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Tips for Getting the Best Price

Posted by Xavier Vallée on May 16th, 2007
In Booking and hiring your car, Car hire tips

Looking outside my window right now you would not know that Summer is coming. But contrary to the weather it is and this means we are moving into our busiest period. If you are looking to rent a car over the Summer here is my top tips for getting the best value…

1. Book in advance
This is my top tip. It is not always possible to do this but where you can, try to book your car hire in advance. Our pricing model is very similar to that of airlines. When there are lots of seats available the prices are good but as soon as these start to sell out the prices go up!

2. Prices are in 24-hour blocks
We price by the day. For example, if you get a quote for a rental to start at 9am on the Tuesday to be returned at 11.30am on the Wednesday you will be quoted for 2 days. In this instance you may want to see if you can arrange to bring back the car at 9am on the Wednesday to get a one day price.

3. Try a different day
Different rental locations get busy on different days. For example, some locations may get a lot of customers picking up a car on a Friday for the weekend but are not very busy during the week. In this case prices during the week may work out cheaper.

4. The longer rental, the more economical it is
You will generally find that the longer the rental length, the cheaper the price works out per day. This is because having a car out on a longer rental length reduces the risk of having it sitting around idly making no money and so we can pass on the savings to our customers. For this reason many of our advertised prices are based on a 7 day rental.

I hope this helps. If I can think of any other tips I’ll post them as a comment.

20 Responses to “Tips for getting the best price”

1. Gerry Chapman
September 15th, 2007 at 10:04 am

I have just joined avis prefered thinking that my next rental would be cheaper than obtainable else where but going to Spain there is a difference of £60 for my 18 day car hire from Murcia Airport!! Any suggestions from the Management?

2. Rob White - Marketing, Avis UK
September 17th, 2007 at 11:36 am

Hi Gerry,
Actually Avis Preferred membership should not make any difference to your price at all and you certainly should not be paying more! Could you email us at comments@avis.co.uk with your Wizard number and the dates/times/car category that you were trying to book and we’ll do a bit of digging to find out for why this is happening.

3. John Foster
January 17th, 2008 at 2:19 am

I’m looking a visiting New Zealand from he UK in February. If I go on your new Zealand site and get a quote it asks for my country of residence. If I say “UK” I then get a quote which is around 50% higher than if I say “New Zealand”. Why? And am I breaking any country’s laws if I tell lies here?

4. Rob White - Marketing, Avis UK
January 24th, 2008 at 12:17 pm

Good question and not one that is easy to answer! It is a bit of a complex issue (sorry to side step it) but it is predominantly due to the market and competitor landscape of the home market. Other travel companies such as airlines often adopt a similar approach to pricing. With regards to whether you can select a New Zealand country of residence, a rental agent can refuse to rent out the car if the information they have been given is not full and correct so it is a bit of a risky one!

5. Peter Whiteman
February 6th, 2008 at 9:56 pm

We recently tried to hire a car with Avis UK, for collection from Dalaman airport in Turkey, using an agreed discount through the AA (15% off). We went through booking process with agent, everything okay until price was given, this did not take into account the discount offer. On querying this, we were told that because the Dalaman office hours were curtailed at this time of year, an inquiry would need to be made with Avis TR and because of this we were not eligible for the ‘pay now’ price and would have to accept the ‘pay later’ price. My question is, Why? We are more than willing to pay straight away.

We know that the Dalaman office would accommodate the out of hours pickup because they have always done so in the past. Your comments would be appreciated.

6. Eugene
February 18th, 2008 at 9:56 am

Dear Mr White,
I will be picking up a car at BHD and would like to drive it to Birmingham and back (ferrying a relative who doesn’t like to fly!). I would intend using the BFS/LPL ferry crossing. I will be staying a week on each side with about a 16 day rental. Can I do that?

7. Rob White - Marketing, Avis UK
February 19th, 2008 at 11:06 am

Hi Eugene,
This is fine! Have a great trip. It sounds like you’re going to do a lot of driving!


8. Eugene
February 21st, 2008 at 9:20 am

Thanks Rob for your reply.
I hope most days just to be doing day trips - so it wont be too bad.

Best Regards, Eugene

9. Rob White
July 15th, 2008 at 3:00 pm

I was wondering if you had any electric cars in your fleet. I some times need a car just for a day.

10. Robert
July 16th, 2008 at 8:34 am

Do we have another Rob White here? How very confusing! Улыбка

11. Rob White - Marketing, Avis UK
July 16th, 2008 at 9:54 am

I confused for a second their Rob as I thought I had posted a comment that I couldn’t remember writing!… anyway, in answer to your question, we currently do not have electric cars on our fleet. I’d be interested in your thoughts about this. Do you feel this is a car type we need to start offering?


12. Robert Strachan
August 10th, 2008 at 9:16 pm

I will regularly need to pick up a car at Luton Airport and return it to Gatwick Airport. Unfortunately, the difference in price if I returned to Gatwick instead of the pick up location is £47. First, is there any way to avoid this charge? Second, if not, how do you justify this - it is not as if the car is being returned to an isolated rental location - Gatwick is one of the busiest locations so you don’t need to “relocate” cars returned to Gatwick.

13. Sue Porter
September 11th, 2008 at 4:50 pm

I am trying to book a car hire for Luton Airport tomorrow evening, to go through Avis Preferred it is £73 but to using the BA Executive Club is only £62. Can you explain how Avis Preferred is not the best and easiest option?

14. Rob White - Marketing, Avis UK
September 12th, 2008 at 10:23 am

Hi Sue, with the way these programmes are set up I see no obvious reason why this would be the case. Would you be able to email me with your Avis Preferred membership number and details of the booking (rental length and car category) and we’ll take a look into this.


15. Helen
November 13th, 2008 at 2:08 pm

To avoid any hassle at Nice airport.Will we have any difficulty with Avis over the age of my husband?He is 84 & drives all the time.{We drive to Portugal every February] Your small print is vague about this.

16. Chris Cox - Reservations, Avis UK
November 13th, 2008 at 4:16 pm

Hi Helen,
Your husband will have no problems at all. There is no upper age limit in France so provided he has held a clean license for over 12 months there won’t be any issues regarding his age. Hope that helps to put your mind at ease.


17. Norman McLeod
November 19th, 2008 at 4:02 pm

I am trying to book a people carrier (7 seats) in Milan for next July using my Avis foundr shareholder AWD number. Usually this gives me about 50% discount but it now appears to be giving no discount! Have you stopped offering this discount to Founder shareholders

18. Stephen Spiers - Avis UK Customer Services
November 19th, 2008 at 5:42 pm

Hi Norman,

Avis have reluctantly decided to reduce the special discount available to Founders Club members on all rentals from the current level of up to 50% to a new level of up to 20% from 7th November 2008. This is the first time we have changed the benefits available to Founders Club members since launch in 1997.

This decision was not one that was taken lightly, but was taken in response to the worsening economic conditions across many of our geographic markets. Unfortunately, in these tough times, we have to make some tough decisions and continue to focus on cost reduction.

However, the AWD should still provide a discount on Avis rates. I have forwarded your comment to our reservation centre and asked that someone contact you regarding this.


19. Alecia
December 25th, 2008 at 12:44 pm

My husband is comming to Jamaica in January I would like to know the cost for renting a car for three days and the cost for a week.

20. Stephen Spiers - Avis UK Customer Services
January 2nd, 2009 at 9:06 am

Hi Alecia,

I’m unable to provide the prices as I do not know the location or dates of hire. However, if you or your husband visit http://www.avis.co.uk or call our reservations centre on 08445 81 81 81, they will be able to provide you with this information.


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