It’s spring! And the first four-day weekend is just around the corner. It is time to celebrate Easter for another year and, as ever, everyone is looking forward to Easter Bank Holiday (6th – 9th April 2012). Easter bunnies, Easter egg hunts, Easter Sunday Lunches, family entertainment, short breaks, everyone is making plans for the long weekend! 

Most people celebrate by stuffing their faces with one too many Easter eggs. However, there are others ways to enjoy the first spring time holiday. If you are searching for ideas to fit into your calendar, here are a few great ideas to consider; 

Kew Gardens – Join the annual chocolate egg hunt, chocolate making, face painting, themed tours on the Kew Explorer and storytelling in the Temple of Imagination. Alternatively, get a breath of fresh air with a self-guided walk around the botanical gardens, and let the kids loose on the new Tree-house Towers play area. 

The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt – London will be hosting the world’s biggest-ever egg hunt this Easter. Join the race to find the 200 giant decorated Easter eggs located a throughout the capital. To add extra grandeur to this event, the eggs have been created by some of the most famous names such in fashion and design including Marc Quinn, Chapman brothers, Mulberry, Sir Ridley Scott, Zandra Rhodes and many more. Each egg has a unique SMS keyword which you send to a dedicated text number. The search for designer eggs at Fabergé Easter egg hunt across London is on. Participants have a chance of winning a Fabergé Diamond Jubilee Egg worth more than £100,000. 

E4 Udderbelly Festival 2012 – Enjoy the return of this great three month festival of stand-up comedy, cabaret, music and dance on London’s South Bank. The Udderbelly brings some of the best UK and international acts to London. Staged in an inflatable purple cow, the 410-capacity Udderbelly tent is in the shape of an upside-down purple cow – sits on the banks of the Thames between the London Eye and Royal Festival Hall. Don’t miss fantastic shows at this unique venue. Some of the acts at this year’s events include Tim Minchin, Andi Osho, Havana Rumba, Friday Night Freakshow and many more. 

The Passion at Trafalgar Square – Taking place on the 6th of April (12 noon and 3:15pm), you can celebrate the start of Easter at Passion in the Square – a free recreation of the dramatic events surrounding the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. With over 70 actors taking part and a variety period costumes, this open air play is a great events for those who would like to reconnect with the story at the heart of the Easter holidays.

 Soul by the Sea Brighton’s Easter Festival 2012 – Held on Brighton’s seafront by Madeira Drive on the 7-8th April 2012, this Festival includes performances from leading artists and entertainers. This Easter Festival held in Brighton is. However, it is a two day festival with the Saturday 7th April (11am-5.30pm) being a celebration of Easter through music and performing arts for all ages. On Easter Sunday, from 2pm-5pm, you will get the chance to see the Passion of Christ play similar to “The Passion at Trafalgar Square”. 

Easter Skate Eggstravaganza – Starts at 7pm Friday 6th April 2012 on Good Friday with the Long Good Friday Night Skate - a 3 hour skate past London’s most-loved visitor attractions which leaves from Hyde Park Corner. The Easter Bunny Stroll on Easter Sunday starts at 2pm and is the one to get dressed up for. Bunny girls (and boys) will strut their stuff on an 8 mile relaxed roll on a high profile route around London’s West End. As it is Easter Sunday, after the skate there’s an Egg & Spoon Race on Serpentine Road in Hyde Park. And the evening fun continues at 7pm with the Easter Bunny Party for boogieing bunnies! 

The Boat Race – with over 300,000 spectators expected, this a great events for those looking for a sporty outdoor event in London. This is the 158th Boat Race between crews from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. First raced in 1829 The Boat Race is one of the oldest sporting events in the world. Witness the four-and-a-quarter-mile course from Putney to Mortlake on the afternoon of Saturday April 7, starting at 2.15pm. The Boat Race website has detailed information for spectators, including a section on walking the course. 

Whatever and wherever you do decide to enjoy the Easter holidays, should you need car hire services to get around- choose Avis.  What are your plans this Easter?

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We know that renting a car for the first time can sometimes be a daunting thought.  That’s why at Avis ‘We Try Harder’ to make that process as smooth, accessible and consumer friendly as possible. We provide rental agreements in a number of different languages and pride ourselves of having transparent and easy to understand pricing that is clear for all to see.

