I was sure my vacation would be over before I made it to the front of the line. I was in San Diego’s airport at the Enterprise counter where only one person was working and the line was 20 people deep. After it took the agent (who I’m sure was doing the best they could) over 20 minutes to help a customer, I cut loose and went over to the Avis counter, where they were happy to match my rate, plus $20. Plus more if I wanted GPS. Plus outrageous fees if I didn’t return it with the tank full. Plus outrageous fees for tolls.
“There has to be a better way,” I thought. There is. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Silvercar.
(disclosure: Silvercar does not endorse or sponsor Andy’s Travel Blog. They have not approved or edited this post in any way. If you choose to click on my referral link below I may receive financial benefit.)
Why is Silvercar better?
Silvercar runs on a beautiful concept: a consistent luxury product made better by technology. They currently have rentals in Miami, Dallas (Love and DFW), Denver, Austin, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Here’s how it works, and yes it really is this simple:
- They only rent one type of vehicle: Silver Audi A4s
- All rentals include GPS, satellite radio, and wifi (!)
- Tolls are billed directly to you, no additional transponder fees
- The best part: gas is charged at market rate, plus a flat $5 fill-up fee
Rates start at $59/day and go up from there depending on demand. No doubt about it, it’s more expensive than the cheapest possible Avis or Hertz rental. But there’s a reason why I will happily pay the difference.
Silvercar is driven by their mobile app. You can make reservations on either the app or the website and your information (including payment method, insurance preference, etc.) is stored in the cloud. This makes pick-up incredibly easy since they don’t need an agent to run through all of the options with you.
The actual pick-up process is different depending on the airport you land at, but what you need to do is clearly spelled out on the app. For instance, in Denver you head over to the East side of the ground transportation area, go to Island 3, then find the Canopy Parking shuttle. You’re then taken into the facility that Silvercar shares with Canopy Parking. Dallas’s Love Field is different, they’ll actually pick you up in your car!
Once you’ve chosen your Silvercar, you show your driver’s license to the Silvercar representative, scan the QR code on the front of the car, the car unlocks (via magic), and your rental has begun!
It’s even easier to drop off your car than it is to pick up. You don’t have to stop for gas or anything like that. Silvercar has chipboards in their vehicles that will tell them how much fuel is needed to fill the tank and charge you $5 plus market rates for the fill-up. The receipt is emailed to you instantly.
It should be pretty clear that Silvercar places a big emphasis on technology. Without their custom chipset or app, they simply wouldn’t be able to operate as smoothly as they do. It’s going to get even better in the future as well. Per their blog, they have plans in the future to remember where your seat was located when you left your last Silvercar and put your seat into that position the next time you pick it up. There are similar plans for audio presets, sound EQ settings, and probably much more.
Try it for yourself
If you’d like to try Silvercar (and I recommend that you do), let me make it easier for you. You can sign up for an account at www.silvercar.com. When you sign up, feel free to use my referral code: ALUTEN. If you have a referral link with Silvercar, feel free to share it in the comments and readers can decide who they’d like to use (note: I receive a benefit when you sign up and rent a car after using my referral code, but it costs you nothing and then you can sign up for a referral link!).
When making your first reservation, use promo code AFF-FTD for $50 off your first rental of two days or more. With this promo code, a 2-day rental with Silvercar will almost definitely be cheaper than any other rental agency.
Here’s one of my favorite parts of Silvercar. They’re very active on social media and have an ongoing contest called #Silvershots. All you need to do is post a picture of your Silvercar to social media with the hashtag #Silvershots and you’ll be entered to win. Once a week they’ll go through and pick a winner, who receives a free 4-day rental! I can personally vouch for how great this contest is because I’m a previous winner! I won earlier this year for this picture that I took of my Silvercar at Monument Valley in Utah.
So, suffice it to say, I’m a fan of Silvercar, and you should be too!