Bits: Avis £9.99 one-way rentals, Zipcar one-way rentals, Hilton Visa / Uber deal

News in brief:

£9.98 one-way Avis car rentals to London

Regular readers will remember our article last year on Europcar offering £1 one-way car rentals to London.  Europcar uses this to cheaply reposition cars that need to be taken back to London – letting you rent them for £1 is cheaper than hiring a transporter!

Avis is now offering a similar deal, but only for the period around Easter.  You pay a flat £9.98 for a Group B or Group E car and need to drop it in London between 10th and 13th April.

Full details are on the Avis website here.  Thanks to Daniel.

Avis 350

Zipcar trialling new ‘one way’ car scheme in London

I am a fan of the Zipcar car club in London as I wrote here.  It got even better when Zipcar became a British Airways Executive Club partner, as I now earn 50 Avios every time I take a car out.

With the nearest car parked 30 seconds from our front door, and another 5 cars within a 10 minute walk, there is never any trouble finding a vehicle.  The only downside is that, because you pay by the hour, a relatively short drive – followed by a wait before you return – can get expensive.

Zipcar is now trialling a new scheme in Wandsworth called Zipcar Flex.  50 cars have been allocated for one-way rentals, as long as you drop them within Wandsworth.   You only pay for the car by the minute, and you can reserve it for 15 minutes via your smartphone to give you time to get to it before any other user grabs it!

This is an interesting idea.  The question for me is what benefit this has over taking an Uber or a black cab, both of which are more convenient and presumably cheaper.  They will pick you up at your door and drop you where you need to be without the trouble of finding a parking space.  Since you can’t guarantee that your Zipcar Flex car will still be where you parked it when you want to return home, it doesn’t even offer you the certainty of having a vehicle available.

You can learn more about Zipcar Flex here.


From January 2018, please use our new Uber sign-up code HEADFORPOINTSUK. This gets you a 50% discount on your first ride, up to £10. This is more generous than the current refer-a-friend offer of £3 off your first ride.

New Barclaycard / Uber offer

If you are a heavy Uber user, Barclaycard has launched an interesting offer for you.  It runs until the end of the year and could work out to be quite valuable.

If you charge your Uber rides to a Barclaycard, every 11th ride you take will be free (up to £15).  If your 11th ride costs more than £15, you receive a £15 credit to your card statement.

Full details are here on the Barclaycard site.

You can take advantage of this offer as many times as you like and it is guaranteed to run for the rest of the year.

The Hilton Honors Platinum Visa card, issued by Barclaycard, is included in this offer so it will be of interest to many HFP readers.  Thanks to Richard for this.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

How to save on UK Hilton Hotels using Tesco Clubcard vouchers
InterContinental trialling 'Club InterContinental Experience' at non-lounge hotels
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  1. The Uber deal only let’s you use the £15 credit in the UK sadly. I’m a heavy uber user but never use it in England

  2. Pascal says:

    I quite like drive now (with the same system as the new zipcar flex) in general. However:
    In London its barely cheaper compared to an uber. Plus you have to search a parking space and ‘fight’ with the traffic yourself.
    I love it in Germany. With ridiculously expensive taxis and okay traffic it’s a great solution at the airports where they have it.

    The problem in London seems to be that they have to negotiate with each borough individually. Hence flex is only being tested in Wandsworth for now and drive now didn’t make it further then their three east London boroughs (and car2go left London years ago due to this)

  3. Flex would be useful say you were a rental tenant moving rooms, or there was an uber surcharge at the time you needed it, then it could be cheaper.

    • Have you ever done it?

      I’ve rented a zipcar to move house three times (all within RBKC, which is also where Rob lives), and every time I’ve had to extend the rental to more than 24 hours. Returning the car to the original spot and taking the bus is not a problem.

      • Wayne Phillips says:

        Moving flat always takes longer than expected. Hence I never volunteer to help friends move anymore!

      • TBH, as a rental tenant, i’m only ever moving the contents of one room and with close to little furniture… it’s pretty easy with two or three car journies

        genghis – i really struggle to get a man with a van for 50 quid in london, always ends up costing me more in my experience

        • Genghis says:

          We moved from a 2 bed flat in 2015 to our current house, moving all our furniture, only a few miles. Done in one trip on a long wheelbase tranny. A super strong Lithuanian guy with his van (and me) doing the heavy lifting. £50 for 2 hrs graft. SE London. If interested, I can provide his no

        • I like the sound of a super strong Lithuanian guy for two hours 😉

    • Genghis says:

      Surely a man with a van for £50 for a couple of hours is much better?

  4. Chris Cannon says:

    Is there any stackable BAEC Avios deal with Avis? Is this a cheap way to “purchase” miles?

  5. the real harry1 says:

    O/T Tesco – Lego Friends 1000 points on £60 back again, offer doesn’t seem to be advertised but points still get added

  6. Andrew says:

    Do we think the 11 Uber rides are per Uber account or per Barclaycard account – i.e. If I load my Barclaycard to my partner’s Uber can we get to our 11 between us?