I would like to take a moment to explain to you what’s included in your Avis quote when you book a car. Essentially it’s everything you need to take the car and drive off on your journey.

When you make a booking in the UK our quote includes:

  • The cost of the hiring the vehicle which includes unlimited mileage. (Mileage subject to T&Cs).
  • Vehicle licence fees
  • Any City or airport surcharge if applicable (an additional charge at premium locations where the rent is higher).
  • Vehicle Damage cover (Subject to an excess)
  • Vehicle Theft cover. (Subject to an excess)
  • Third Party Insurance.
  • VAT ((Value Added Tax) or any other tax if renting from outside the UK)

Important note if renting in the US
If you book on the US website, www.avis.com, you may find that Vehicle Damage Cover and Vehicle Theft Cover are not included, as some American credit cards provide insurance for car hire.

As you can see this list provides everything in one quote for you to drive off in your hire car straight away. However, we believe in making your journey as hassle free as possible. That’s why we also provide other great products, at additional charges, to ensure you have complete peace of mind.

What’s not included in your quote, but available to purchase:

Additional insurance cover – Our Premier Cover package (or the similar Super Damage Cover in many countries outside the UK) provides the following additional insurance cover (on top of the basic cover included in your quote):

  • CDW (Collision Damage Waver) – reduces your car hire insurance excess down to £100, giving you peace of mind when you’re on your journey. This also means we don’t need to take a hefty security deposit (unlike other car rental firms!)
  • PAI (Personal Accident Insurance) – giving you cover for medical expenses in the event of an accident
  • The Unexpected – covers you for those events you weren’t planning on, such as losing your luggage or even your house keys

Windscreen Protection – reduces the insurance excess to zero which means you pay nothing in the event of damage to the front windscreen.

Additional Driver – only the driver named on the rental agreement is covered as standard, but you can add extra named drivers for an additional one-off cost.

Fuel – we offer three simple ways to refuel your vehicle, saving you the hassle of doing so.  Visit our fuel options page for more details.

GPS – to make getting from A to B that much easier and stress free with an Avis GPS  satellite navigation device (available from most major UK, European and US locations)

Child & Booster Seats – it’s a legal requirement for children to use one of these seats if they are under 12 years of age, or, under 135cm (which ever comes first). See website for more details.

 

Do I need to pay a deposit?  And do I need a credit card?
If you have prepaid for your car hire then at the start of the rental we will gain authorisation for the estimated charge that is signed for at the start of your rental agreement (for additional charges such as fuel or GPS, special equipment etc).  This amount is held against your credit card until the car is returned. If you have chosen to ‘pay later’ for your hire car then the rental cost will also be held on your credit card.

This is held against your account therefore limiting how much you can withdraw by this amount, so could be considered as a deposit.  However, your account will only be physically debited when the final amount is calculated at the end of the rental.

We don’t normally rent to people unless they have a credit card, but there may be some exceptions depending on the location and advance arrangements. In such an event you’d be asked to provide 3 recent proofs of identity, e.g. a utility bill dated within last 3 months, and to leave a cash deposit of £250 in the UK (sometimes much higher than that in other countries). I must emphasise though that such an arrangement is the exception rather than the rule, must be agreed in advance with the station manager and won’t be allowed at all on certain car groups and in certain locations

If you have a query about what you’ve been quoted, please contact our Customer Support team

 

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Here’s another one of our classic We Try Harder adverts from the famous 1960s campaign. This advert was part of a series of ‘Avis can’t afford this or that’ headlines, which led to the ground breaking line ‘Avis is only No.2. So why go with us?’

 

These ads told our customers what the car and service was supposed to be like. And they also formed the basis of how Avis operated.

What started out as an advert promise has become a household word associated with Avis.

Take a look at just some of the ways in which we’re still Trying Harder in the UK today www.avis.co.uk/nowtryeasier

See more from our series of classic We Try Harder adverts

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The Danish capital of Copenhagen is built on an archipelago of natural and man-made islands connected by bridges and punctuated with architectural delight, historical interest and Scandinavian style.

