Avis India Car Rental Warning

#1 Oct 24th, 2011, 15:18
Join Date:
Jan 2010
San Francisco
  • PabloSF is offline
We made a very costly mistake renting from this company.

We wanted to see some temples in the outskirts of Kolkata (Kalna and Guptipara) as a day trip, so we reserved a car and driver from Avis's website.

When we were halfway to our destination (about 90km outside the city) our driver told us that our reservation was for "local" use only, and this essenially meant travel only within city limits.. This was not previously disclosed on the website or on our confirmation.

Two hours of arguments with various people in the New Delhi reservation office ensued. They were very hesitant to allow us to change the reservation, and finally requested an additional payment of 6600 INR for the day (in addition to our 4000 INR base rate). This was a compromise on their part--they had originally said we would have to return the car and then buy a new 2 day reservation for 13000 INR!

Lessons learned:
1. We thought it was a good idea to get our car from a national chain but in fact I'm sure it would have been easier to negotiate with a local company.
2. We should not have assumed we could bring the car outside the city--I think this company primarily alters to local business customers.
#2 Oct 24th, 2011, 15:48
Join Date:
Oct 2007
  • asishdas is offline
You are a member of IM since Jan 2011. Why then you did not seek advise from IMers based at Kolkata? This is simply rip off!! There are hundred of Car Rental Agencies, very reliable, honest, in Kolkata. Anyway, a lesson learnt but you had paid a very heavy price for that.
#3 Oct 24th, 2011, 16:58
Join Date:
Aug 2010
United States
  • DaisyL is offline
Thanks for sharing this, PabloSF. This will help other members out. Very sorry that you had this happen to you.
#4 Oct 24th, 2011, 17:10
Join Date:
Oct 2004
Chennai, India
  • Nick-H is online now
I do not know how those international rental brands survive --- I don't know anyone who uses them!

Sorry for your bad experience.
#5 Oct 25th, 2011, 09:56
Join Date:
Sep 2008
Varies, currently in D.C.
  • dillichaat is offline
Same here, I don't see how they survive given their rates, clearly a total ripoff. Be glad you rented a car + driver, if self drive they undoubtably would have found some small scratch that would have cost another 500 USD.
"It is preferable to have a criminal for a servant rather than a fool because a criminal's actions are predictable and you can protect yourself against them, whereas there is no telling what a fool's next move will be.
#6 Oct 25th, 2011, 11:43
Join Date:
Jan 2011
  • Matka is offline
Originally Posted by dillichaat View Post Same here, I don't see how they survive given their rates, clearly a total ripoff. Be glad you rented a car + driver, if self drive they undoubtably would have found some small scratch that would have cost another 500 USD.
I think we just got an idea of how they survive! Rs.13000 for a trip to the suburbs! They don't need many such scams to stay in business.
#7 Oct 25th, 2011, 13:41
Join Date:
Feb 2008
  • snonymous is offline
What a RIP OFF. I hope that you will rubbish Avis in every review site. Shame on them.

Your post will serve to caution those who may have been thinking of going with Avis.
Travelpod / Flickr

#8 Oct 25th, 2011, 15:07
Join Date:
Sep 2005
  • capt_mahajan is offline
Now I know why the small company that I hired a car from in Delhi earlier this month were so critical about Avis. I thought it was just a competitor's rant.
This is computer generated drivel. No signature is required.
#9 Dec 8th, 2017, 01:51
Join Date:
Dec 2017
  • Hi net is offline


No where in world I had such worst experience renting a car. It is not only terrible company but horrible company who lacks any ethics, integrity,honesty leave alone professionalism or service for paid amount.

Here is my experience last week. It ruined my India trip and most important family wedding event. It is total disaster.

Avis India is BIG TIME scam, they don't have their fleet, on their website they try to sell expensive, luxury and high end self driven cars, but when it comes to pick up car, they will say they do not have because previous customer did not return, when you have no choice they will push you cheaper cars, which are 10 years or more, This is about self driven cars, which are even more expensive than chauffeur driven car along with fuel. They outsource old and outdated cars from third party agencies. Avis doesn't have legal status in India, they goes by name Mercury Car Rental Pvt Ltd, and use third party facility services to pick and drop, They do not have their own address and operate with proxy and anonymous location.
The car I received was old broken ( i had to take, no choice after paying full in advance a week before ) at airport bought by driver from outsourced facilities. He did not make any proper documents and no copy of one sided documents given. Big scam.
Car had issues with engine and suspension. ABS was mal functioning. Car fuel was almost empty but marked half in night at airport arrival point in their one sided document.(no copies were given)
Overall AVIS INDIA doesn't exist, but operate through local thugs who will cheat, I got low end car, paid for luxury car. They agreed to replace next morning but now they stopped taking any calls during my rental period. Total cheats, Avis India aka Mercury car rental must shut down. They are risking lives of customers by giving unfit broken cars. Avoid them by all means.

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