Thursday, November 12, 2015

Enterprise Tops J.D. Power Survey For Rental Car Satisfaction

(Photo: Tony Gutierrez, AP)

When it comes to renting a car, customers are feeling very satisfied, according to a J.D. Power study released Wednesday.
From cost, to the ease in picking up and dropping off a vehicle, the overall satisfaction level when renting a car at an airport location jumped to 798 out of 1,000 points, the highest since 2006, in the 2015 J.D. Power North America Rental Car survey. .
“It‘s . .. . a combination of improved service by rental car agencies as well as a more informed consumer,'' says Rick Garlick, global travel and hospitality practice lead at J.D. Power.
In recent years, the car rental process has become simpler, from mobile check-in to "select and go,''.where renters can head straight to the parking lot, choose a car, and drive off without ever stopping at the counter, Garlick says. Such efficiency may be a key reason why for the first time, those renting cars for business are happier than those picking up a car for a vacation. Satisfaction among business customers was 802 points vs. a customer satisfaction score of 796 for those who were renting for personal reasons.
Millennials are also playing a role. They comprise 34% of car renters, and are more satisfied than their Boomer or Gen X peers, with a score of 834 when it comes to business-related rentals, and 809 for leisure trips.
“Millennials, who most people think are the most critical consumers, are actually in this case the happiest people,'' Garlick says. "They tend to get on social media more. (and) we find there’s increased satisfaction with both reading social media commentary and leaving social media commentary.''
The major rental car companies made double digit gains in the last year, but it was Enterprise that  once again came out on top. It scored 831 points, followed by National which netted 818,  and Alamo with a score of 807.
Favorable impressions of the service provided by a rental site’s shuttle bus or van improved the most, leaping 37 points on the index. Satisfaction with rental car costs and fees improved by 29 points, while the experience of picking up a vehicle climbed 26 points.
The survey polled 12,101  customers who’d rented a vehicle at an airport location for business or leisure between Aug. 2014 and Aug. 2015.
Customer satisfaction index ranking
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)
Enterprise: 831
National: 818
Alamo: 807
Industry average: 798
Avis: 795
Hertz: 794
Budget: 785
Dollar: 768
Thrifty: 733
Note: Included in the study but not ranked are ACE Rent A Car, Advantage Rent A Car, Fox Rent A Car and Payless.
Source: J.D. Power 2015 North America Rental Car Satisfaction  Study

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