Hiring a car in Copenhagen is a convenient way to enjoy one of Europe’s top tourist cities.  But where to park in an unfamiliar city?  Here are our tips on the best places to park when sight-seeing in wonderful Copenhagen:

Q-park, Israels Plads
This multistorey is very close to the Strøget, Europe’s longest shopping street, as well as the new Torvehallerne food market

Parking Centre, Borgergade
There are always parking spaces available in this convenient spot near the Queen’s castle

P-Huset, Gammel Mont
Parking in Copenhagen doesn’t get much more central than this

EuroPark P-plads, Strandgade
Convenient Copenhagen parking spot for the Opera, this spot is also convenient for Christiania (just don’t forget where you parked your car)

Q-park, Nørre Allé
Convenient parking for the National Stadium and the northern quarter, known for cafes and student entertainment

Map of the best parking spots in Copenhagen

Here’s a map showing all five of our Copenhagen parking tips:


View Best parking in Copenhagan in a larger map

 

Stay in touch with Avis – Like us on Facebook for travel tips and special offers.

 

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We’ve had many questions on the electronic toll payments on the Portugal toll roads so here’s some useful information to put you at ease on your travels!

When driving in Portugal you may experience electronic tolls where you will not need cash, but where an electronic tracker identifies the vehicles on the road and generates an automatic charge.

When renting a car with Avis in Portugal, you can take advantage of the Avis e-Toll Solution. The Avis e-Toll solution makes an electronic payment for all Avis cars so you don’t need to think about how, Avis ETollwhen and where to pay for driving on Portugal’s Toll Roads. This technology is a form of vehicle transponder by which the electronic toll device can recognise the vehicle.

To avoid any unexpected admin fees the Avis e-Toll means your vehicle will be in full compliance of road regulations when driving on the highways listed below. Costs are €1.50 per day (with a maximum charge of €15 for 10 days or more) plus the face value of the toll roads during the rental. The total charge will be processed automatically up to 15 days after the end date of the rental with no additional admin costs.

Avis is the first car rental company to find a convenient solution to the electronic tolls. To enjoy the convenience of the Avis e-Toll Solution, or if you have any other questions, our Avis staff will be able to help you.

Find out more at Visit Portugal. 

The e-toll solution is not available to book online. On arrival in Portugal simply request it from our staff at the Avis counter.

We hope this helps and you enjoy driving in Portugal. In the mean time, share this or let us know if you have any further questions!

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We’re delighted to announce that we now have over 340 car rental branches in the UK.  Over the last 12 months, we’ve been busy opening new locations up and down the country as part of our efforts to make it more convenient for customers to have access to a quality car hire service.

Our growing UK network now includes 29 airport locations and 310 town and city branches, including partnerships with local hotels, golf clubs, leisure centres and managed offices.

In addition to these, we also operate 46 pick up points at rail stations across the country, providing a taxi service to the nearest rental station.

As the fastest growing car rental company in the UK, we are committed to continuing to expand our UK network and hope the new locations will benefit an increasing number of customers by making our car hire service more accessible.

Click here to find your nearest branch in the UK

 

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Following on from our classic advert #1, here’s the next one in the series from our famous ‘We Try Harder’ advertising campaign from the 60’s. This particular ad from November 1963 highlighted our We Try Harder attitude when it came to speed of service.

Classic 'We Try Harder' advert from the 60s

Although the ad might look a bit dated, the message and our values remain the same, as does the high level of service you receive when you rent a car with Avis.

Today, we offer the 3 minute promise, where we promise to get you your keys in under 3 minutes (of we’ll give you a £20 John Lewis voucher!)  You just need to be an Avis Preferred member, and all you need to do is collect your keys and go!

 

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As our car hire delivery and collection service continues to grow, we recently conducted research into the delivery habits of UK consumers and found that British consumers are becoming more demanding than ever.

Topping Brits wish list of most desirable delivery items are a cooked English breakfast following a night on the tiles, freshly brewed high street coffee to kick-start the working week, fish and chips from the local chippy, alcohol post closing time and a cooked Sunday roast. Not forgetting emergency supplies such as toilet rolls, petrol for when the nearest filling station is out of reach, plus shoe repair, laundry and dry cleaning.

We’re spending and ordering more than ever before
So dependent as a nation have we become on direct delivery services , that we are  now ordering  a staggering 1.5 billion deliveries a year at a cost of £16.8 billion – that’s an average of 30 deliveries per person, totalling £342.

We’re becoming more demanding
Three quarters (73%) now expect a delivery service as standard when purchasing goods, three out of four (75%) would like companies to offer a courier collection service for unwanted items and a  massive 89% would consider switching supplier if they didn’t offer direct delivery.

