For the fourth consecutive year, Enterprise ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction in the J.D. Power North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study released Wednesday.
Enterprise has a score of 851 followed by National, Alamo and Hertz, with scores of 846, 828 and 822 respectively.
Despite increased airport passenger congestion and construction at airports, overall consumer satisfaction with rental car companies has improved in recent years, according to J.D. Power.
Increased satisfaction can be attributed to a sharp decrease in rental rates over the past four years, says J.D. Power travel practice lead Michael Taylor.
“Rental car satisfaction is improving, but it's not really the type of satisfaction increase rental car companies want to see,” Taylor said in a news release.
“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,” he explained.
Additionally, while price perceptions are found to have the most significant impact on the overall satisfaction of consumers, with a score of 787 versus 889, the study shows that renters who choose a rental car brand based on features and benefits are more satisfied than those who choose rental car brands based on price alone.
Something the study suggests can be largely attributed to increased passenger volume and construction at airports is that on average, the wait time to pick up a rental car has increased two minutes since 2013. According to the study. J.D. Power suggests longer waits times can be largely attributed to increased passenger volume and construction at airports.
The study found that of consumers who say they have experienced a problem renting a car, 20 percent reported a problem with the pick-up process, and 17 percent reported a problem with the return process.
Interestingly, 70 percent of renters who post online about their rental experience expect a response from rental car companies.
Car renter’s expectations far outpace those of hotel guests and airline passengers. Only 45 percent of both groups of customers look for a response, according to J.D. Power.
On average, the study found that satisfaction increases 63 points when a rental car company responds to a post. And if the issue is resolved, the satisfaction score increases 95 points.
The study is based on responses from consumers who rented a vehicle at an airport location from August 2016 through August 2017.