With Christmas just around the corner why not spoil the family to a festive treat by renting a car from Avis and driving them away for the weekend to see some great Christmas lights? Rent a family friendly Avis car and drive to some of the UKs cosiest holiday cottages to absorb all the Christmas magic.

Below are 4 of the best scenic places to visit to see the UKs best Christmas light displays.

Famous for its healing spa, sophisticated buildings and stylish Georgian lanes, Bath is a popular attraction for many famous people such as Hollywood ‘A lister’ Nicholas Cage who recently turned on the Bath lights. Once you’ve driven to see the lights why not visit the Christmas market and breath in the festive cheer.

Drive your Avis car to Brighton’s famous lanes and take in the glowing array of delightful decorations lighting up the festive shop windows. The lively Brighton streets provide the perfect Christmas experience for any car lover.

Drive your car to the birthplace of Shakespeare and see the world famous Christmas lights. Accelerate past 800 years of history lit up by the festive yuletide glow. The nearest Avis location is Warwick.

Eden Project, Cornwall
Take a gentle drive through the winter wonderland that is Eden. Look out from behind the dashboard and see the festively lit enormous biomes, winter ice spaces and winter markets.  Park up and sample their famous Cornish hot chocolate and Victorian hog roast. The nearest Avis location is Newquay Airport.

With thanks to our guest blogger -

Rahul Mistry, Skyes Cottages.

If you would like to write for us click here to find out how!

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Here’s the first of a series of classic print adverts from the Avis ‘We Try Harder’ slogan campaigns. There are more to come in the next few weeks – like us on Facebook to catch the others and to design an ArtCar for Avis with our new app.

In the 1960s the We Try Harder campaign was one of the first examples of challenger brand positioning and is still used as an example with marketing students today. Each advert is different, but contained at its heart the simple promise of the “We’re No. 2, so we try harder” slogan.

This style of Avis advert continued into the 1980s, and the We Try Harder promise lives on today in our advertising as well as our commitment to maintaining the highest levels of customer service in the industry.

When you rent a car with Avis you’ll still find that we live up to our promise and stop at nothing to give you a speedy, convenient and enjoyable rental experience.

Click the image below to open a full-size version.

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This blog post has been updated as of 9th July 2012. Please click here to see our new post “Avis payment methods – accepted credit and debit cards”. 

We get lots of enquires on payment methods when renting a car and at times the options can appear to be a bit confusing! That’s not our intention (honest!) but we do try and ensure that we get the right balance between flexibility and security. The controls are there to protect your interest as our customer, so please be patient if we ever seem to be asking loads of daft questions! So this is what you need to know:

We accept the following credit cards: Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Diners Club. The payment process of these cards allow us to pre-authorise payment when you pick up your car, with the actual payment taken at the end of the rental. This provides the flexibility to add any additional extras or charges to the final bill on top of your basic rental price. For example, you may decide to pay to drive a larger car than the one you booked. Alternatively you may decide to add Fuel Up Front, Premier Cover (or alternative product in other countries), Avis GPS, additional driver and/or baby seats. This is also required in case the car is damaged or if the car needs to be refuelled and the Fuel Up Front option hasn’t been purchased.

The cards we do not accept are Visa Electron, Solo, Switch and Maestro. Their rules are different. Pre-authorisation cannot be obtained, only specific authorisations for exact amounts when you pick up the car. This means that payment would have to be made at the start of the rental transaction resulting in subsequent payment and acceptance issues if additional charges accrue.

I don’t want to complicate the payment process even more but it’s worth noting that aside from the credit cards I have listed, we do accept Visa debit cards in most countries, as their processing rules are the same as Visa credit cards. This rule does apply in every country across the world (Spain is the most notable exception).

Hope this helps but feel free to blog if you have any comments or questions! Again, safeguarding our customers interests is of primary concern to us in addition to offering you all “we try harder” style great service!

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Next Christmas always seem so far away. However, before you know it, it is round the corner once again and we are all scrambling to prepare for the festive season.

As December approaches, all across the UK Christmas markets are sprouting up and there is no better way to get into the festive spirit. UK Christmas Markets often have continental themes bringing over French, German or Italian traders. The atmospheric markets with stalls stocking great Christmas gift ideas, the snowy back drop, Christmas trees, wooden chalets, plenty of mulled wine and great cuisine and you have one of the great experiences of the Christmas festive season.

