See how J.D. Power’s car-rental rankings stack up against TPG’s findings

Oct 17, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Want to rent a car from a company you’ll actually be happy to work with?

J.D. Power, the company behind the well-known customer satisfaction surveys, just released its annual North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study. Based on responses gathered from 9,382 business and leisure travelers who rented a car from an airport location between August 2018 and August 2019, the study measured overall customer satisfaction based on factors like reservation and pick-up process, as well as costs and fees.

According to the study, customer satisfaction among rental car companies at airport locations has risen to a record high of 843 (on a 1,000-point scale). And the good news for travelers? There really isn’t much of a spread between the top- and bottom-ranked companies.

J.D. Power cites increased competition between rental companies for this year’s record ratings, and identified a “smooth pick-up process” as the “key differentiator” between companies due to the correlation between pick-up wait time and customer satisfaction.

Related: How to save on rental cars

Stealing the top spot from last year’s winner, Enterprise, Hertz earned the highest ratings not only for overall customer satisfaction but also for a number of other categories, too.

(Image courtesy of J.D. Power)


Earlier this year, TPG tested the various benefits of National and Hertz’s choose-your-own-vehicle programs to help readers decide whether National Emerald Executive Aisle or Hertz Ultimate Choice President’s Circle is a better program. TPG concluded that National’s program offered members the best value and selection, but noted there were other factors worth considering when choosing between the two programs, such as how you can achieve elite status and how many miles your rental will have on it.

These findings may seem somewhat at odds with the rankings from J.D. Power, especially given that National ranks fourth in J.D. Power’s study. But TPG was focused solely on the benefits of the choose-your-own-vehicle program membership between the two programs, not overall customer satisfaction. Also, J.D. Power’s survey shows just a 13-point difference in the overall satisfaction rating between Hertz and National — which frankly isn’t much.

Taking J.D. Power’s survey into account along with TPG’s findings, you could reasonably assume that travelers looking for the choose-your-own-vehicle option along with consistent customer service won’t be disappointed with National. But if you aren’t concerned with that particular benefit, Hertz might be your best bet for a quality experience — especially if you have the United Club Card in your wallet, which allows you to claim Hertz Gold Plus Rewards President’s Circle status as soon as the card arrives in the mail.

The information for the United Club has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Featured image by ablokhin/Getty Images.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card

This card from Bank of America gets really interesting if you have a BofA checking, savings or investment account. Depending on the value of your combined accounts you can potentially get as much as 3.5x points on travel/dining and 2.625x points on other purchases making it the richest consumer banking bonus out there.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Receive 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
  • No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire
  • Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits + valuable travel insurance protections
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Low $95 annual fee
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.