Photo via Wikipedia.

Photo via Wikipedia.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car received the highest score in J.D. Power’s 2014 North American Rental Car Satisfaction Study. This is the ninth time that the Enterprise brand has received the highest score in the past 11 years.

Enterprise Holdings’ other brands also received high marks: National ranked second in the annual study, followed by Alamo, which tied for third. All three brands finished above the car rental industry average, according to the study.

The 2014 North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study is based on responses from more than 12,308 evaluations from business and leisure/personal customers who rented a vehicle at an airport location between August 2013 and August 2014. 

Now in its 19th year, this study measures overall customer satisfaction with rental cars at airport locations by examining six factors (listed in order of importance): cost and fees; pick-up process; return process; rental car; shuttle bus/van; and reservation process.

“We know how hard our employees work every day to put customers first,” said Pam Nicholson, CEO and president of Enterprise Holdings. “We also know that listening to feedback — positive as well as negative — is the key to long-term success. So we not only are honored by today’s recognition, but also grateful for the continued trust and confidence of our customers, clients and partners.”

Overall customer satisfaction with their rental car experience averages 774 on a 1,000-point scale in 2014, a 1-point drop from 2013 when satisfaction was at its highest level since the study’s current methodology was adopted in 2006, according to J.D. Power. 

The 2014 study finds the price of a rental car has increased by an average of $5 per day from 2013. Additionally, wait times are longer across all aspects of the rental process, from the shuttle bus or van ride to returning the vehicle, compared with 2013.

On average, customers wait 43.4 minutes in total for the vehicle pick-up and return process and shuttle bus/van experiences, according to the study. Business customers experience slightly shorter wait times than leisure/personal customers (41.5 minutes vs. 44.3 minutes, respectively).

Timeliness of service, an important component of satisfaction, drops between 18 and 58 points when customers wait longer than five minutes during any of these steps in the rental process, according to the study.

“Customers have experienced cost increases for airlines and hotels, but hotels can demonstrate they’re adding value commensurate with the increased costs; customers aren’t able to see that added value with airlines and rental car agencies,” said Rick Garlick, global travel and hospitality practice lead at J.D. Power. “Time is always important, specifically for business customers who are under constraints to be somewhere at a certain time.” 

For more information on the 2014 North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study, visit