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Avis was founded by Warren Avis in 1946 at Willow Run Airport in Detroit with an $85,000 investment. Shortly after, Avis opened a location at the Miami International Airport. After years of varying acquisitions and mergers, the car rental company has expanded to Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. They have also launched an Avis car rental app.

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The Good

  • Economy Price Range
  • Luxury Price Range
  • 50 States Available
  • Airport Locations
  • Instant Return
  • Toll Prepay Option
  • Loyalty Program

Economy Price Range

Avis offers low to average prices for their car rentals. Avis also has a wide variety of vehicles. They have moving vans, which are not always available at other rental companies, as well as pickups, which may be even less common. While these are not available at every Avis location, they typically are. This offers renters a wider range of vehicles to choose from than the average rental car company. Avis also uses many environmentally-friendly vehicles in its fleet. Most of its smaller vehicles are SmartWay certified and do minimal harm to the environment. All of their vehicles are 100 percent smoke-free in the U.S. and Canada, so smokers who want to smoke in their rental car will have to try another company.

Luxury Price Range

If you're looking to rent a luxury car, Avis offers low to average prices in the car rental industry. Many popular rental car brands out there do not offer luxury rentals, making Avis more advantageous to luxury car renters. Although there are a few companies that offer lower rates, Avis' daily rates are pretty average for luxury cars in the industry. Avis also has a special series of vehicles called "Signature Series" cars, which provide renters with a more exotic, luxurious experience. In this collection of cars, renters can choose from Mercedes, BMWs, Maseratis, Corvettes, or a variety of other exciting vehicles.

50 States Available

Avis stands far above the competition with locations in all 50 states. Most companies have locations in an average of 23 states. Knowing there is an Avis in your destination airport or city makes formulating travel plans in advance much easier.

Airport Locations

With rental counters at most major airports throughout the United States and North America, Avis is much more accessible to travelers than its competitors. If you need a car right when you get off the plane, an Avis location most likely will be there once you check out your luggage.

Instant Return

Avis has streamlined the rental return process so that renters can return their vehicles in as little as one minute using a kiosk. This reduces stress for busy travelers and ensures that renters trying to catch a flight won't be caught arriving late because of their rental returns.

Toll Prepay Option

Avis offers a toll prepay option called e-Toll, an electronic toll collection program which makes road travel more convenient. Avis e-Toll cannot be reserved in advance, but it is already conveniently installed in many cars, so it doesn't need to be ordered through their website. When you're making an online reservation, it allows you to check the box if you want to include this as an add-on service when paying for your reservation online. The thing to know about e-Toll is that you are automatically enrolled in it if you choose to not pay cash for tolls. This has led to customer issues. Those who were not aware of this found additional charges to their credit/debit card later on. Under the e-Toll program, once you pass through an electronic toll, you will pay a convenience fee of $3.95 for each day of the entire rental period, including any days on which e-Toll is not used, up to a maximum of $19.75 per rental month.

Loyalty Program

Avis Preferred is a revenue-based loyalty program. The rewards program is free to join and offers points for the money you spend with Avis. You can redeem these points to rent a car or purchase accessories and upgrades for your rentals.

The Bad

  • Strict Cancellation Policy
  • Roadside Assistance Expenses
  • No On-Site Fuel Discount
  • No Online Check-In

Strict Cancellation Policy

Avis charges $25 if you cancel within six hours before the rental period. After six hours, the cancellation fee increases to a no-show fee of $100, but the rest of the rental is refunded. The refund makes this a slightly better policy than some rental companies which will charge late cancellation fees for as much as 24 hours before the rental period with no refund. However, many companies have less strict cancellation policies and often do not require a cancellation fee.

Roadside Assistance Expenses

In case your rental vehicle has problems, Avis offers extended roadside assistance for $7.49 per day. This is slightly higher than the typical rental company who charges an average of $5–6 per day, but it is a good safety measure to take nonetheless.

