Silvercar has been around for a few years but, because of geographic restrictions, I haven’t had a chance to use it. I was finally able to do so this week and was quite pleased. Here’s the review.
Silvercar: What Is It?
The word “disruptor” is overused, but I’ll use it anyway. Silvercar is a rental car agency disruptor. Like taxis, until a few years ago, the rental industry hadn’t changed in decades, controlled by a few key competitors who had a handle not only on pricing but on the ridiculous rules that often accompany contracts.
Silvercar is looking to change how you rent a car by eliminating many of the annoying bumps along the way. Every car is an Audi A4, and mine was a recent year, either 2017 or 2018. They’ve got tons of interior features, connect to your phone, have free Sirius XM radio and eliminate the exorbitant fueling charges, charging you gas station rates plus $5 if you don’t return it full.
Getting the car is just as easy. Once you reserve the car, everything is done on your phone. You let them know when you arrive through the app and they pick you up at the designated spot. They took me to the local outlet and I was on my way. No ridiculous forms to fill out, no trying to sell me excess insurance, free bottles of water.
When I returned the car, it was just as easy. Since the Phoenix site was located a couple of miles from the airport, they paid for a Lyft to take us to the terminal. Couldn’t have been simpler.
Since the car was new, it drove well and had all the bells and whistles that you could ask for. Trunk space was adequate, as was the interior. Having an in-dashboard GPS system was also extremely useful, since I didn’t have to constantly be looking at a phone.
The website and app are, thankfully, easy to use and have all the information that you need. The address of the drop-off location is programmed into the GPS.
And The Disadvantages?…
Luxury car, great service, easy rental, couldn’t be perfect, could it? It isn’t, but most of the problems aren’t big ones.
- At this point, they only have 20 locations. Those locations are obviously in most of the big cities, but they’re not available elsewhere.
- Their rate is above-market. It’s a premium product, and they advertise it as such. They’re probably going to be right around the high end, or slightly above, what you would see from a list of the traditional car agencies.
- You get any car you want, as long as you want a Silver Audi A4. The controls are, at times, idiosyncratic.
The Bottom Line
Overall, I was very happy with the experience. Service was great, the car was fantastic and I was in and out easily. Silvercar will never have the impact on its industry that Uber did on the taxi industry, given the lack of local monopolies and limited locations, but it’s still good for the industry and even better for consumers.
Note: If you want $25 to try it out, use code WLMTSFOR at their website when you register. If you do so, we’ll each get $25 after your first rental. Thanks!
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