PicnicMainSummertime is all about getting out and enjoying the countryside, and there’s no better way to do it than on a classic family picnic. And with Avis Rent a Car, you can make sure that no one gets left behind, with estates and people carriers that can fit in everyone and everything you need, from hampers and ice boxes to chairs and cricket sets.

Renting an estate or people carrier from Avis means that the whole family can share in the scenery, history and beauty of Britain. With an extensive fleet of vehicles and so many great picnic spots across the country, from stately homes to spectacular coasts, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Here are our top five suggestions for the perfect picnic, from Edinburgh to Brighton.

1. Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh
For a breathtaking view, without getting too out of breath, head up to Arthur’s Seat, one of the famous seven hills that surround Edinburgh. This is a popular picnic spot, with plenty of sheltered nooks and crannies in which to make camp along the way, and the view from the peak across the city and out along the Firth of Forth is well worth the half hour climb. Find Arthur’s Seat in the heart of Edinburgh.

2. Padley Gorge, Derbyshire
Pretty much anywhere in the spectacular Peak District National Park, to the South East of Manchester, is worth a visit, but Padley Gorge is a particular favourite for picnics. There’s something for everyone in this fairyland location, as the stream winds its way between grassy banks and off into the woods, creating fascinating rock pools and attracting a wealth of wildlife. Find Padley Gorge on the B6251 Grindleford road, just off the A625.

3. Hardcourt Arboretum, Oxford
Hardcourt Arboretum is the perfect place to get back to nature with a private picnic in one of the many clearings dotted among the ten acres of woodland. Let the kids go off safely squirrel spotting, running through the wildflower meadow and playing hide and seek amongst the trees, while you relax and enjoy the peace and quiet. Hardcourt Arboretum lies six miles south of Oxford on the A4074.

4. Avebury Stone Circle
Unlike its better known partner at Stonehenge, Avebury Stone Circle enjoys open access, allowing you to pitch your picnic right in the heart of history. Despite being the largest stone circle in Europe, Avebury also has far fewer visitors, so you can picnic in peace and experience first hand the strange ethereal energy of this fascinating location. Find Avebury Stone Circle around ten miles south of Swindon and the M4 on the A4361.

5. Devil’s Dyke, East Sussex
Our final picnic destination takes us right to the south coast, with stunning views across the South Downs and out over the English Channel. Devil’s Dyke has lots of open space to enjoy, with everything from Iron Age forts to rare and exotic wildlife, and its higher ground is especially good for flying kites. Devil’s Dyke is on the A23 just outside Brighton, within easy reach of London for a day trip.

Avis makes it easy
Whether you’re hiring a car in England or hiring a car in Scotland, with Avis it couldn’t be easier, because we take care of everyone. You can hire baby and child seats to make sure the little ones stay safe, and even add an extra driver to share the miles on longer trips. We’ll even arrange delivery to your door, to take the hassle out of your big day out.

So get out and enjoy the great outdoors of Great Britain this summer. From Scotland to the South Coast, there are hundreds of different picnic places to explore. Why not let us know your favourites – we may even feature them on the Avis blog.

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Jaguar-XJAt Avis we are excited to announce that we are adding the NEW Jaguar XJ to our Avis Prestige fleet.

The original Jaguar XJ was a car that epitomised luxury and comfort and those credentials remain unchanged with the new 2010 model. This is Jaguar’s flagship saloon, and the first launch under new owners Tata Motors.

The previous model couldn’t help but start to look dated and the new XJ has undergone a radical change from the original body style, which was little changed for 40 years.

Whilst the new XJ resembles the XF, it’s fabulous to look at and at the forefront of technology with many functions controlled by a touch-screen allowing easy programming of the sat-nav system.

The interior exudes quality with the leather and wood finish and the impressive Bowers & Wilkins premium sound system which pipes your desired tunes through an array of speakers, including three in each door, two on the dashboard, four surround speakers on the parcel shelf, and two subwoofers!

This car is part of the Avis Prestige executive saloon range available for delivery from London, Heathrow and Manchester.

