I was in Los Angeles over the weekend to attend a private event at the Pan Am Experience. Until a few days before the trip, I was unsure of how I'd get around town. Uber, while a great way to catch a ride, was estimated to cost at least $100 for the various rides I would need, so I started to look into a rental car. With the exception of an extremely small car, prices were also over $100. I continued to look around the internet and that is when I remembered that Silvercar had recently lowered the minimum rental age to 22 (I am 8 months from 25). The cost for a one night rental was $89 with tax. I had never driven an Audi and with the $25 cash bonus for being referred, I saw no reason not to rent with Silvercar.
Much of the Silvercar experience is handled through their mobile app, so I downloaded it shortly after making my reservation. It offered detailed information regarding the pickup process at LAX and was very user friendly.
The night before my rental, I received a text message from Silvercar, asking me to contact them when I landed. I assumed that it was sent from a robot, so I did not reply. (my mistake)
Upon arrival at LAX, I followed the directions in the app to the lower level and waited about fifteen minutes for the LOT C shuttle to arrive. After seeing multiple LOT A shuttles, but nothing for C, I remembed that Silvercar had texted me and replied to them. To my surprise, they offered to come pick me up from the terminal, an offer that I gladly accepted! I replied that I would be on the departures level, under the AA - Premium sign, and they indicated that the car would arrive in 10 minutes.
True to their word, a shiny Audi A4 pulled up to the terminal less than 10 minutes later. Jenny, my Silvercar Concierge, warmly greeted me and gave me some quick info on Silvercar. In a matter of minutes, she drove me back to the main office to complete the paperwork.
On the short drive over to the Silvercar office, Jenny showed me how to use the various systems in the car and explained that I could also pair my phone with the car if I preferred to listen to my own music or make phone calls. She was quite knowledgeable, and though I didn't have any questions, she certainly seemed like she would have the answer to any questions that a customer might think up.
At the Silvercar office, my drivers license and credit card were verified (only necessary for your first rental) and then I was directed to scan the QR code on the windshield. Once that was completed, my rental started and I was off.
My Audi had about 8,000 miles on it, though it drove as if it was brand new. It even had that new car smell--quite the opposite of your typical rental from Hertz or another large company!
Cars come with an iPod/iPhone connector cable and this USB plug
Heading to In-N-Out...The most important stop near LAX!
The following day, I was sad that my rental was already over. After filling up with fuel, I drove back to the Silvercar office. Each car has the local office programmed into the GPS, making the return process hassle-free. Had I not stopped for fuel, Silvercar would have only charged me a $5 fee and then the local price for gas. None of the prepay/after return rip-off programs from a typical agency.
Back at the office, Jenny was working and remembered me from the day before. She quickly processed my return and then drove me back to the airport, once again allowing me to skip the hassle of dealing with a crowded shuttle bus that stops at every terminal.
Overall, this was the best rental experience I'd had in a very long time! Not having to deal with crowded shuttle buses, long lines, old and dirty cars, and upcharges for everything was nice. Having free GPS, XM radio, toll tracking, an inexpensive refueling option, great customer service and a paperless process made it even better!
At the time of this post, Silvercar is in the following locations.
- Austin - AUS
- Dallas - Love
- Dallas - DFW
- Denver - DEN
- Ft. Lauderdale - FLL
- Los Angeles - LAX
- Miami - MIA
- Phoenix - PHX
- San Francisco - SFO
Chicago O'Hare is the next city to be added to the Silvercar portfolio. Reservations can be made starting May 27th, for pick up beginning June 15th.
Despite being a President's Circle member with Hertz (thanks to a UA match), I will definitely plan to rent with Silvercar in the future. They are a breath of fresh air and, like Uber was to the taxi industry, a great innovation for the rental car industry.
Because this was my first Silvercar rental, I used a referral code from a friend. Once my rental was completed, we each received $25 cash!
To receive $25 on your first Silvercar rental, just go to the sign-up page and type the referral code into the field at the bottom of the page. I'd be grateful if you used my code, DPALEN. If you wish to offer your code to others, feel free to leave it in the comments section on this post.