For the fourth consecutive year, Enterprise Rent-a-Car won the J.D. Power award for top car rental company, earning a ranking of 851, besting National Car Rental (846), Alamo Rent a Car (828) and Hertz (822).
According to the J.D. Power 2017 North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study, overall car rental satisfaction improved by 22 index points to 826 (on a 1,000-point scale) in 2017, driven primarily by increases in satisfaction in car rental costs and fees. (The average reported daily rental car price has dropped $11 per day in 2017.)
Michael Taylor, J.D. Power travel practice lead, attributes the increase in satisfaction to lower prices creating a more positive perceived value for renters, “but several other key quality measures—notably, wait times and problems with the pick-up and return processes—have not improved over the past four years.”
J.D. Power found that “renters who choose rental car brands based on price alone are the least satisfied (787), while customers who choose a rental car brand based on features and benefits are the most highly satisfied (889).”
About one in five renters reported a problem with the car rental pick-up or return process, “a phenomenon that is largely attributable to increased passenger volume and construction at airports,” J.D. Power said.
Consumers frequently use car rental company social media platforms to file their complaints. When a rental car company responds to a post, satisfaction increases 63 points on average. If the issue is resolved, the satisfaction score jumps 95 points.
The 2017 North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study is based on responses gathered Sept. 2016-Aug. 2017 from 11,177 business and leisure travelers who rented a vehicle at an airport location from Aug. 2016-Aug. 2017.