Are you planning a Christmas market trip with your friends or family? If you are, here are a few of the top Christmas Markets in the UK.

Lincoln Christmas Market (1st – 4th Dec 2011)

Held in this contemporary cathedral city it is one of the most famous of all the Christmas markets in the UK. It attracts hundreds of thousands of people every year. Its castles and gothic cathedrals provide the perfect back drop for the Christmas market.

This world renowned event offers a festive and cultural experience as thousands of visitors make their way through the hundreds of stores in its medieval squares and surrounding area. It offers a great family experience. Should you require Lincoln car hire service, Avis offers a pre-booked only service from the Lincoln City Centre.

Opening times for Lincoln Christmas market vary. Find out more information about Lincoln Christmas Market

Bath Christmas Market (24th Nov – 11 Dec 2011)

This Georgian city hosts in its main shopping district the south west’s premier Christmas shopping event. The Abbey churchyard area comprised of the Roman Baths and Bath Abbey is annually transformed into the Christmas shoppers dream destination. It is in its tenth year is running for an additional seven days this year – that means eighteen days of shopping!

Whatever your shopping desire, visitors to this great festive event will be spoilt for choice. The wide range of events and ideas means there is something great for everyone to do and even greater gift ideas on sale. Should you require Bath car hire service, Avis offers a pre-booked only service in partnership with The Bath Priory hotel.

Find out more information about the Bath Christmas Market

Manchester Christmas Market (17th Nov – 21st Dec 2011)

Shoppers and sellers from all over Europe have made this a top destination for Christmas cheer as well as a leisure destination. Get into the festive spirit and head down to Manchester’s world famous Christmas market to enjoy the thirteen locations across Manchester which will host this great event – each with its own unique character and ambiance.

The variety of delicacies and wines on offer is only outdone by the gift ideas stocked in its 200+ stalls. Visitors have been known to be overwhelmed by the variety of products on offer.

If you are in town to experience this international event and would like to book car hire in Manchester with Avis and pick up your car at Manchester Airport.

Find out more information about the Manchester Christmas Market

Winchester Christmas Market (24th Nov – 21st Dec 2011)

This Christmas market is recognised for its unique location – Winchester Cathedral’s inner close surrounding a large open air real ice rink. Inspired by traditional German festivals, this market attracts more than 350,000 visitors each year thanks to its great exhibitors who stock products that often are not available on the high street.

If you are in town to enjoy this great event, or to just to enjoy the festive season, we offer car hire in Winchester to help you make the most of your trip. 

Find out more information about the Winchester Christmas Market

Oxford Christmas Market (2nd Dec – 18th Dec 2011)

The Oxford Christmas market is a German-style market held in the heart of the city at the historic Oxford Castle. For these couple of weeks, the castle and its surroundings are decorated by wooden stalls selling unique Christmas gift ideas and seasonal treats.

In addition, local choirs and brass bands will be performing Christmas carols for the duration of the event to add to the festive atmosphere with a few rides to also keep children entertained.

We offer car hire in Oxford should you feel like seeing more of this great city.

Find out more information about the Oxford Christmas Market

London Christmas Markets  

There are many Christmas markets across our capital city. From the wooden chalet-style stalls at Cologne market at the South Bank Centre to the beautiful architecture of St Katharine Docks where you can see Victorian heritage mixed with modern office blocks.

Choose from one of many markets to make shopping less of a chore, and more of a fun, festive experience! Some have already begun, some are waiting for December. Don’t miss out!

If, by the end of the day, you’re piled high with shopping bags and don’t fancy facing public transport then don’t forget Avis offers car rental in London. But we do recommend you pre-book to avoid missing out.

Check out the range of London Christmas markets today.

Share your experiences

If you have been to a Christmas market previous or are planning to visit one this year, we would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment.

To share photos/videos of your experience at the Christmas market this year and to receive future fleet updates, special offers and discounts, follow us on Facebook.

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With Airport car hire a little foresight and planning can really help you to save both time and money. Read our guide below, or get a quote for airport car hire with Avis.

Choosing a company

You will find that Avis and other premium brands usually have desks in the arrivals terminal, where you can collect your keys or make a reservation on the spot.

