Silvercar, or Silvercar by Audi to be correct, is our favorite rental car company. They’re not the one we use the most, unfortunately, because they’re only in limited locations and I’m generally a cheapskate. More accurately I’m frugal, which is being cheap with a dash of common sense thrown in. So while I’m not willing to pay a huge premium for a Silvercar, I will rent from them if the price is comparable to other rental companies.
Silvercar’s business model is 180 degrees opposite from everyone else. I’ve written before about why they’re our favorite car company so I’ll focus on the five reasons Silvercar is different from everyone else and why you need to look into renting from them the next time you need a car.
1) You don’t have to join their frequent renter program to get preferred service
For all other rental car companies out there, I strongly recommend joining their respective frequent renter programs before your rental. Doing that lets you skip the line as well as the song and dance at the counter where they ask you to buy insurance and gasoline. Everyone who rents from Silvercar is a special customer and skips the line because to rent from them you need to download the app to your phone. After your first rental, all you need to do is go to a car, scan the barcode on the window and you’re off.
2) No nickel and diming you for the extras
While all the other rental car companies charge extra for things like satellite radio, toll transponders and filling the car with gasoline upon return, Silvercar does none of that. All of their cars come with satellite radio included. Did you go through a toll on your trip? No worries there, as Silvercar only charges you for the toll, no additional fee for a transponder and no need to pay for a service for your entire rental. Forget to fill up the car before returning it? Silvercar will charge the going rate (for premium) fuel plus a $9.95 service charge. (This is the only fee that’s increased since we’ve been renting from them. The fee used to be $5.)
3) Offsite does not mean inconvenient
Normally a car rental location being offsite is a big negative for me. However, I make an exception when renting from Silvercar. When we rented from them in Los Angeles, I let them know with the app as I was waiting at the airport. Within minutes a representative was at the airport to pick us up, in an Audi! Same thing when we rented from them in Austin, TX.
I know that, depending on the location, you may have to take a shuttle bus to the Silvercar location but that’s a price that I’ll be willing to pay. It’s also nice to be dropped right by the terminal when your rental is finished instead of schlepping from the rental car return with all your bags.
4) It’s easy to get a discount when renting a Silvercar
With Silvercar, it often feels like “You get a discount, you get a discount and you get a discount.”
It might not be that easy but Silvercar discounts are pretty easy to come by, particularly if you’ve never rented from them before. Here are just some of the ways to save on your Silvercar rental.
- Visa Signature cardholders can save up to 15% on rentals (but at least 10%) by registering their card at this website and using the same card for their rental. This includes some of the best cards that include primary rental coverage like the Sapphire Preferred and the United MileagePlus card.
- Visa Infinite cardholders can save up to 30% on rentals (but at least 10%). The consensus is that the typical discount is 20% if you register on this website. The most common card to use with this offer would be the Sapphire Reserve (but also includes the Ritz-Carlton card and the Crystal Bank Infinite card.)
- New members are able to save 20% on any rental by using the code FIRST20
- Silvercar has a $25 bonus available for new sign-ups. If it’s your first rental, you can enter our referral code and get a $25 bonus Visa credit once you complete your rental (full disclosure: we get a kickback too).
- Go to Silvercar online or download the Silvercar app via iOS or Android.
- Sign up for an account. Go to Account > Refer a Friend, then enter JHEGEDUS.
- Reserve your rental car. If you haven’t already, make sure to use referral code when booking.
- Get $25 bonus Visa credit when you complete your ride.
If you stack the $25 credit with the discount code, you first rental might be less expensive than a rental from other companies.
5) Their cars are just plain cool
Come on, instead of renting that Nissan Altima or Chevy Cruze wouldn’t you rather be driving around in an Audi A4, Q5 or A5 Cabriolet? I know everyone wants to pull into the In-N-Out Burger parking lot like a boss.
On top of that, the Audis have a Wi-Fi hot spot onboard so your passengers can surf the net while you drive. The Audi vehicles also have some serious power under the hood. I accidentally got one over 90 MPH while driving through Texas, without realizing it, because the ride was so smooth. Here are the specs:
Audi A4 Engine
The Audi A4 flaunts its powerful credentials with a turbocharged 2.0L TFSI engine that can deliver 252 HP and helps propel the A4 from 0-60 in as little as 5.7 seconds.
Audi Q5 Engine
The Audi Q5 boasts similar credentials. The turbocharged 2.0L TFSI engine that can deliver 252 HP and helps propel the Q5 from 0-60 in as little as 5.9 seconds.
Combined with the FSI® direct-injection system, Audi valvelift and seven-speed S tronic® dual-clutch automatic transmission, both vehicles easily master performance in the fast lane.
Always obey local speed and traffic laws.
Sure, now they tell me.
If you want to rent from Silvercar, here are their 25 locations:
- Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
- Charlotte-Douglas International Airport
- Chicago O’Hare International Airport
- Dallas Love Field
- Denver International Airport
- Ft. Lauderdale–Hollywood Intl Airport
- Las Vegas, McCarran International Airport
- Los Angeles International Airport
- Miami International Airport
- Mondrian South Beach Miami
- Newark Liberty International Airport
- Brooklyn, New York: McCarren Hotel & Pool
- Brooklyn Downtown
- Manhattan, New York: River Place at W. 42nd
- Manhattan, New York: Columbus Circle
- Orlando International Airport
- John Wayne Airport, Orange County, CA
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
- Salt Lake City International Airport
- San Diego International Airport
- San Francisco International Airport
- San Francisco – Union Square
- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
- Tampa International Airport
- Washington-Dulles International Airport
So there you are. Five reasons you should rent from Silvercar. I go over some of the reasons we love to rent from them in this article but do you really need more convincing to check out Silvercar for your next rental?
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary
Featured photo from the Silvercar Facebook page