No On-Site Fuel Discount

Avis offers several fuel plans, but on-site fuel discounts are not advertised. Car rental customers are either expected to bring the car back with a full tank or choose between fueling payment plan options.

No Online Check-In

Although Avis's return process is streamlined, their check-in process is not. This would not typically be a negative, since in-person check-in is standard in the car rental industry. However, being a global brand that has been in business for over 70 years, one would think they would have innovated a feature allowing customers to check in from the website instead of the rental counter. While returning an Avis rental can be very quick, many customers report that they had to stand in very long lines when picking up their vehicle. Some stood in line for a couple of hours at certain locations and noted that the employees at the counter seemed to lack a sense of urgency. When they arrived at the counter, employees tried to sell them insurance and upgrades, taking even longer. For travelers getting off of a long flight, hurrying to a meeting, or anxious to begin their vacation, this kind of wait is not desirable.

The Bottom Line

Avis is a big rental company and a recognized brand name with a lot of options, and it is available almost anywhere you travel. While Avis has the advantage of offering perks for loyal customers, they do have some issues such as their strict cancellation policies and some negative customer feedback. If you're a smoker, Avis is not the option for you, since all cars are 100 percent smoke-free. If you're a local resident, Avis is a prime option due to the company's non-airport locations. And if renting environment-friendly cars is important to you, Avis also offers cars that fit that criteria. We recommend considering Avis as an option when searching for a car rental company.

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User Reviews

Star Rating

2.9
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47 Reviews

Review Breakdown

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Jake
August 20th, 2019 DETAILS
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One of the worst experiences with a company. I ended up being charged double after all those fees were in place making the discount code I used worthless. They rented me a car with an expired plate. When I brought it to their attention they said it’s okay we would have paid for your ticket as if that made it better. They then said they would not put the new tag on until the car returned to where the expired car came from. I was in NY it came from SC. Customer service told me that I could pay in person with a specific card so that I could use a tax exemption. Upon arrival the way I was told to pay on the phone a couple weeks before was no longer acceptable to them. Next time I will for sure use another company even if it’s more expensive. This company is so bad it’s literally the first review I’ve ever written for any company.

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Brandy
August 11th, 2019 Murphy, NC DETAILS
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I am thankful to be alive after renting from Avis. My two small children and I were stranded in Panama City Beach Florida after our car broke down. We made it 20 minutes from our drop off location and the car completely dies. I am in the center of I75 North and it DIES! The car looses speed, the battery light comes on, then all other lights on the panel light up. With tractor trailer trucks behind me and surround by cars going 70 MPH, my life along with my two small children lives flashed before my eyes. I managed to roll to the side of the road by the grace of GOD without being killed. After several tries got the car to start again. The check engine light stays on. I looked up the closest drop off which was about 1 mile away. I took the next exit, got gas and slowly made it to the closest Avis. I told Anthony, at the Windy Hill Marietta location everything that had happened while still in tears and very shaken up. Anthony then just made a comment about how many miles I had put on the car and had to go and look at the mileage before he confirmed that we could leave the vehicle there. When Anthony returned I asked if he saw the check engine light. Anthony told me that he only looked at the mileage and nothing else. Anthony did wave the $20 fee for dropping it off at his location rather than the initial drop off location. I have called Avis corporate office and spoke to Eric who told me that my situation was not typical and then completely brushed me off. I then got the number to the Marietta drop off location and spoke to Anthony again. Anthony informed me that Pep Boys checked the car, even though it was new and no lights were on, and it diagnostically checked out fine...then admitted the check engine light was on, which was from me not closing the gas cap tight enough??? My fear is for someone else to get in the silver Mazda CX5 and being hurt if not killed like we almost were. I know that if I owned a car rental company and I had someone explain this situation to me I would try to accommodate them in some way for the horrible experience. I would most certainly not blow them off and be rude.

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Aruba
July 30th, 2019 DETAILS
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Worst company to deal with. They are not helpful at all. I rented the car three 3 months prior, and they are still processing charges on my credit card. Very very disappointed. Stay away from them.

