COSTA MESA, Calif.: 8 Nov. 2017 — Airport rental car companies are experiencing an increase in overall satisfaction despite increased airport passenger congestion and ongoing logistical challenges caused by airport construction, according to the J.D. Power 2017 North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study,SM released today. The primary driver of renters’ increasing satisfaction, however, is a sharp decrease in rental rates.
“Rental car satisfaction is improving, but it’s not really the type of satisfaction increase rental car companies want to see,” said Michael Taylor, Travel Practice Lead at J.D. Power. “Lower prices are having a positive effect on perceived value for renters, which is raising overall levels of satisfaction, 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. But cheaper daily rental rates overcome those negatives for most renters.”
Here some of the key findings from the study:
- Satisfaction up, prices down: Overall rental car satisfaction improves by 22 index points to 826 (on a 1,000-point scale) in 2017, driven primarily by increases in satisfaction in the cost & fees factor. The average reported daily rental car price has dropped $11 per day in 2017.
- Wait times and problems with pick-ups/returns increase: Wait times to pick up a rental car have increased two minutes, on average, since 2013. Of customers who experienced a problem, 20% reported a problem with the pick-up process and 17% reported a problem with the return process, a phenomenon that is largely attributable to increased passenger volume and construction at airports.
- Even in price war, features and benefits have big effect on satisfaction: Even though price perceptions have the greatest effect on overall satisfaction, 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).
- Social media becomes problem resolution battleground: Fully 70% of renters who post online about their rental experience expect a response from the rental car company, far outpacing the expectations of hotel guests and airline passengers, both of whom come in at 45%. When a rental car company simply responds to a post, satisfaction increases 63 points on average. If the issue is resolved, the satisfaction score jumps 95 points.
Rental Car Company Rankings
Enterprise ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction for a fourth consecutive year, with a score of 851. Enterprise is followed by National (846), Alamo (828) and Hertz (822).
The 2017 North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study is based on responses gathered between September 2016 through August 2017 from 11,177 business and leisure travelers who rented a vehicle at an airport location from August 2016 through August 2017.
For more information about the North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study, visit http://www.jdpower.com/resource/north-america-rental-car-satisfaction-study.
J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. These capabilities enable J.D. Power to help its clients drive customer satisfaction, growth and profitability. Established in 1968, J.D. Power is headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., and has offices serving North/South America, Asia Pacific and Europe. J.D. Power is a portfolio company of XIO Group, a global alternative investments and private equity firm headquartered in London, and is led by its four founders: Athene Li, Joseph Pacini, Murphy Qiao and Carsten Geyer.
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