  7. Jchand says:

    Would not use Uber if it was free

    • Outside London it is virtually free it seems. My brother uses my account around Sheffield and all the bills are £5 or so. Cheaper than the bus for a couple yet alone using your own car.

      • Jchand says:

        Maybe now while they kill the competition. Not in the future. I really can’t stand uber .

        • Interesting thing to say, because in some US cities the local authorities are actually removing public bus services in favour of Uber

      • Will Squires says:

        Which bus are you getting in Sheffield that has a £2.50 fare? The max single fare on the tram is £2.30 (and that’s only priced that way to may the daysaver look cheap!).

        I agree though, I’m supporting somebody who’s overcoming anxiety and agoraphobia so public transport is not an option; it’s great having a cheap, convenient taxi service to help her get out and about.

        • Will Squires says:

          *make the daysaver

        • Used to be 6p in Sheffield per trip when I was a student there back in 1984. They then rounded it down to 5p. Heavily subsidised transport under the then council leader David blunkett

        • When I used to go into Rotherham with my Dad on Saturday mornings, very early 1980s, it was 7p for him and 2p for me.

      • 100%! often tell people, why struggle with a bus paying £1.50 each when you can do the same quick journey for £5, for up to 4 adults!!

        • Genghis says:

          Love Uber. It’s good abroad as you can just put in where you want to go on the app instead of trying to explain that to a taxi driver / handing over the address on a bit of paper and he hasn’t a Scooby

        • Agreed, also fantastic not to have to worry about having the right change or bonkers tipping (USA I’m looking at you :D)

        • Roberto says:


          And even better in countries where English is not the first language like Estonia (where I was at the weekend), its completely automated and Genghis says , tap tap and done.

        • Yes, it is excellent there – although I found the standard of English in Tallinn was excellent – better than in Helsinki!

        • Big uber fan too, even more so for the spg points… but hearing several bad things about them these days…. would like to move to lyft if it came over here… found it just as good when i was in NYC, in fact, it was usually slightly cheaper.

  8. OT: BA Amex, just got my 3,000 Avios for requesting a supplementary card for my partner. Only applied a couple of days ago and got the “we will get back to you” screen. If only earning Avios by actually flying was this easy!

    • Nice! I got the same message, but card arrived in the post yesterday. Hopefully Avios post soon. Shame Plat c/back only offering a fiver for an additional cardholder 🙁

      • Got the points but not the card yet! Guess that means the application was accepted…

    • Roberto says:

      And its only for the “first” supplementary card.. As a married man my OH has a supplementary card already on Plat and BA so it excludes me from this promo.

      • I wrote to them and asked for an additional supp and got the 3000 pts. Hubby was added at time of application – mother in law added a few days ago. Card has appeared on my account – was told to email back when we received the card.

    • I take it was for BAPP.
      Mrs Roger got 1000 points for adding me as her first supplementary card holder on her account for Free BA AMEX.

      • Yes BAPP

      • Wally1976 says:

        I’ve got the free BA card already with one supplementary card. I messaged them to ask if I could have the 3k Avios for adding another card and they agreed :-). Haven’t actually done it yet but don’t anticipate a problem based on past experience of similar.

  9. OT:
    Anyone struggling with seeing their Amex contactless journey’s on the TFL website?

    Never had a problem, until my Amex Plat expired, i removed it and added the new one – and now cannot see any journey history at all

    • Showing up OK for me last week, including historical data from before I added the card to my account.

  10. Roberto says:

    O/T but cab related I noticed a £10 Addison Lee promo offer attached to my BA amex today.

  11. can anyone please tell me how long the Hilton Gold lasts once you get to £10k hilton Visa spend in a calendar year?

  12. TGLoyalty says:

    Love Uber it’s so easy when you are on holiday or in a city you don’t know.

    Driver takes advantage or drives you half way round the city you have proof rather than getting the wool pulled over your eyes. Only issue is places where data costs an arm and a leg.

  13. Jchand says:

    When uber stop the slave wages, start paying U.K. Tax , and have fleet insurance rather than relying on a guy earning 60p a mile paying for his own expensive hire and reward insurance then maybe I will use. Not until then.

    • I can’t see them holding a gun to anyone’s head to work for them.
      But hey, don’t let that stop your rant

    • To be fair, the driver gets 80%+ of the money and the driver is paying tax and NI. Uber wouldn’t be paying tax anyway, even if it didn’t funnel the money offshore, due to its massive losses.

      Same with Amazon – it loses so much money that it is actually irrelevant where it books (sic) its revenue.

      There is a whole generation who are growing up without experiencing the joys of smoke-filled minicab offices with dodgy clapped out cars and drivers who often didn’t turn up. Which is good news. I would be very surprised if those guys were earning more than they would via Uber (what cut does a minicab firm take? More or less than Uber’s 20%?) and the drivers can’t log in and off as they please. These guys also paid for their own insurance etc as they do with Uber.