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Dana
July 1st, 2019 Temecula, CA DETAILS
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I do not rent cars very often but when I do it is always Avis. (It helps that they offer members of my union a discount). The staff is always professional. The process to pick up and drop off the cars is quick and easy.

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Angela M Albright
June 25th, 2019 San Marcos, TX DETAILS
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Do not rent from this avis. Had a reservation cancelled by some sort of accident online. Got told oh well we are keeping your $150 dollars and no your reservation can't be uncanceled even though it was never cancelled to begin with . We're out a cancellation fee of $150 and we had to go and rent a vehicle through another company so we wouldn't get screwed again. 09624226us3

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Eric
June 21st, 2019 Burlington, WI DETAILS
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Arrived at about midnight to find that they did not have the standard size car that I reserved (overheard the same conversation play out at 3 other windows). They were nice to upgrade us to a full size Ford Fusion at no charge. There was a long line behind us so the lady did not go over anything just that we would be upgraded and sign here and here. When we got into the car we saw that it had a toll pass in the window and wondered if we could use the tollway for free as part of the upgrade. I quickly looked at the agreement papers and found this part "You can avoid the convenience fee and any other charges by paying the toll in cash, using your electronic toll device, or avoiding any cashless toll road or passage" since the car had an electronic toll device I assumed it should be covered. Erring on the side of caution because of the cost of tolls in Denver (and the outrageous toll scam agreement Avis runs with their "toll partner") I decided I should follow up with an employee. Upon leaving the facility I asked the gentleman that checked us out of the lot for more details, I explained that we got upgraded and this car had a toll device and asked if that meant we could use it without charge. He confirmed this to me before we left. We did not use the toll way until the very last day when we got on it for about 15 miles or so.... lo and behold 8 days later a charge for $29 shows up as pending on our credit card! I called the Denver location and the lady quite rudely refused to discuss this billing and stated "it is written on the term papers and so and so and some other location, tolls are not covered". I called the corporate office customer service and was talking to someone whom I could hardly understand and after explaining my situation to him , he tells me to call the toll payment partner... I have been holding with them for over 15 minutes now as I write this review stewing about my choice to go back to Avis. I have been a long time patron of Enterprise but after a very good first experience at Avis (due to no availability at Enterprise) I decided to try them again over Enterprise. Big mistake... I will NEVER rent from Avis again after this experience.. I hope they enjoy their $29 scam fee. Do yourself a favor and check out Enterprise or Budget if your flying into Denver.

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Jeremy Balls
June 13th, 2019 Kaysville, UT DETAILS
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My company changed to Avis, so I have used them about 10 times now. I have experienced dirty cars, stinky cars, cars that have not been filled. Overall just a poor experience.

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Jacob Shaner
May 28th, 2019 DETAILS
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I was very impressed by how prepared the receptionist was to help me with my rental. The rented a Ford and it was very clean. It even had XM radio. It was a very new and nice model. It was easy to get the car and return it. I would recommend Avis to a friend!

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Reese
May 17th, 2019 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS
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I am not too picky when it comes to car rentals. I pick the lowest price, that still has a reasonably nice car that has unlimited mileage and is a good safe car. Avis meets all of these things and I have never been disappointed with Avis.

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Bob
April 29th, 2019 Clearwater, FL DETAILS
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On April 9th I reserved a vehicle from your Lucas Drive, Detroit, Michigan location. It was to be picked up on the 12th and returned on the 15th. On the 12th I picked up the vehicle . The vehicle was used over the weekend. On the 15th I stopped at Alter Inc. Service Station, 14820 E. Jefferson Ave., Detroit, Mi. at 7:34 AM. I put $9.00 worth of fuel (3.13 gal @ $2.87.9 per gal). I arrived back at the Avis Rental Return at 8:14 AM,. The female attendant flagged us into the long line and with a handheld unit checked our rental in while I got the luggage out of the trunk. She told us the shuttle was about to leave so she handed us the receipt and we rushed to catch the shuttle. After arriving home I checked the receipt and found I was charged additional funds. I contacted the Avis in Detroit and they opened a case (27760093) and told me to send the fuel receipt. I sent a screen of the debit transaction and sent it in. On the 16th I received an email basically saying that was not good enough. Since the gas station was over 5 mile away it did not count. I have rented from Avis for many years. If this is what your company has developed into then I think it’s time to consider another company.

