While our very first blog posts were written in January last year, we did not actually launch the blog to the public until March. By my calculations, that makes the We Try Harder blog a year old this month!

I still remember waiting excitedly for the first comments to come in (sad I know), and will never forget the time when one of our shareholders wrote a comment, expressing his concern that launching a blog was not a worthwhile investment (to reassure our shareholders, creating a blog does not cost a lot!). With a year of blogging under our belt, I hope that his view has changed. Certainly as a business we’ve been able to gain a great deal of value from doing this and I hope our customers have to.

The blog has really helped us to “keep our fingers on the pulse”, allowing us to create a unique level of dialogue with our customers that was not previously possible. You’ve been able to tell us about all the things you think we should be doing (and often many of the things we shouldn’t!). And I’d like to think we’ve made a few friends along the way too. So I thank all of our customers who have visited and contributed to the We Try Harder blog so far because it is you who really make it what it is (and I think Robert deserves a special mention on this point!).

So, to mark the first year of the blog, we’ve given it a little bit of an upgrade. You may have noticed a few new features (and there will be others that are not so obvious). Now you will be able to subscribe to be updated about any new comments on a specific blog post and you can rate the helpfulness of each comment too. We will also be hosting regular polls on the blog, while the search functionality has been improved to include relevant customer comments in the search results (previously it only returned content from the actual blog posts). Other new features include the facility to rate and bookmark our blog posts. The aim of these is to encourage as much interaction and commentrary from our customers as possible, and to make all of this content more accessible.

Let us know what you think and if you have any ideas for our next upgrade. And please, please keep coming back to the blog, posting your comments and helping us to make sure the blog continues to be a helpful resource for tips, news and information on car hire with Avis!

VN:F [1.9.8_1114]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
Click for the latest avis.co.uk offers

Please note that we have a more comprehensive and up-to-date post about hiring a car without your paper or photocard driving licence.

I recently lost my driving licence and those who know me will not be surprised that I have been a little slow to order a replacement. It’s a case of typical Rob White carelessness followed by typical Rob White laziness. Today, however, I have learned about a new way to order a replacement UK driving licence without the need to even leave my desk. I have just found out from my colleague Donna that a replacement can be ordered online!

So I logged on 10 minutes ago and ordered my replacement. It is all pretty straighforward. The main thing to remember is to have your driving licence number and passport number to hand. It doesn’t take long and you do not even need to send in a new passport photo. You still need to pay a fee as usual but I am assured by Directgov that this is the quickest way to replace your licence.

Don’t forget that if you are renting a car in the UK and you are a UK driving licence holder then we require BOTH parts of your licence. A charge will apply to run a DVLA check if one of the parts is missing. If you need to order a replacement you can do so at the Directgov website.

VN:F [1.9.8_1114]
Rating: 6.2/10 (14 votes cast)
Click for the latest avis.co.uk offers

Eden Project2008 is already flying by and Easter is just round the corner already!! As it’s coming a little early this year, I thought I’d give a few suggestions about what to do for you and the family. Luckily, it just so happens that one of my hard working colleagues has put together her top 10 eco days out. I’ve picked out my top 5, so if you are looking for some good, green fun this Easter, check out one of the following suggestions:

BeWilderwood, near Norwich, Norfolk – A huge forest adventure, crammed full of activities for children of all ages, including treehouses, jungle bridges and boat trips
Nature’s World, Middlesborough – An innovative place to visit, this award winning environmental centre boosts a futuristic underground Ecocentre, unique indoor tropical garden, a working River Tees model and 26 acres of organic gardens, play areas and fun trails.
Eden Project, Bodelva, Cornwall – Eden is home to the two largest conservatories (known as ‘Covered Biomes’) in the world. This spectacular global garden is a “Living Theatre of People and Plants”
Greenwood Forest Park, Snowdonia – This award-winning family attraction has loads to enjoy including treetop towers, a Green Dragon family roller coaster and the 70m sledge slide
Ashdown Llama Park, East Grinstead, East Sussex – Set in 30 acres of beautiful countryside with views across Ashdown Forest to Gills Lap, the park has lots for families to see and do including over 100 llamas, alpacas and reindeer, a farm trail, museum and adventure play area

Let me know if you have any ideas of your own. Also, all of us at Avis are expecting to be very busy this Easter so be sure to book early to guarantee the best price.

VN:F [1.9.8_1114]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
Click for the latest avis.co.uk offers

3 minute promise stand in an Avis rental locationYou may recall that a little while ago I wrote about the roll out of the 3 minute promise in France – a promise to our Avis Preferred members that they will be able to collect their hire car keys at the counter and go in less than 3 minutes. Well I am delighted to announce that this promise has now been rolled out to 400 locations across Europe including Paris Charles de Gaulle, Madrid and Zurich airports. It is also available at Heathrow, Birmingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh airports in the UK and will be coming to Gatwick, Stansted, Bristol and Manchester airports by the end of March.