      • RussellH says:

        Uber have lost their case in the industrial tribunal, though, implying that their drivers are not, as they claim, self-employed.

        If Uber are happy to lose so much money, surely they could afford emploers NI, holiday pay, maternity leave etc too?

        • Do many of the drivers want to be employees with the inflexibility that that involves?

        • RussellH says:

          Clearly the ones who took Uber to the industrial tribunal do want the advantages of holiday pay, maternity leave, redundancy right etc. Plenty of people like the security and reliability of income of being an employee.

          Other Uber drivers I heard being interviewed at the time liked it just the way it is, but I suspect that they cannot have been wholely dependent on Uber for their income.

        • Did not a similar tribunal rule that a supplier to Pimlico Plumbers was entitled to employee benefits although he provided his own van etc. and was registered for VAT?
          Do they operate in a parallel universe?

      • Amazon are opening a warehouse where I live. So they will be paying business rates and employing a bucket load of people, who will all be earning and paying tax. It’s easy to complain about Megaglobalcorp not paying tax, but they still provide employment. If Amazon don’t pay as much as all the other local logistics warehouses, they won’t get the staff.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Surely if UBER didnt earn the driver the same as a Black or Mini Cab they wouldn’t work for them either?

          My take on it is its a free market and people are free to offer their services to those that offer them the best package.

          These tribunals are interesting as the self employed are happy to do it when times are good, as take home wages are usually higher, but when the sh*t hit the fan they want to claim being an employee.

          In my experience you can’t have the remuneration and the benefits there’s always a trade off.

        • Jchand says:

          Maybe so but how do companies that pay their tax in the U.K. Compete . It is not a level playing field.

          Was there not an article in the FT ( or another) saying that Uber subsidies rides in the U.K. Around the 50% mark. .

  14. RussellH says:

    O/T but interesting:

    An article in The Week, quoting The Guardian, saying that UK based airlines could not only be forced to move their legal base to an EU country if/when the UK leaves the EU, but that they may have to force some UK shareholders to sell up. Apparently, to be allowed to fly between two different EU countries, an airline must have both a significant base on EU territory and a majority of their capital shares must be EU-owned.This even affects Ryanair, as once UK shareholders are excluded, only 40% of shareholders are EU entities. EasyJet could be better off at 49% EU owned, if they are allowed to include Stelios (UK + Cypriot nationality apparently).

    • On Brexit I would regard the Guardian to be as even-handed as the BBC.

      • What about Swissair and Norwegian?

        • TGLoyalty says:

          The EU in this context is actually the EU, EEA members plus Swiss as they are part of the common market / free trade of people.

          The current plan for Brexit seems to be for us to leave all of that and be wholly independent and control our own borders/trade policies.

          Ofcourse there’s a negotiation process and all of this is probably open to discussion

        • Norwegian also has an Irish AOC (Norwegian Air International) and a UK AOC (Norwegian Air UK), and is in the process of seeking an Argentinian AOC as well (Norwegian Air Argentina).

          However, Norwegian & Swissair are included in EASA as, in addition to the member states of the EU, the countries that are part of part of EFTA (i.e. Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Iceland), have been granted participation under Article 66 of the Basic Regulation.

        • RussellH says:

          I cannot comment on Norway (though others have below), but I do know about Switzerland, being a Swiss National.

          CH / EU relationships are governed by a huge number of bilaterals, which in theory are separate, but in practice if one agreement breaks down, there is potential for the whiole thing to collapse. For the last two years the Swiss Government has been tied up in knots trying to reconcile the constitutional change voted through over two years ago banning ‘mass immigration’. This is clearly completely incompatible with the bilateral agreement with the EU guaranteeing free movement. There will be two new referendums on the matter soon, one to re-inforce the banning clause and one to completely remove it from the constitution.

          I do not imagine that our beloved UK government is expecting anything like this in their negotiations with the EU, but perhaps they should be.

  15. the real harry1 says:

    Laptop ban:

    Shashank Joshi, senior research fellow at security think-tank the Royal United Services Institute, said: ‘This risks being seen as a form of pointless ‘security theatre’ which causes great disruption with little benefit to aviation security.’

  16. WilliamPH says:

    O/T – Has there been any update on the integration of Fairmont and Raffles Hotels into the Accor Hotels loyalty program? I’m looking at booking some of the deluxe Rocky Mountain hotels (Banff, Jasper, Lake Louise), and the site tells me I won’t get any points or benefits from my Accor membership. If I’m lobbing out 400 pounds a night, I’d like some benefits back. I’m wondering whether to enroll in Fairmont’s Presidents Club – has it got much longer to go?

  17. They just changed the rules! I had a look at this to pick up on Thursday evening before Easter and drop in London on Good Friday lunchtime. Anoyingly they have now said that pick up AND drop off have to be before Good Friday, ruined my plans!

  18. Jchand says:

    Read today article about Uber and our courupt politicians. One sexual assault in an Uber ever 11 days. Disgraceful