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Enterprise, National and Alamo top three brands in 2017 J.D. Power Rental Car Satisfaction Study

The Enterprise brand ranked highest in this year’s study and excelled in five factors: costs and fees, pick-up process, rental car, return process and reservation process.

ST. LOUIS – For the sixth year in a row, the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands have secured the top three spots in the annual J.D. Power 2017 North American Rental Car Satisfaction Study. Enterprise Holdings Inc., the world's largest car rental provider, owns all three car rental brands, which are operated through an integrated global network of independent regional subsidiaries and franchise locations.

The study surveyed leisure and business travelers who rented vehicles at North American airports. The Enterprise brand ranked highest in this year's study and excelled in five factors: costs and fees, pick-up process, rental car, return process and reservation process.

Here some of the key findings from the study:

  • Satisfaction up, prices down: Overall rental car satisfaction improves by 22 index points to 826 (on a 1,000-point scale) in 2017, driven primarily by increases in satisfaction in the cost & fees factor. The average reported daily rental car price has dropped $11 per day in 2017.
  • Wait times and problems with pick-ups/returns increase: Wait times to pick up a rental car have increased two minutes, on average, since 2013. Of customers who experienced a problem, 20% reported a problem with the pick-up process and 17% reported a problem with the return process, a phenomenon that is largely attributable to increased passenger volume and construction at airports.
  • Even in price war, features and benefits have big effect on satisfaction: Even though price perceptions have the greatest effect on overall satisfaction, renters who choose rental car brands based on price alone are the least satisfied (787), while customers who choose a rental car brand based on features and benefits are the most highly satisfied (889).
  • Social media becomes problem resolution battleground: Fully 70% of renters who post online about their rental experience expect a response from the rental car company, far outpacing the expectations of hotel guests and airline passengers, both of whom come in at 45%. When a rental car company simply responds to a post, satisfaction increases 63 points on average. If the issue is resolved, the satisfaction score jumps 95 points.

This is the fifteenth time that the Enterprise brand has received the highest score (in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017). After Enterprise, the National brand ranked second and Alamo ranked third. Furthermore, Enterprise Holdings' three car rental brands are the only ones to finish above the industry average for three consecutive years.

"Since we acquired National and Alamo ten years ago, our total revenues as well as our fleet size have doubled. We also have grown our share of the U.S. airport business 10 percentage points," said Christine Taylor, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Enterprise Holdings. "However, operational and financial achievements don't last if they don't also correlate with superior customer service. As a result, Enterprise, National and Alamo employees should be recognized for once again delivering the kind of service that makes such success possible, year after year."

Enterprise Holdings and its affiliate Enterprise Fleet Management recently announced results for fiscal year 2017 (ended July 31), which included the following metrics and milestones:

  • $22.3 billion in revenues
  • Nearly 1.9 million vehicles worldwide
  • More than 38 percent of U.S. airport business

"Everyone at Enterprise Holdings takes great pride in what our three brands have accomplished," Taylor noted. "We also are proud of our leadership role overall in one of the most competitive industries in operation today. Every major car rental company works hard to deliver ground transportation options in thousands of locations day in and day out – so it's always an honor to receive this kind of prestigious recognition."

During FY2017, Travel + Leisure magazine also honored Enterprise, National and Alamo as some of the World's Best Car Rental brands for the fourth year in a row. Business Travel News magazine again recognized National and Enterprise as the two top brands in its annual Car Rental Survey. Money magazine ranked Alamo and Enterprise as the two best car rental brands.

Vicky Karantzavelou
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.