Delivery just to the home is also no longer enough, with 78% expecting to be able to receive goods to their place of work or other addresses. Over half (58%) also admit that even next day delivery offers limited flexibility for busy schedules with 63% keen to see same day delivery more readily available.

Our research clearly demonstrates the popularity of delivery services. Car hire is just one example of a delivery service which has cropped up to meet time poor customers and

Avis Delivers gives those customers the flexibility to have a car delivered and collected for just £10 each way, wherever they are.

About Avis Delivers

- Delivery (and collection) available straight to your door whether at home, at the office or even at the gym!

- Same day delivery if booked before 12noon

- Only £10 per Delivery and £10 per Collection

- Choose a delivery window that’s convenient to you

For more details on the Avis Delivers service visit www.avis.co.uk/homedelivery or call 0844 581 8181.

 

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If you’re in the midst of planning your next holiday – make sure you swot up on the more unusual overseas driving regulations that exist before you take to the open road.

For example, did you know that it’s in fact a recommended requirement to carry an extra pair of specs when driving in sunny SpainAnd, if you’re heading to Italy don’t make the assumption that headlights are only for night time driving; it’s compulsory to have them on at all times outside of built up areas.

If all that sunshine is making you thirsty and you happen to be behind the wheel in Cyprus, make sure you pull over before taking a sip of water, as drinking anything whilst on the move is prohibited. In Greece it’s also a good idea to note parking times before leaving your car for a spot of shopping – you may come back to more than just a ticket with police confiscating the number plates of illegally parked vehicles.

Planning a holiday further afield to Romania or Russia? Better get shining those hub caps, as a clean car isn’t just about keeping up appearances – it’s actually against the law to drive a dirty vehicle in these countries. Before you turn the ignition key in Denmark, make sure you check for people under the car – a legal requirement alongside checking the brakes, lights, steering and horn before you drive.

Other weird and wonderful regulations include:

  • In some cities in Spain, cars must be parked on the side of the road where houses bear uneven numbers on uneven days of the month, and on the side of even numbers on even days
  • In Switzerland, pedestrians generally have right of way and expect vehicles to stop. Some may even step into the road in front of oncoming traffic so make sure you keep your eyes peeled
  • California law prohibits a woman from driving a car from wearing a dressing gown
  • Driving through Vienna? Make sure you don’t use your horn – it’s prohibited within the city

To help Brits get up to speed on overseas driving regulations, Avis has published a series of guides covering the top 10 sunshine destinations for car hire this summer. The guides also highlight the best drives and recommended family day trips to help make the most of holiday drive time. Click here to download these guides.

Share this via facebook or twitter and make sure your family and friends know about these unusal road laws!

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The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), the trade body for the UK car rental industry, is again warning customers to take extra care when confronted with cheap deals for Christmas car hire on the Internet or in the press.

Festive season travellers were caught out by bogus car hire companies this time last year, handing over deposits of hundreds of pounds for cars that never materialised. The BVRLA believes that similar scams are being planned this year and has already made contact with Police and Trading Standards over one potential threat.

“These companies offer unbeatable prices and free delivery – but they really are too good to be true,” says BVRLA chief executive, John Lewis.

“Unfortunately it is very easy for fraudsters to build a simple website and set up a call centre to pass themselves off as legitimate businesses.

“These sham operators are damaging the reputation of car rental. We are working with the authorities to help stamp them out.”

In the meantime, the BVRLA is offering five simple tips for customers looking for safe and hassle-free car rental.

1.            Only use a BVRLA member to be sure that you’re dealing with a reputable company that has been vetted and operates to a professional code of conduct.

2.            Never hand over cash. Most reputable rental companies will only want to accept credit/debit card payment.

3.            Make sure the company is operating from a bona fide commercial premises, not a PO Box or virtual office, no matter how prestigious the location sounds.

4.            Make sure the company actually owns and operates the cars it is offering – all BVRLA members operate their own rental fleet.

5.            Remember, if the price or service being offered seems too good to be true, it probably is and you may well end up out of pocket and disappointed!

 

For more information or if in doubt, visit www.bvrla.co.uk

 

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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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2013 Avis A-List Travel and Tourism Blog Awards

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.