If you have rented this car or plan to we would love to get your feedback.

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We’ve been listening to your feedback about offering our Avis Home Delivery service in London and I am really excited to announce we will be rolling out the service to the West London area! We will be open for reservations from 1st July and some of the areas we will be delivering to include West Brompton, Chiswick, Fulham, Hammersmith, Kensington and Notting Hill to name a few.

For full information on Home Delivery or to book this service go to www.avis.co.uk/homedelivery (where you can use the postcode search to confirm we deliver to your area) or call our reservations team on 0844 581 8181.

It would be great to hear what you think about our expansion of this service into London.

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WebsiteWe are very excited to introduce the new Avis Rent a Car website. If you have visited the Avis website before, the first thing you’ll notice when you land on the car rental homepage, is the new, fresher look with a cleaner top menu to help you navigate your way around the sections of the website. But this is just the start!

The main improvement is without a doubt, the leaner and faster booking process. We’ve reduced the number of steps needed to rent a car to four and refreshed each of the four pages to give you more information, easier navigation and ultimately make your selection easier.

Now all you’ll have to do is:
1) Select your dates/rental station
2) Choose your car group
3) Select your preferred payment option and add any extras you may need (GPS, child seat etc)
4) Enter your details

And in less than 5 minutes your booking is done!

And you’ll now find your personal account sign-in and account summary on every page so you can sign in anytime you like without going back to the homepage .

We would love to hear what you think of the new website, and of course if you have any suggestion on how we can still improve it please let us know.

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FestivalsWith Glastonbury and Reading festivals just around the corner, it’s time to heave aside the pinstripes and spreadsheets and to embrace your inner cool. And though we’re big fans of the big festivals, we thought we’d take a look at some of the smaller set-ups that sometimes slip under the radar.

And if you’re heading to a festival this summer, why not hire a larger car or people carrier from Avis to get you, your mates and all of your stuff there in total comfort? – As we all know there is never quite enough room for everyone and everything in a small car.

Indietracks – 23-25 July 2010
Near Ripley, Derbyshire

A hidden gem for the lucky 2,500 who get tickets. Bands play in a train shed or on moving trains: trippy. The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart headline, along with plenty of off-the-grid new talent.

National Forest Folk Festival – 2-4 July 2010
Conkers, near Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire

A natural outdoor amphitheatre in a forest with Adrian Edmondson and The Bad Shepherds, Eliza Carthy and Saul Rose, Lau and the Peatbog Faeries. Bring your woggle.

The Secret Garden Party – 22-25 July 2010
Near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire

A Fact or Fiction theme plus the Gorillaz Sound System and Mercury Rev competing with the Suicide Sports Amphitheatre, 20ft punch fountains and the Kissing Den. And busboys to carry your bags if you really must.

International Gypsy Guitar Festival – 30 July-1 August 2010
Cam, Dursley, Gloucestershire

Paulus Schafer, Antonio Forcione and Andreas Oberg twang guitars in a small but perfectly formed festival. Bring your guitar, fiddle or double bass and jam.

Truck – 23-25 July 2010
Steventon, near Abingdon, Oxfordshire

No advertising or sponsorship, just young up-and-coming bands plus Bellowhead, Pulled Apart by Horses and Steve Mason. Village fete meets Woodstock, where the local vicar runs the tea stall.

Rame Dance Festival – 2-4 July 2010
Mount Edgcumbe, Cornwall

Small-scale event by the beach. It’s dance plus live bands, experimental cabaret, open mike and a dance tent with reggae and dance tunes. Hire a teepee and get that mike.

North Wales Bluegrass Festival – 1-4 July 2010
Conwy, Wales

The 22nd year of this humdinger, where you can catch Jeni Hankin and Billy Kemp, Brian Golbey, Chill Until Blue and Chris Moreton.

Summer Swing – 6-10 July 2010
Kew Gardens, Richmond, Surrey

What to do when you grow up? Get down to Kew for Jools Holland, Björn Again and a Queen symphonic spectacular suite. Dahling, did you pack the organic terrine?

