Who Drove a SilverCar at 130+ MPH?

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My friends and I went camping at Big Bend (near the Mexico border) earlier this month.  Instead of putting the miles on my vehicle, I reserved a Silvercar during their 50% off Thanksgiving sale.

I’ve written about Silvercar and how you could earn $100 from each friend you refer until December 31, 2014.  But I hadn’t tried them myself…until now!

I Finally Tried Silvercar Heres What To Expect
Look Out World! We Rented a Silvercar for Our Camping Trip to Big Bend

Wondering if this was Big Travel with Small Money?  Read on and I’ll explain!

How Does It Work?

Link:   Silvercar

Link:   My Silvercar Referral Link (DDUBASH)

Silvercar is a premium car rental service that only rents silver Audi A4s, and only in certain cities:
  • Austin
  • Chicago (O’Hare)
  • Dallas (Love Field and Dallas – Fort Worth)
  • Denver
  • Fort Lauderdale
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • New York (off-airport in Brooklyn)
  • Phoenix
  • San Francisco

They’re NOT generally cheaper than other car rental companies.  But they occasionally have deals that can save you lots of money if you’re interested in luxury car rentals!

And the only reason I rented a Silvercar was to take advantage of the discount to test out Silvercar and to drive an Audi for the 1st time!  It was ~$261 for a 5 day rental with the discount, which was worth it to us!

1.   Reserving a Silvercar

I reserved my car during their 50% off Thanksgiving sale.  You can book the car online, or using the Silvercar app for iOS or Android devices.

I Finally Tried Silvercar Heres What To Expect
Reserve Your Silvercar Online or Using Their Mobile App

Once you’ve made your reservation, you can pull it up on your phone and view instructions on what to do next!

2.   Getting to the Silvercar Lot

On the day of the rental, launch the Silvercar app for step-by-step instructions on how to get your car.

It told me where to meet the Silvercar courtesy shuttle at the Austin airport (because their lot isn’t right on the airport grounds).

I Finally Tried Silvercar Heres What To Expect
The Silvercar App Directed Me to the Upper Level Offsite Rental Car Pickup Area

When you’re ready for your car, tap the “Pick Me Up” button.

I Finally Tried Silvercar Heres What To Expect
Very High-Tech! Tap “Pick Me Up” and They’ll Come Get You

Within a few minutes, the Silvercar courtesy shuttle arrived to take us to their off-site lot.

I Finally Tried Silvercar Heres What To Expect
It Didn’t Take Long for the Courtesy Shuttle to Arrive

So far, so good!

3.   Pick a Car, Any Car!

The Silvercar lot at Austin airport is a little different from regular rental car agencies.  Check out their silver (of course!) Airstream trailer!

I Finally Tried Silvercar Heres What To Expect
Silvercar’s Airstream Trailer Sometimes Shows Up at Local Events, Like SXSW

One thing I like about Silvercar is that there’s no guessing (or choosing) which model of car you’ll get.  You can pick any Audi A4 on the lot!

I Finally Tried Silvercar Heres What To Expect
Should I Pick the Silver Car, or the Silver Car?

After you’ve decided which Audi you want, use the app to scan the QR code (located in the windshield of the car), the car unlocks, and it’s yours!  Although an employee did check my driver’s license and credit card because I had never rented from Silvercar before.

I Finally Tried Silvercar Heres What To Expect
Pick Your Car, Scan Its QR Code, and You’re Off!

We didn’t have to wait in line or fill out a ton of paperwork.  Super easy!

Bonus:  As a holiday special, Silvercar gave us a $5 Starbucks gift card.  Very useful for a road trip!
I Finally Tried Silvercar Heres What To Expect
Silvercar Gave Me a $5 Starbucks Card as a Holiday Gift

4.   These Are Very Nice Cars!

I was very impressed with Silvercar.  Their Audi A4s are clean, modern, and very peppy.  I’m used to renting the cheapest possible car instead of splurging on a luxury model, so this was a real treat!

