The researched conducted by Which?, compiled over 2000 car rental experiences last year showed choosing a company with a more customer friendly reputation over the cheapest option may change the entire car rental experience.
According to the data, most of the car rental companies which scored consistently well in customer satisfaction area had a majority of their customers in queue for less than 30 minutes. Alamo, part of Enterprise Holdings, consistently scores high in customer satisfaction surveys, has over two-thirds of their customers driving within 15 minutes. Auto Reisen, a car rental company which operates only on the Canary Islands ranked top of the charts with just 87 percent of their customers driving off the lot within 15 minutes. On the other hand, the longest queue times for a car rental were from the low-cost brands.
Goldcar, which was recently acquired by Europcar, is notorious for poor service but low prices has almost two-thirds of their customers queue in line for more than 15 minutes. Firefly, Hertz's low cost segment brand, saw 57 percent of their customers waiting for more than 15 minutes. Avis and Budget, which is also part of the Avis group, were the worst for queue times, with 10 and 11 percent respectively of their customers queuing for over an hour.
A spokesperson from Budget said, "We are investing in technology which will allow us to serve our customers faster and more efficiently. One such initiative is our tablet technology which is currently rolling out across Europe. It allows us to have more rental agents queue-floating and supporting more customers during peak periods. This reduces wait times and allows customers to be on their way faster." Of the respondents, some felt the reason for long queue times were due to "persistent up-selling of extras, such as insurance, regardless of how many people were waiting," and lack of staff during busy hours.