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Don't like your rental sedan? Switching cars gets easier

Don't like your rental sedan? Switching cars gets easier
Avis says its new mobile app will give customers more control of the process. Here, the Avis office at LAX. (Getty Images)

Soon there will be an app for every travel decision. Then again, maybe there already is.

In the realm of rental cars, Avis is attempting to give customers more control of their experience through a new mobile app introduced last week.

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Customers unhappy with their assigned car can now choose another on the spot, simply by swiping and picking out a more appealing make or model. Those who want to extend or shorten rental agreements can adjust their reservation. Renters can also get road assistance, the company says.

The app, called Avis Now, is connected to all vehicles in the rental company's fleet, reps say.

The app is available to all Avis Preferred members via the Avis mobile application for devices on the iOS and Android platforms. Avis Preferred is free to join. For more information on Avis Preferred or to enroll, visit www.avis.com.

Such functionality is expected by many of today's consumers. Hertz says that it continues to upgrade its mobile app, which performs many of the same tasks. Available on iPhone and Android platforms,  the app allows customers to book or modify car rental reservations, find locations and access special deals. Hertz says its iPhone app has the industry's highest ranking with a 4.5-star rating.

These sorts of apps have particular appeal to business customers looking to save valuable minutes while on the road. Yet the market for mobile services may be moving faster than consumers can absorb. A recent J.D. Powers survey found only 3% of travelers take advantage of hotel check-in options available on their phones.

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