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Marc
April 18th, 2019 Mableton, GA DETAILS
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Be warned, many Avis locations are franchises. Avis itself will not stand by them. In short, you are left to deal with Shady Motors Incorporated on your own! I rented a car from an "Avis" location only to find out a month and a half later that it was a franchise. How did I find out you ask> It's simple. After returning the car full, this company billed me a month and a half later for $42. My Avis paper work says the car was returned full clear as day. After countless hours on the phone, writing emails, and submitting paperwork, they tell me that I'm on my own. After searching this particular shady franchise, you find that they are known for this very scam. Avis just doesn't care to admit one of their children is stealing from their customers. After many years using Avis, I am done. Good luck!

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Yulia I DeMaranville
April 10th, 2019 Lake George, NY DETAILS
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I booked a car 6 weeks in advance .Came to pick up- no cars. Were sent to other 2 locations l- no cars. Finally got a car by 1pm, reservation was for 9am. Horrible customer service people. Don't use them

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Darius Williams
December 12th, 2018 Alexandria, VA DETAILS
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Have had trouble getting the car I've wanted to rent even when I've called in to make sure i can get the car i want

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Kaitlyn George
December 5th, 2018 Vienna, VA DETAILS
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The car was fine - the customer service was terrible. We arrived one evening in Minneapolis for the weekend and got in line to pickup our car. They had 2 reps working for a line of about 40-50 people. It took almost 2 hours just to get our car, with no apologies or explanation as to why they were understaffed when they knew how many people were picking up cars. Terrible customer service and support, we will never use them again.

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Fernando Delgado
December 5th, 2018 Tempe, AZ DETAILS
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We rented from Avis in guadalajara mexico very affordable but seems to be a long process especially after getting of your flight.

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Amber C Frey
November 16th, 2018 San Diego, CA DETAILS
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I've used multiple car renting places and Avis was the only one that gave me a headache. The car itself was fine but the whole renting process was long and involved. Normally it takes me no more than 20-30 minutes from walking in to keys in hand, at Avis it took well over an hour.

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flojo
October 26th, 2018 DETAILS
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Always rent from Avis. Great quality, great customer service!

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Shari Evers
September 17th, 2018 Lehi, UT DETAILS
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We had just had an extremely delayed flight. It was getting really close to midnight, and we were so ready to grab our car and get to the hotel. The Avis line was huge and it took about an hour for us to finally make it through the line. There was only one employee at the desks, and another that seemed very distracted. Hopefully, it was just an off night!

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Shanna
August 31st, 2018 South Jordan, UT DETAILS
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We use Avis all the time. They have great rates and great options for cars. They cars have always been clean and in good running condition.

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Ron Durfey
August 30th, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS
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I am an Avis Preferred member and I really like their services. I have used many different car rental agency's and have never been more happy with a service. The customer service is great in the 11 different states I cover and I was always treated well and felt respected when I would arrive to pick up my car.

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Lesa Burgess
August 29th, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT

Good company with great cars. Every major airport I travel to has an Avis rental car so it's easy accessible to rent a car wherever you go. However, Avis requires 700 points for a free rental car. This is unsatisfactory to me because it will take WAY too long to cash in on any type of reward for using their service. I'll stick with other competitors.

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Dylan Findlay
August 29th, 2018 South Jordan, UT

Lots of vehicle choices and excels experience... Everything went smoothly!

