Avis Rent a Car was founded in Ypsilanti, Michigan, in 1948 by Warren Avis. Originally, Mr. Avis had only 3 cars and operated out of the Willow Run Airport.
Today, Avis is one of the largest car rental companies in the US and the largest for business travelers. Avis was the first car rental company to be located at an airport. The company is a subsidiary of the Avis Budget Group, which includes Budget Rent a Car and Budget Truck Rentals. In early 2013, the company acquired Zipcar for $491 million.
Avis stock is down 25% in the first half of 2018 due to competition from ride-sharing companies like Lyft and personal driving services like Uber. The CEO insists that car rentals are still popular, despite falling sales and stocks.
Headquarters are located in Parsippany, New Jersey. The company currently has more than 5,550 locations around the world, employs approximately 30,000 people, and has more than 373,000 cars worldwide. In 2015, the parent company had annual revenue of $8.5 billion.
In June 2022, a customer complained that the company overcharged him $4,000 saying that he had kept the car 10 days past the contract. When video surveillance proved that he didn’t overstay the contract, the company STILL refused to refund the extra charges.