobile industry is contingent on the availability of affordable, eco-friendly cars and on a refuelling infrastructure to support this, which is perhaps some way off.
In the short-term travel is inevitable and if it is not possible to reduce the environmental impact of this, then I think carbon off-setting has an important role to play. To make this option as convenient as possible we are providing our customers the opportunity to offset the CO2 emissions of their rental by SMS (previously it was only available when making a booking on our website). All you need to do is text the word ‘neutral’ to 87202 and it costs just the price of a text message plus £1.50 (this is added to your phone bill). Payment will go to the The CarbonNeutral Company who will take responsibility for ensuring that the CO2 emissions of your rental are off-set.
I would love to hear any feedback you have about the role an organisation like Avis should take in the fight against climate change? Is it important for you to rent from an eco-conscious car hire company? Or do you, as one customer once put to me, think it is all “complete guff”?