Avis is leaving Heathrow Terminal 5 next week
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For anyone hiring a car in Heathrow Terminal 5, it was always an easy decision to choose Avis. Because they were based in the short-stay car park attached to Terminal 5, you could be in your car within minutes of collecting your baggage.
You were also able to collect Avios with your booking as well as get the other benefits, such as a free additional driver, of the exclusive Avis / British Airways partnership.
This game is up, unfortunately. As the Avis website now shows:
“On the 1 April 2022 our Heathrow Terminal 5 office will be moving to our brand-new location at the Holiday Inn London, Bath Road, UB7 0DQ.
When you arrive at Heathrow Terminal 5 up until the 31st March 2022, you’ll find our car hire office in the terminal’s Short Stay car park on level 4. On exit from arrivals, take the left hand lift to Level 4 and exit to your right, where you’ll find our location.
Customers collecting and returning after the 1 April 2022
When you arrive at Heathrow Airport Terminal 5, please proceed to bus stop 25 (located on the arrivals level of Terminal 5) and take a short shuttle journey to our brand-new location at the Holiday Inn London Heathrow, Bath Road, UB7 0DQ. Our team look forward to welcoming you there.
If you are returning your vehicle from 1 April 2022 onwards, please proceed to the our new office which is situated at the Holiday Inn London Heathrow, Bath Road, UB7 0DQ. You will then take a short shuttle journey to Terminal 5 where you will be dropped off immediately outside of the arrivals level of Heathrow Terminal 5.”
What happens with Zipcar?
We don’t know. Avis owns Zipcar and the Zipcar drop off zone was part of the Avis zone in the car park. (EDIT: We do know now – Zipcar is moving to the Holiday Inn Heathrow too.)
What are my alternatives?
The good news is that Sixt is retaining its office inside the Sofitel Heathrow Terminal 5 hotel. Details of the Sixt office are here.
The even better news is that Sixt is now an Avios partner. One of the benefits of the new Qatar Airways / Avios partnership is that all of Qatar’s existing partners are now de facto BA partners.
As you can see here on the Qatar Privilege Club site, a Sixt car rental – anywhere in the world – will earn 500 Avios in the Qatar Airways programme. You can then link your Qatar Privilege Club account to your BA account and transfer your Avios across.
How to get FREE car rental status and other benefits via UK credit cards (March 2023)
If you hire a car in the UK, you can get special benefits (discounts, upgrades, free additional drivers etc) if you have elite status with a car rental programme. You can get elite status for free via certain American Express cards.
The Platinum Card and American Express Business Platinum
The Platinum Card from American Express and American Express Business Platinum come with two free car hire status cards. Your supplementary Platinum cardholder can also receive status in their own right.
From Avis, you receive President’s Club status in Avis Preferred. This gets you up to 25% off standard rates, a free additional driver and a guaranteed one class upgrade. For weekend rentals you will receive a two class upgrade, subject to availability.
From Hertz, you receive ‘Five Star’ status in Hertz Gold Plus Rewards. This gets you up to 15% off standard rates, a free additional driver and a one class upgrade, subject to availability.
Hertz also offers Platinum cardholders a 4 hour grace period on rentals. Your final day is treated as 28 hours, so a 1pm pick up with a 5pm return the following day is only charged as one day, not two days. We wrote about the Hertz / Platinum 4 hour grace period here.
The Platinum Card also comes with full car hire insurance with no obligation to pay for the rental via American Express. You can refuse any attempts to sell you additional insurance at pick up. This benefit has substantial value if you rent on a regular basis.
You can find more details on the two Platinum cards, and apply, in our full reviews:
Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
American Express Business Platinum
Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is an excellent card in its own right. You receive 20,000 Membership Rewards points for signing up (convert to 20,000 Avios amongst other things), four airport lounge passes and £120 of Deliveroo credit. Even better, your first year is free.
There are two car rental benefits:
- you receive Preferred Plus status in Avis Preferred
- you receive a special package with Hertz – 10% off best available rates at participating locations, a one class upgrade for rentals of 5 days or more, subject to availability, and no additional driver fees
Find out more about the benefits of American Express Preferred Rewards Gold, and apply, in our review:
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review