Tim Foolery

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Silvercar Rental – First Experience

Regular readers know I hate road trips.  The idea of a road trip is fine, but once we execute, I am miserable. I’m bored, I am cranky, no matter how many activities or snacks I have, I turn into a 5 year old. For the sake of all my relationships, I don’t do road trips.

We spent the long Independence Day weekend in Arizona visiting the in laws and a friend from college.  We flew in on Friday night, stayed the first night in Phoenix  (we didn’t want to drive 2.5 hours after working all day and flying 4 hours). Saturday morning we’d drive up to Prescott, spend a day, then return to Phoenix, see a friend then return to Chicago on Monday.  For this trip, we needed a rental car.

I’ve never had any rental car loyalty, I just try to find the cheapest solution. Basically, I think all rental car companies suck. You’ve heard my rants about Sixt here and here. We decided to try Silver Car, which is a relatively new rental company. They only offer Audi A4s as a rental option. We have an Audi A4 at home and it is a lovely piece of machinery. I am the farthest thing from a car guy, but I do enjoy the ride.

Silver Car operates out of 14 locations, mostly airport spots but they do have locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn too. It is much more of a modern company compared to legacy rental car companies.

Like every car rental we’ve made, we booked online.  We found a great promo code, saving us $75 on our first rental. That promo code has since expired, just head over to Google to find a code that works for you.

Once we landed at PHX and pushed our way through the crowds of people who looked like extras from Breaking Bad or Sister Wives, we hopped on the consolidated rental car shuttle. While on board,  we opened the Silver Car App, which gives you an easy avenue to text the folks at Silver Car, letting them know you are in the way.

At PHX, Silver Car is actually off airport, so you text them while on the bus so they can come pick you up and drive you the 5 minutes to their car pick up location. We waited and waited for Silver Car to come pick us up. And waited. And waited. We waited 25 minutes to be picked up. It was 22h00 and it was 35C.

We were eventually picked up by a young woman who was very apologetic. She loaded our luggage into the trunk, offered us cold water and began to explain the Silver Car model.

She explained that we didn’t need to fuel the car if we didn’t want to, they would just charge us for the actual cost of the gas, plus a $5 convenience fee (that better than pay $7 per gallon with Hertz).  She also explained the details of the A4, which we didn’t need,  since we have one at home. One thing that we don’t have, but made the road trip (I know,  2.5 hour drive one way, isn’t a real road trip, but is for me) great – in car wifi. While MS drove, I screwed around on the Internet,  which totally kept my crankiness at a manageable level.

Another Silver Car renter followed us as we dropped off our vehicle. A silver car employees quickly approached us, confirmed our name, the status of the car (everything in working order, issues, etc). He did the same for the other driver, then asked if we would be OK with sharing a shuttle (which is again, is just an Audi A4), which of course we were fine with. We hopped in the car and he drove us directly to the terminal. I was afraid that he’d drop us off at the Rental Car Shuttle and we’d have to wait for the next shuttle. I was very pleasantly surprised.

All in all, our experience with Silver Car was great. I really hated to wait for nearly 30 minutes to get picked up at the rental center, so much so I was actively checking prices for other companies as our car pulled up.  We have already scheduled another rental for an upcoming trip to Yosemite. Let’s hope the folks at SFO are more on the ball.

Have you rented with Silver Car? What issues did you have? How were they resolved?


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