Airport-based rental car companies have doubled-down on innovation, offering more vehicle choice, personalized service and streamlined pick-up and return processes, which has increased customer satisfaction with airport-based rental car companies, according to the J.D. Power 2019 North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study.
Hertz ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction, with a score of 856. Enterprise (855) ranks second and Alamo (848) ranks third.
Overall rental car satisfaction is at its highest level ever. Moreover, the gap in performance between the top- and bottom-ranked performers has narrowed to just 31 points (down from 51 points in 2018), with just one point separating the top two companies in the study.
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.
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.
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%).