Now reading some of the comments when we wrote about this last time, there was some concern that this would mean losing any kind of human contact. This initiative does not involve any kind of automated self-service kiosks that would replace our rental agents. It is simply a service guarantee that we make to all of our Avis Preferred members that they will be served within this timeframe. Each Avis Preferred member is given the opportunity to take a stopwatch so they can personally time how long it takes to be served. If we fail to fulfil our promise then we will provide a £20 John Lewis voucher as compensation (this is for UK rentals – the kind of vouchers will differ in other countries).

If you are not an Avis Preferred member and are interested in taking advantage of this service then you can sign up on our website.

VN:F [1.9.8_1114]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
Click for the latest avis.co.uk offers

We’re running a bit late writing our first blog post for the week with the team attending the annual Avis UK conference over the past couple of days. It was a great conference with everyone leaving energised and committed to delivering on our goals for the year ahead. However, for me, the nicest thing about going to these conferences is to get out of head office and spend some time with those people who are the most critical to the success of Avis – the staff at our rental stations who are responsible for delivering our service day in, day out.

I have a lot of admiration for anyone who works in our rental stations. Car hire can be a difficult and complicated service to deliver with a number of challenging operational issues to contend with. But our front-line staff do a great job meeting this challenge every day. It is these people who make the real We Try Harder difference. They are our unsung heroes.

So today’s blog post is about introducing and giving recognition to our staff on the front-line. If you work in one of our rental stations then I would encourage you to make yourself known by posting a comment stating your name, which office you work in and anything you would like to say to our customers. Our people are very much pivotal to the quality of our service and it would great if our customers could get to know who these people are!

VN:F [1.9.8_1114]
Rating: 3.0/10 (1 vote cast)
Click for the latest avis.co.uk offers

My name is Paul Lewis and I am the Senior Station Manager at London Heathrow Airport. I have worked at this location in a number of roles over the past 8 years and I have always been passionate about customer service and the challenges of meeting ever changing customer expectation.

The team at Avis, Heathrow are fully committed to delivering an excellent service to our customers and we have, over the years, implemented a number of new products and services aimed at enhancing the customer experience at this rental office. These include the introduction of extra customer service agents at peak periods, free water in the summer, free wi-fi on site, a customer help point in the car park, GPS for hire, the new, easy to read rental agreement, customer service training for all our staff, vending machines for refreshments and, most recently, the partnership with Baby On Board to provide a fantastic baby seat product and service. It has been satisfying to see these lead to gradual improvements in our customer satisfaction scores.

The last 6 months has, however, caused us to stand back and review what we are currently doing. Whilst our overall service levels have improved we are noticing that the customers are left feeling that the emotional experience could have been more rewarding.

We are always challenging ourselves to deliver a great service to our customers so, if I’m honest, we’ve taken this feedback a little to heart. Now we feel more driven than ever to improve our service. But we can’t do anything without you. So if you’ve rented with us then please tell me what you think. Where do you feel we need to improve? What can we do to improve your rental experience? I am open to any ideas to help us provide the best possible experience at Avis, Heathrow airport.

We might not be able to distract you completely from the stress of the overall airport experience but hopefully make a small part of your journey more enjoyable.

I look forward to hearing your suggestions.


VN:F [1.9.8_1114]
Rating: 1.0/10 (1 vote cast)
Click for the latest avis.co.uk offers

Ford FocusBy reading this blog you are probably well aware that we rent cars. But did you know that we sell them too? With depreciation hitting hardest as soon as the car leaves the forecourt, buying an ex-rental can get you a nearly new car at great value. Buy the car direct from Avis and you could save over £1,000 versus going to a dealership (plus I’ve been told to say that they all come with metallic paint which adds value in itself!).

It’s also a common misconception that life as a rental car will have taken its toll on the vehicle you maybe looking to buy. It is a misconception. All of our ex-rentals are fully inspected to Avis’ high standards, they are no older than six months and will have done less than 13,000 miles. They will also come with what is left of the manufacturer’s warranty (which usually leaves about 2 years) for that extra peace of mind.

The list of cars we currently have available for sale includes the Ford Fiesta, Focus and Mondeo; the Honda Civic; the Citroën C4 and C4 Picasso and the Mazda 3 and 5.

Now, we try not to use the blog as a sales tool (and I know this does sound a little like a sales pitch) but I wanted to highlight this as I strongly believe that buying ex-rental car represents tremendous value for anyone looking to purchase a car. But that is my opinion and I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback on this. Would you consider buying one? If not, then is there any particular reason why you wouldn’t? And if you are interested in finding out more about buying an ex-rental then please click here for more information.

***UPDATE*** PLEASE NOTE: Avis currently does not have any ex-rental cars available to sell. This notice will be removed when cars become available again.

