Audi A6Firstly, I just want to say thank you for all the great feedback that was provided about the Select Series on the blog. We have spent the last few months deliberating based on your feedback, last year’s performance and what the manufacturers have available to us to help decide how the Select Series will look for the rest of the year. I am now pleased to say that we are in position to announce this.

This year the choice of Select Series will be simplified. Also, as before, availability of Select Series cars will be limited to 8 locations although the cars we have available at each of these locations will also differ. This is to ensure we allocate our cars to the locations where they are most popular. Below I have listed the cars available and where they will be available at:

Peugeot 207CC (manual)
Available at all Select Series locations including the airports Gatwick, Heathrow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and Stansted as well as our Mayfair location in central London.

Volkswagen Golf (manual)
Available at all Select Series locations including the airports Gatwick, Heathrow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and Stansted as well as our Mayfair location in central London.

Audi A4 saloon (manual)
Available at the following locations: Gatwick, Heathrow, Edinburgh and Manchester airports.

Audi A4 saloon (automatic)
Available at the following locations: Gatwick, Heathrow and Manchester airports plus our Mayfair location in central London.

Audi A4 estate (automatic)
Available at the following locations: Gatwick, Heathrow and Edinburgh airports.

Mercedes C Class estate (automatic)
Available at the following locations: Gatwick, Heathrow and Edinburgh airports.

Audi A6 Saloon (automatic)
Available at the following locations: Gatwick, Heathrow and Manchester airports plus our Mayfair location in central London.

If past history is anything to go by there will undoubtedly be lots of questions and feedback to this modified Select Series so please fire away. I know one of these questions will be about when our customers can expect to see the new Audi A4 on Select Series. The first of these will be available with the automatic transmission and this will start to be phased into our fleet from July. I should also note that the new Audi A4 will no longer automatically include GPS although it will continued to be included in the price with the A6.

Most of the changes to Select Series will come into effect from this Friday (May 2nd) and is bookable on the www.avis.co.uk website as normal.

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The founders of Rate My Placement (l-r): Ali Lindsay, Ben Smith, Oli Sidwell, Chris WicksonAcknowledging achievement is quickly becoming a theme on the blog as today I would like to recognise my Marketing colleague and past flat mate Chris Wickson (pictured far right in the photo), who, along with three of his friends from university (pictured with Chris), was a finalist at the inaugural HSBC Unipreneur of the Year. The award has been set-up to recognise those students and graduates who represent the UK’s newest and brightest breed of budding entrepreneurs rewarding the overall winner with a £20,000 prize to invest into their business.

Chris and co’s progress in the competition was just reward for the success of their service RateMyPlacement, a website (www.ratemyplacement.co.uk) that allows students to post reviews about their experiences on work placement. Work placements play a critical role for university students, providing them the opportunity to spend a year out from their studies to gain practical experience in their chosen industry as part of their degree. The experiences shared on RateMyPlacement allows prospective work placement students to make a more informed decision about where to work so they can focus their energy on applying for roles at companies where they can expect to progress their personal development rather than wasting time surfing the internet and making coffee (a situation that unfortunately seems to occur far too often). Unfortunately, RateMyPlacement did not win the award but they did pretty incredible to make it to the final 5 having competed against over 400 other entries. And Chris got his moment in the limelight, presenting in the final to a panel of judges that included Dragon’s Den own Peter Jones. Of course he also did Tycoon so hey what does he know anyway?!

Well done Chris. Having witnessed first-hand your passion and dedication to your company (while still putting in a high standard of work at Avis) I could say that you fully deserve all the recognition you are getting!

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Tony Smith with son RobbieI met with our PR agency the other day and in our meeting they handed me a photocopy of a newspaper article from the Newcastle based Sunday Sun, which they suggested I should feature on the blog. Intrigued I quickly cast my eye over it. The first paragraph introduced an Anthony Smith, a fleet manager from Whickham, Gateshead who had been shortlisted for the Tomy “Daddy Idol” award, based “on his looks” and “what makes him a good dad”. After doing double take on the picture I quickly realised this Daddy Idol finalist was our very own Tony Smith!

Unfortunately, the modest Tony (or Anthony as the article refers to him) did not tell anyone at work about his entry so we were unable to help him get enough votes to help him win the award. But we are delighted to recognise his achievement on the blog and I encourage anyone to join me in congratulating Tony on his Daddy Idol nomination!

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We’ve had a number of questions posted on the blog recently, asking about what we will ‘hold’ against your credit card when you pick up your hire car with Avis. It can sometimes differ by country/location but here is a general rule: if it is a ‘pay later’ booking then we will ‘hold’ for the cost of the basic rental price you would have been quoted for at the time of booking (usually includes time and mileage of the rental, Vehicle Damage Cover, Vehicle Theft Cover and any applicable taxes). In addition, we will also put a hold for the price of any additional extras you opt to add to your rental at the rental counter (e.g. excess waivers, additional driver, etc), plus the estimated cost of a tank of fuel. If you’re booking is pre-paid then we will only put a hold against the additional extras and the fuel given that everything else has been paid for in advance!

If you have any questions about payment with Avis then please feel free to post them. I should also note that, while there are many comments already posted here that provide advice, our policies are subject to change. So please bear this in mind when reading old commentary – you may want to ask the same question again. For more information about accepted credit cards, please visit our blog post on this topic.

