Car-free Channel Island in Avis car hire advert 'gaffe'

Image caption,
Avis used a large photo of Sark on its website and said it was a great place to take a drive

An international car hire firm has apologised for its online advert recommending a car-free Channel Island as a good place for a leisurely drive.

Avis features a guide on its website for driving around "virtually untouched" Sark, where cars are banned.

The company has since apologised for its "inadvertent gaffe" and made a £500 donation to a local Christian charity.

Sark Tourism said any publicity was gratefully received but visitors should leave their cars off the island.

The donation was made to the recently opened community centre, the Sark Sanctuary Centre.

The Reverend Karen Le Mouton from the centre said the money was gratefully received.

Image caption,
Tractors, bicycles and horses are the main forms of transport on Sark

She said not having cars in Sark was a good thing because it encouraged people to "stop and talk" to each other when they were out and that contributed to a strong sense of a "community welcome."

Sark has about 600 inhabitants and measures about 2.1 sq miles (5.44 sq km).

It is one of the few remaining places in the world where cars are banned.

A spokeswoman for Sark Tourism said visitors were welcome to board a ferry from Guernsey or Jersey provided they leave their cars behind.

The car hire firm said: "We hope we haven't disappointed too many of our customers with the fact that the island's spectacular roads are indeed off-limits to cars."

Image caption,
Confusingly, on its website the firm is still advertising Sark as a destination to take a drive

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