Uber and Lyft aren’t the only companies threatening to upend the traditional taxi and rental-car business models. There’s also Silvercar, which promises to “bring the ‘wow’ back to car rental.”
Unlike Uber’s ride-share model, Silvercar actually rents cars. But not just any cars; Silvercar only rents silver Audi A4s. And fully optioned silver A4s at that, fitted with with NAV, SiriusXM satellite radio, an onboard WiFi hotspot, and bluetooth pairing. All included in the standard rental price.
It’s not just the hardware. The rental process itself is thoroughly modernized as well. Reservations are made online or via the Silvercar smartphone app, which also serves as the key to unlock the car. Renters receive an electronic receipt even as they are dropping off a car at rental’s end. There’s no counter, for check-ins or drop-offs. It’s all very high-tech.
Also high-tech is the fueling option. For those who choose not to refill the tank when returning their cars, an electronic sensor determines the number of gallons required to replenish the fuel and adds a charge based on the prevailing per-gallon price, plus a $5 fill-up fee.
Silvercar rentals are currently available in 12 airport and city locations, with more to come:
- Austin – AUS
- Chicago – ORD
- Dallas – Love
- Dallas – DFW
- Denver – DEN
- Ft. Lauderdale – FLL
- Las Vegas – LAS
- Los Angeles – LAX
- Miami – MIA
- New York City – Manhattan
- Phoenix – PHX
- San Francisco – SFO
Through January 10, 2016, first-time Silvercar customers can save $75 on rentals of two or more days, by citing promotion code VE75. And returning customers can save 15 percent on any rental during the same period, with promotion code VE15.
If the service is wow-worthy at its normal prices—which are claimed to be comparable to traditional rental-car companies’ full-size car rates—then renting from Silvercar is a double-wow at the discounted rates.
Reader Reality Check
Have you used Silvercar? Thumbs up, or thumbs down?
This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.