VN:F [1.9.8_1114]
Rating: 5.4/10 (5 votes cast)
Click for the latest avis.co.uk offers

The one thing that has really exploded on the Internet over the past couple of years is the amount of information being shared from person to person. This has resulted in a wealth of travel information posted by consumers advising where to go, where to avoid, who is likely to make your travel a joy and who is likely to make your travel a disaster. We can now make more informed decisions about our travels than ever!

Today I thought I’d list those websites that I have found to be a particularly useful source of consumer posted travel information and advice for planning your holidays and travels:

We’ve talked about Tripadvisor on this blog before and, while it may not have won the hearts of all hoteliers, it has a wealth of experience to tap into on both hotels and holiday destinations in general. I often use it to pick out the hotspots and the areas to avoid. The trick is to try and spot those people who you believe to be like minded and with similar tastes.

Lonely Planet
The one website on the list whose content has been traditionally written by their travel experts rather than from the experience of general consumers. But the Lonely Planet website, while still staying true to what made them so great in the first place, now provides a whole host of opportunities for travellers to share their experiences. This includes the Thorn Tree travel forum, Lonely Planet TV (which hosts some great videos posted by travellers or you can post your own!) and the Blue Lists where travellers can post their lists for pretty much anything – top festivals, top surf locations, top buses of doom – they’re great for a little inspiration. And of course Lonely Planet has a blog of it’s own!

Travel Rants
Another website we’ve mentioned a couple times on this blog and one of the few blogs I read on a regular basis. The author Darren writes a really good range articles with plenty of posts on travel news, handy tips and, of course, the occasional rant. He has also kicked off a Travel Blog Carnival which has made his site a great central resource for discovering some of the other great blog articles that are hiding out there on the world wide web!

Trusted Places
This one is a bit of newcomer and definitely the one to watch. It is kind of a directory for restaurants, pubs, bars, shopping and places of cultural interest. It is a great resource for helping you to decide where to go when you arrive at your destination (although the content for outside of the UK is still fairly limited). The great thing about Trusted Places is that, not only do they have a growing database of reviews for the places listed in this directory, but they have a very simple and fun way to profile your tastes and interests. This way, you can be confident that any review you read is relevant to you.

One of the most popular travel forums I’ve seen. Flyertalk has a forum dedicated to all the major frequent flyer programmes and there is a great deal of conversation between members sharing inside tips, information and advice. The members will also point out when things do not always go plan. I often read the threads on the Avis forum and pick up some great feedback!

Anyway, these are the top sites that I use. What do you think? Do you use any of these? Or have you found a hidden gem of your own that you would like to mention on this blog?

VN:F [1.9.8_1114]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
Click for the latest avis.co.uk offers

A new look Southampton AirportSome of you may have passed through our rental area at Gatwick Airport and seen our noveau approach to car rental in the form of an open plan office and “pod” type desks. This design has brought us excellent feedback from our customers since it’s inception in 2005.

And now it’s in Southampton Airport! In conjunction with the improvement works being carried out to enhance the customer experience, a new car rental centre has just opened. And we’ve incorporated our new, modern and more customer friendly design. We believe it brings our team closer to the customers – face to face instead of being fenced behind a desk. It’s truly different and no one else has them, so if you’re passing through to fly with our partner Flybe or anyone else, please stop by and say hello.

VN:F [1.9.8_1114]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
Click for the latest avis.co.uk offers

We’re proud of our We Try Harder heritage at Avis. We thought we’d start taking the opportunity on this blog to recognise those people who we feel really demonstrate the We Try Harder ethos. These are the unsung heroes who often go the extra mile with little reward or recognition for themselves. To start, we thought we would recognise one of our own.

Dean Miller is taking time out of his busy role as Station Manager at Avis Taunton to travel to South Africa to help an orphanage become more self sufficient. The aim of the project will be to give the children living there a safe and healthy environment in which to live, through the repair and refurbishment of the electrics, kitchen and living areas. The living conditions and health of the children will also be improved by laying paths to keep them out of the mud in the winter months. Along with this, two members of the team will also provide educational support throughout the week.

I think this is a fantastic initiative and all of us at Avis have a lot of respect for Dean for being involved in such a worthy project. To support Dean and his colleagues, Avis are supplying all the transportation in South Africa free of charge. The project is due to take place between 21st and 28th March and all the volunteers are self financed through personal and sponsored funding.

If you wish to sponsor Dean, you can contact him through his blog . As Dean says, “A little from a lot can do a lot for those with little”. If you know anyone who you feel deserves a bit of We Try Harder recognition on this blog, please send us an email or comment recognising them. We’ll try and feature it if we can.

VN:F [1.9.8_1114]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
Click for the latest avis.co.uk offers

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 .
book a car

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.