Hertz edges out Enterprise in new car rental satisfaction study

This post contains recommended links to products and services. While you will not accrue any additional costs to support my blog, I may receive compensation if you purchase these products and services. Source: All study content, charts and graphs related to the 2019 North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study were published and provided by J.D. Power. Rankings are based on numerical scores, and not necessarily on statistical significance. For more details, visit J.D. Power.

This year’s results show that airport-based rental car companies have doubled-down on innovation, offering more vehicle choice, personalized service, and streamlined pick-up and return processes that are resonating with customers, in light of increased competition.

But customer satisfaction with airport-based rental car companies has climbed to a record high of 843 (on a 1,000-point scale), with just 31 points separating the top- and bottom-ranked rental car companies, compared to 51 points between the top and bottom firms in last year’s study.


Top-ranked car rental companies

In the rankings, Hertz ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction, with a score of 856. Enterprise (855) ranks second and Alamo (848) ranks third.

Key findings

Here are the key findings.

  • Smooth pick-up process is a key differentiator: Though competition is tight between rental car companies, one area showing significant variation in customer experience is the vehicle pick-up process. While overall satisfaction scores are 33 points higher when customers get their vehicle in 15 minutes or less, that happens just 64% of the time.

  • Technology-laden vehicles present a double-edged sword: Rental car satisfaction scores are highest (902) when vehicles have 21 or more features, such as cruise control, GPS, UBS ports and premium sound systems, but those scores plummet 140 points when renters indicate that vehicle features are difficult to use.

  • Mobile app users more satisfied with rental experience: Overall satisfaction among customers who use a rental car brand’s mobile app is 50 points higher than among those who do not. Currently, just 40% of customers say they have a rental car mobile app downloaded on their smartphone. Rental car apps are used most frequently for making reservations (52%); getting shuttle information (40%); getting general information (39%); check-in (39%); and selecting the rental car (39%)

The 2019 North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study is based on responses gathered from September 2018 through August 2019, from 9,382 business and leisure travelers who rented a vehicle at an airport location from August 2018 through August 2019.

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For more details, see the full J.D. Power report: 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 has offices serving North America, South America, Asia Pacific and Europe.

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J.D. Power releases 2019 airport satisfaction survey

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