Money can't buy you happiness, but when it comes to rental cars, it seems that saving it probably won't bring a smile to your face either.
According to J.D. Power's 2013 North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study released Tuesday, price remains the most commonly cited reason to choose a rental car company—yet those who make their selection based on price are the least satisfied with their experience.
"We asked people how much they paid as an average daily rate for a rental vehicle," said Rick Garlick, global practice lead for the company's hospitality and travel group. "There were two tied at the top—Hertz and Avis with a median of $50 a day, followed by National at $48 and all the way down to Thrifty at $37 a day.
"Despite being one of the highest-priced rental agencies, National is actually at the top of the leaderboard in terms of satisfaction with cost and fees," said Garlick.
Furthermore, that satisfaction helped push National to the top spot in overall satisfaction in this year's survey. Based on six factors—cost and fees, pick-up process, return process, rental car quality, shuttle bus/van and reservation process—the company achieved a score of 809 (on a 1,000-point scale), edging out last year's winner (and corporate sibling) Enterprise at 799.