Vicki reminded me that this month is the blog’s birthday, now making it 3 years old!

I still remember the day we launched it, wondering whether people would bother posting their comments or even read it at all. Thankfully the response has been brilliant and the dialogue with our customers continues to grow. Admittedly the feedback hasn’t always been positive but, even when it isn’t, it provides the opportunity for us to learn and improve so we can provide the best service possible.

So thank you everyone for your contributions over the last 3 years. We look forward to hearing more from you in the future!

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South_AfricaAs many of you’ll be heading to South Africa for the football & will be renting a car, we’ve teamed up with the Department of Transport to provide you with helpful driving tips to make your trip more relaxed & enjoyable.

For many people the challenge of driving an unfamiliar vehicle is hard enough, but is made more daunting by having to drive on the left hand side of the road – something which we assure you gets easier after the first day. The trick, aside from the gear lever being operated by the left hand, is the need to look to the left to focus on the central rear view mirror.

South African roads carry close to 10 million vehicles and while the highways have recently undergone major renovations some still have a fair amount of pot holes. Therefore caution is needed when driving, as an inadvertent encounter with a pot hole could cause serious damage to your rental vehicle. You should also be aware that many South African drivers are relatively inexperienced and may be inclined to making a few errors of judgement. So stay alert as you don’t want to sour an otherwise enjoyable drive.

A last note of caution relates to the much publicised crime situation. While the probability of such an incident is slim, we encourage customers to use “common sense”; so steer clear of driving late night in central major cities, be alert when stopped at traffic lights, do not leave valuables and hand bags in view of pedestrians and street hawkers etc. These simple actions will add to a trouble free journey.

Driving around South Africa:

To make your journey easier, Avis provide easy reference maps that cover many of the great drives available in South Africa. We would also recommend hiring a GPS device, which will safely guide you to your destination. In addition to this we advise that you travel with your lights on at all times; while the law doesn’t require this, it’s a sure way of reducing the chance of an accident.

Even more important is the need for you to familiarise yourself with the workings of the vehicle before you drive off. Know how to open the boot and bonnet, plus find where the tools are for changing the wheel in the event of a flat tyre.

Most drivers in South Africa are courteous and will accommodate the needs of another driver, but remember that unlike other countries where vehicles are automatically “given a gap” here it’s acquired partly by some assertive driving and accompanied by a big smile and appropriate gestures (not aggressive ones).

Obeying the law

Generally the road rules are fairly easy to follow,. In South Africa two of the more common speed limits are 60 kph and 120 kph – the former being applicable in built up areas, while the higher speed is for travelling on highways or main roads. If you do encounter a law enforcement office resist the temptation to “bribe” the officer. Politely greet the officer and acknowledge the error with the request to have the “ticket” issued will make the point that as a visitor you do intend to obey the law.

South Africa has some of the best scenic driving roads in the world. We hope that you will not only enjoy a number of these but that the activities and experiences on the way will be savoured and enjoyed.

Enjoy South Africa!

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We are aware that a lot of our customers start their journey with a flight and some of them may be affected by the upcoming BA cabin crew strike. If, due to this strike you need to modify your travel arrangements, here is some information on how to make changes to your car rental booking with Avis.

Note from Avis BA Partnerships Team:

The forthcoming British Airways cabin crew strike, starting tomorrow and taking place on 20, 21, 22 March and 27, 28 , 29, 30 March, may be affecting your car rental requirements. We’d like to take this opportunity to outline your options if you have a car reserved with us over this period.

If you have a pay-later reservation and need to cancel or amend it, please call the BA Partnership Dedicated line at our Call Centre on 0844 581 0124 and one of our agents will make the necessary arrangements for you. The sooner you can cancel or amend your booking the easier will be to find a suitable alternative to your original reservation.

If you have pre-paid for your rental and need to amend or cancel, again please contact our dedicated line at the Call Centre on 0844 581 0124. If you need to request a refund, please send the request along with your Avis reservation number to:

Avis Rent a Car Ltd
Customer Services
Avis House
Park Road
Bracknell
Berkshire
RG12 2EW
United Kingdom

If you booked your Avis car directly with British Airways either at ba.com or with a BA Call Centre, please contact their Customer Services Duty Office to make any amendments or cancellations:

Telephone: +44 208 707 4461
Email address: duty.office@holidays.britishairways.com

Please contact us as soon as possible with your revised requirements. Thank you for your patience and understanding during these exceptional circumstances.

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TuscanyMore than just car rental with Avis: We’ve partnered up with Lonely Planet and Stanfords to offer you free highlights maps and the chance
to win a holiday to Tuscany.

If you’re familiar with the Avis We Try Harder blog you’ll know how we often like to share tales of our road trips and offer advice on interesting itineraries to discover with your car hire. However this time we’ve decided to take a step forward and enlisted the help of the professionals; every week Lonely Planet are offering all visitors to the avis.co.uk the possibility to download new highlights maps of popular regions in France, Spain and Italy, and all absolutely free!

This is to celebrate the launch of 7 new-look regional guides covering a range of don’t-miss experiences perfect for foodies, walkers and culture lovers. This new series includes guides for Andalucia, The Italian Lakes, Tuscany & Umbria, Brittany & Normandy, Corsica, Naples & The Amalfi Coast and Provence & Cote d’Azur. And if you order your Lonely Planet guides from Stanfords, you will get 20% discount.

But that’s not all, we are also giving you a chance to WIN a fantastic food-lovers trip for two to Tuscany.

Visit our website to download your free highlights maps and for more information on how to enter the prize draw.

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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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Why we love to blog

At Avis, we really do try harder. We pioneered blogging in the car rental world and we aim to make our blog much more than just an information source. You can use our blog to ask questions or tell us what’s important to you when you hire a car. We try harder because we care what you think, so we really do value your feedback.

New to car rentals? Our blog gives you tips and advice on getting the most out of your Avis car hire experience. You can find information about booking and hiring your car, safety tips, and eco driving. We also provide driving advice and the latest news about our fleet.

We understand that hiring a car is just one part of your trip, so our blog covers other aspects of holiday and business travel too. Whether you want to know more about business travel hire conditions, access to location and city guides or ideas for families travelling with children, it’s all here.

But that’s just a taster – find out more about the Avis blog.