Enterprise Rent-A-Car once again achieved first place in the J.D. Power 2023 North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study, against a backdrop of the car rental sector finally stabilizing after a long period of post-COVID disruption.
The Clayton, Missouri-based car rental agency has held the title of best in its sector since at least 2021, when it also topped the charts for customer satisfaction.
In the latest round of customer satisfaction research, Enterprise scored 866 points in the overall survey. This put it barely ahead of second place National Car Rental with a ranking of 865 points and Alamo Rent a Car with 862 points.
Notably, all three of the top agencies by customer satisfaction are subsidiaries owned by Enterprise Holdings. Independent car rental agency Hertz – which has 430,000 cars in service versus Enterprise’s 1.1 million – came in fourth at 845 points out of 1,000, though it still registered higher than the industry average of 843 points.
The study providing these satisfaction scores used data collected between August 2022 and August 2023. The results were compiled from opinions provided by 8,632 respondents, all of whom rented cars at airport locations during the study period, whether for purposes of business or leisure travel.
The study also noted that rental car agencies have “gotten their groove back” as the disruptions caused by the pandemic are finally put in the rear view mirror to some extent. Customer satisfaction with rentals has risen 14 points overall on the 1,000-point satisfaction scale to an average score of 843.
Factors leading to the significantly more positive response of the average customer include more stable rental prices, higher levels of staffing leading to better support experience, and improved availability of rental vehicles when customers need them. The study notes that the current UAW strike could disrupt new fleet purchases, thus reducing availability again.
Still, prospects are sunnier for Enterprise and the other car rental companies, leading J.D. Power director Michael Taylor to remark “the post-pandemic period has been tough for North American rental car companies and their customers, but now that things have stabilized, customer satisfaction has started to increase significantly.”
He also added the caveat that continuing UAW strikes could become “a potential supply chain issue that could negatively affect customer satisfaction during the course of the next year.”