Rising Costs Result in Declining Rental Car Customer Satisfaction

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J.D. Power released its 2022 North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study on Wednesday, revealing a decline in overall customer satisfaction due in large part to rapidly rising costs. Overall customer satisfaction for the industry fell to 829 on a 1,000-point scale, down from 830 last year and 841 in 2020.

The average customer-cited price-per-day rental fee climbed to nearly $90, J.D. Power found, up 14 percent from last year when the industry was being plagued by a vehicle shortage resulting from companies selling off inventory to offset losses brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.


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As far as individual brands are concerned, Enterprise ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction for the second consecutive year, with a score of 865, followed by National (859) and Alamo (837). Hertz (836) also outperformed the industry average this year.

Coming in below the industry average of 829 were Avis (816), Dollar (799), Budget (788) and Thrifty (780).

“When it comes to rental cars, price is the biggest factor affecting satisfaction, and the combined effects of inflation and high fuel prices are really pushing customers to their limits—and that could affect brand image,” said Michael Taylor, managing director of travel, hospitality and retail at J.D. Power.

“If rental car companies 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.”

The 2022 North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study is based on responses gathered from more than 8,440 business and leisure travelers who rented a vehicle at an airport location from August 2021 through August 2022.

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