I rarely rent a car when I travel, mostly because of how dismal the experience has been. Topping my list of activities that make me cringe are:
- Waiting in a long line to get my car
- The lengthy check-in process, chock full of forms, signatures and questions I never remember how to answer
- Mystery inventory— not knowing what car you’ll get until you get to the front of the line
- Waiting in a long line to return the car
So when Avis told me about their new app and promised me the process had been radically streamlined, I was intrigued. Oh, and it all centered around a new app, Avis Now. I mean, I like talking to people and everything, but after a long flight, I just want to get in my car and vamoose— so I was doubly intrigued.
I’ve partnered with Avis to share some travel tips through the holiday season and into the new year, and first up is my experience renting a car with the new Avis Now app, which was stellar. I mean, this is a partner post, but I KNOW you guys know that if I didn’t love something, I wouldn’t write something glowing about it.
This is not that something. I loved it from start to finish.
I installed the Avis Now app, entered my Avis membership information, and I was invited to create a list of insurance preferences, such as Personal Accident Insurance and Personal Effects Protection. Later when I booked my car, I didn’t have to sweat through those questions again— the app knew all my preferences, so I didn’t have to remember on the spot. Thank you, app, for alleviating that anxiety.
Booking the car was over in a couple of taps. And the best part is I was able to select the exact car I was interested in, not just designate a class of cars. Just this small gesture made me feel validated as a customer, and is a powerful nod to the deep consumer need to have a personalized experience with everything from ordering lunch to working out to booking a hotel room… and now to renting a car.
When I landed, the Avis Now app sprung into action— I was greeted with a screen that showed me my car, and where it was in the lot. I hopped on the shuttle, arrived at the lot, and stepped into my car, where the keys were waiting on the dashboard.
No lines, no friction, no surprises. And it didn’t hurt that this was my ride.
I haven’t driven a convertible since I first moved to Los Angeles. I miss that car, but this one will be a lovely substitute. Inside, it had XM Radio and a navigation system, both preferences I designated in the app at the start, so it knew just what I was looking for in a car.
I left the lot after a quick scan from this friendly Avis guy (how cute is he?) and I was off.
The Avis Now app knew when it was time to return my rental, and when I got to the lot, one tap of the “RETURN NOW” button and I was done. Thanks to geo-location, the app knew I had brought the car back, so I didn’t even have to wait for a scan. I left the car with the keys inside in the return line, and walked away, having to wait for NO ONE.
If you’ve ever used your Apple app to buy something at the Apple Store, and then left with it in your hands without talking to anyone… you know how weirdly wonderful that feels. Frictionless, autonomous, fast. That was the entire experience here. I was so thrown by how easy it all was that I actually went to the counter and stood in line to ask if I had done it all right. I had.
Someone once said the journey is the destination… but I don’t think they were speaking of today’s air travel experience. When I’m in an airport, I’m looking for the quickest route out, into my car, and on my way. I was really impressed with how streamlined the Avis Now app made the experience. And it certainly made me long for my convertible days.
I was compensated by Avis for this review. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting our sponsors— they help keep things going here at CKHQ.