However, other companies can be a short bus ride away before you even speak to a representative. Bear this in mind when you are weighing up prices against your preference for speed, convenience and peace of mind.

What to expect

Airport facilities vary greatly but car rental services are usually well-signposted. Depending on your company, destination and arrival time, you may be expected to do any of the following:

  • Find your car hire company’s desk
  • Call the company’s office from a dedicated telephone in the terminal so a minibus can collect you
  • Find your company’s bus stop and take a bus to their office

Additional services like Avis Preferred are available to make your experience quicker and a little more ‘VIP’.

Airport choice

You probably won’t choose your holiday or business destination based on its airport’s car rental facilities, but do bear in mind that while some airlines offer cheap flights to popular cities, the airports are often a long way away from the city and the additional transport costs and transfer time can mount up. Once again it’s best to know what to expect before you arrive.

Airport car hire prices

Rental prices from airports can be a little more expensive as there are a variety of extra charges and costs that can be levied against rental providers. If saving money is your priority, check the price from ‘downtown’ locations and how much it will cost you to travel into town by public transport or in a taxi. Avis often refund taxi fares from railway stations to their offices, but check with the station.

Returning your car

In arrivals, airport rental offices are usually well signposted. But what about when return your car? This is where some research can save you a lot of time, and maybe even a missed flight!

Check with staff when you collect your vehicle or research the drop-off location on the internet. Once again, you may find that better-known brands offer more convenient drop-off options, especially in big airports.

Remember to leave enough time to find the drop-off point as well as to have the car checked and deal with for any specific questions or paperwork that you require. 

One way car hire

Most car rental companies allow you to collect and return your car in different airports. This can be especially convenient in an age of competition between low-cost airlines, when you may use a different carrier and airport for the return leg of your journey.

See our related post about one-way car hire and crossing the border for more information and tips on one-way hire.

Wonder which airports are most popular with British travellers?

At the time of writing these were the most popular searches on UK search engines (in order):

car hire faro airport
car hire edinburgh airport
car hire nice airport
car hire glasgow airport
car hire mallorca airport
car hire gatwick airport
car hire cork airport

Share your experiences

If you have any other tips to offer on airport car hire, share them below by leaving a comment!

For more tips and to stay up to date with special offers and discounts, follow us on Facebook

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Mouthwateringly Romantic Mosel

Discover Germany’s dreamy river valley with an Avis hire car.

For an unforgettably romantic break, whisk your lover away to the Mosel region of Germany’s Rheinland-Pfalz. Trace the Mosel River upstream through vineyard-smothered valleys until you reach the Three Corners of Germany, Luxembourg and France, indulging yourselves in the local luxuries as you go.



Test drive this two-day tour for the best of the Mosel Region.

Pick up your Avis hire car from Heidelberg and head west along the 656 road towards French-flavoured Saarbrücken and north to the village of Bernkastel-Kues, where you’ll take to the Mosel River before some R and R at your luxuri­ous retreat in Mülheim. Invigorated, keep going against the flow and admire the architecture in Germany’s oldest city – Trier – before a short drive south to Perl, where culinary perfection awaits you. Then it’s just a skip across the valley towards the highlands and Idar–Oberstein, where you can pick up a sparkling memento of your trip. Drive east back to Heidelberg to drop off your Avis hire car.

 Treat your someone special this Christmas or Valentines Day. Or why not share it via facebook or twitter to give them a friendly hint?! Click here to download the Great Drives guide and find out more…

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Looking for inspiration this winter? Here are the web’s top 20 most searched-for foreign winter holiday destinations for car hire.

Popular with those escaping the cold in the Spanish winter sun or embracing it in ski resorts of the Sierra Nevada.

A family destination all year-round thanks to family resorts like the legendary Walt Disney World and Universal Studios.

The city and region are used to catering to English-speaking tourists and one of the most popular destinations in Spain. Here’s another blog post about Alicante in winter.

New York
New York’s most popular seasons are spring and autumn, but such is its charm and status that even in winter Brits flock over, drawn by cheap flights and iconic landmarks.

Dublin’s nightlife and traditions warm the coldest winter nights. The city is a popular for long weekends through the year.

The arrival point for many of the top ski resorts in the French and Swiss Alps, Geneva’s proximity to France means that its Airport has both a Swiss side and a French side.