I Finally Tried Silvercar Heres What To Expect
This Isn’t Like the Economy Cars I’m Used to Renting!

And they come with free Wi-Fi, satellite radio, GPS, and toll tracking (you’ll only pay for the tolls you use, unlike with other car rental agencies!).

I Finally Tried Silvercar Heres What To Expect
What? Were You Expecting Metallica? 😉

It was very easy to speed in this car!

Not that I did it, of course.  But the speedometer works all the way up to 130+ MPH.  Not that I have 1st hand experience of this, of course.  Because it isn’t like I would speed in a Audi rental car.

I Finally Tried Silvercar Heres What To Expect
Don’t Forget to Keep it 10 Below the Speed Limit, Of Course!
Note:  If you need to extend, shorten, or otherwise make changes to your rental, you can do so right from the app.
I Finally Tried Silvercar Heres What To Expect
It’s Easy to Contact Silvercar to Make Changes to Your Rental

My friends and I had a lot of fun in this car.  I was almost sad to give it back!

5.   Easy Returns

When you’re ready to return the car, the app will guide you.  The location of the Silvercar lot is programmed into the car’s GPS so it’s easy to find your way.

One thing I really like is that you do NOT have to hunt around for a gas station before you return the car.  They’ll only charge you $5 (plus the local price of fuel) to fill the car up on your behalf.

I Finally Tried Silvercar Heres What To Expect
You Don’t Have to Circle Around the Airport Looking for a Cheap Gas Station If You Don’t Want To!

Once you get back to the lot, an employee scans the car back in.  I got an email receipt and a lift back to the airport in the same car I rented!

Is It Worth It?

You’ll usually pay more to rent from Silvercar than from other car rental agencies, because you’re renting a premium vehicle.  So if getting the cheapest price possible is a priority, Silvercar may not be for you.

I probably wouldn’t use Silvercar at their regular prices.  While getting to drive a luxury car is a nice treat, I’d rather book a cheaper vehicle and save money for other things, like food and activities.

That said, I paid ~$261 including tax for a ~5 day rental, and that’s with the 50% Thanksgiving discount.  So that’s an average of ~$52 per day (~$261 total rental cost / 5 days).

I Finally Tried Silvercar Heres What To Expect
I Paid an Average of ~$52 per Day for This Rental

To compare, I checked the price of a 5-day rental in Austin on Kayak in January.  The cheapest deal I could find was ~$199 for a compact car, like a Toyota Yaris.

I Finally Tried Silvercar Heres What To Expect
You’ll Pay Less for an Economy or Compact Car From a Regular Rental Company

But if you want to splurge on a premium car, you might pay less with Silvercar, especially if they’re having a sale or promotion.  For example, the cheapest premium or luxury car I could find on Kayak for 5 days in Austin was ~$439!

I Finally Tried Silvercar Heres What To Expect
A Premium Car From a Regular Car Rental Company Would Cost More

As always, do the math and see what works better for you.  If you’re looking to treat yourself, Silvercar might be a good option!

Which Cards Should You Use to Rent From Silvercar?

Don’t forget to use a credit card that earns bonus points for travel, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred (which also has primary car rental insurance).  Or use your Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard to earn 2.1% back on travel purchases, including rental cars!

Here’s a post on other cards with primary CDW (collision damage waiver) car rental coverage!

Bottom Line

I rented a car from Silvercar for 5 days this month and paid ~$261.  It was a 50% off rate because I booked during their Thanksgiving sale.

The whole experience was easy and enjoyable!  I liked that there were no lines to wait in, no paperwork, and that the whole rental process could be coordinated from my iPhone.  And the car was very well equipped and fun to drive!

You won’t usually get the cheapest rate from Silvercar (because they only rent Audi A4s), but you might get a good deal if you want to treat yourself to a luxury rental and can find a promotion or sale.

Have you used Silvercar?  What did you think?

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