Overall Rental Car Satisfaction is Not Only About Price

 Rick Garlick

Rick Garlick

Although more than one-third (35%) of rental car customers at airport locations mention low price as the top reason for selecting their rental car company, those business and leisure/personal customers who select a rental car agency based on price are the least satisfied with their overall rental car experience, according to our 2013 North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study.

The study finds that satisfaction among those customers who choose a rental vehicle based on price averages just 756 (on a 1,000-point scale), which is 72 points lower than the average satisfaction score of 828 among customers who choose a rental car company based on good customer service.

There is some good news about customer satisfaction in this year’s study. Customer satisfaction with the rental car experience among more than 12,382 customers averages 775, which is the highest average index since the study’s methodology was redesigned in 2006. The overall satisfaction score also is 6 points higher than in 2012. Continue reading ›

Chevrolet Dominates in Model Segment-Level IQS Rankings

General Motors models receive the most segment awards for initial quality in the J.D. Power 2013 Initial Quality Study (IQS). The Detroit-based automaker’s Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC nameplates altogether produce 8 of the 26 model-level segment award winners. The next brands with the most problem-free models at the segment level are manufactured by . . . Continue Reading Chevrolet Dominates in Model Segment-Level IQS Rankings

Enterprise Earns Highest Rental Car Satisfaction Scores

Enterprise ranks highest in customer satisfaction among rental car companies, and receives an overall satisfaction index of 804 (on a 1,000-point scale), according to the recent J.D. Power and Associates 2012 North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study.SM

The privately-held St. Louis, MO, based rental car company performs well across all six factors evaluated in . . . Continue Reading Enterprise Earns Highest Rental Car Satisfaction Scores

Rental Car Customer Satisfaction Rises to Seven-Year High

Stuart Greif

Overall customer satisfaction with rental cars has risen to the highest level in seven years, according to our 2012 North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study, which is based on evaluations from more than 12,100 business and leisure/personal customers who rented a vehicle at an airport location during the year.* In fact, the overall satisfaction index averages 769 points (on a 1,000-point scale), which is up 11 points from 758 in 2011 and surpassing a recent record of 767 set in 2006.

Satisfaction with renting cars at airport locations improved across all six factors** measured in the study, with the greatest improvements from last year in two factors: shuttle bus/van and costs and fees.

Business customer satisfaction is up by 9 points, to 762 from 753 a year ago, while satisfaction among leisure/personal customers improves by 12 points to 774 in 2012.

We observe that the rental car industry is benefiting from higher satisfaction levels with cost and fees in relation to prior years. Yet, there are opportunities to leverage both human contact and technology to address customer pain points with the rental experience. Continue reading ›

Wait and Hope—the Honda Fit EV Needs to Come to Market

What better place to test drive the new Honda Fit EV than Pasadena’s Rose Bowl, in one of the large parking lots, and take it for a short spin on the surrounding park road on a cloudless summer day.

Alongside the Reflection Blue Pearl Fit EV, which has a masculine, aerodynamic front end without a grille but a flourish of a ducktail spoiler, was a curvy white Nissan Leaf  for comparison driving. The Leaf was heavier, with more exotic-looking technology inside, while the Fit EV was more traditional with a user-friendly three-mode driving system and a key to turn instead of a remote that is used to start many alternative and hybrid vehicles. Both cars were easy to steer, quiet, and filled with the latest technology. The Leaf seemed looser to drive while the Fit EV seemed slightly more responsive, with less torque steer. Both compact car models allegedly seat 5 people—three of whom must be pint-size children. Both cars are earth-friendly.

Fit EV Coming to U.S. This Month

The Fit EV will begin to roll out in California and Oregon on July 20, according to Honda. Unfortunately, there is a catch with Honda’s new battery electric vehicle (BEV). It is a limited-production car—only 1,100 will be available during the next three years in the U.S. All 1,100 will be lease vehicles—3-year leases at $389 per month through Honda Financial Services, which computes to a suggested retail price of $36,625. Closed-end leases will include collision insurance, maintenance, roadside assistance, and navigation updates. The reason that the output is so low is that Honda’s sub-compact EV is being produced to comply with California’s rules to require a certain number of ZEVs (zero-emission vehicles) to be sold in the state. Continue reading ›

Rental Car Customer Satisfaction Returns to Near-2006 Levels

Jessica McGregor

Customer satisfaction with renting vehicles at North American airport locations has returned to near-2006 levels, after regaining ground in 2010 from declines during the 2-year downturn in 2008 and 2009, according to our 2011 North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study. Satisfaction increases from 2010 across all six factors* measured in the study.

The industry average satisfaction score improves this year by 8 points to 758 (on a 1,000-point scale) from an average of 750 in 2010 after achieving much lower scores in 2008 (734) and 2009 (733). In addition to an increase in satisfaction with rental car companies this year, customer loyalty and advocacy have also made a comeback, remaining steady with 2010 levels. Continue reading ›