Los Angeles
The winter months can bring temperatures over 20C. Los Angeles is also a popular stopover between destinations.

Way down in the south of Portugal, Faro is the gateway to many of the Algarve’s beach resorts and a charming city in its own right.

Las Vegas
You won’t notice the chills spending your days enjoying world-class entertainment or gambling your hard-earned cash. Nevada also offers popular ski destinations, accessible from Las Vegas Airport.

Winter sun and a city break rolled into one. Miami’s Latin influence and Art Deco architecture set it apart from other US cities.

Popular with both holiday-makers and those visiting family, Mumbai is India’s capital and has a growing tourist appeal.

The surging popularity of tourism in Dubai doesn’t slow down for winter. The hotels still have 6 stars and the shops are still open.

Cape Town
What better way to escape winter than to switch hemispheres? Natural wonders are not far away from SA’s most popular city.

Beautiful beaches and a cosmopolitan city, not to mention the natural wonders accessible when you hire a car and explore Oz.

Landmarks, atmosphere and fine dining, as well as its transport links with Britain, keep us coming back for more.

More of a gateway to more popular resorts, Murcia is another part of the British love affair with southern Spain.

San Francisco
A cultural centre. The people, food and neighbourhoods of San Francisco rarely disappoint.

Even if the beach is less appealing in winter, the winding streets, Gaudi architecture and museums do not lose their charm.

The scenery of Southern Ireland is best enjoyed in summer, but the city of Cork has much to offer.

The most popular of the Canary Islands, the Spanish-owned close to Africa, Tenerife offers the ultimate in ‘European’ winter sun.

Click on a link above to get a quote for car hire from city and airport locations in each city.

Like us on Facebook to stay up-to-date with ideas and offers from Avis!


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Belgiuma romantic weekend in an Avis hire car. 

Beautiful scenery, intimate restaurants – and chocolate. Lots of it. Even if you haven’t got a sweet tooth, you’ll be bowled over by the Ardennes region – and it’s an incredibly compact and easy place to drive. Head south from Brussels for rolling hills, picture-postcard towns and grand country houses dripping with history.

Avis Great Drives - Belgium

Test drive this two-day tour for the best of Belgium.

Rent your Avis vehicle from our car hire location in Brussels (train station for Eurostar arrivals) or Avis Brussels Airport and head south on the E411 road to lush Namur, where the Sambre and Meuse rivers meet. Now life has slowed, cruise along to Dinant, and Round off the perfect day at Habaye la Neuve, with its romantic hilltop château. Late next morning, make your way via cobbled Durbuy to Spa (a favourite hang-out of King Henry VIII), before returning to Brussels airport or international railway station. If you are traveling from other destinations, check our Belgium car hire location page

 Download our Belgium Great Drive Guide today.

Share this via facebook or twitter and remind someone special to organise that romantic getaway for two!

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Central England - Heart of the matter

Discover England’s East Midlands with an Avis hire car

From power boating to underground exploration, curious art and Georgian luxury, you’ll be surprised how much there is to do.

Test drive this two-day tour for the best of the East Midlands.

Pick up your Avis hire car from Leicester and head north-east along the pretty A607 road to Melton Mowbray for a round of golf in quintessential English countryside – and a night in one of England’s finest stately homes. Swing north-west on the A606 to Holme Pierrepont for some wet and wild fun on the rapids. Continue north via Matlock to the High Peak Estate to storm a natural castle, then get subterranean in Castleton. Last but not least, get a glimpse of life in the fast lane at Donington Park, before dropping off your Avis hire car at Nottingham East Midlands Airport.

 Download our East Midlands driving guide or share with friends via facebook and twitter…

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We have an exciting new project in the midst that we can’t wait to share…. Avis is getting arty and we hope that others will follow! 

You may have seen clues on our Facebook page this week?  Well, here are some more to keep you guessing until our big announcement next week… 

- What do Andy Warhol, Frank Stella and Jeff Koons have in common?

- Renowned British illustrator, Si Scott is involved.  See some of his work  @  www.siscottstudio.com 

- It’s something to do with the Art Car movement 

- French born animation expert McBess is also working with us. See some of his work @ www.mcbess.com

For more clues, to find out how to get involved and to recieve an exclusive 10% discount – like us on facebook.


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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.