J.D. Power Reports: Customers Who Choose a Rental Car Company Based on Price Are Least Satisfied

 J.D. Power Reports: Customers Who Choose a Rental Car Company Based on Price
                             Are Least Satisfied

National Ranks Highest in Satisfying Rental Car Customers

PR Newswire

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., Nov. 5, 2013

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., Nov. 5,2013 /PRNewswire/ --Despite price being the
most-frequently cited reason for customers to choose a particular rental car
company, those who select based on price are the least satisfied with their
overall rental car experience, according to the J.D. Power 2013 North America
Rental Car Satisfaction Study^SM released today. Now in its 18th year, the
study measures overall customer satisfaction with rental cars at airport
locations by examining six factors (listed in order of importance): cost &
fees; pick-up process; return process; rental car; shuttle bus/van; and
reservation process.

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KEY FINDINGS

  oMore than one-third (35%) of customers cite low price as a top reason for
    selecting their rental car company. Yet, overall satisfaction is lowest
    among customers who select based on price (756 on a 1,000-point scale). In
    comparison, overall satisfaction among customers who choose a rental car
    company based on good customer service is highest (828).
  oOverall customer satisfaction with their rental car experience averages
    775 in 2013, a six-point increase from 2012 and the highest satisfaction
    score since the study's current methodology was adopted in 2006.
  oCustomers on personal or leisure travel are slightly more satisfied, on
    average, than are business customers (777 vs. 771, respectively). Personal
    or leisure customers are more satisfied than are business customers across
    all factors except the pick-up process.
  oA critical factor associated with rental car satisfaction is expediency of
    pick up. Among the 20 percent of customers who use a counter bypass
    service, satisfaction with the pick-up process averages 820 compared with
    770 for those that use the rental counter.
  oA smile from the rental car staff can have a huge impact on overall
    satisfaction. Overall satisfaction among customers greeted with a smile
    from one member of a rental car company's staff is 58 points higher than
    among those not greeted with a smile (693 vs. 635, respectively).
    Satisfaction among customers greeted with a smile by four staff members is
    200 points higher than among those not greeted with a smile (835 vs. 635,
    respectively).
  oNational ranks highest in customer satisfaction among rental car
    companies, with a score of 809, performing particularly well across all
    six factors. Enterprise ranks second with a score of 799, followed by
    Alamo with 782.

"While price is the first filter for selecting a rental car company for most
travelers, such other factors as expediency, especially for business
travelers, and customer service are what really please customers," said Rick
Garlick, global travel and hospitality practice lead at J.D. Power. "Lowest
price is often associated with a negative experience. We see the same thing in
our hotel study—customers often feel like they got what they paid for, and it
wasn't a positive experience."

Customer Satisfaction Index Rating Power Circle Ratings
(on 1000 point scale)             for consumers
National                 809      5
Enterprise               799      4
Alamo                    782      4
Industry Average         775      3
Hertz                    773      3
Avis                     770      3
Budget                   764      3
Thrifty                  751      2
Dollar                   743      2
Power Circle Scoring Legend
Among the best:         5
Better than most:       4
About average:          3
The rest:               2

The 2013 North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study is based on responses
gathered between September 2012 and August 2013 from more than 12,382
evaluations from business and leisure/personal customers who rented a vehicle
at an airport location between August 2012 and August 2013.

Media Relations Contacts
Jeff Perlman; Brandware Public Relations; Woodland Hills, Calif.;
818-598-1115; jperlman@brandwarepr.com
John Tews; J.D. Power; Troy, Mich.; 248-680-6218; media.relations@jdpa.com

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SOURCE J.D. Power and Associates

Website: http://www.jdpower.com