Hertz ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction, with a score of 852. - Photo via JD Power.

Hertz ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction, with a score of 852.

Photo via JD Power.

Overall customer satisfaction with North American airport-based rental car companies is flat this year as airport passenger volumes have slowed dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic, reports J.D. Power. 

According to the J.D. Power 2020 North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study, released today, customer satisfaction with airport-based rental car companies is 841 (on a 1,000-point scale), which is statistically flat compared with 2019’s record-high performance.

“As with other travel suppliers, this has been an incredibly challenging period for the car rental industry,” said Michael Taylor, travel intelligence lead at J.D. Power. “Despite these economic headwinds, the major rental car companies have been able to maintain high levels of customer satisfaction throughout the pandemic, largely through great customer service and enhanced cleaning protocols to build confidence with travelers.”

Hertz ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction, with a score of 852. Enterprise (849) ranks second, followed by Alamo (848) and National (845). This is the second consecutive year that Hertz has achieved the number one ranking.

The 2020 North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study is based on responses gathered from September 2019 through August 2020, from 7,364 business and leisure travelers who rented a vehicle at an airport location from August 2019 through August 2020.

The survey results were weighted heavily from September to March, after which time airport travel decreased substantially, Taylor told Auto Rental News. 

Taylor also pointed out that the grouping between the top and bottom spots is only 34 points, whereas the 2018 spread was 51 points. 

As the pandemic hit, J.D. Power asked renters if they noticed car rental companies’ efforts to address COVID-19 concerns and if those efforts changed their view of the car rental company.  “Any effort to address COVID added 29 points to the rental company’s image,” Taylor said. “The strongest responses centered on the rental car company supporting the community and their employees.”

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