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Car Rental Usability Study — Desktop — April 2018

Car Rental

It was time for our second large-scale usability study. And this time, after the hotel industry, it is for the Car Rental industry.

We benchmarked the nine most significant car rental companies by running a large-scale usability test with more than 2,200 users.

If you own or run a car rental website or any other website that involves availability and booking, or if you are just a fan of UX and customer experience, you will find the following data extremely useful. Enjoy!

Methodology

We asked users to imagine a typical scenario that included two tasks:

1. Search for availability and pricing for a car rental from the San Francisco airport for four days.

2. Go through the booking process until you reach the final confirmation button.

For each task, we measured the completion rate, meaning how many users succeeded in finishing the task, along with the completion time. We also asked users to rate their experience for each task on a 1-7 scale from "very difficult" to "very easy".

We also included general questions about the aesthetics and delightfulness of the website.

Finally, we added the SUS (System Usability Scale) and NPS (Net Promoter Score) questionnaires.

Results

Task 1: Search for pricing and availability

The first task involved searching for prices and availability for a car from the San Francisco airport for four days.

This video shows part of the task from an indicative session on avis.com:

The leader was thrifty.com, with an average completion time of 2 minutes and 2 seconds. Acerentacar.com followed closely at 2 minutes and 5 seconds, then came dollar.com, nationalcar.com, alamo.com, and enterprise.com, with times up to 2 minutes and 16 seconds. In the last three positions were budget.com, hertz.com, and avis.com with times up to 2 minutes and 27 seconds.

Task 1 Average task completion time

Test completion rates showed that dollar.com has made the process fail-proof with a 100% completion rate; the rest follow close behind, while acerentacar.com, alamo.com, and enterprise.com had rates slightly below 95%. Overall completion rates were excellent, showing that these companies have invested heavily in making their websites user-friendly.

Task 1 Task completion rate

For this first task, we asked users to rate their experience on a scale of 1-7 where 1 was very difficult, and 7 was very easy. This subjective rating shows the perceived ease of use for this first task.

Task 1 Ease of use

Task 2: Checkout

After finding car rental prices and availability, the next task was the booking (or checkout) process. This process began with selecting the right car. Here you can watch a sample session:

In this task, differences became more prominent, and completion times ranged from 1 minute and 52 seconds for enterprise.com to 2 minutes and 43 seconds for dollar.com.

Task 2 Average task completion time

Completion rates for the booking process fell at nearly 91% for acerentacar.com, indicating room for improvement.

Task 2 Task completion rate

Again, the final judge is the user. Users liked a lot the checkout process of budget.com a lot, while they din't seem enthusiastic about those of thrifty.com or dollar.com.

Task 2 Ease of use

Overall benchmarks

After completing the above tasks, users were asked to rate their overall experience based on the delight to use and website attractiveness or aesthetics.

Delightfulness

Attractiveness

We also asked how likely they would be to recommend the website to friends (the Net Promoter Score question). The following graph shows the average of NPS ratings given by users; while it's not the formal way to calculate NPS, it gives a clear picture as to how these car rental websites rank.

Task 1 NPS

Finally, we asked users the 10-item SUS questionnaire to measure the perceived usability of the website.

Task 1 SUS

How does your website compare to these big players? Contact us to not only measure your usability, but also help you improve it.

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