At Rocketrip we’re always on the lookout for new services that are improving the travel experience. In this installment of Rocketrip Recommends, we're profiling Silvercar, an Austin-based startup that’s looking to simplify the car rental industry.
There’s nothing quite like the excitement of arriving in a new destination for the first time, and nothing quite as effective at damping that excitement as having to wait in line.
But think of how a typical trip begins. Chances are that after waiting to deplane, you hurry over to baggage claim to wait some more. After that, you head out to the airport curb so you can wait for a shuttle bus that will deliver you to a rental car facility where you’ll wait in line until it’s your turn to approach the counter and attempt to decipher the fine print of a multi-page rental agreement you have to fill out in order to get your car - “your car” not necessarily being the same as “the car you reserved.”
A startup billing itself as “the world’s first hassle-free rental car company” thinks it’s found a solution (or at least a solution to the annoyance of renting a car: when it comes to improving the deplaning process, we’re still waiting - pun very much intended).
Silvercar simplifies the rental process by eliminating check-in counters and paperwork. Customers complete their reservation in advance using the Silvercar app, and when their flight lands, they receive a text with instructions for collecting their car. Though there are employees on hand to offer assistance, the process is designed to be fully automated from pickup to drop-off. Customers use a smartphone to unlock their vehicle, and are emailed a receipt after returning it.
Silvercar can guarantee customers will always get the vehicle they reserve because its fleet consists entirely of silver Audi A4s (each of which double as a WiFi hotspot). Pricing is straightforward: Silvercar charges a flat rate $59 to $89 a day based on demand. Customers who don’t have time to refill the tank before returning their car simply pay $5 plus the cost of gas as calculated at local market prices, not an inflated rate.
Currently Silvercar is available at the following airports:
- Austin - AUS
- Chicago - ORD
- Dallas - DAL
- Dallas - DFW
- Denver - DEN
- Ft. Lauderdale - FLL
- Los Angeles - LAX
- Miami - MIA
- Phoenix - PHX
- San Francisco - SFO
Silvercar might not be the cheapest rental car option, but it's definitely the most seamless we've encountered. Check it out before your next trip: first time users get $50 off.
What's your favorite travel service, site, or app? Let us know by tweeting to @Rocketrip.