J.D. Power: How rental car companies rank in customer satisfaction

The pandemic tore into car rental companies like a hungry seven-year-old into a bowl of mac and cheese. At first, constrained vehicle supply meant no cars were available, but that problem has largely passed. However, according to J.D. Power’s 2022 North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study, the industry faces other customer satisfaction woes. The study includes responses from 8,445 business and leisure travelers who rented a car at an airport location between August 2021 and August 2022.

During the study, survey respondents quoted an average per-day rental price of $90, a far cry from the budget hatchbacks and Nissan Altimas many of us rent. The primary customer complaint with rental car companies is their pricing, which the organization says is up 14 percent this year.

Price has also become the most significant factor affecting customer satisfaction, and outside effects of inflation and high gas prices are making it worse. The companies do have an out, however, with good service. J.D. Power’s managing director of travel, hospitality, and retail noted that “if rental cars want to offset the influence of these cost increases on customer satisfaction and their brand loyalty, they are going to have to work hard to deliver outsized value by ramping up service.”

Enterprise took the top spot in the study for the second year in a row with a score of 865.

— National came in second with a score of 859.

— Alamo came in third at 837.

J.D. Power found that the average score for the industry overall is 829, down one point from 2021 and down 12 points from 2020. Below the average, Avis landed at 816, Dollar at 799, Budget at 788, and Thrifty at 780.


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