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I have just read that the number of reviews on Tripadvisor has grown from 10 million to 15 million in the past 9 months alone. With the site attracting more than 25 million unique visitors last year, it would suggest that Tripadvisor is becoming increasingly more influential in how we all research our travel plans.

Personally, I’ve always been excited about the impact all of these review sites, social networks and blogs are having. No longer do we have to base our flight, hotel or car hire booking on all the fluffly promises that each competing brand is feeding us. Instead we can read about real experiences, from real people and make more informative decisions about who we book our travel with. But just how influential are these reviews on the likes of Tripadvisor and other review websites and forums? I’d love to gauge your opinion in the poll below. Of course, as always, any comments on this are welcome!

[poll=8]

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Our counterparts in the US recently launched a new TV advertising campaign. The ads tell the sad story of how cheated your private car feels when you rent a car with Avis. There are four ads in total, all of them quite amusing, and I have posted my favourite below. Let me know what you think…

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Having taken a look at our traffic numbers I can see that Xavier’s post last month about the ex-hire cars we have available for sale has been one of my most read on this blog. So you’re more interested in reading about buying a car from Avis than about hiring them?! Oh the irony!

Having made a quick trip over to the Fleet team (they sit opposite me so it wasn’t far!) I thought I’d ask for an update on what ex-hire cars we have available to see if there was anything new of interest I could tell you about. It turns out that we now have a range of Volkswagens on the list which is great news! This includes the Golf and Golf Plus, the Jetta and the Passat. Amongst the Golf models we have available is the GT Sport but my informers are telling that they are proving particularly popular. We only have a limited number available so my inside top tip for our blog readers is to get in there quick before they’re gone! If you are interested to learn more about the ex-hire cars we have available or, if you wish to enquire about the possibility of buying one, then full information is available on our website.

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Peugeot 207CCA recent survey of ours showed that, for 44% of UK car renters, their perception of the make/model they had rented had improved slightly or was much better after renting that car. The same percentage also said that they are slightly or much more likely to add this make/model on to the shopping list of their car purchase.

Renting a car is a good way to not only experience new models that you have not previously driven, it gives you the opportunity to try out the car more comprehensively. So if you’re in the market for buying a new car then why not try renting one?! And if you want to try something specific then of course Select Series gives you the opportunity to try the Peugeot 207CC, the VW Golf or the Audi A4 and A6.

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Not too long ago, one of our customers, Isabel, posted some great feedback on the blog. One of her suggestions encouraged us to offer the option of having your hire car delivered to, and collected from your own home.

It’s a concept that has intrigued us for some time. However, I am delighted to announce we have decided to launch in the UK on a permanent basis. Our new Avis Home Delivery service gives you the flexibility to start and end your rental from the convenience of your own home!

We are still testing the product but it is available to book. We are not quite at the final product yet as we are still finalising the price of the service, how much notice we need for Avis Home Delivery bookings and what time window we are confident in promising we can get the vehicle delivered in by.

Currently, Avis Home Delivery is available to book at all of our off-airport locations so if it is something that interests you, please give it a try. In the short-term, it can only be booked directly with your local rental office. All telephone numbers are available on the website. As always, any thoughts you have on this new service are welcome as we look to put the final touches together!

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The 5 spaniels in the boot of my carI managed to escape the worst of the Easter weather, as I went home to Ireland for the bank holiday weekend. A couple of times a year we travel on the ferry and take the car. This means that we can bring the dogs with us, but they have to stay in the car while on the ferry. :(

I’m currently driving an Audi A4 Avant, with built in Sat Nav incorporating European countries, so I was able to set the destination in Kildare from home. 385 miles all in although 50 of those are across the sea. We always take the Stena fast craft ferry from Holyhead, which only takes about 2 hours by sea. The total journey time from Newbury where I live, to my family home in Clane, Co. Kildare is about 8 hours. As well as being able to bring the dogs there’s the great advantage of being able to take as much luggage as I like, with no worries about weight limits and what you can put in your cabin baggage. :)

My Dad took my husband to visit Croke Park, the national stadium of the Gaelic Athletics Association. It was only last year that “foreign” games like Rugby and Soccer were allowed to play there for the first time. The highlight of the trip for the dogs were the visits to Donadea Forest Park near my hometown – did I mention that my parents have 3 dogs? That was a total of 5 spaniels in the boot of the Audi (see picture above).

But my own highlights included shopping on Grafton Street where everybody should try Brown Thomas and a visit to my Alma Mater Trinity College Dublin.

So try a trip to Ireland by ferry or you could always fly into Dublin Airport and rent a car from Avis there…

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Please note:

The details of all blog posts are correct at the time of publication. Information and offers are subject to change without prior notice. Please check www.avis.co.uk for the most up-to-date information.

All comments will be moderated so there may be a delay in your comment going live. We will filter out anything that is confidential, inappropriate, abusive, defamatory, profane, or anything considered as spam or an advertising link. We promise not to cut something just because it's not favourable to Avis.

We ask that if your feedback is regarding a past rental, you include your reservation details (which will be removed from the live post). If your comment is a customer service issue, you can email customer.service@avis.co.uk .
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