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Mali
August 27th, 2018 Orem, UT

the worker at the counter starred at me and then looked at my Driver's License for a good 2 minutes then told me "i look a lot older in person." Who does that! i walked next to them and got a rental with Enterprise! since then i have only booked through Enterprise.

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Dave Brinton
August 24th, 2018

Avis always seems to have the car I reserved. Prices are consistently fair.

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Kris
August 23rd, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT

We have had a great experience whenever we went through Avis. In Denver Colorado when they did not have our particular car we reserved they upgraded us for free.

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Bella Houtz
August 21st, 2018 South Jordan, UT

Renting a car from Avis was so easy and simple. The car fitted all my needs.

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Carolynn
August 20th, 2018 West Jordan, UT

Searched on their site a few times when looking for a rental and they are usually a lot more expensive then other companies. And it doesn't seem as if they have a big fleet of cars to chose from. I have never booked with them.

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Karen Nelson
July 30th, 2018 Alpine, UT

Avis has always done well by us. They always have the cars we need. They seem to be able to make people happy with how they conduct business.

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Sara Jane
July 25th, 2018 Crestwood, KY

Absolutely terrible customer service. We spent hours and days on the phone going round and round about a inflated charge. No one seems to know what anyone is doing.

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Bob Conley
July 24th, 2018 Crestwood, KY

The Avis at the Salt Lake Airport seem like they are renting cars for their very first time. I won't use this review to tell my entire story, but suffice it to say, they told me one thing at the counter when I rented and then quite another when I returned. I will never rent from them again.

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Marilyn Greer
July 24th, 2018 Saint George, UT

They have always been reliable but are a bit more expensive than Budget.

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Tanner Hales
July 23rd, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT

I have never had a good experience with Avis. The first time I tried to use them, they were not up front about their under 25 policy until I came to the counter at the airport. The second I handed them my drivers license the price magically doubled, even though I had to give them my birth date when I reserved the car online. This left me scrambling to find another car, and left a really sour taste in my mouth.

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Sharon Reed
July 19th, 2018 Gilbert, AZ

Great price for a rental car. Used in Hawaii and it worked perfect.

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Shane Rodney
July 19th, 2018 Mesa, AZ

It was the best price coming off a flight so we booked it and it worked for our needs.

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Alicia Holman
July 12th, 2018 Gilbert, AZ DETAILS
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I had a really good experience when I rented from AVIS. The counter sales person was very friendly and helpful. I also appreciated that the type of car that I rented was the one that I received. I'm not crazy about their website, but it's not a deal killer for me.

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Amy Stewart
July 6th, 2018 Gilbert, AZ DETAILS
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We rented a car from Avis a few years back on a trip to NYC. They were the only company that had a 12 passenger van available and for an amazing price. We were so grateful.

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Rick Clark
June 25th, 2018 Benton, KY DETAILS
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The rental process was overall pretty good but then after returning the vehicle, the bus dropped paasengers at the arrivals level of SEATAC forcing you to pack your bags up two flights of escalators. Sad.

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Trent Allen
June 25th, 2018 Queen Creek, AZ

The online process for renting a car was easy to navigate. We used this company on a trip to Hawaii and the car exceeded our expectations.

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James Crawley
June 12th, 2018 New York, NY

I rent from Avis all the time. They have a location right by my apartment in New York (we don't own a car). Avis is fine...they generally have good prices and are quick at getting me into a car. My problem with Avis is they almost ALWAYS nickel and dime me with tons of hidden fees. I actually think an Attorney General should investigate their disclosures. It's really frustrating

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Kip Fowler
June 8th, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT

I use a company car for work and every so often I need to have it worked on. My company uses Avis for my rental car needs and they have been very helpful in getting me into a car and it being comfortable and reliable while I'm waiting for my own car to be fixed.

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Shareen
April 25th, 2018 DETAILS
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Do not rent from Avis car rental.They charged us toll fees that was added to our visa once we got back from our trip. we never went through any tolls in our trip .They they changed us 19.95 for tolls that was a monthly rate (we rented the car for a week ) When we wrote the company Avis refused to give us a refund .Just a scam to get our money .

