Car rental round-up

26 Feb 2008 by Mark Caswell

Avis has extended its Preferred Members “three-minute promise” to all major UK airports, following successful trials at Heathrow. The service guarantees that members of Avis’s loyalty scheme will have their car keys and printed rental agreement within three minutes of entering Avis premises, or else receive an apology and a £20 retail voucher.

The scheme is already in place in 390 locations across Europe, including 18 Avis branches in France, where the company says it has achieved an average 99.7 per cent success rate. For more information visit

Europcar is to add CO2 emissions data to descriptions of its rental cars, to allow customers to make an informed choice when choosing their vehicle. Cars will be split into emissions categories ranging from an average of 130g/km (such as the Peugeot 107), up to 230g/km (for example, the Volvo V70). Europcar says it is also researching technologies such as biofuel, HDi and BlueMotion in order to introduce a sub-120g/km CO2 emissions group.

In other news, Europcar will open its first branch in Beijing this week. Initially, the firm will offer a chauffeur service for travel within the city, as well as a transfer service between the city centre and Beijing’s Capital International airport. For more information visit

Budget Rent a Car has added 80 locations in Germany to its portfolio. The expansion follows the merger of Budget’s German licensee Alag AG and German car-rental operator Robert Straub GmbH, and means the company now has 140 locations across the country.

Meanwhile, Budget has extended its trial of hybrid vehicles to Heathrow airport, following their initial introduction at Edinburgh airport last year – the company is also trialling Saab and Volvo biofuel cars at a number of its locations in Sweden. For more information visit

Report by Mark Caswell

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