National, Car Rental, business travel, best worst, hire, United States, survey, Enterprise, Budget, Avis
Photo: National Car Rental

New survey shows intense car hire competition

The survey of 314 travel managers and travel buyers by Business Travel News gives insights into rising service levels.

New York-based Business Travel News has presented the results of its annual Car Rental Survey, in which it asked 314 travel managers and travel buyers from March 21 to April 25 for their feedback on service from a range of car hire companies in the United States.

National earned its fifth straight victory in the survey, but it faced tougher competition than in past years, as travel buyers’ overall satisfaction with their car rental suppliers improved, Business Travel News said.

Despite a slight decline in its total score, National’s average score across 11 criteria beat its competitors, as it has every year since BTN launched the survey.

Both Avis and Hertz significantly improved their scores, however, and Avis outscored National in two categories: travel buyers’ relationships with the sales team and mobile app functionality.

Avis’ improvement raised it to second place, ahead of National sister brand Enterprise, which had held the second-place position every prior year.

Avis sister brand Budget also garnered enough use among corporate buyer respondents to be included in the survey for the first time, and it debuted in third place ahead of Enterprise and Hertz.

Feet to the fire
The survey this year marked the first time all of the car rental suppliers’ overall scores topped four on a five-point scale. A third of buyers saw improvement in their car rental suppliers compared with the previous year.

More than 60% said their suppliers’ service levels had remained the same, and only 5.2% said it had worsened.

The suppliers are all in investment mode as competition heats up, thinks Neil Abrams, president of Abrams Consulting Group.

“You can see that it’s so close between top and bottom,” he said about the survey. “Their feet are to the fire right now and not just by the customers but by the marketplace.”

Related stories

Europe’s “best” and “worst” car hire companies

Sixt narrows gap between rental and car sharing

Europcar partners up with SAS