Last Updated July 3, 2019
We hate renting cars. From the moment you stand around waiting for the shuttle to the ride on the shuttle shared with others, including screaming and vomiting children, and obnoxious people who are downright inconsiderate. Then, as the shuttle pulls into the car rental’s office, you grab your bags make the mad dash to get in line ahead of everyone else to see an agent at the counter and stand there waiting for what seems like an eternity. When it’s finally your turn, you spend the next 15-20 minutes providing the agent with the information you already entered online and/or the numerous times you’ve rented with this company only to be threatened with a fate worse than life in prison if you don’t purchase one of the things they’re upselling in their never ending sales pitch. Then, at one point you’re offered an upgrade because they ran out of economy cars, which is what you reserved. Some 45-60 minutes later, you drive off the lot with a PT Cruiser or minivan wondering where you’re going to park because the vehicule is too big.
We dislike car rental companies. We loathe all aspects of the rental process but it is a price to pay if you want to get around on vacation, especially if you only have a short amount of time, don’t feel like using Uber, and public transit is not really an optimal option.
If you want to minimize the annoyance of renting cars, you might want to consider renting with Silvercar by Audi. In our experience, Silvercar has taken all the hassle of renting a car through the usual companies and minimized them. If you are unfamiliar with Silvercar, we will provide an overview for you to decide if you want to rent a car with them and general car rental tips to help make your travels more seamless.
Our Most Recent Silvercar Experience:
Imagine this; you arrive to AUS – Austin-Bergstrom International Airport at 04:45 after a 3 hour 21 minute flight from SEA – Seattle-Tacoma Internal Airport. You take some time to freshen up, have a snack, and then you text Silvercar at 05:30 and within minutes, someone picks you up in a silver Audi A4. Fact: Most car rental agencies don’t open until 06:00 at AUS airport.
A few minutes later, you arrive to the Silvercar lot and your very own silver Audi A4 is there waiting for you. All you need to do is scan the barcode with your phone and the Silvercar app, do a quick walk around to verify and note any damage, and verify that the information you entered is still accurate. The agent does a quick overview of the car and within minutes you’re driving off in the car you reserved and expected: a silver Audi A4.
While the experience varies from location to location, it’s pretty much the same. As car rentals are very expensive in Austin in general, Silvercar prices are competitive especially for what you’re getting. Plus, driving around in an Audi A4 or Q5 (now available at some locations) is much more fun than driving a minivan or PT Cruiser.
We’ve rented with Silvercar at LAX – Los Angeles Airport, PHX – Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, and AUS- Austin-Bergstrom International Airport as detailed in this post and recommend renting from Silvercar at all 3 of these locations. The best part is that when you rent with Silvercar for the first time, you get a discount as part of the “Refer a Friend” program; just enter “jzcnkxsd” this code when booking and we’ll both get a $25 Virtual Visa Gift Card.
So now you’ve got the low down on Silvercar. Next, we’ll share some tips on how to deal with car rentals in general:
- Operating Hours: Check the operating hours and make sure to have the number on hand to contact the car rental company in case your flight is delayed and you will arrive after they close. While we love Silvercar, this is one challenge of renting from them at PHX – Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport; they close at midnight and the flight we usually take arrives after midnight so we have to rent from another company. Once, on our way to Hawaii, our flight delay meant that we would arrive past regular operating hours so we called the car rental company to notify them of our major flight delay and they stayed open past regular hours to assist us but you cannot always expect this.
- Car Insurance: Check your car insurance policy and consider buying a package for coverage out of the country/province if you travel a lot. We decided to do this as we use rental cars and our own vehicle outside of the country often. In addition, make sure to use and pay with a credit card that has comprehensive car rental insurance and read the fine print about the coverage. We usually use and pay with our American Express Platinum card for coverage. We don’t usually purchase the car rental agency insurance because of our own coverage as well as the credit card coverage in 99% of circumstances. When we travel to Mexico and rent a car, we buy all the insurance provided as recommended by information on TripAdvisor and FlyerTalk.
- Fuel: Map out the closest gas station to the rental car agency in advance to minimize time and hassle when you return the car. I’d also recommend a backup in case the station you chose is closed.
- Vehicle Inspection: When doing the walk around, we usually take photos with a date and time stamp of the damage and email it to ourselves for a record to be used in disputes.
More information: https://www.silvercar.com/ and remember to enter code “jzcnkxsd” so that we both get a $25USD VISA gift card!
What’s been your worst experience renting a car? Have you ever rented with Silvercar by Audi?
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