The Big Chill Festival – 5-8 August 2010
Eastnor Castle, Ledbury, Herefordshire

Massive Attack and Lily Allen are the biggies, with a lucky dip of alternative, reggae, electronica, dance and chill-out music and comedy – from seasoned to green. Film, art, cabaret, poetry and some really, really good food stalls.

2000trees Festival – 16-17 July 2010
Withington, near Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

50 acts encompassing rock and indie, folk and metal, pop and experimental, with campfire sing-a-longs and famous headphone disco. Watch out for Frank Turner and Your Twenties and The Xcerts.

These are just a few of the smaller festivals we think you might like to visit, but if you think there are other great festivals that we have missed off please let us know.

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We have had a lot of questions about the new Audi A5 Cabriolet that we have on our Avis Prestige fleet, so we thought we would provide you with some information about it here on the blog.

The all-new Audi A5 3.0 TDi Cabriolet S-Line combines a four seat saloon car practicalities with the sporty feeling of a convertible for those sunny days. This is Audi’s replacement for the A4 Cabriolet and is starting to prove a huge success.

In my eyes Audi really does pay attention to detail and the A5 Cabriolet is no exception, employing an Acoustic Fabric Hood that can fold and unfold in 15 seconds, which is also said to make the cabin almost as quiet as its coupe counterpart.

The versions we have on our fleet all have alloy wheels, CD player, built in GPS/Sat Nav, power steering, Isofix Seat connections, driver and passenger airbags, climate control/air conditioning, leather interior and more.

We are pleased to have this great looking A5 as part of the Avis Prestige range available at www.avisprestige.com. And if you have hired or driven this car we would love to hear your feedback.

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As football fever sweeps the globe, with the anticipation of the World Cup kick off this Friday 11th June 2010, Avis Rent a Car is offering you the chance to win free car hire! The teams landed in South Africa last week, and the flags have begun to fly across the world in support. The polls are already predicting which side will be 2010’s World Cup champions.

Avis UK is inviting sports and quiz fans alike to get involved online with the launch of a new interactive game. ‘Road to Glory’ offers you the chance to take part in an ‘online tournament’ to win a week’s car hire in Europe. Footie-mad players will be asked to pick the national team they want to play for and their tournament will begin. Their knowledge of the opposing nation will be tested in a series of short quiz rounds with winning players progressing until they reach the final.

In celebration of being the largest car hire company in South Africa Avis are also giving away a free weekend car rental anywhere in the UK every week of the 2010 World Cup. All you have to do to enter the draw is log on to Twitter and tweet #Cars4Goals when a team scores. Make sure you include the name of the country that has just scored – for example if Brazil scores:

What a goal! Brazil #Cars4Goals

Entrants only need to tweet once during each game to qualify and everyone that tweets will instantly be entered into a prize draw to win a free car for a weekend. The winners will be selected at random and announced on twitter. Re-tweets will also be entered into the competition. Full terms and conditions can be found here.

What’s more if you’re one of the lucky ones jetting off to South Africa to see the games, Avis will be able to meet your car hire needs. To ensure that you don’t miss a goal you can pick up your car rental from one of the many Avis locations in South Africa. You can always keep up to date with the latest news and offers by following Avis on Twitter @AvisUK.

So get playing now!!

For terms and conditions click here

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Forget about badly organised coach trips from your holiday resort; the best way to experience the sights, culture and way of life of a country, is to take a road trip. And being able to hire a car at any Avis branch across the world makes road trips a real option, not just a daydream!

The home of the great road trip has to be the United States, with thousands of miles of wide open highway criss-crossing America and creating some of the most famous road trips in the world. The iconic Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica takes in 2,400 miles of ever changing country, while the Pacific Coast Highway includes the magnificent Big Sur. On the East Coast, you can drive all the way from New England to the southern tip of the Florida Overseas Highway, with its 43 bridges across the Florida Keys.

