About AVIS

Where the journey began

In 1946 Warren Avis opened the world's first airport car rental location at Willow Run Airport, Detroit, with a grand total of three cars. Today, Avis operates from over 5,000 locations in 165 countries worldwide.

Avis is a trusted and award-winning brand with a long history of innovation in the car rental industry, and is one of the world's top brands for customer loyalty, with a commitment to true convenience and exceptional service.

Here are just a few key historical milestones in this success story:



Warren Avis founds Avis Airlines Rent a Car Systems at Willow Run Airport, Detroit. Anticipating post- war travel trends, this is the world's first car rental operation at an airport location.


International expansion begins with franchise operations in Europe, Canada and Mexico.


Avis launches a bold new advertising campaign... 'We're only No.2. We try harder'... now acknowledged as one of the 10 best advertising slogans of all time and embedded as the very essence of the company's culture.


Avis formally expands in the international arena by founding the Europe, Africa and Middle East division (Avis Europe). Corporate operations are established in major European countries and in some cases success is spectacular (e.g. in Spain). Avis climbs from newcomer to largest car rental company in just one year.


Avis achieves market leadership in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, just eight years after Avis Europe was founded. The business begins expansion into the fleet leasing market.


Avis Europe becomes the first car rental company in history to successfully float on the London Stock Exchange. In three years as a public company, Avis Europe triples its market value.


Avis Europe reverts to private ownership with three major shareholders, D'Ieteren, General Motors and Avis Inc.


Avis Europe successfully floats on the London Stock Exchange for the second time, primarily to fund expansion of its core business.


Avis Europe acquires the rights to operate the Budget brand in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.


Awarded the 'World's Leading Business Car Rental Company' at the World Travel Awards for the seventh consecutive year.


Awarded the 'Best Car Rental Company in Europe' at the Business Traveller Awards for the tenth consecutive year.


Avis launch their most groundbreaking advert in 50 years, inspiring customers to Unlock the World. Unforgettable experiences await ... You hold the key.