Next to the winding roads of California’s wine country and coastal areas, I can’t think of a better place to take advantage of Silvercar’s all-Audi A4 fleet than Denver and the nearby Rocky Mountains. They’ll start taking reservations in a couple of weeks for rentals starting in August. Now that I can get a stylish ride I might just visit Aspen.
Silvercar has already operated for a while in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Austin, with recent expansions to Miami and Phoenix. I hear they’re planning to expand to Seattle, too, though that rumor came and went a while ago. So far my experience has been mostly good, though not always. I think Silvercar is at its best when it operates from an on-airport location or fairly close to one, as it does at DFW and Austin. San Francisco and LAX require you to take the airport’s rental shuttle to a pickup spot, where Silvercar then gives you a ride back to their lot.
The basic concept is that offering only one car — the Audi A4 — makes it possible to simplify the rental process, provide a better customer experience, and save you money. It’s not as cheap as most economy class rentals, but it is competitive. It may very well be close to the same price in some expensive markets and is probably cheaper than a similar “premium” rental from one of the big three rental agencies. Check out my analysis of rental costs for Silvercar and its competitors to see just how cheap Silvercar can be in some markets. And wouldn’t you rather have some German engineering than a Chevy?
My opinion of the car is that it’s great to drive. My dad has one, and borrowing his and renting a Silvercar has me thinking that I might get one, too, if I ever move to a building with a better parking situation. It handles better than anything I’ve driven in the past. However, I do think the electronics are overly complicated. I probably haven’t spent enough time in one to get familiar with them by touch, though as a side benefit to all this tech you also get:
- Free GPS
- Free satellite radio
- Free in-car mobile hotspot
- Free toll tracking (you only pay for your own tolls)
- Simple gas policy without ridiculous markups (a sensor tracks what you use and charges you the market rate, plus a $5 refueling fee)
There is a great way to save money on your first Silvercar: Use an existing customer’s referral code to save $25, then use another discount code, AFF-FTD to save $50 when you made your reservation, for a total of $75. I thought this code would expire on June 30, but it still seems to work, so use this trick as long as you can and feel free to share your personal referral code in the comments.
If the two-discount trick stops working, I suggest you use my discount code instead. Silvercar gave me a $50 offer to share (I get $50, too) that is valid only for new members. It does not stack with AFF-FTD, but it is better than getting just $25 off using a typical member’s referral code. Enter SMACKENZIE on the main page when you book your first rental. (Don’t enter it on the referral page because it doesn’t act like a normal referral code. It’s a discount code. Confused? Just click on the link and it will load the right page with the code already in place. You can sign up during the booking process.)