The New Way to Rent a Car

Car listings online on tablet

How many times have you been disappointed by or frustrated with a rental car company? If you are the rare individual who enjoys waiting in excessively long rental counter lines and then being ‘upgraded’ to a minivan when the car you reserved is no where to be found, this article is not for you.

For those of us that dread renting cars, there are finally lights at the end of the long and dark tunnel.

SILVERCAR

Silvercar - Rental Company

SILVERCAR is a rental car company that has a fleet just like everyone else—well, except that they’re all Audi A4s at the price of economy cars. Amber Soletti, Silvercar’s Director of Marketing & Communications, took some time out of her busy schedule to talk with us about the ingenuity of Silver car, “With Silvercar you always know what car you’re going to get – a fully-loaded silver Audi A4 with in-car Wi-Fi, in-dash GPS and Sirius Radio included.”

At some of Silvercar’s locations you can drive one of these bad boys for as little as $49 a day (midweek in Phoenix!). We found prices in New York City for $99 a day. These prices fluctuate depending on location, but the result is the same – you can take these luxury cars for a spin the whole time you’re away from home. Amber also added, “Unlike our competition, there are no hidden fees or upsells. Included with every Silvercar at no extra charge are in-car Wi-Fi, in-dash GPS, Sirius Radio, roadside assistance, additional drivers and toll tracking. If you don’t have time to re-fuel prior to returning your car, Silvercar will fill you up at local pump price for just five dollars.”

Another big differentiator with SILVERCAR is the way in which they do business. NO RENTAL COUNTER LINES! Yep, you heard right! Customers can download the SILVERCAR app and follow these simple steps to get their car:

  • Upon arrival, the Silvercar app will navigate you to where you need to go (varies by airport).
  • When you have your bags and are ready, you’ll click, “Pick Me Up” in the app and your Concierge will meet you to take you to your Silvercar.
  • You’ll unlock the car using your phone.
  • If you need/want you can also get a quick orientation on the car features from your friendly Concierge and then your ready to hit the road.

“The idea of Silvercar was sparked by one too many frustrating experiences at the rental car counter. The founders were disgusted by the white minivan they had been “upgraded” to for their cool guys golf weekend.” Explains Amber, “with the fundamental realization that car rental hadn’t innovated in decades, and still couldn’t tell them something as basic as what kind of car they were getting, the concept of Silvercar was born.”

Can we get an #amen #hallelujah!?

Zipcar

Zipcar has been around since 1999, but its concept is still groundbreaking. Playing to city dwellers, Zipcar is a car rental membership company that allows its members to rent cars for a couple hours to a couple days—saving them up to $500 a month compared to those who own their own vehicles.

A convenient trade-off to car ownership and expensive rental car costs, members receive a Zipcard which acts like a key to the cars they reserve. All you have to do is go to the parking lot where the car is parked, swipe the card on the keypad to unlock it, and then return it to the same spot once you’re done.

All Zipcars include gas and taxes in their upfront cost. They also have a ton of different cars from sport to economy to cargo vans. If you’re moving, commuting, making a grocery store run, or getting out of the city for the weekend, Zipcars are an affordable and convenient choice for you.

Turo

Founded to help people rent their personal vehicles to strangers and give those in need of a rental a convenient and much cheaper alternative, Turo might make some car owners nervous. However, with a $1 million insurance policy included on every vehicle and a renter pre-screening program through identity verification on Facebook, your car is covered.

Those wishing to rent their car can list it for a daily amount they designate. Car owners can then meet their renter to swap keys. It’s like the Airbnb for cars and a driver-less Uber program. Renters in need of a car also luck out and can browse tons of options and price points, so it truly fits every need a budget. It’s a win-win for both parties.

Services like SILVERCAR, Zipcar and Turo are certainly making travel easier and more unique by the day. And we’re excited to see how they develop in the coming months. Just make sure that you know what your auto insurance covers no matter the rental car company you go with. While most policies cover you when you’re driving a rental car, sometimes additional insurance is needed from the rental car company. Your car insurance might also want to know if you’re participating in a variation of a rideshare program

  • SkippyFlipjack

    “The founders were disgusted by the white minivan they had been “upgraded” to for their cool guys golf weekend.” Explains Amber, “with the fundamental realization that car rental hadn’t innovated in decades..”

    The reason rental car places have minivans is because people sometimes like to rent minivans. It’s cool that at Silvercar you’ll always get the car you expect, but if you want a compact or an SUV or a minivan you’re currently out of luck. If a guarantee of getting the car you wanted is their primary “innovation” it would be really easy for the rest of the industry to catch up. (They could just charge extra for that guarantee.)

    As far as the Audi’s being “priced like an economy car”, I just picked SFO and got a quote for $69/day. Economy cars for the same time period are going for around $25; according to Carrentals,com, $69 will get an SUV, and $77 a Mercedes.

    I like the no-hassle aspect of their operation. We’ll see how they deal with the big challenges of the industry, like unused inventory vs. guaranteed availability.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    I think their $5 fill-up surcharge is brilliant. That’s a price at which many people will skip the trip to the gas station, meaning bonus revenue for them.

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