This is my second review of the Silvercar Service at San Francisco International Airport. Silvercar is a new kind of car rental company. You always get a premium car for a descent price and with all the extras like built-in GPS, toll tracking (no overcharges for using toll plazas like at regular rental car companies), built-in WiFi with Internet connection (that’s right, you don’t have to use your phone’s data for that) and much more.
At most locations you will get a silver Audi A4, an exemption is Denver. Denver also offers Audi Q3 as rental car.
I decided to rent again with Silvercar on my trip to San Francisco. Reasons were the 20% discount I got from my Founderscard Membership and with the discount the rental prize was cheaper than renting a standard-size car with a regular renter like AVIS. To rent with Silvercar it’s necessary to have their app installed on your phone.
Silvercar changed the procedure how and where to get your car since my last rental and review. That’s why I decided to review the new service. Silvercar moved to the new location about 8 month ago, in Summer 2015. They were getting very busy and the shuttle to the Park’N Fly lot didn’t run frequent enough. That’s why Silvercar decided to pick up and drop off renters themselves.
The reservation process hasn’t changed much besides some website and app updates. But once you arrive in San Francisco, everything has changed compared to my previous rental.
You will now take the Airtrain to the Rental Car Center instead of hoping on the shuttle bus to the Park’N Fly lot. When you are on the train, open the app and use the button in the app to text Silvercar to pic you up. The app has still flaws on Android and I told Silvercar about it after my last rental, but still unresolved. However the app can’t figure out my standard messaging app. I had the exact problem last time. I can only select messaging apps, which are not my standard and that would force me to make them standard to actually use them. I am very disappointed that the same issue still exists.
Once arrived at the rental car center, take the elevator down to Level 1 and follow the signs to Offsite Rental Companies.
Go to Island #2 and there should be a silver Audi A4 waiting for you with a big Silvercar logo on the site of it. Meet the driver and load your luggage. He will shuttle you to the rental location with all the cars. The location is only a few minutes from the rental car center.
At the Silvercar rental center pick any of the Audi A4 parking in the lot. Don’t worry they all have the same features and are all silver. 😉 Unlock the car by scanning the QR-Code on the front window with the Silvercar App. The staff helps you if you encounter problems and help you load your luggage.
Check the car for any damage, set your mirrors and seat and head out in a fun car.
The car comes with a lot of great features
- Free WiFi-Hotspot. Yes free WiFi. You can connect to the in-car WiFi and browse the web without draining your usage limit of your carrier. Unfortunately it’s slow and only 3G. That’s what the display showed me all the time. But hey it’s free.
- Bluetooth Connectivity
- Free Satellite Radio
- In-Car Navigation
- Free Toll Tracking. You only pay the tolls for the roads you used. No daily or usage fee.
The only thing I missed was a backup camera or parking assistant, which would start beeping if you get to close to an object. I got told by one of the staff member, that all the 2015 models come without this feature, but Silvercar will renew its fleet soon and the 2017 models will have this feature built-in.
Returning is also as easy as it can be. I had to return my car couple of days early, because of a change in my business plans. I texted Silvercar if I could return earlier and told them at what time I would approx show up. If it’s during the day, you can just come by and drop off the car and they will shuttle you back to the Rental Car Center, where you would need to take the Airtrain to the terminals. If you have to drop off very late or very early in the day, better contact them ahead of time, to make sure someone is there to close you out and shuttle you back to the Rental Car Center.
If you are new to Silvercar and want to give it a try, sign up for an account and use my promo code PREINOLD to get 25$ off your first rental. More info here.