COSTA MESA, Calif., Nov. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Travelers who rent a car and then combine business and leisure are by far the most satisfied with their rental car experience, according to the J.D. Power 2016 North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study, SM released today.
The study finds that while overall satisfaction is higher among business travelers than among leisure travelers (with satisfaction index scores of 806 vs. 798 on a 1,000-point scale, respectively), satisfaction among "bleisure" travelers (836)—those whose travel is a combination of business and leisure—is the highest among the three groups. The data show this practice to be more pronounced among Gen Y renters (those born from 1977-1994), who have a growing presence in the rental car market. Cost and fees satisfaction among bleisure car renters is 43 points higher than among exclusive business renters and 49 points higher than among exclusive leisure renters. "With such a big bump in satisfaction among 'bleisure' renters, it's certainly worthwhile for rental car companies to take a closer look at ways to attract and accommodate these travelers, perhaps by providing an easy way to separate charges for the business days of the rental from the leisure days, making for easier expense reporting," said Rick Garlick, global travel and hospitality practice lead at J.D. Power. "Appealing to bleisure travelers may help differentiate them from competitors, but it could also foster the growth amongst a new base of loyal customers." The study, now in its 21 st year, measures overall customer satisfaction with rental cars at airport locations by examining six factors (listed in order of importance): cost and fees; pick-up process; return process; rental car; shuttle bus/van; and reservation process. Overall rental car satisfaction averages 804 index points, a 6-point improvement from 2015. All of the ranked brands post at least some improvement in the cost and fees factor, continuing a dramatic upward trend over the past two years.