World wide, there are lots more thrilling drives for you to enjoy with a little help from Avis. The Savannah Way carries you 2,300 miles from coast to coast in Australia, from Cairns, in Queensland to Broom on the west coast, via 15 stunning national parks. Discover the spectacular settings for Lord of the Rings by driving the 300 miles of New Zealand’s South Island, or drive across Canada, taking in incredible wildlife and wilderness along the 5,000 miles of the Trans Canada Highway – a trip that makes Avis GPS an essential extra.

Europe too has some stunning drives right on your doorstep, so you don’t have to fly off around the world to enjoy a classic road trip. From the French Riviera to Italy’s beautiful Amalfi Coast, from Finland’s 1000 Lakes to the ethereal beauty of Iceland, there’s so much to see. Head for Central Europe and put your driving skills to the test with the twisting, winding Alpine passes. Great St. Bernard Pass, in Switzerland and Grossglockner High Alpine Road in Austria, both offer breathtaking views. These can be quite challenging but having an extra driver gives you a chance to enjoy some of the scenery and sharing the drive.

And don’t forget about the top road trips you can take right here at home, from the Devon and Cornwall coasts, to the historic Highlands of Scotland, plus of course, the all time classic Lands End to John O’Groats run.

Renting a car from Avis gives you the freedom to explore anywhere you want, in your own time and the way you want. Plus, you can choose the perfect car for any journey, be it a convertibles for Route 66 or a 4×4 for the Australian Outback. And thanks to the convenience of one-way rentals, one-way trips are no problem.

So this summer, forget the bland resort holiday full of fellow Brits; head out and discover the real world on an original road trip with Avis Car Rental Rent a Car.

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We’ve all seen those early summer cars – packed to the roof with quilts and cuddly toys, clothes and portable TVs, as parents struggle to get their kids home from university in just one trip. But why squash it all in and stress your suspension, when Avis Car Rental can provide the perfect ride with all the space you need?

The annual migration home from Britain’s universities will be all too familiar to many parents. Trekking halfway across the country in comfort only to have the car filled to bursting with a year’s worth of student stuff, plus your beloved offspring, for the return journey. Not to mention a term’s worth of dirty clothes packed in black bags for Mum to wash!

The toll it takes on your car just doesn’t bear thinking about – extra miles, extra weight, extra fuel – and it’s usually uncomfortable and often frankly dangerous too, as their delightful CD collection all but blocks the view out of the back window. Worst of all, you know full well you’ll only have to do it all again in reverse in a few months time.

Well this year, call Avis and give yourself, and your car, a well earned break. The extensive Avis fleet includes a wide range of estate cars and people carriers specifically designed to carry larger loads in comfort and safety.

Choose a spacious estate or the flexibility of a people carrier. Who knows, you might have enough space to be able to share the ride home with another student and halve the costs for everyone. Check out liftshare.com to see who else is going your way.

Whichever you choose, renting a car from Avis means you’ll get it all done in one trip, with no wear and tear on your own car, or your nerves. And with Avis’s great value rentals and fuel-efficient late model vehicles, that could mean quite a saving.

If, like many students, your child has taken it upon themselves to move as far away as possible to study, (while still expecting you to fetch and carry them of course) it’s well worth adding an extra driver to share the load. An Avis GPS could also be a good value investment to ensure you take the most efficient route and avoid all the traffic jams along the way.

Short of abandoning them to make their own way home, the university run is a summer tradition that can’t be avoided. But with a little planning and the help of the friendly team at Avis Car Rental, it needn’t be such a chore this year.

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I am pleased to announce that Avis UK has launched its “Home Delivery” service across the UK. Designed to make the car rental experience more convenient, Avis customers can now request for their rental car to be delivered directly to their home and for it to be collected again at the end of the car hire period.

Avis Home Delivery is ideal for customers that don’t really have the time to pick a hire car up, particularly when they don’t live near a station. It offers them a convenient service and at just £10 each way, it’s great value for money.   This time-saving product is available to UK households across the country* between 08:00 and 18:00, six days a week. 
For more details or to make a reservation visit www.avis.co.uk/homedelivery or call 0844 581 8181.

* Available across the country, with the exception of London

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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.