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Ron Willoughby
April 16th, 2018 North Haverhill, NH DETAILS
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I rented in Fairbanks. No visible damage. Heard a noise driving out of their parking lot. Heard it several times on the way to the hotel. Slept 5 hours, checked out the noise and found a piece of plastic UNDER the car rubbing on the tire. Returned it. They said I had an accident!! I offered to take a polygraph test. For 9 days I waited. Then called the Claims Dept. and they dropped the claim. A week later, they again said that I owe them $817. It is not yet resolved, but they are thieves. DO NOT RENT FROM AVIS!! Their reviews on consumeraffairs.com have over a thousand reviews with a ONE STAR rating.

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Melanie Poland
January 8th, 2018 Chandler, TX DETAILS
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Be very careful when you're picking up your vehicle. This company (and Budget - they're the same company really) will try to load you up with all sorts of unnecessary add ons when you pick up your car, even if you've already made all your choices and submitted payment beforehand. The area in the Dayton OH airport terminal is very loud due to the close proximity of the baggage claim area and though the customer service rep we encountered was very friendly, she also talked and laughed so much that it was distracting and it was also hard to understand everything she was saying due to the noise. We ended up accidentally agreeing to very expensive additional insurance coverage, that actually cost more than our round trip tickets to Dayton! We didn't realize that we were signing to pay an additional fee - we thought we were signing to pay what we'd ordered online. When we returned the vehicle, we realized that we'd payed nearly $1000 for four days of a rental car! We tried to discuss this with the manager but he would not come out and talk with us. We tried calling corporate (numerous times) but they only stuck to the assertion that we had agreed to this and that "the manager heard us agree to this" (an impossibility since he was in the back, at the other counter, and the place was extremely loud anyway). In fact, we had stated emphatically several times during the CSR's spiel that we did NOT want any additional insurance. We will never use Budget or Avis again, though we travel often for business and pleasure and often use rental cars. VERY unhappy and I believe their actions were very, very unethical. They get bonuses for these add ons. PAY VERY CLOSE ATTENTION if you decide to give them your business.

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Rishiharan Sasitharan
January 2nd, 2018 DETAILS
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Rented a car from Avis during my summer vacation in Europe. I picked up a speeding ticket. Instead of Avis charging my credit card directly they charged an admin fee to PASS along my info to the authorities. Other more reputable rental companies take care of all speeding tickets and fines and by charging you credit card directly instead making you jump through hoops. This has been on going for 6 months. Save your self the hassle and go with a better rental company

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Sandra Dubas
June 13th, 2017 Salt Lake City, UT

The cars we rent from them are nice, but their prices are kind of high compared to other rentals. We have enjoyed using them because of their customer service as well.

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Julie Firkins
June 12th, 2017 Orem, UT

I rented my car from the airport, when i picked it up it was supposed to be ready to go and it was supposed to be an suv because of the snow storm the suv's were gone and they gave me an upgrade at no additional cost. i wanted the other vehicle that i thought i was renting

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Anne Janks
September 9th, 2016 Oakland, CA

We received a letter that we were being charged a $250 cleaning fee because of a "smoke smell" in the rental car returned to Oakland CA airport. The person we returned it to got in the car and mentioned nothing. I called the number on the letter and was told: 1. the appeal process is the phone call I was making -- there is NO WAY to contest the charge; 2. they would not consider any documentation I could provide which would disprove the bogus charge. (Our child is severely asthmatic and can not be exposed to smoke - not even someone with smoke on clinging to their clothes -- and I offered medical proof and proof that our child was on the trip with us.) 3. if I agreed to the charge, they would reduce it by $100, which I felt was designed to pressure me to agree to a phony charge which was at least lower. BTW -- there is a complaint process: http://avisbudgetgroup.com/contact-us/customer-service/avis-complaint-escalation/ I found it by googling, it's not on the website, but why do I know about it, but their customer service supervisors don't?